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"ACW: The Big Five Rulesets?" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian16 Jul 2021 12:48 p.m. PST

Which American Civil War-era rulesets would be among the Top Five that gamers play?

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2021 12:55 p.m. PST

Fire and Fury
Volley and Bayonet
On To Richmond
Big Bloody Battles
Johnny Reb

Showing my age with these, but that's my take.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2021 1:14 p.m. PST

I think Fire & Fury along with Black Powder are the big ones at this point in hobby history. Johnny Reb still has a lot of fans, but the jump to the 3rd edition from the 2nd started off good, but then gamers started looking for something a bit more fast playing, which is where Fire & Fury seemed to really take off. Regimental Fire & Fury seems to be on the upward track and it's only slightly more complex than the brigade level rules. After those there's about 20+ others fighting for the last spot.

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2021 1:15 p.m. PST

Agree with Tortorella's list but would replace one of the middle three with Black Powder

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2021 1:15 p.m. PST

Our group uses:

Fire and Fury, both regimental and brigade
On to Richmond (or will as soon as I get all the Confedrates painted)
A Glint of Bayonets (by Larry Brom, from Sergeants3) since several of us helped him develop them


Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2021 2:40 p.m. PST

Terry Wise ACW Wargaming (from the Airfix Guide)

Fat Wally16 Jul 2021 2:42 p.m. PST

Pickett's Charge. No others.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2021 3:47 p.m. PST

Fire and Fury Original, Brigade and Regimental
and Stars and Bars on occasion

DFLange Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2021 4:03 p.m. PST

Like the 2nd edition of Fire and Fury Brigade. Adds some elements of the regimental rules to the Brigade rules.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian16 Jul 2021 5:11 p.m. PST

Fire and Fury
Alter of Freedom
Johnny Reb III
Volley and Bayonet
On to Richmond

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Jul 2021 5:30 p.m. PST

Rally Round The Flag….

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2021 5:49 p.m. PST

Kudos Murphy! My favorite set doesn't get much love these days. However my group plays F & F Regimental these days.

raylev3 Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2021 7:45 p.m. PST

Fire and Fury (BDE and REGT)
Volley and Bayonet
Black Powder

mumbasa16 Jul 2021 8:31 p.m. PST

Altar of Freedom
Field of Battle 3

John Leahy16 Jul 2021 8:45 p.m. PST

Field of Battle 3

Volley and Bayonet

Altar of Freedom

On to Richmond

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2021 3:03 a.m. PST

Iron and Fire
The Ironclads
Sail and Steam Navies
Dahlgren and Columbiad
Fire and Fury

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2021 5:32 a.m. PST

Fire and Fury (both)
A Glint of Bayonets
Ironclads (BG converted to mini's)

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2021 6:51 a.m. PST

Also agree with Totorella's list except would replace On To Richmond (nice set, have not used in 20 years) with Black Powder (used last week)

ChrisBrantley17 Jul 2021 7:00 a.m. PST

Still playing S. Craig Taylor's Rally Round the Flag rules. Have tried Stars and Bars, Johnny Reb, Fire and Fury, Regimental F&F, and Picketts Charge by Dave Brown in that order, but keep going back to Rally. Oh and also Brother vs Brother for skirmish style action. Looking to get into 6mm ACW using Altar of Freedom or Volley and Bayonet so that I can put more than a division on the table.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2021 7:34 a.m. PST

It is interesting to see how many people mentioned Volley and Bayonet. I ran games with it, but I was the only one in my immediate area to do so.

John Leahy17 Jul 2021 8:01 a.m. PST

VnB was a really good set of rules. I think I went thru 5 copies of the rules (wearing them out). My only qualm with them was the lack of Command and Control mechanics. I talked with Frank many years ago about it. He dsigned the rules so they would allow for lots of players and create friction in their game play naturally. He saw no need to create anything for it due to that line of reasoning. Problem is as a 1 on 1 or 2 vs 2 game that friction really isn't present.



Big Red Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2021 8:04 a.m. PST

Murphy, ChrisBrantley,

Rally Round the Flag was my introduction to ACW miniature gaming way, way back when. Do you use any house rules or modifications when you play RRtF?

Bronco Betty17 Jul 2021 10:28 a.m. PST

House Rules

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2021 2:44 p.m. PST

"Mr. Lincoln's War"

Use to play JR2 and then JR3 but switched to MLW several years ago. MLW is kind of like JR light.

cabin4clw17 Jul 2021 4:08 p.m. PST

Yes! It's nice to see someone else mention Mr. Lincoln's War.

Mister Tibbles17 Jul 2021 8:39 p.m. PST

I, too, like Mr Lincoln's War.

vagamer63 Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2021 9:13 p.m. PST

Carnage & Glory (vast majority)
Pickett's Charge
Black Powder
Over Malvern Hill
Reg. Fire & Fury (If I have to!)

Wargamer Blue18 Jul 2021 4:23 a.m. PST

Civil War Battles
Fire and Fury

Trajanus18 Jul 2021 5:46 a.m. PST

Nice to see that, for the most part, Americans still vote for Americans! 😂

And the age of some of these rules too!

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Jul 2021 7:42 a.m. PST

Locally we play a lot of "Civil war Battles" by RFCM.
I would expect each group has it's favourite ACW rules which is the way wargaming works.


dantheman Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2021 4:21 p.m. PST

The responses sound more like a favorites list than a popular list.

Fire and Fury is definitely the most frequently played in my circle.

Black Powder maybe. Frequently played for other periods, but I have not seen it used for ACW in my area.

I played Alter of Freedom Recently and like it. But I don't think it is a top five for most played.

Billy Goat Wargaming18 Jul 2021 7:22 p.m. PST

Civil War Battles from Peter Pig
Altar of Freedom by Greg Wagman

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2021 10:54 p.m. PST

Comparing brigade level games to regimental level games is comparing apples to oranges. Some people may have one set of rules for brigade and another for regiments. They play differently. I prefer regiments because that reflects the way the war was fought. Others disagree. But I tried F&F a few times and didn't like it. But it is real popular.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2021 6:55 a.m. PST

Old Contemptible has a point--which also applies to naval rules. Big things are level of games and basing--which is why I keep some 10mm ACW with infantry based four to a 20mm square stand. You can use them for MLW and OTR, and quite a few in between. F&F Regimental was a big disappointment to me in that regard--but they work fine with original F&F.

Dan, we're bound to get preferences rather than abstract popularity. We do every time. We can only know what we play or what's played in cons we attend. No one's keeping count of how many games of each system are played each week. (But if you find a way to figure that out, I'd be interested in both the answers and the methodology.) Sadly, the Great Wargaming Survey is probably the closest we can get to the truth, but the answers aren't generally accessible.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2021 8:30 p.m. PST

Good points Robert. I tried not to pick favorites. I no longer care much for Fire and Fury but I am pretty sure it is the most played. And Volley and Bayonet has been around forever, a very successful and popular game that I happen to like.

I have also never played Johnny Reb but I understand it was an early favorite. I have actually been using slightly modified Neil Thomas rules just to keep it simple and enjoyable, but I would never include them here.

This hobby is very loose, diverse, and personalized. We probably should have included House Rules, as these are always likely to be in any top five.

oldnorthstate20 Jul 2021 9:49 a.m. PST

Carnage and Glory should be on that list.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2021 3:25 p.m. PST

Carnage and Glory was posted by vagamer63 on 17 July.

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