EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Monday, February 17, 2014

Goin' down the road.

There are days when I feel like I've spent most of the last 2 years testing ideas and probing for a way ahead. Its a relief to start feeling like things are finally coming together.

The Rebel rifled artillery opens up as the Federal troops march on.

Having updated The Square Brigadier to broadly match the format of the 20th Century version, I wanted to give it a whirl. I picked my 1/72nd ACW for the job. I decided that the scenario would involve a Confederate force on a hill overlooking a road which Union forces were expected to be using.

The armies are organized into regiments with 3 bases each with 6 figures but on the 9cm grid I can't quite fit the 3rd base so I made do with 2 bases plus 2 supernumeries that I can remove to record hits. I wanted a quick game so kept the forces small. The Rebs had 6 regiments in 2 brigades and 2 batteries, 1 rifled, 1 Napoleon 12pdrs. Their mission was to hold the hill and prevent the enemy from moving  along the road. The Yanks had 9 regiments in 3 brigades and 2 batteries as above. Their mission is to clear the enemy off the hill.

The 1st Federal brigade stands under fire, threatening the Rebs on the hill while the 2nd Brigade drives straight ahead seeking to turn the enemy's flank. The third Brigade is just arriving and can  reinforce either flank.

The Yankee plan was to deploy in the center and make a massed assault on the hill. Of course this is just what the Rebs were prepared for. Unfortunately for the Reb General, he decided to feed a regiment forward into the woods which looked like a better defensive position. It was also turned out to be close enough to the road to prevent its use and thus  triggered an unplanned response from the Yankee 2nd brigade. This in turn drew reserves from the center to hold the gap which emerged as more Confederate regiments got sucked into the fight in the woods.

A belated pinning attack by the Union 1st Brigade is halted by a flanking move by the rebs and then shattered by cannister but on the other flank the other Rebel brigade is routed forcing a Confederate retreat.

The rules played even better than I expected, there was some inevitable tweaking and fine tuning afterward but today I made the commitment and laid down a 4" grid on my table. This will fit all periods and allow the full 3 stand ACW regiments. 

But  somehow that doesn't seem to be what is set up for the first game on the new grid.


  1. Hi Ross,
    I am following your development of these rules with interest. In the latest draft, you have musket armed units shooting with 1D at a range of 2, but reduced by 1 die for cover. This means that musket armed troops are ineffective against troops in cover?
    Just a thought.

  2. Thanks for the question Mike. That is basically the case. 2 squares is extreme range for muskets so after much squirming and experimented it came down to 3 choices, muskets that are too effective against most units esp when compared to Minie rifles (I neglected to note that those stats were for ACW games) or musket armed infantry that have to get close to drive an enemy out of cover or go back to a slightly more complex system. As it is I'm finding all combat a bit too deadly but in any case, when I do separate charts for the 18thC and War if 1812 I'll probably bump them up to the standard 2 dice. Lots more to do yet.