Friday, 9 May 2014

ACW 15mm Play-test

Back in the 80s Dave and I built up two sizeable 15mm ACW armies that saw action in many enjoyable battles and campaigns. Eventually we sold these off and replaced them with the 1/300th figures that feature on this blog because we felt this was the only scale suitable for creating the army level games we wanted to play.

Some very pretty Union Zouaves advancing towards the Rebs - actually they haven't advanced very far yet due to a poor supply of Command Points.

 The 24th New York seem to have found their way into a hornets nest of Confederate rifled-muskets.

However, the appeal of 15mm figures has never really gone away and over the last 10 years or so I have been gradually collecting some new 15mm forces with the idea of playing Fire & Fury games. I now have a reasonable number of infantry stands but I must admit that despite owning the rule book for over 20 years I have only ever played one game of F&F (and Dave has never played one at all). The thought of trying to absorb a set of commercial rules at our time of life has put us both off F&F so instead we did the only sensible thing and wrote our own!

Dave has moved his artillery to a postion where it can enfilade the Union line - sneaky!

The Union artillery has been forced to split its fire in order to respond to the Rebel threat.

I say ‘we’ but actually the new rules have been written by Dave and he has drawn on our AWI rules as well as our existing 1/300 ACW rules for inspiration. So this week we had our first rule play-test of Muskets & Men using three units of infantry a side together with a battery of guns.

 Another of my NY regiments is slowly working its way around the Confederate left flank.

It’s so far so good and the rule mechanics seemed pitched just right for a tactical game of up to a brigade per side which is what we wanted. The rules use our AWI system of breaking down each turn into phases and using command points to allow unit actions e.g. fire, load, fix bayonets, deploy etc. Moves are simultaneous (Dave and I have never favoured I-go-you-go rule mechanics) so written orders are required but the paperwork is simple and the result is worth the effort.

 The situation in the centre of the battlefield at the end of turn 3.

We intend to have a further play-test session and then move on to a proper scenario which will appear here in due course.

For those of you waiting to see another 1/300th scale ACW game – please be patient as Dave is currently flocking approximately 400 troop stands during a major refit of the armies!


  1. Sounds like a great game, very nice pics!

  2. Beautiful - really very nice - are your rules available for public view?

    You are a bad man - I have tried to convince myself for years that I really don't want to get back into the ACW, and these pics don't help at all! I also have to say that rebasing 1/300 figures sounds like the ultimate nightmare - all the best with that.

  3. Hi Tony - the rules are still under development but will appear here in due course (I keep meaning to add a rules section to the blog). It was Dave's idea to flock all the 1/300th bases but I think he's regretting it now!

  4. Great to see you getting into 15mm ACW again, like Tony I am also trying hard to resist doing ACW. Fantastic figures and terrain Ian and I look forward to more in the future.

    Re original F&F, they remain some of the best ACW rules I think I ever played, easy to learn but deceptively simple. They produced some great games at brigade level. I have been keeping my eye out for a copy on ebay.

  5. Lee, sorry to be tempting you towards ACW - is there a C&C rule system available?

    I know Fire & Fury is a good rule set but as our 1/300th rules also use the brigade as the basic unit we were wanting to move to a regimental level game.

    1. Hi Ian,

      The newer 'regimental' F&F are good I'm told, Old John plays them.

      'Battle Cry' is the C&C ACW version and I remain extremely tempted!

      I look forward to seeing the 6mm bases flocked, quite a job :-)