Monday, March 17, 2014

Another ACW game

2 weeks ago we got another game in of ACW at my Friend Martin's.  you may suspect the game looks similar in setup an layout to the last game of ACW I posted about, and you would be correct.  we were trying my heavily modified version of Field of Battle(which we jokingly refer to as Meadow of Warfare), and comparing it with the last set we used, which was Foundry's "Bull Run to Gettysburg".

Dan holding the Light for better pictures. Thanks Dan!
 In this iteration of the scenario, instead of the union dominating combat and movement, the confederate forces charged across the field with stunning speed.  the union didn't even get a good deal of their guns unlimbered in time for the first wave.

the main action

The game was from then on a fairly balanced affair.  at one point shortly before the game ended the confederate forces took a significant lead and reduced the Union morale points to zero.  this doesn't mean an automatic army breaking in the system however. you have to wait for an army morale card to come up.  this forces both sides to continue playing fairly and making a quick rush for that last morale point to break the enemy.

Fighting for an empty field, Oh the humanity!

with the confederate having used all their cards, the advantage switched to the union, who managed to just barely reduce the confederate morale point to zero  with co-ordinated fire just as the turn end.  the next turn saw the confederates draw their army morale card fairly early and rout off the table! Huzzah! the union held on just long enough.

we really enjoyed his game. the card  decks determine the "turn" sequence. although it doesn't feel like a turn at all. the game takes on a very fluid way to the action and turns are indistinguishable.

Union sharp shooters fall back against a hard confederate push.

We also really enjoyed that the army not breaking once army morale is at zero, but rather at a random moment determined by the playing of a card to be an interesting mechanic.  It makes the players continue to play as if nothing is wrong to get the enemy back before the break.  the unpredictability of it also means that no one can "game" the system to break the enemy just before he breaks with one last push in a certain area.  I have done that in Maurice to my friend Dan. he had wiped out a flank and was about to beat me, but my hurried cavalry push on the flank broke him first.

The main changes i made to the system was the combat mechanic. I tossed out the opposed die rolls for attack die vs defense die, with changing die types.  now units have a set number  for defense based on their quality.  every multiple of 3 above that number you get is a hit. I also made it so that in close combat, both sides take 1 damage point automatically.  I also allowed it so hat all unit may engage in melee as soon as they contact during movement. eliminating the need for the melee card. as well, you can maneuver during movement free now. however i left the maneuver card in as it can be useful for unlimbering and changing formation, etc.  I've also modified the shooting rules so that even when smoke is on your unit(ie you are "not loaded") you can still give closing fire to unit charging you, albeit at greatly reduced base effectiveness.  this eliminates the big issue I had with field of battle where 4 cavalry unit charge across the field at a single unit, but only one of them takes any damage from fire.  

For con games(like my big 12-player battle of Kulm next weekend at Hotlead) I add in an extra movement card and an extra "reload" card to keep things lively.

I still have a few things to put the final touches on for next weekend, so stay tuned!


  1. Now what's not to like about that game!

    Good stuff.

  2. I enjoyed your game write up and modifications! I'm always happy to see people expanding and tweaking the rules once I've published them.