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"Starting point for RFF?" Topic

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infinite array09 Dec 2019 7:18 a.m. PST

I picked up a copy of Regimental Fire & Fury at a recent convention, and I've a mind to start working on a 15mm ACW project. I also bought some Blue Moon packs at the same convention, but I'm a bit stuck as to where to go from here.

Can anyone offer some advice as to a good starting point for RFF forces for if I'm looking to start playing with generic scenarios instead of specific historical scenarios? I'm thinking at least three 10-stand regiments (which can be broken down into smaller regiments with extra command stands) and three stands of Light Rifled artillery for both sides. From there, maybe an 8-stand unit of cavalry (both mounted and dismounted), before adding in more infantry regiments and different varieties of artillery types?

Thoughts and advice are appreciated!

14th NJ Vol Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2019 8:02 a.m. PST

A brigade for each side ( defined as 3 to 5 regiments each brigade). One arty battery ( 2 to 3 stands ) and a regiment of Cavalry each side. That's how I started then it exploded from there.

codiver09 Dec 2019 8:10 a.m. PST

3 regiments would only give you one small brigade on each side. I would suggest you might want to shoot for a small division-sized formation on each side: 3 brigades of 3-5 regiments each (of 8-10 stands each) of infantry, a battery of 2-3 gun sections (maybe 3x 3" rifles for the Union and 2x 6-pdrs for the Rebels), 3 brigade commanders and a division commander.

You can use counters or chits initially for game markers (e.g. disordered, breakthrough, etc.). Your call if you want to do a supply wagon and/or limbers.

Save the cavalry for the second build, along with more regular infantry.

Just my $0.02 USD

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2019 8:29 a.m. PST

Agree with the above, especially saving the cavalry for a "second build." Unlike European battles during the 19th Century, ACW battles did not, with few exceptions, have large cavalry forces actually on the battlefield and being used as battlefield cavalry. When they were present, they were either on the flanks fighting each other (cavalry battles at Gettysburg) or were used as mounted infantry to seize key areas before relief by regular infantry (Buford's Brigade at Gettysburg).

I presume since you live in Pennsylvania that you will concentrate on the Eastern Theater battles between the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia. Take a scan through various historic orders of battle to get a feel for unit sizes and artillery compositions. Union batteries tended to settle on 6 guns, either all rifles (3" Ordnance or 10-lb Parrott) or 12-lb Napoleon smoothbore. Confederate batteries tended to settle on 4 guns, usually with a mix but predominately smoothbore of various calibers/types.

Welcome to ACW gaming!!


infinite array09 Dec 2019 8:59 a.m. PST

Alrght, so it's looking like I'll do a combination of the two overall suggestions.

1st goal will be two brigades of three 10-stand infantry regiments with an artillery battery for each (3 stands of 3" Ordinance for the Union, 2 stands of 6 Pounders for the Confederacy).

2nd goal will be a second brigade for each, same makeup (since Blue Moon packs have 6 guns each. Maybe throw in an independent battery for the Confederacy?).

3rd goal will be a third brigade, again with 3 10-stand regiments, but with three Napoleon stands on either side.

From there it seems like I could add some cavalry, or different artillery types.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2019 11:38 a.m. PST

Agree with the above – I didn't add cavalry until I had been using the rules for about a year

Historically cavalry were not that common a feature on ACW battlefields

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2019 12:30 p.m. PST

I would go with four regiment brigades, and I'd swap out a 6pdr stand for a 12pdr howitzer or Napoleon stand.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian09 Dec 2019 1:16 p.m. PST

I'd start with at least 60 stands per side and 3-5 batteries. One division commander and 3-4 Brigade commanders per side.

Cavalry can come much later as it tended to be used more in the screening role and not in the main battle.

Even though you are not looking to play a specific historical scenario, building force to match an historical scenario helps keep things straight

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2019 3:32 p.m. PST

Once you get a brigade up to around 30 or 40 stands (divided between regiments as you wish) with a battery or two it's an interesting enough force.

Get one of those for the north and the south and you'll have enough troops for a good game on a 3x3 or 4x4 table.

don't even bother with Cav unless you really have a scenario for them you want to play.

I also use Blue Moon figures. One thing I learned is to limit the number of poses so that it's easier to use stands as you see fit. It just kinda looks weird to have stands that are firing and stands that are marching in the same regiment. Now I only buy packs of troops who are in 'firing line' or 'advancing'

Blue Moon figures are BIG. They're great and I love em, but it can be a squeeze to get 3 on the recommended 1" by 3/4" stand, but it's doable. I however added a 1/2" to the length of my artillery stands and limbers just to have some extra room.

I have lots of ACW stuff with RFF on my blog if you care to look.

(hit on the ACW label)

RFF is a GREAT set of rules. You'll have a good time.


infinite array10 Dec 2019 8:34 a.m. PST

Thanks for the info, all.

Stew, I'll add your blog to my list!

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