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"Pickett's Charge vs. Fire & Fury? " Topic

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755 hits since 11 Oct 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Wargamer Dave11 Oct 2017 8:10 p.m. PST

Trying to decide between the two. Wanting primarily a fun, easy to learn game with about 150-200 figures/side that gives a good flavor for the period.


Dexter Ward12 Oct 2017 3:33 a.m. PST

I assume you are talking about regimental F&F, not the brigade game.
Both are fine games. Fire & Fury models command friction using command rolls. Pickett's Charge has a different mechanism involving ADC assignment.
I'd say F&F is a bit simpler than PC

corona66 Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2017 3:48 a.m. PST

I agree with Dexter Ward that both give very good games although I lean towards Pickett's Charge.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2017 4:23 a.m. PST

Not tried F & F . But Pickets charge would lead to a very satisfying ,fun and challenging game. As Pickets Charge requires a number of brigades to be pitted against each other, then a larger model collection may be needed, if you are supplying all the figures. I have opted for the new rules Bonnie Blue Flag which are designed for say a brigade V brigade. Once my painted figure collection is large enough then I will be switching to Pickets Charge. Basing requirements isn't a problem here.

Wargamer Dave12 Oct 2017 5:21 a.m. PST

Thanks all! For a decent game, how many figures per side for Pickett's Charge?

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2017 6:10 a.m. PST

I reckon on about between 400 and 500 minimum per side to get the full benefits of the game . That is based on Regiments around 20 figures . Some need to be bigger and with around 4 or 5 regiments to a brigade . That is the target I have set myself .Obviously if you have mates with collections as well this target can soon be achieved. I am not so lucky as most of my friends are into WW2 and Naps as I am as well.

Trajanus12 Oct 2017 7:42 a.m. PST

Giving advice on sizes is tricky as the standard base systems differ.

200 figures in PC would give 50 four figure stands, or 10 average size units.

200 figures in RF&F would give 66 three figure stands or between 5 and 8 units. (12 – 8 stands)

Alternatively, you could just go with four figure stands for either. It makes no difference and looks more like the double rank line of the period.

In RF&F players are advised to form double lines of stands anyway, as it looks more realistic and the real reason for the three figure base was to allow players to move over from the original Brigade F&F, without re basing.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2017 8:36 a.m. PST

Trajanus makes a good point in that it all depends on how you base them. My basing is based on 4 x 28mm figs on a 40mm square base for infantry. so that would equate to 5 stands for a 20 figure Regiment. Therefore in my case a small brigade could be achieved for around 100 figs plus a Brigade Commander.

You also need to note that PC is a Brigade based game. Whilst regiments make up the Brigade its the Brigade that counts as the "unit" for receiving and giving orders etc. And is the most important element in this game and not the individual regiments that the brigade is made up of.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2017 8:59 a.m. PST

Im more of a fan of Fire and Fury for a number of reasons – easy to teach, the maneuver charts, longevity and the feel of the game

New Market is an example of a smaller scenario that works well with smaller forces.

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2017 11:24 a.m. PST

I have both, have played both, both are good games.
but if I had to pick one and only one, it'd be RFF.
reason's why:
RFF is much more clear. there's never question of 'how does X work?' read the rule and it's obvious. PC has more grey areas, especially around charges.

in RFF, leaders can be killed and you can refuse the flank of a regiment; both which are missing from PC and I think are important elements in ACW.

RFF is stand removal versus counting casualties with a marker; I just like stand removal better; large units being eaten away…

I really like the turn sequence in RFF; with the defensive fire after the opponents maneuver phase. The sequence is also very concrete while PC's is more fluid. RFF is; side 1 moves (including charges), side 2 fires, side 1 fires, and then melee. PC is initiative, move charges and do melees, move units that didn't charge, and units fire that haven't done anything in a melee.

RFF is better / easier at multi player. each player can play one brigade with 3-4 regiments and have plenty to do. In PC you wouldn't want to play 1 brigade because if it went hesitant you would just sit there…
having said that PC is a better 2 player game, as 1 player can easily play 4-5 brigades.

all of which is personal preference. as I said both are good. my only real gripe with PC is that sometimes I have a sneaking suspicion that really it was a 3/4 done Napoleonic rule set just released as ACW… : )

however, now that I have RFF and the New BFF, I wonder how often PC will see the game table for me…


Trajanus12 Oct 2017 3:38 p.m. PST

Whilst regiments make up the Brigade its the Brigade that counts as the "unit" for receiving and giving orders etc. And is the most important element in this game and not the individual regiments that the brigade is made up of.

Which in truth is the reason I prefer PC over RF&F which has no order system and treats each Regiment as if it was free to do as it liked. Apart from adopting a Command radius.

In the ACW Regiments acted as part of a Brigade at all times. Individual Regiments may have produced acts of heroism in the process (which PC still allows for) but that collective identity of each Brigade feels absent from RF&F where the individual Regiments feel like they exist entirely on their own.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2017 4:32 p.m. PST


Old Pete12 Oct 2017 5:18 p.m. PST

Used all three Brigade Fire and Fury for large battles Regimental Fire and Fury for Division size battles as was Pickett's Charge. Have to say consensus of wargamers who have used them at the Ayr Wargamers is Fire and Fury is very good, Pickett's Charge not so good. Personally I prefer Fire & Fury but Pickett's Charge is OK.

Fat Wally12 Oct 2017 10:44 p.m. PST

What Trajanus said…..

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2017 5:30 a.m. PST

I havnt played Regiment F & F but I did have the original F & F many years ago .

One thing that used to bug me a little and I am not sure anything has change but a 2 horse limber doesn't look quite right to me . I know its probably done that way because of the ground scales. I also thought that it was aimed at 15mm scale as well which was fine then for me as I collected 15mm then ( mainly Essex) . I appreciate you can upscale things but would mean some work in altering the charts etc. if you play with 25/28mm figs .

On saying that its still very popular amongst ACW gamers and its stood the test of time so it must be a good game

CATenWolde13 Oct 2017 7:35 a.m. PST

I've never played PC (it does looks interesting), but I've played a lot of RF&F. Contrary to Trajanus' comment, while regiments can in theory maneuver independently in the game (as they sometimes in fact did), it's usually a very bad idea (which it usually was in real life, although sometimes necessary). While it's true that regiments were usually engaged in a line of battle under the command of a brigadier/senior colonel, it's also true that regiments could be pulled out of a brigade for various purposes (often to act as local reserve), usually then put in command of a senior colonel. And, you also find regiments that nominally belong to one brigade getting caught up in another brigade's local action. So, it's not so clear cut, and shouldn't be. RF&F excels at making those little choices both possible and meaningful.

Trajanus13 Oct 2017 9:17 a.m. PST


Valid points. Perhaps I should express matters another way, by saying PC actively promotes Line of Battle and movement by Brigade and I don't feel RF&F does.

Now that may be the manner of writing, or the manner of my reading, or both.

It is true that independent action by Regiments happened and certainly in the heat of an attack parts of a Brigade could end up every which way but for the most part they moved together in order to maximize their impact.

That is both more obvious a requirement in PC and simpler in action in that you don't check the status of the Brigades individual components each turn.

It could be that PC is more directive of players. That's always a writers choice the degree you steer people towards a conclusion, as opposed to building in historical traps that they need to learn from.

The latter is often taking a chance that players won't learn and abandon rules as either the traps are not clear enough, or the players don't spot them for what they are.

That's just commentary by the way, not focused on any particular elements in either rules.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2017 10:19 a.m. PST

Part of what is being discussed, in my mind, seems to be the difference of a regimental versus brigade set of rules

For me I want a set of rules focused on the level of control I want in the game/scenario; which can vary depending the size and scope of the battle (or how many companies, regiments, brigades, and corps represented)

Trajanus13 Oct 2017 11:10 a.m. PST

Yes and No.

I suppose you could say that PC straddles Regimental and Brigade levels.

A number of rules called Brigade Level have the Brigade do everything and in some cases only have a single base representing an entire Brigade.

Others have a number of bases forming that one Brigade, like the original Fire & Fury or its 2nd Edition.

PC has movement by Brigade but the individual Regiments are represented and fight individually. They also have individual casualty and moral effects but these group up to effect the Brigade as well.

I don't recall that happening as a specific in RF&F where I think the Brigade disintegration is shown only through the component Regiments coming apart and leaves things up to the player when to pull it out of the line, for example.

Clays Russians13 Oct 2017 11:25 a.m. PST

I wrote a little ditty about my thoughts on Pickett's Charge about a month ago, if anyone is interested. If not well, that's fine too. I think it's a good set of rules…it was on a similar thread regarding the same question. Regt FF or PC.

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