Tuesday 15 August 2017

28mm Black Powder ACW Game

My turn to host a game.  Jack’s favourite period is the American Civil War so I thought I would lay on a game for him.  We used the Black Powder rules with one important change, because the table wasn’t that wide (around 4 foot), we decided to still dice for movement, but make single moves, rather than the twos and threes.   Whilst I like the idea of the wild moves across the table, the single move option worked well for this game.  In addition as well as movement, ranges were also halved.

The scenario was that I was holding the cross roads and Bob and Jack’s aim was to push me out and take control.

Bob and Jack commanded the Union forces and I organised the confederate resistance.  The Union forces had 3 Brigades opposed to 3 Confederate Infantry Brigades and three regiments of skirmishing cavalry.  The Union Brigades were each made up of 4 regiments whilst the Confederates were smaller with 3 regiments each.  Both sides had one battery of artillery.

The Union Forces

My confederate troops


The Confederate cavalry are concealed along the hedgerow and deemed to not be visible to the Union troops.  First move for the Union army is to arrive on the table edge. The Union forces all responded to orders and arrive ‘en masse’ Jack commanded 2 brigades on the right whist Bob managed the Brigade on the left flank.

My cavalry opened fire on Bob’s leading regiments throwing on into disorder.

Jack’s order for the day was push forwards!  Which his troops duly did.

My cavalry managed to delay Bob’s advance and survive a rather ragged opening volley.

Jack continued his advance.  His rolling volley disordered Confederate regiment after regiment.  The only saving grace was that I was able to save the casualties for the most part

Bob started to inflict hits on my cavalry who fell back on their horses and supports, but not before one regiment broke and fled.  

I moved forward my reserve brigade into the farmstead and surrounding fields and the brigade supported my cavalry on my left.  My fire caused disorder in turn on the Union forces stopping them.  Again for the most part saving throws meant casualties were at a minimum.

Round after round of firing saw first my troops disordered again and then returning the compliment to Jack’s units.

Bob and Jack discussed progress.

Bob’ Brigade pressed forward forcing the cavalry to fall back on the supporting infantry brigade.  At the same time Jack moved his artillery forward to support Bob’s advance.

Eventually the repeated pressure from Jack’s infantry managed to inflict casualties on the Confederate front line and broke one of the regiments in the farm, at the same time I pulled back my skirmishers in the surrounding fields

Whilst one of my broke and fled, my Louisianna zouaves poured fired into the opposing Union regiment which in turn broke and left the field.   In the centre another Union unit broke

The union artillery deployed and opened fire ineffectively only to come under infantry fire and become disordered.

The first of the Union troops entered the Farm complex bringing them into direct line of fire from my artillery and supporting infantry.

As Jack looked on, Bob pushed forward his regiment after regiment driving my cavalry back from the fence line, out of the sunken road and back up the slope.

Jack quickly filled the gap created by the regiment that broke and brought more regiments into line. Threatening to outflank my line in the fields.

Another Confederate regiment rushed forward to extend my line and see off the flanking threat.

After some more ineffective firing, we announced the game as a draw.

We all enjoyed the game even though there was no ‘winner’.  The single move option worked well in this game and the various walls and other terrain features broke up both fire effect and movement adding to the flavour of the game.  Jack made all the rail fences as well as the Barn.


  1. Nice looking battle. The Glory Hallelujah supplement has a rule that states that a unit can only fire if it moved once. Those that move twice or three times do not get to fire.

    1. Hi Norm, I got the pdf version of the rules and have struggled to read them all. I have heard about this rule before which seems to make sense, not just for ACW but all the Black Powder period. Thanks for the 'heads up'.

  2. A classic looking game.

    Most of the best games are about the game and friends not the result.

    1. Hi Ross, yes I think you are right it is about the game and enjoying it, not who wins. Glad you liked the pictures and once again thanks for taking the trouble to post your comments.

  3. Thanks taking the time for posting, glad you liked it.