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"Worst ACW Rules You Ever Bought?" Topic

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Action Log

02 Oct 2017 5:36 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

Areas of Interest

American Civil War

8,550 hits since 2 Oct 2011
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian03 Oct 2011 5:22 p.m. PST

What is the absolutely worst set of rules for the American Civil War that you've bought?

JSchutt03 Oct 2011 5:37 p.m. PST

I admit to being doubly stupid for buying Fire and Fury then Regimental Fire and Fury.

Billy Yank Inactive Member03 Oct 2011 5:46 p.m. PST

They Couldn't Hit an Elephant! I know some folks swear by Two Fat Lardies, but they are not my cup of tea.

Billy Yank

SgtPain03 Oct 2011 5:54 p.m. PST

Stars and Bars was the worst rule set I ever bought. I know they are a lot of Stars and Bars fans who enjoyed the rules, they just did not work for me.

JCBJCB03 Oct 2011 6:16 p.m. PST

Stars and Bars.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Oct 2011 6:18 p.m. PST

Civil Warhammer 1861K

The G Dog Fezian Inactive Member03 Oct 2011 6:29 p.m. PST

Iron and Steam.

TKindred Supporting Member of TMP03 Oct 2011 6:40 p.m. PST

So many to choose from…….

"Stars & Bars" is one. Another was a set from the UK called "circa 1863".

Forager03 Oct 2011 6:54 p.m. PST

Got to go with Civil War Commander. Just plain unreadable.

Personal logo gamertom Supporting Member of TMP03 Oct 2011 7:33 p.m. PST

"Stars and Bars" was certainly complex and difficult to read, but the worse set I've owned was one from the mid-1970's titled "The Blue Light Manual" (named for the way Stonewall Jackson's eyes lighted up when his units went into action). The rules themselves were readable and understandable, but I felt the results were off as compared to rules like Rally Round the Flag. My biggest problem was how strong the artillery was at shot/shell range. A 4 gun battery could devastate a regiment in 2 turns.

vojvoda Inactive Member03 Oct 2011 7:45 p.m. PST

Brother verses Brother, more like toy soldiers and slap a time period on it, most boring ACW game ever.
James Mattes

Dynaman878903 Oct 2011 7:48 p.m. PST

Johny Reb III. The only other miniatures rules I have for ACW are TCHAE and I like those better, so by default JRIII is the worst – even though it looks like a fine set of rules.

21eRegt03 Oct 2011 7:49 p.m. PST

I bought Stars n Bars back in the day but only played it a couple times before discovering Johnny Reb. I've played other systems at other people's houses, but never been tempted to buy anything else. JR is perfect for my tastes and biases.

doug redshirt Inactive Member03 Oct 2011 8:26 p.m. PST

Fire and fury. Just hate the roll to do anything. Had a friend who on turn one of a game marched through a town and never came out. What kind of game makes you spend the entire game trying to get out of a town. Mention that game and he gets rabid about stupid rule designs.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member03 Oct 2011 8:32 p.m. PST

Stars and Bars…couldn't even get through the concept of "The telescoping time limit"….

Berlichtingen Inactive Member03 Oct 2011 9:11 p.m. PST

Fire & Fury. Great idea, with some great mechanics. It just doesn't work at modeling the Civil War.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP03 Oct 2011 9:20 p.m. PST

Blue Light Manual

After reading them all I thought was "Huh?"

Houdini03 Oct 2011 9:45 p.m. PST

And another vote for Blue Light Manual!

Much like the Doc, after reading them all I thought was "why?"

Personal logo Battle Cry Bill Supporting Member of TMP03 Oct 2011 10:07 p.m. PST

Blue Light Manual. Written as if it was a drill manual. Actually played in a game of it at a convention – I think they just worked around the rules to get it to work.

I am not a big fan of early Johnny Reb rules or Stars and Bars.

Pedrobear Inactive Member03 Oct 2011 10:17 p.m. PST

Johnny Reb.

Different base sizes for the same troop type?

Angel Barracks Inactive Member04 Oct 2011 12:39 a.m. PST

Never bought any.

I have played Brother against Brother.
I liked them as they are quick and easy.

However as pointed out above, they are just rules really and not ACW rules.
At least that is how they seemed to play.

dwight shrute04 Oct 2011 12:46 a.m. PST

the Airfix set was hard work …

lutonjames Inactive Member04 Oct 2011 1:14 a.m. PST

Any Rules that go over board on weaponary ie. Newbury and Circa 1863.

Wargamer Blue04 Oct 2011 1:15 a.m. PST

They Couldn't Hit an Elephant

Baron Trapdoor Inactive Member04 Oct 2011 1:29 a.m. PST

Warhammer fantasy…

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2011 3:13 a.m. PST

Blue Light Manual

redbanner414504 Oct 2011 3:40 a.m. PST

Stars and Bars. The rules were indecipherable but the info on units and generals was great.

EagleSixFive04 Oct 2011 4:23 a.m. PST

Fire and Fury

Steve04 Oct 2011 4:28 a.m. PST

I regret buying Terrible Sharp Sword and Sharp Practice (required)to go along with it.

Ken Portner Inactive Member04 Oct 2011 4:56 a.m. PST

I'm very surprised to see people listing Fire & Fury.

I thought it was generally regarded as a great set of rules. It's certainly very popular.

Connard Sage Inactive Member04 Oct 2011 6:17 a.m. PST

Never bought any.

Nor me.

FireZouave Inactive Member04 Oct 2011 6:24 a.m. PST

Any rule-set that takes longer than an hour to read!I want to play the game and not have to look in the book every turn!

Sysiphus Inactive Member04 Oct 2011 7:10 a.m. PST

Johnny Reb, more work than it's worth.

dayglowill04 Oct 2011 7:35 a.m. PST

A bit like Dynaman8789 here. The worst set of ACW rules I've bought would simply be the least good of the 4 sets I own, all of which I'm actually pleased with.

nazrat04 Oct 2011 8:04 a.m. PST

Fire and Fury, although I really liked them at first (because I had nothing to compare them to) and I grew to loathe them later.

SheriffLee Inactive Member04 Oct 2011 8:17 a.m. PST

Mr. Lincoln's War was unreadable hard to play. We used to play Johnny Rebel and have switched to Regimental Fire and Fury which we love. We have ten Civil War buffs in southern Minnesota and RF&F are the rules we play for the last 3 years.

6sided Inactive Member04 Oct 2011 8:43 a.m. PST

Amazed so many say FandF! Great set of rules that capture the period feel very well, and having played every major engagement in the war with them, they work well.

But as they are the only set I own or would use, they must by default be the worst set I bought…


Sane Max Inactive Member04 Oct 2011 9:23 a.m. PST

I suspect so many say F&F simply because so many people have bought it.


vojvoda Inactive Member04 Oct 2011 9:34 a.m. PST

What turned me off to F&F was Maneuver Phase, I played in one game where I had two brigades that never passed my rolls. Turned me off to the game and other games in the series.

James Mattes

Omemin Inactive Member04 Oct 2011 10:07 a.m. PST

I still use a form of Stars N Bars, with great results. I like the ability to split morale and casualty losses. Small arms kill people, artillery kills morale.

The Blue Light Manual was the worst. Another bad one was J.E.B.!, which tried to use d6s as d10s.

Fire and Fury is good for large battles, but be prepared for far less effective artillery than in other sets.

Costanzo104 Oct 2011 10:09 a.m. PST

Fire and Fury also because had the worst influence upon the following rules

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2011 11:05 a.m. PST

Those that don't like F&F, what do you like, and why is it better than F&F? ( I got a pile of ACW to paint, and better to know now than later)

cwbuff Inactive Member04 Oct 2011 12:03 p.m. PST

Fire and Fury is a very good game but I favor the feel of JR series. If I want to do Gettysburg I will use F&F. If I want to do any battle with only a division on a side, I do JR. Have not played Reg F&F, hope to see one played at a convention.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2011 12:27 p.m. PST

I like the randomness of movement in F&F. Players have too much control over all of their troops moving wherever they want exactly when they want them to do it. I think the randomness represents all of the the things you read about and that can go wrong, such as regiments that don't start marching till five hours after their planned departure time.

Terry L Inactive Member04 Oct 2011 12:38 p.m. PST

For me it is the Johnny Reb rules. Way too much moral rolling.

SheriffLee Inactive Member04 Oct 2011 12:46 p.m. PST

""What turned me off to F&F was Maneuver Phase" this is one of my favorite parts. You do not know if your brigade will maneuver as you expect and you better kept you brigades in command or things do not go as you expect. Usually your first maneuver phases go right. As you are at least in command have +2 for fresh troops even for green troops you should get at least a tardy result. When you became worn or spent as the result becomes worse to tardy to fallback or worse.
Makes for a great game, as you do not have absolute control.

Agent 13 Inactive Member04 Oct 2011 12:49 p.m. PST

I feel I wasted my money buying JR3, feeling that I need a degree to understand and play it. It was too complicated for my simple old brain. $25 USD I will never see again. Mr Lincoln's War comes a close second--half finished rules that are majorly broken but that I wanted to like.

I never bought F&F but have played it a few times, coming to the conclusion that I don't like it either.

Black Powder has become my game of choice for the ACW. It can easily scale up for larger battles or down for smaller engagements. The C&C adds some realistic friction so common to the ACW, with commanders not having a clue what to do (failed command rolls). I use some house rules for the command rolls. Someone mentioned them here, and I saved them as a text file. No link to them.

Costanzo104 Oct 2011 1:31 p.m. PST

Fire and Fury, also because had the worst influence upon the following sets of rules.

Costanzo104 Oct 2011 1:33 p.m. PST

Escuse me for the double …

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2011 1:41 p.m. PST

Johnny Reb.

Different base sizes for the same troop type?

I know, I know, but there is just a handful of us who realize that is crazy! I solved the problem by going with one infantry base size with four figs on it. I thought John would fix that problem with JR3. But no he didn't, real buzz kill. I still play JR2. Can't find another regimental set I like better that everyone else here will play.

I am John the OFM, I am Spartacus!
YouTube link

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