Friday, April 02, 2010

"Game 1" - Post match analysis..

If you have a look at the following (perhaps after clicking on it to enlarge it!), then by all the usual mores of wargaming one would probably agree that the Rebs have "shot their bolt"..

Now if I was playing DG I would, of course, struggle on to an Appomattox type conclusion, but in this case my job is done ... what I wanted to do was give you a flavour of "Regimental Fire & Fury", and why I'm almost convinced that this is going to be my rule set of choice for the burgeoning American Civil War collection...

My primary requirements for this rule set choice was brigade level, with focus on the regiment, and these rules do that in spades but so do a number of other rule sets - what swings it for me is the level of detail/complexity which is not stupidly anal, but neither is it airily simplified... I think you'd agree that for this very simple game, historical tactics were followed, and the outcome was what you'd expect - equal sided forces where one has the benefit of a hard wall to stand behind will usually result in the "wall skulkers" (oh dear, am I giving away my preferences here!) winning, which they did...

The eagle eyed among you will have seen that I said "almost convinced" - what are my concerns?? To be honest they are slight....

First and foremost is (was?) the variation of results caused by a single D10 dice throw, but as Jim Walkley & Ross Mac [click here] and John Preece [click here] commented in the last game post, over the course of the game then multiple dice throws are going to "even out"... I like Jim's analogy of the shooting which deserves repeating...

"May I give a suggested rationalisation of the varied shooting scores - probably be shot to bits myself but hey ho.
Good volley - first volley in action - we're all loaded, gotta shoot the enemy.
Bad volley - ouch, they're shooting at us - let's keep down behind the wall if we can.
Excellent volley - officers and sergeants encouraging return fire, they haven't hit too many of us, got to get out of this."

I can live with that...

My only other concern is the amount of movement and shooting calculations that may need to be done. In a multi unit game this will become more of an issue - I suspect that any more than a couple of brigades/six regiments and it may all become a bit onerous. At the moment my thoughts are turning to a system of small plastic covered cards that can stay with the unit and retain the modifier calculations so that a quick check will see if they stand for this turn, and save you having to do it again..

Either way - the troops are now heading back to their box - to echo one of John's last comments, I can't believe how much pleasure I got from manoeuvring two units of foot round a small table with a single wall in the middle... a couple of hours tops, including this record keeping, but great fun! I shall be doing that again when the cavalry are done so look forward to "Game 2" sometime later this summer...

Bloody but unbowed - the 2nd Virginia will rise again!


Just a quick update to announce that I have set up a separate blog for the sailing posts - I'd been thinking long about it and came to the conclusion that the posts don't make a huge amount of sense to be kept here in what is predominantly a wargaming, beer and music blog... I'll put in a comment here whenever I've added a post, but if your interested in my sailing exploits and adventures, may I steer you towards the Yacht Papillon [click here] blog...


  1. Nice report. F&F is our groups choice for ACW also. I think you will find adding artillery is much more interesting than adding cav. The artillery duel before the forces move to contact often help determine the outcome. It adds more flavor with trying to determine do I counter fire the batteries or soften up the approaching infantry. Again nice report.

  2. A fun and interesting little report. I think after that this ruleset is the best for me-I know F&F well and the Regimental scale gives me two bites at the cherry. Excellent!

  3. Steve,

    First, thank you for sharing your thoughts about this and other rule sets.

    While I've never played F&FR (or F&F for that matter), I would suggest that you consider just using the 1d10 for movement instead of the 2d10/2 . . . your modification really slews the "curve" into the middle. Try a few games to see how it goes before altering that mechanic.

    Yes, the 1d10 will provide more "fog of war" . . . but isn't that a good thing?

    -- Jeff

  4. Firstly, I've enjoyed this battle out of all proportion to its size. Nostalgia? Maybe in part. Don't be surpised to see a copycat version in April, I'm getting an urge to refight the action, perhaps the 3rd one with all arms, using 3 sets of rules , Charge, Black Powder and With Macduff.

    Secondly, give up? ! We can do it, sir let us reform and hit 'em again! ah know we ken do it!

  5. Very interesting Steve. ACW was my first wargaming period and your report has encouraged me to get into it again. I have played original FnF with quite large numbers of brigades and never found the calculation too onerous so hope that will be your experience but look forward to reading how your markers go. One marker we use is a puff of cotton wool when a unit is worn and two when it is spent - with brigades of varying size it was difficult for us remember which level each was at. It is also quite nice visually we think.
    I also picked up on your comment that troops get the cold steel bonus when they don't fire. I have missed that. Wondered what it was and took it as the same as 'Confederates charging' in the original rules.

  6. Hi Jim - I welcome anyone's thoughts on the cold steel bonus as it isn't explained clearly in the beta rules... but that's how DG and I worked it out and it seemed to make sense! Either side can claim it...

    If anyone knows otherwise, pls feel free to comment here!

  7. Hello Steve
    I am glad the cold steel bonus isn't explained. I had scoured the rules and was afraid it was a case of what my wife calls 'button holes for eyes'. Your interpretation does seem to gel with sabre charges and I quite like the idea of a guaranteed bonus rather than taking a chance on causing casualties.

  8. Jim - it kind of made sense to us - reserving fire for the melee etc.

    We could only find one reference in the entire rules - which was in a paragraph in the middle of the "unit checked" section...!