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Author Topic: ACW Grand Tactical Rules  (Read 2316 times)
Waremblem
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« on: 05 August 2020, 02:47:35 AM »

Hello - Having recently discovered the Pendraken 10mm ACW line I am thinking about painting up a Union army. I mostly enjoy playing at a grand tactical level - for example my favorite rules set of all time is Napoleon's Battles. So I'm sort of looking for a Napoleon's Battles for the ACW. Years ago I played Fire and Fury and while it is a decent set of rules, I don't love the basing - I feel you need too many and the units are cumbersome to move. After having done some research, I've come across Bloody Big Battles, On to Richmond and Altar of Freedom. Altar of Freedom looks splendid in ease of play and I've watched a demonstration game on Little Wars TV, but I wonder if the game isn't too generic and lacking historical detail? Does anyone have experience with these rule sets, or others that allow grand tactical wargaming in the ACW? I'm looking for - in order:

  • fun
  • historical flavor
  • ability to fight the major battles
  • needs to "feel" right

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Techno
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« Reply #1 on: 05 August 2020, 06:38:54 AM »

I'm sure one or more of the good folk here will be able to help with that, Waremblem !

As that was your first post.... a very warm welcome to the forum. Wave

Cheers - Phil Smiley
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mad lemmey
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« Reply #2 on: 05 August 2020, 07:09:59 AM »

Hello and Welcome.

My list would be

Black Powder (Glory Hallelujah suppliment) , Big Bloody Battles or Volley and Bayonet,
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Steve J
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« Reply #3 on: 05 August 2020, 07:17:51 AM »

Welcome on board!

I too would recommend BP" with the GH! supplement, ditto Bloody Big Battles. With the right basing you can play both games, zooming in and out as it were at your leisure. We played Shiloh in an evening using BBB, to give you an idea of the scale it is played at. Both games are also solo friendly.
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ianrs54
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« Reply #4 on: 05 August 2020, 07:42:29 AM »

Moaning, beware most of us are insane, although I have a certicate to prove otherwise
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mmcv
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« Reply #5 on: 05 August 2020, 08:20:25 AM »

Welcome! I played Gettysburg with BBB and had a good game with it. I actually made labels and counters for it and printed it out to use them. That way I was able to test it out without owning any ACW figures.

I haven't played Alter of Freedom but from what I remember of Little Wars one of the authors biggest gripes with a lot of rule sets is that they are to generic and prefers those with conflict and period specific flavour. So I'd guess from that AoF wouldn't be too generic.

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Dave Fielder
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« Reply #6 on: 05 August 2020, 08:36:45 AM »

A great subject for your first post. I can also recommend Bloody Big Battles (BBB), Black Powder (BP) and even Volley and Bayonet (V&Batting Eyelashes. I have based my 6mm forces onto 30mm square bases that allow flexibility for all three rulesets. This gives a big battle feel and as Steve said, we've staged some large events in a small space. Have a good look over Steve's Blog: https://wwiiwargaming.blogspot.com/search/label/Bloody%20Big%20Battles
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Raider4
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« Reply #7 on: 05 August 2020, 08:50:45 AM »

Moaning, beware most of us are insane, although I have a certicate to prove otherwise

"I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested."
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paulr
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« Reply #8 on: 05 August 2020, 09:21:41 AM »

Welcome Waremblem Wave

A great first post

As others have said Black Powder, Bloody Big Battles and Volley & Bayonet are very popular

I haven't played the other two rule sets but use V&B for AWI as well as Napoleonic and have played one ACW game with them

V&B for me certainly ticks all the items on your list

V&B uses one stand for a Brigade easing movement and allow mini-dioramas if you wish (alternatively you can go for half size bases if you want to fit really big battles on a normal sized table)

You can find some useful information on V&B ACW with 6mm figures on half size bases here https://volleyandbayonet.wordpress.com/category/american-civil-war/
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Westmarcher
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« Reply #9 on: 05 August 2020, 10:15:01 AM »

Welcome to the forum. You mentioned that you had watched a demo game on Little Wars TV. I believe there are two demo game videos (Antietam and Gettysburg) plus a rules review of Alter of Freedom. I've never played these rules myself so cannot comment but have you seen the rules review video? Of course, its author is one of the members of the Little Wars TV club (Greg) but here's a link anyway with comments from the other members:-

http://www.littlewarstv.com/altar-of-freedom.html
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fred.
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« Reply #10 on: 05 August 2020, 11:16:45 AM »

I’ve not played that much ACW - the ACW players in our group are still looking for the right set of rules (sounds familiar)

I’ve played BP with 28mm figures. A very good looking but unsatisfyingly game. The union troops raced forward in a turn or so - then a massive but inconclusive musket duel happened at close range for many turns - with no clear way to break through other than rolling more 6s. There was a strange result with cavalry attacking emplaced artillery- I can’t recall the details but we all thought it odd and spent a lot of time checking the rules.

We’ve played a couple of games of AoF and if you’ve seen the videos you will know this is a very different beast. In the games we played it did seem to be more about managing the time clock than moving the troops on the table. But some of this may have been down to the scenario and the limited choices for the defending Confederates. We played these games with cardboard counters using the top down images from junior general. These were a good choice for trying the rules I think it only took me an evening to do two armies.
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monkeynut
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« Reply #11 on: 05 August 2020, 04:25:52 PM »

I have played Alter of Freedom, Volley and bayonet, BBB and Fire and Fury.
As with all sets of rules I find they all have their Pros and Cons , a “perfect” set to please all is like discovering a Unicorn sitting with a pot of gold under your Xmas tree. Only you will know what suits your playing style , figure availability, time constraints , gaming table size etc etc by experimenting,play what you enjoy! IMHO I like Fire and Fury ,you not so much. One mans muck is another mans brass.
Your idea of “fun”  “historical flavour “ “ ability to play major battles “ and “ feels right” will be totally different to the opinions of others.
It’s a joy to paint Pendraken’s ACW figures which I have recently converted to, look great painted up.
Wish you well on finding that “Unicorn “.
Happy gaming.
Welcome to the forum, as a newbie myself I’ve found you’ll be able to glean a lot of info from the “veterans “ posts , not always what you asked for ,need to know or even relevant 😳 , but always in good nature and a willingness to help.

🐵
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Steve J
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« Reply #12 on: 05 August 2020, 05:06:49 PM »

Quote
Only you will know what suits your playing style , figure availability, time constraints , gaming table size etc etc by experimenting,play what you enjoy!

So true.
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Nick the Lemming
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« Reply #13 on: 05 August 2020, 05:51:00 PM »

For really big games, I like Altar of Freedom, but BBB is an excellent game too (never played it with ACW, just European conflicts). I'm not a big fan of Black Powder, but Fire nd Fury isn't a bad choice. Haven't played that for ages though - just takes much too long compared with AoF. I also like Longstreet, but that's smaller scale than grand tactical.
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Waremblem
Cadet

Posts: 30


« Reply #14 on: 05 August 2020, 07:02:31 PM »

Thank you for the greetings and suggestions. I will have to look into both BP and V&B. I'll also search out a video of BBB. For AoF I reviewed the Antietam game and the rules breakdown. The red flag for me was the reviewers statements about how the units are a bit generic. I also worry how the basing interacted looked a bit DBM and the bidding against a player for movement seems gamey. I recognize "feel and flavor" are subjective. For me, I'll harken back to Napeloen's Battles - it "feels" like the French are the French and the British are the British. So for the ACW, I want the Iron Brigade to feel like an elite formation. I like to see an ebb and flow of battle not pushing around pieces that feel like chess units which I think systems such as DBM or DBA convey. It seems several of you struggle with the same issues so maybe it is finding which set of rules you find something that really pops and others elements that you can live with.
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