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"Johnny Reb versus Fire and Fury Regimental for solo" Topic


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765 hits since 13 Aug 2021
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo doc mcb Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2021 2:00 p.m. PST

I LOVE JR2 and was okay with JR3, but the heart of it, the hidden order chits for simultaneous movement, is not really conducive to solo play. I am retired and so seldom have the enthusiastic gamer kids from my teaching days, though my grandkids are willing -- but live two hours away.

My brother in Texas (I'm in Chattanooga) is pushing me towards regmental F&F as very enjoyable played solo. What are others experiences with F&F solo? (I will have to rebase many hundreds of minis.)

Personal logo doc mcb Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2021 2:41 p.m. PST

Long experience in JR teaches that the secret to winning is to make your opponent test reaction as often as possible, because 1/36 times he rolls snake eyes and a regiment routs. That seems like long odds but in fact there may be a dozen or more reaction tests during a turn, so routs are quite predictable, though always disastrous.

Are there equivalent lessons about F&F?

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2021 2:59 p.m. PST

I don't know why you would have to rebase if your base sizes are consistent. Honestly I don't know much about JR basing. I think the main thing that makes F&F good solo is the maneuver chart. You roll for a unit move it, then roll for the next unit. That gives you some measure of unpredictability. Black Powder is even more so, too much I think. F&F is right in the middle.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2021 3:05 p.m. PST

I agree about base sizes – as long as you are consistent

Try out the charts on their website and see if it works for you

Lascaris13 Aug 2021 3:12 p.m. PST

I play brigade F&F solo and it works quite well. I think it would be preferable to JRIII.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2021 3:30 p.m. PST

I don't know why you would rebase.

Personal logo doc mcb Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2021 3:45 p.m. PST

On rebasing, JR regiments are always 5 stands, which can range from 1 figure per up to 8. And F&F uses two ranks of bases, right? Single rank is extended line. I think it would be difficult to use JR bases, too much diversity.

DOUGKL13 Aug 2021 4:20 p.m. PST

As long as the bases are consistent the number of figures per base doesn't matter in F&F. You count bases for fire and close combat and remove bases for casualties. The figures per base is irrelevant. That said I think F&F would be good solo for the above mentioned reasons.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2021 4:39 p.m. PST

I don't like F&F's double ranks. Use a single stand and call it two.

Personal logo doc mcb Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2021 5:53 p.m. PST

Yes, that would work.

Blasted Brains13 Aug 2021 10:19 p.m. PST

Used JR2 for 20 years or more and I can't see a way to make it work for solo play personally. Not a fan of F&F but sounds like others are getting it to work solo. Maybe what I call the "wonkynees" of F&F serves a solo player well.

Maybe hunt for other, better options for solo play. That's what I would do.

Of course, you don't actually need rules for solo play – just move one side, then the other and decide what happened; just need a really vivid imagination – and be sure you don't let your opponent cheat! ; )

Personal logo doc mcb Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2021 5:10 a.m. PST

BB, yes, but I'm not sure my magination is up to that these days. Seventy years ago that was in fact exactly how I played with my Marx toys.

shadoe0114 Aug 2021 7:42 a.m. PST

Hi doc,

I've played solo for some time…and here are some ideas, in the theme of ACW solo play. I've also gone from JR beginning to JRIII and to ADLG and appreciate the basing challenge that presents. With respect to "as long as the bases are consistent"…the whole point is that JR basing IS NOT consistent but varies by unit side (i.e., it has 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 figures / base with sizes for 15mm, respectively, from 3/8" X 3/8" up to 1 1/4" X 1" – all according to the size of the regiment from 100 to 700). JRIII reduced that to 3 or 4 (and possibly 2).

So, a few options:

1) Keep JRII/III – but use something like Charles Grant's approach in "Programmed Wargames Scenarios" which works well for producing the 'required imagination'. Using this system has produced some of my best solo games – just keep in the spirit of the programmed options.

2) Figure out the approximate F&F unit 'foot print' and use however many JR bases are needed. I expect something like equating a 4-man JRIII base with a standard F&F base would work. Adapt for other JRIII bases as required.

3) Consider another option – I find that Pickett's Charge is very well suited for solo play and produces a fun game. It is base agnostic as it focuses on unit size – small, standard and large.

Note to rules writers – please be honest about 'you don't need to re-base'. For many cases where that's claimed – yeah, sort of… For those with unique basing – forget it. I love John Hill's style and grasp for the period but really, really hate that I committed to his basing.

Blasted Brains14 Aug 2021 11:27 a.m. PST

D'oh! Forgot to mention my favorite rules and suspect they would adapt well to solo play: Rank and File by Crusader Publishing. Also good for many other periods and great for convention games.

I think R&F's core simplicity and ability to bend in many directions without breaking would make it easy to adapt to solo play. Anyone used these rules for solo? If so, be great if you shared your success and failures, even.

@sahdoe01: agree about the basing with JRII, long since abandoned in favor a simple three abreast (1/2" x 1 1/2" for infantry, 1" x 1 1/2" for cavalry for ACW for 15 mm).

A nice element with R&F is the 'single' base unit which should make it easy to add in character figure stands with strong survivability (give them more casualties before lost, like 6 instead of 3, tweek as needed). For those not familiar, most units in the rules have multiple bases, my ideal is at least 6, maybe up to 8 but up to 10 is catered for, fewer than 4 is not a good idea.

Just did a quick web search and found this review of a game played solo with R&F: link

Didn't read the whole report but did read the conclusions. Don't agree with all of his comments but that is okay, clearly there was a need for better rules preparation before playing again after what sounds like 6 years. Given how easy these rules are to pick up, I put most of that on the reviewer's shoulders.

Cleburne186315 Aug 2021 6:42 a.m. PST

Yes, for rebasing, just use your JR2 4 man stands. Count them as two bases. If you need to remove a base for a casualty, just put a casualty marker on it. When you have to remove another casualty stand, remove the entire stand.

Cleburne186315 Aug 2021 6:52 a.m. PST

For JR2 solo play, I try to add an element of surprise by randomizing the temperament of the brigade commanders. Or even regimental commanders if its a small game.

At the beginning of the game, I roll a single 6 sided dice and assign that value to the commander

1= Cautious
2-5 = Average
6= Aggressive

Then when it is time to issue orders, I issue orders I want, then I roll and see what the commander does.

Cautious
1-2= Hold
3-5= Move/Carry out order I've given
6= Charge if enemy within range. Move full bonus move toward enemy if not.

Average
1= Hold
2-5= Move/Carry out order I've given
6= Charge if enemy within range. Move full bonus move toward enemy if not.

Aggressive
1= Hold
2-4= Move/Carry out order I've given
5-6= Charge if enemy within range. Move full bonus move toward enemy if not.

I usually only use the charts if the enemy is within sight. Things like moving around the battlefield into position they just follow orders normally, although you could use the chart all the time.

Personal logo doc mcb Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2021 10:26 a.m. PST

Yes, we randopmized all of that plus BMPs in our old JR games. Even whether units had RM or SB.
Easy enough to do the same in RF&F, I imagine.

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