Help support TMP

"Altar Of Freedom 6mm American Civil War game" Topic

19 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the ACW Battle Reports Message Board

Areas of Interest

American Civil War

2,613 hits since 4 May 2014
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Sgt Steiner04 May 2014 5:53 a.m. PST

Altar Of Freedom 6mm American Civil War game

Game at Stephens today to try out a set of fast play big battle rules for American Civil War entitled Altar Of Freedom, using his Federals and his brother Johns Confederates.
A very good set of rules for the scale the are designed for which is each stand equals a Brigade.
Rules are fairly simple as regards shooting and combat with only a very few modifiers applying.
The hub and flavour of the game revolves around the Command Points available for each Division and the CinC which players use to 'bid' for Initiative.
Lots of decision points around this as to whether to bid to take initiative and to 'control' the game clock (of which more later) or to use points to activate Corps and their Divisions.
This is combined with every General having one or more traits assigned to him such as Inept, Revered, Dour, Unreliable and at least two dozen others, all of which affect his points how he allocates of uses them.
A turn 'clock' (in this case a D12) is used with players both rolling at the end of each 'impetus phase' and initiative holder deciding which dice roll to use to reduce this Time Clock by therefore generating a randomness to length of each game turn.
This can mean Corps assigned low Impetus may not get to activate in a turn.
Rules are fairly brief being only a dozen pages including examples.
They therefore leave out some detail in their definitions but mostly these can be sorted through common sense approach.
Only real problem we encountered was defining a flank charge (Enfilade in rules) as not defined where one can or cannot start from only how it must end up.
The game was taken from one of the copious scenario books available and was action at Stones River/Mufreesboro.
With 25 plus Union Brigades and associated artillery against 16 or so Rebel Brigades this is a real big battle set and worked really well with the 6mm kit on Brigade bases.
Only anomaly was the chaps had Brigades on correct width (60mm) but double depth (60mm instead of 30mm) which required a bit of jiggery pokery with support units and recoils.
Stephen and John being Civil War nerds/buffs/anoraks liked the system as it allows full actions to be played on 'normal' sized table.
Only comparable set I have tried is Volley and Bayonet which I disliked and Polemos ACW which the chaps have tried and also disliked.

Cant get pics to insert ? so for pics follow link to my Blog



sma194104 May 2014 6:10 a.m. PST

the neat thing about 6mm is the number of troops you put on the table. I just can't see well enough to paint them anymore!

Steve W04 May 2014 6:16 a.m. PST

Is there any chance of you giving these a run out at Ulster Wargames at all?

Have been thinking about getting these and wouldnt mind a closer look

normsmith04 May 2014 7:10 a.m. PST

All the comments to date seem positive. 12 pages of rules, I like that.

Who asked this joker04 May 2014 11:02 a.m. PST

The whole book is about 40 pages. 12 pages of rules. Some setup stuff and several scenarios. Really good vaule for the money.

SonofThor04 May 2014 11:06 a.m. PST

Very nice! I'm intrigued by these rules but I'm not really impressed by 6mm ACW minis I've seen. Baccus have the annoying left shoulder shift thing, it's a bit of a deal breaker for me. Can anyone recommend 6mm with a lot of options like zouaves, Iron brigade, personalities, etc.?

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP04 May 2014 11:14 a.m. PST

Adler for all of the above. Great little figures.

LeonAdler Sponsoring Member of TMP04 May 2014 11:24 a.m. PST
SonofThor04 May 2014 11:53 a.m. PST


Sgt Steiner04 May 2014 4:45 p.m. PST

Hi Steve W

Unlikely to get them to UMMS for 2 reasons

1. I am seldom off on same Sat as club and if I am usually have a game arranged
2. This stuff was all Brittain brothers not mine :-)


Steve W05 May 2014 5:16 a.m. PST

Fair enough…Might just buy it in the end

John Leahy05 May 2014 11:35 a.m. PST

Cool looking game. I am doing it in 10mm. I need to make some HQ stands to actually play.

Any thoughts on using your points for bidding vs saving them or using to influence the clock? I have no grasp of how those options all balance out in importance.



Sgt Steiner05 May 2014 3:42 p.m. PST

Hi John

Having only played one game it's hard to say what's best re points usage
To be honest it seemed dynamic choice by which I mean priorities change from turn to turn. Big decision points each turn wethter to spend on controlling clock to either run it down quickly or to keep turn as long as dice rolls allow. We soon learnt that if you want a Corps or Division to do something it needs 3 or more points as anything lower run large risk of not getting an action especially if enemy controls the clock. Keeping odd point or two for end of turn can also be important for possible redeployment of Individual Brigades (all can be refaced for free but actual moves takes 1 point per Brigade). More likely the defender will keep points for end phase but not always the case.
So after all that answer is I don't really know :-)

John Leahy05 May 2014 4:08 p.m. PST

Ok, fair enough. grin But even those tips give me a better idea than I previously had. I can't wait to play.

I am interested in the design approach that for the most part proposes that all infantry brigades have the same fighting value. Only the size of those Brigades adds or subtracts from their Combat value. That is a pretty different approach from most of the rules I have used since the 70's. I won't say it's the wrong approach since I need to play a few games to see how it works. I'm also thinking about its potential use for Naps and mid to later 19th century (1866 and 1870).



Sgt Steiner06 May 2014 9:10 a.m. PST

Hi John

Not ACW buff myself so not sure how rating worked vs history but I think some Brigades get rated for Veteran/Elite type status as well as those oversized or under manned.
In this scenario most Brigades seemed to be 0 or + 1 combat values but there were some at +2/3 and couple with minus factors mainly Cavalry.

Terrain is also fairly generic being generally clear or rough and either cover or not unless defined by scenario. Simple +1 to defence in Cover

Units gain +1 per unit in support which can be to either flank and rear so this is where strength bonuses are mainly derived from and indeed a lot of game revolves around maintaining this support and conversely trying to strip enemy of theirs. All seemed pretty plausible for scale of representation

And yes we immediately thought this system could be applied to other Horse and Musket periods :-)

Skipper06 May 2014 9:50 a.m. PST

I too am gearing up for my first game. Its been delayed by real life, but hopefully I can start playing with the terrain in the next couple of days.

I'm really excited by these rules, the grand tactical approach appeals to one side of me…..much like "Longstreet" appeals to a different side of me.

Nice job on the report,


6mmACW06 May 2014 11:25 a.m. PST

Nice Stones River table! And what I was really wondering while surfing through the pictures was…who won the battle?

The flying buffalo11 May 2014 11:45 a.m. PST

Anyone know if there is a uk supplier for these rules?

Royal Marine17 May 2014 1:33 p.m. PST

Well .. any UK suppliers?

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.