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"Joh Hill's New ACW Rules are Here!" Topic

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American Civil War

3,242 hits since 25 Sep 2013
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Colonel Bill Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2013 4:56 p.m. PST

See the following link from Amazon:


I think their possible development has been reported on via another thread, but out of the blue, here they are, by Osprey no less.

I'm shocked. I thought John's age and health indicated retirement from the hobby. And then, with no advertising or anything, this was a big surprise, to me at least.

Regards, Colonel Bill

Personal logo Colonel Bill Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2013 4:59 p.m. PST

Followup – to be released 20 May 2014???

Regards, Colonel Bill

John the OFM25 Sep 2013 6:19 p.m. PST

…to be released 20 May 2014???

The world could end by then.

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2013 9:46 p.m. PST

better not, that's my birthday.

Maxshadow26 Sep 2013 12:07 a.m. PST

Sounds great. Would sound even better if it said available 26 September 2013.

Trajanus26 Sep 2013 3:00 a.m. PST

No offence but who the 'Sam Hill' is John Hill?

Chris B26 Sep 2013 3:16 a.m. PST

He wrote Squad Leader and Johnny Reb. link

Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2013 3:41 a.m. PST

He is also a gentleman and good guy, from the time I got to see him during Johnny Con in 2012.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2013 3:45 a.m. PST

Received the usual monthly email update from Osprey last week and they listed a 'new' set of ACW rules in the pipeline for '14 but no mention of John Hill as the author! Did not know he had health issues. Interesting.

cwbuff26 Sep 2013 4:19 a.m. PST

Release date just before Johnny Con V, 6-8 June 2014. Would be nice if they could meet that May release date.

Ceterman26 Sep 2013 7:00 a.m. PST

I was gonna say that too!

Timmo uk26 Sep 2013 7:16 a.m. PST

Very interesting. 6mm ACW – perhaps with Bruce Weigle style terrain…

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Sep 2013 7:42 a.m. PST

If these are what he showed at JohnnyCon a few years back they are Johnny Reb with a new ground scale and all regiments are 2 bases. But otherwise uses the same basic bones as JRIII.

Trajanus26 Sep 2013 9:19 a.m. PST

He wrote Squad Leader and Johnny Reb

Ah Right! Suspected the latter, never would have guessed the former.


Trajanus26 Sep 2013 9:22 a.m. PST

If these are what he showed at JohnnyCon a few years back they are Johnny Reb with a new ground scale and all regiments are 2 bases. But otherwise uses the same basic bones as JRIII.

"Across A Deadly Field uses a scale that can be described as a "telescoped" version of Johnny Reb III with twice the ground and figure scale, and has individual regiments and batteries as the base element of maneuver:"

- Ground Scale: 1" = 100 yards
- Time Scale: 1 turn = 20 minutes
- Regiment Scale: Two stands/bases per regiment
- Figure Scale: 1 figure = 60 men
- Gun scale: 1 gun = 1 battery

"The big advantage of this approach is that the gamer is not required to rebase any figures from his existing Johnny Reb army, allowing for much easier conversion from the older game to Across A Deadly Field. The existing four-stand regiments become two different regiments of two stands each his miniature army has, for gaming purposes, just doubled. This will hold an appeal for many gamers they can either recreate smaller engagements in half the space that would once have been needed, or can game huge battles on a table that would once have only accommodated a small skirmish. In essence, Across A Deadly Field offers two games with a single, consistent basing system."

Looks as if you are right Don't know if that's good or bad never having played JR. I guess it depends on the mechanics to see if they give a higher level feel rather than just messing with ground scales.

It would appear to me that you would be stuck with using JR basing, or the Regiment/Battery relationship would be thrown off.

Which is a shame, as I might have been interested in an big battle set of rules.

donlowry26 Sep 2013 9:55 a.m. PST

If you want big-battle rules, mine are free. They can be found in various formats here:

Aspern1809 Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Sep 2013 6:19 p.m. PST

I'm a huge "Johnny Reb" fan and I'm looking forward to these rules! It might even convince me to paint 6mm or 10mm figures specifically for ADF. I emailed John recently and I'm happy to report he is alive and kicking! Cory

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2013 3:13 a.m. PST

Good news.

Cleburne186327 Sep 2013 3:39 a.m. PST

Same problem with JR3. How do you play with regiments larger than 480 men (2 stands with 4 figures each)? And no, I do not want to split larger regiments into 2 battalions. More figures per stand? More stands?

jpipes27 Sep 2013 5:56 a.m. PST

If the point of using miniatures versus a board game is to experience and enjoy the grand historical sweep of the era through the use of actual painted figures, how does having regiments of two stands (where do you put the flag) help that goal in any way? It won't look correct scale wise or historically.

Personal logo gaiusrabirius Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2013 9:21 a.m. PST

I too am curious about Cleburne1863's question.

If 1 figure = 60 men, then how is a regiment of more than 480 men modeled?
More than four figures per base?
Or, more than two bases per regiment for these "large" regiments?

Not being critical just curious.

Trajanus27 Sep 2013 9:47 a.m. PST

My view would be that if you get down to two bases per regiment you may just as well go for one base of the same frontage!

21eRegt27 Sep 2013 11:26 a.m. PST

Although two bases would at least allow some visual representation of a column or skirmish line by the placement of the second stand.

Trajanus27 Sep 2013 1:30 p.m. PST

OK, column I can see but how would you show a skirmish line?

Aspern1809 Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Sep 2013 5:33 p.m. PST

I recently talk to John Hill and here are a few new updates about Across A Deadly Field:


CATenWolde27 Sep 2013 11:30 p.m. PST

From the interview above:

I was worried that since the scale was bumped up for larger battles, the game might be simply a simplified version of JR III and that much of the detail might be "dumbed down". Well, John assured me that would not be the case as since JR was first published, miniature gamers have become much more sophisticated and in John's opinion they can easily handle a lot more detail and complexity than twenty years ago when Johnny Reb was first published by Adventure Games.

That certainly has not been my experience!

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2013 4:00 a.m. PST

Nor mine.

FlyXwire28 Sep 2013 5:41 a.m. PST

Not mine either.

donlowry28 Sep 2013 11:28 a.m. PST

In my opinion, rules should have a basic version, to allow the players to learn the key concepts, then add detail/complexity in advanced and/or optional rules.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2013 1:55 p.m. PST


CATenWolde28 Sep 2013 2:35 p.m. PST

Hmm … you mean a programmed approach to the rules … like in Squad Leader! You would think Mr. Hill would be familiar with the model. ;)

Trajanus28 Sep 2013 3:36 p.m. PST

If Mr.Hill was also the author of Advanced Squad Leader I think he should know about complexity – he invented it!

Come to think of it that probably holds good even if he just wrote Squad Leader as that came first!

cwbuff28 Sep 2013 4:41 p.m. PST

I think John did the first three Squad Leader, nothing with ASL.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2013 7:37 a.m. PST


Trajanus30 Sep 2013 2:20 a.m. PST

Thanks for the update on my gaming Who's Who.

ASL must be one of the most complex rulesets of all time!

donlowry30 Sep 2013 10:34 a.m. PST

John Hill also produced his own board games under the name Conflict Games, IIRC, including 'Bar Lev,' an excellent game of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2013 2:21 p.m. PST

Bar Lev is one of my favorite games! I don't want to start an 'ASL thread' but when you consider it only took a few pages (original SL) to get into playing the first scenario via Programmed Instruction-the rules design was masterful imo.


J. P. Kelly

cwbuff30 Sep 2013 3:41 p.m. PST

I would recommend game designers take a look at the Bar Lev rules. I think that was one of the best rules for getting into play quickly. "You can do this during this sequence and this is how. Now start the next sequence." or thereabouts. I would not want to play the game under a black light but that is another story. John's Kasserine Pass is one of the best beer and pretzel games.

john lacour30 Sep 2013 11:45 p.m. PST

well, i've been playing johnny reb scinse jr1,and i'm looking forword o this new set of rules.

Aspern1809 Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Oct 2013 6:09 p.m. PST

Here's a link to some ADF design notes from John Hill:


donlowry04 Oct 2013 11:38 a.m. PST

Thanks for the design notes. Very helpful!

Trajanus04 Oct 2013 12:14 p.m. PST

Yeah, three x four figure stands – that I could do, might fit with one gun of my artillery stands on frontage too.

However, the real info on the link above and links from it plus elsewhere are pretty much just guff at this stage. Need to wait until next year before getting 'excited'.

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