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"Firebell in the Night ACW Rules at Caliver Books" Topic

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1,432 hits since 5 Jan 2013
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Jan 2013 7:53 a.m. PST

Over 1000 entries?!?!?!…

Reading the description this doesn't sound like game rules as much as "realistic simulation portrayal"…

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian05 Jan 2013 8:59 a.m. PST

Interesting choice of title…

EHeise Inactive Member05 Jan 2013 9:26 a.m. PST

Any reviews yet?

The Pied Piper Inactive Member05 Jan 2013 9:53 a.m. PST

Why on earth do you need that many command options? And secondly, how did they rate them all?

Wulfgar05 Jan 2013 10:12 a.m. PST

The listed features sound interesting.

One of my first rules sets was "The Complete Brigadier," which also made use of fatigue rules. Considering whether a unit was being moved too quickly, was running low on ammunition, or had taken too many casualties was effectively abstracted without cluttering or slowing the game. In fact, it was one of TCB's strongest features, which I was reluctant to give up under other rules that allow units to fight to their own destruction.

I wonder how fatigue is handled under these rules.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2013 10:51 a.m. PST

We were one of the playtest groups and it's similar to Fire & Fury in that both use brigades as the standard units. Probably a bit more chrome than F&F as mentioned above with the ammo, leadership, fatigue, etc., but definitely not a very complex set of rules. It does use rosters, however, which I know can be a non-starter for most groups.

Number6 Inactive Member05 Jan 2013 12:46 p.m. PST

The non-starter is "25.00."

John Simmons05 Jan 2013 1:10 p.m. PST

per the question "how fatigue is handled under these rules?"

The Brigade or Battery will pick up fatique from movement, formation change, firing, and melee. This is in the thought process of the Friction of battle, it could be looked at as physical the men are tired, stragglers men increasing falling out of ranks, equipment gun barrels are fouled, cohesion of the unit officers are losing control. This friction is measured in the game by the term Efficiency Points. These directly reduce the fighting strength of the Brigade/Battery. If the Brigade/Battery has the chance to reform for a turn, ie. not in combat, the Brigadier can attempt to restore order, how much is not known. An example would be during the Pickett/Pettigrew charge on July 3 at Gettysburg, as the rebels advanced they entered a swale about half way across the field, this allowed the unit to halt and officers to reform ranks, close ranks, straggers etc. from long range artillery fire.
For the artillery crews, the act of firing the battery for a turn causes this lost as well, with the risk of ammo and the physical effect, it is not uncommon to see a battery rest for turn vs. the game where we just fire away.
Another example in a recent game, 1st day of Seven Days at Oak Grove, Gen. Sickles moves his brigade across White Oak swamp, it is heavy rough, slows the unit down, Gen. Sickles is pushing to clear up to the high ground. He orders the unit at the Double time, the unit is hit hard by E-factors, he gets the ground but is in bad shape. The Rebels under Gen. Huger advance into a Skirmish fight which does not allow Sickles to reform, he now is in a bad spot. During the next turn, with the brigade in trouble, it fails morale, falls back over the stream, and picks up more e'factors in the process. It will take time to reorder the unit, although it has very little strength point loses it is recked due to friction. With luck and good officers Sickles Brigade could re-enter the battle in an hour.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Jan 2013 4:45 p.m. PST

Sorry but the price alone would have me have to say "no thanks"….

Crusaderminis Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 7:31 a.m. PST

I dont see £25.00 GBP as such a huge price, we have £30.00 GBP-40 (or more) hardback rules that are little more than 50 pages of rules and 200 pages of 'fluff' I'd be more than willing to give 'Fireball' a go at the price. After all its about the cost of a single unit of 28mm figures.

Over 1000 commander ratings is hardly complicated so they tell you whether a commander is +1, +2 or +3 (or whatever system they use). This just sounds like they have done a decent job of researching the leaders available to me.

Having said that I would like to see a link to a web page that has some more detail even a copy of the quick reference sheet would say a lot about how a set of rules works.

I'll definately be looking at picking up a copy next show I go to, a new set of rules that involves the use of a bit of brain power would make a welcome change in my opinion.

john lacour Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 10:46 a.m. PST

i'm with murphy.

vtsaogames Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 11:13 a.m. PST

I'd like to know what the basic unit is, the ground scale and how much time a turn represents. And how long an average game takes to finish. That would be a good start.

Even better would be a review from someone who has played the game several times.

John Simmons06 Jan 2013 12:46 p.m. PST

Crusaderminis The 1,000 Generals rated are as you suggested, we rate them in three categories. First is his ability to multi-task, the admin of high command and handle stress in battle, important for Div. and Corps Generals.
Second is Morale as how the men serving under him feel, again important for Div. and Corps. Third is for Brigadiers leading their regiments into battle, the skill to manage to hit with the max effect, the guy on the firing line, this modifier applies to each Brigade leader and to Divisional Generals that might leave their command level to lead one of their Brigades in a crisis event. The Brigadier's rating is very important to effect a close into melee assault, units tend to close and get caught up into fire fights.

vtsagames The link below has many of the answers you are looking for from a previous discussion, somewhat long but working to get quality information out. Thanks, John

PS. Printed in New Jersey, Distributed by a company in New Jersey, created by three guys in Michigan, USA.

TMP link

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 7:19 a.m. PST

I dont see £25.00 GBP GBP as such a huge price, we have £30.00 GBP GBP-40 (or more) hardback rules that are little more than 50 pages of rules and 200 pages of 'fluff' I'd be more than willing to give 'Fireball' a go at the price. After all its about the cost of a single unit of 28mm figures.

Crusader….Who says I have money to afford on those books either?
25.00 pounds is approx 40-41.00 depending on the rate. That's half a tank of gas for me… And I haven't bought any new rule books in years…
And most of my army packs are 15mm….more economical…

Crusaderminis Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 7:57 a.m. PST

"And most of my army packs are 15mm….more economical…"

Can't argue with that all of my new projects are in 15mm too, though I think that has more to do with the scale of game that I'm interested in playing.

moonhippie3 Inactive Member08 Jan 2013 6:06 a.m. PST

I've been working on a similar line of thinking for several years now. Fatigue points for actions performed by a unit has always captivated me. However, it can become extremely time consuming and complicated to factor in several items just to achive one die roll.

Historicalgamer Inactive Member08 Jan 2013 8:09 a.m. PST

Is there a Yahoo group or something supporting these rules? I am having trouble finding anything on them.

vtsaogames Inactive Member09 Jan 2013 9:46 a.m. PST

From the previous thread linked to above:

"My basing is for Fire And Fury, works great, no rebasing is required. 1" per Infantry base = 300 men, Brigades from 4 to 8 bases, scale is 1"=100 yards."

"With this figure scale and ground scale, battles like Bull Run I can be played on a 4' by 4' table top with troop counts that are within the reach of many gamers."

"The time per turn is 20 minutes per turn.
With the scale of 1" to 100 yards, the battles will fit on a standard dining room table. (17.6" = One Mile)"

The AAR states the afternoon battle of first Bull Run took 2 1/2 hours to play.

Dave Ryan Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Jan 2013 12:26 p.m. PST

Murphy- you lucky swine- that's about a qaurter of a tank for us!

Yngtitan Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2013 9:06 p.m. PST

Here is a link to the yahoo group site for Firebell. link
The basic concept of the rules are strength points – efactors = base number for combat and morale. The game aid chart is color coded to guide you thru each sequence of play and what tables are used in each phase.
The combat dice roll accomplishes 3 things; 1) casualties 2) ammo depletion/supply and 3) crisis card /random event draw.
The game is driven to portray a reading of a battle history.
For example Johnston was wounded at Shiloh had someone used a tourniquet he may have lived. Sedgwick at Spotsylvania is hit by sharpshooters. These are "random events".
The price of this ruleset seems to have created some negative feedback. Were just wargamers sharing what we think is a fun game. Granted it is not a glossy photo tour of professionally painted figures and terrain. It has had input of Civil war Scholars and reenactors. We feel if it is given a chance it may well surprise and players will be entertained. Enjoy!


onmilitarymatters Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Jan 2013 12:15 p.m. PST

The 1000-officer list is an actual alphabetical list of 1000 USA and CSA officers, date of commission, and applicable Firebell die modifiers.

It should be noted that the Firebell rules include 52 pages of rules on 80-pound glossy paper (durability), a color quick play card, a 12-page, full-color scenario (Battle of Seven Pines), and 50 tactical cards (cardstock, although you have to cut them apart). No color photos of professionally-painted troops or terrain, or, painting guides, but to our way of thinking, most of the gamers know about the ACW. And that's the difference between an independent $39 USD set of rules (about 25 pounds) versus a $50 USD-$60 set subsidized by a figure line.

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