Monday 11 February 2013

O.S. ACW Game. (part 2)

The Union Zouaves close in and engage the Rebels .
The Confederates charge and engage in a bloody melee .
The Confederates are defeated and flee , with the last move done and night falling it was time to work out who had won !.
As the situation was mixed for both sides I did a head count of casualties and the Confederates had suffered half as many again - so I judged that they had lost and would have to retire . The above photo is the finishing positions of the troops . On the left the Union hold the ridge and have succeeded in causing casualties on the Rebel gun preventing it firing each move . The Confederates hold the road in the centre , on the right the Confederates hold the ridge but are isolated as the survivor's of their flanking regiment stream to the rear and they face off the 2 Union regiments . A close call but the Rebel heavy casualties and the loss of the firepower of their gun just turned it into a victory for the Union forces ! . The rules gave a very fast game , my initial worries about the artillery firepower seemed to even out as the game went on. I would allow both ranks to fire not just the front one as my figures are based and Donald Featherstone's were not and they would take up to much room in a single line  . I don't want to mess to much with the rules and so will give them another game or two to try them out .


  1. Changing the firing from one rank to two ranks in Featherstones rules was the first change I made. It effectively make the battlefield twice as wide.

  2. I did think of using a 3" blast circle as well for the artillery - great looking battle of yours . I need to play test the rules more . Cheers Tony

  3. I changed the artillery in that one dice rather than two is rolled for casualties over 2 foot range otherwise two dice as normal at less than 2 feet.

  4. Although I have Don Featherstone's book (one of the 5 [British] Classics, in my view), I don't recall that I've ever played his rules without amendment - or even with amendment, my own rule set taking very little from them. But I do enjoy what he writes on the subject, and the pictures are nice.

    I had entirely forgotten his 'front rank only' firing rule. Clearly he intended to keep the firepower within bounds, else firefights would be 'short but desperate'. One way to do that is expand the volley-group size, at the same time making the saving rolls marginally more generous.

    Personally, I loathe saving rolls. Instead I make more use of a 'Die Range' system I stole from the Wizard's Quest rule set. Actually, this effectively is the same as Featherstone's subtractions according to range. So where Featherstone subtracts from the scores for each die: 1 for short; 2 for medium (call it) and 3 for long; I would use a Die Range of 5, 4 and 3 respectively - for precisely the same effect. Die range simply means the maximum roll that counts, any higher roll counts zero.

    On top of that I have a 'normalizing' system of converting hits to casualties similar to that used by Charles Grant in 'The War Game.'

    If using both ranks for firing, I suggest you might prefer to up the subtractions by one (-2,-3,-4 - or use Die Ranges of 4,3,2).

    1. Thanks for your interesting suggestions after playing a few games with his rules I too plan to make some ammendments - very simple ones in keeping with his overall ideas , cheers Tony

    2. I guess I have to declare you as a 'Great Mind', Archduke.

  5. Hi Tony

    At Triples in Sheffield in May I am going to put on a demo game of the Battle of Plattville using Featherstones rules, with a few tweaks, but using my Prince August 40mm figures rather than ACW.

    I will be interested to see what rule changes you make.