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"JR3 vs F&F vs Altar of Freedom" Topic


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29 Jun 2019 5:30 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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02 Jul 2019 3:47 p.m. PST
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OldReliable186228 Jun 2019 3:40 p.m. PST

In my quest to eventually find the ultimate ACW grand tactical ruleset, I've looked at Brigade Fire & Fury 2nd edition and Altar of Freedom. I'm impressed by AoF, and it seems to fit what I'm trying to do perfectly. However, I've considered looking into JR3, a ruleset that seems to have its followers, but many claim is a mixed bag. How does this stack up to the other two options?

EDIT: I didn't mean to post this in the scenarios section, can a mod please move this to the correct place?

PJ ONeill28 Jun 2019 4:44 p.m. PST

AoF is great for Army vs Army, JR3 for Division vs Div. JR is detailed and has a shallow learning curve, but gives a fun and historically accurate result, in my opinion, the best of the bunch.
The less I say about F&F, the better.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2019 5:39 p.m. PST

Hmm. My first question is always "can I play this without rebasing and without performing surgery on the rules? AoF and F&F are constant-frontage, while JR3 and ADS function at their best with different basing sizes for different size units. Perhaps worth noting that there are or have been other constant-frontage grand-tactical systems, such as On to Richmond.

That said, I have my doubts about there even being an ultimate ruleset, let alone finding it.

lloydthegamer Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2019 5:57 p.m. PST

I have to agree with Robert about the ultimate rule set doubts, but my buddies and I have played AoF quite a bit in the last several months and had great fun with it. I would recommend at least giving it a try.

OldReliable186228 Jun 2019 6:34 p.m. PST

In response to PJ O'Neill, I had thought JR3 was a grand tactical ruleset that could handle army vs army battles, it appears it's more its predecessors than I had thought.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP29 Jun 2019 6:15 a.m. PST

OldReliable, you may be confusing JR3--as I recall, four bases to a regiment--with Across a Deadly Field, where two bases represent a regiment. Note the basing systems are the same, so it's entirely possible to play a battle with JR3, then a larger battle--or the same battle on a smaller table--with ADF using the same troops. I always like compatible systems like that.

But again, larger regiments in JR3 or ADF are denoted by larger stands with more troops on them, as opposed to the OTR method carried into F&F, MLW, TWF and AoF of stacking up more stands of uniform size to indicate larger units. Either system works, but if you don't come down on one side or the other, you wind up with two different pairs of armies to fight the same war.

My father used to tell me "life is full of choices."

PJ ONeill29 Jun 2019 10:29 a.m. PST

OR1862- The unit of maneuver in JR3 is the Regiment (4 stands). A player usually gets a Brigade (4-5 Reg) and depending on the # of players, you could have a small Army on a side. One could do a large game, like the 2nd day at Gettysburg, done at Historicon about 8 years ago, but a big table and lots of players (15-18) are needed.
It is true that, unlike other games that remove stands as casualties, JR3 uses figure marking to denote hits. I have seen many games that field "generic" units of 4- 3fig stands (360 men) and larger and smaller units are split or combined, so a consistent # of figs/stand does not stop you from playing it. AoF is better for large battles like Shiloh or Antietam. My bias is showing, I have been playing JRI, II and III since the early 80's and have loved every second of it.

OldReliable186229 Jun 2019 3:58 p.m. PST

I also have the ruleset A Firebell in the Night (available at WargameVault), which uses the brigade as the basic maneuver unit. I haven't found many reviews of it, but it seems to be a decent set of rules.

coopman30 Jun 2019 2:15 p.m. PST

I watched an AoF battle at Bayou Wars a few weeks ago and thought that it was a snoozefest. Other than a lot of pushbacks and a few units going shaken not much really happened. It used the OB from the battle of Gettysburg.

Levi the Ox13 Jul 2019 8:33 p.m. PST

I've played a couple games of Johnny Reb 3, and had great fun! I'm leaning towards Altar of Freedom for my own collection though, as I want to play an army-level battle.

GGouveia10 Sep 2019 8:37 p.m. PST

Jr3 for a great tactical regimental level AoF for large entire battles that can be finished, ADF is in between jr3 and AoF and works at small regimental scale capable of doing large battles.

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