Monday, 15 July 2019

The Battle of Moonshine Ridge 1862 - An ACW Batrep

I've been a bit busy with real life getting in the way of my hobby time recently. This should have been written and posted a few weeks ago.....bad boy Raymond!!
Anyway.......Fire & Fury ACW rules, you love 'em or you hate 'em. To be honest I've had enough of them. I do like some of the mechanics but dispair at the thought of throwing 1's and 2's which leave you stuck all alone in no mans land. After our last game, here back in October last year, I swore I'd never play Fire & Fury again and that Postie was going to re-write the rules And so he did!!

Lee's version of events can be found here!

We picked out of the hat for sides I played the Union fighting against the 2 Confederate 
General's Lee & Surj.

All units started on their baseline and first turn had to throw for how far they could move 
on, either 12, 18 or 24 inches. I threw quite well as you can see in the pics above and below.
But Surj and especially Lee threw very low. With most of their army only moving 12 inches on the table.

The Confederates are usually the attackers in the ACW, so I planned to form a defensive line as quickly as I could.

I also had 2 units of Union Cavalry, that I could place wherever I wanted on the baseline that would become active on whatever turn I chose. I placed them on a road on my right flank. There move on the road was an eye watering 36 inches. So I chose top have them on straight away. Hopefully they would cause a stir in the Reb ranks?

There wasn't a great deal of room on my left flank, but I managed to get to units supporting each other on the hill.

Into the field I go,

The end of turn 2, I'm nearly halfway across the board and the Reb's can't even be seen!!!

I moved my Cavalry up again right behind the flank of the Rebel lines. 
That raised a few eyebrows on the Reb side!!

Nearly there with my defensive formation.

I'm ready and waiting, but I don't think they are.
My plan works straight away, as Surj has to divert not 1 but 2 Confederate units to deal with my Cavalry.

Meanwhile on the left, Lee's dice to move his units have been rather crap he was getting himself in a right royal mess!

But he does take the honour of first casualties of the day. Blasting my New York boys with his artillery.

Next move I dismounted my Cavalry and hoped over the fence for a bit of cover. As Surj's 
Virginian columns come in sight.

About time too! Surj starts his advance towards my lines.

At least 36 inches separates my nice defensive line from the  attacking Rebs!!

Like in Fire & Fury each unit had a morale grade, the 4th Pennsylvannia was one of my
 many Green units

I was getting really bored by now, as the Confederates were refusing to attack at all....anywhere!!!
So I left my nice defensive positions and moved forward. I was going to have to take the battle to them, which was very disappointing, the Rebs refusing to charge!!!!

Lee was faring no better, he'd still not managed to move any closer than the field edge.
So I hopped off the hill towards him.

Surj charged off the hill and into my now dismounted Cavalry units. These are NOT the old style Union dismounted Cavalry of old. I lost the melee very easily and was sent scurrying away with 1 unit while the other left the field. But I'd done a lot of damage to Surj's troops.

I charged the Virginian's on the hill with my Michigan troops. I'd been firing on the unit with guns and artillery and weakened it before my charge went in.

I easily beat the Virginian's pushing them way back. But there was a little bad news for me, as Surj bought on his reinforcement. He also had 2 regts of Cavalry, that cam on either side of the road.

And now for the big push forward. I charged along the front using a special rule A " Dander up" charge. If the phasing player, uses a Dander up charge and beats the enemy by 6 or more points (as in Fire and Fury rules) then the enemy will automatically route. But if they lose by 6 then they could route themselves. So it was a risky thing to do.

Now here's where the game went tits up. Somehow we all forgot the Dander Up rule?!?!
Yeh I know!!
I smashed the Confederates pushing them back, they should have routed but......

My 2 units on the left also used a Dander Up charge and hit Surj's spent unit (one with the red marker). I easily destroyed it and followed up the victory carrying on the charge into his second line.

But....... I threw BigLee style dodgy dice and managed to lose the melee!!!!

And got pushed back.

I'd moved up to the second fence line, and in a fit of I don't know what Lee threw in his Alabama boys into a charge, fortunately for me they bounced straight back off! I mauled Lee who used the Dander Up charge and lost. So he should have routed!!

We ended the game there calling it a draw, if we hadn't forgotten the Dander Up rule, the Rebs would have lost 4 units automatically, which would have made if extremely difficult for them to win the game.
Personally and I will blow my own trumpet, I thought I played a good game, the Cavalry coming on first turn stopped Surj from attacking, he used 2 units to counter them, which was 2 that were missing from the front line. I was very disappointed in both their lack of will in attacking. I could understand Lee's, he just couldn't get his troops moving and spent at least 3 turns trying to get into a position to move forward. Surj should have attacked, I know they'll say the rule for defending a fence line was very advantageous, perhaps it was? But they still should have come forward.
I only left my positions because I was bored stiff and I gotta admit a little peeved too! Surj tried to claim it was there tactic all along to piss me off and make me come out from behind the fence......yeh right!!!!!
Posties new rules had a few holes in them, we didn't like the Dander Up rule as it was (even though we all forgot to use it properly) It was very very harsh on the loser of melee. So Postie will tone it down slightly. Also as in the normal Fire and Fury rules,if you throw a 10 on a D10 and you fire with more than half of a unit you become low on ammo, we were throwing multiply D10's on each fire, so units were going out of ammo, left right and centre. With a few more adjustments I'm sure we'll have another great set of Postie rules.


  1. Same old Surj, same old Lee, disappointed in the changes to dismounted union cavalry, the rules are already fecked, leave them alone!

    1. I just can't play proper Fire n Fury anymore?!?

  2. cracker, play acw at the weekend, one of Matt's massive games. Really great

  3. Looks like jolly fun, nice looking minis and terrain

  4. Excellent looking ACW game Ray!

  5. That looks like a cracking game Ray.

  6. Not always easy to leave defensive positions to get the win, but you tried! Great report, beautiful troops and terrain my friend!

    1. Yep, it was that of go and do the ironing!

  7. Looks great. Have to say I like Regt F&F as is not perfect but captures feel of undisciplined fickle ACW troops quite well.

    1. Not played Regimental rules, I think Posties got them though?

  8. I have huge ACW armies in 15mm but they sadly don't get out much. I have used the same rules now since 1988.

    1. Well there's a Challenge then George, hope to see the figures out anytime soon then?

  9. Super looking game, Ray and well told! The revised editions of Fire and Fury improve the game but using a D10 on opposed close combat rolls still has the tendency to drive me nuts especially when on the receiving end. "Oh, I rolled '1', you rolled '10', and I held a 4+ advantage? Rats!"

    1. Bit more than Rats, Jonathan!! Hence the change in our rules.

  10. Thank You For This Article!
    It is very enjoyable & Useful

  11. Salute the Blue Bellies!

  12. Nice report Ray it always looks grand!

  13. Good report Ray and your undiased views on how crap the rules are hard;ysowed though at all.
    Did everyone
    s troops ome onto the table in vovlumns ? Where was the artillery to blow them away ?
    Good looking game, but it seemed both sides were very spread .

    1. We were spread out, but that was due to the setup. There were a few things Postie defo needs to change like the Dander Up charge and he needs to limit the out of ammo chances. Apart from that and the Rebs not charging everything was fine!

  14. Wonderful looking game and as usual great commentary!


  15. Great report, Ray. I think you were right to attack 👍🏻

  16. Hope da real life ain't giving you problems!

  17. Nice write up...smug git! Honestly I think the dice have it in for me, my Division took over half the day to even get into a position where they could advance. Oh well..

    1. Me snug?.........Nah? Your dice rolling was up to its usual standards Sir!!!!

    2. Smug! Bloody auto correct!!!

  18. Beautiful table with a whole lot of lovely troops, Ray. Haven't played the rules before, but there is a group here that plays it monthly. I may have to give them a try.

  19. Great looking battle Ray. I have to say that as an ACW man for over 30 years I really enjoyed the original F&F rules when they came out and played many, many games with them (and still would today) but never played regimental F&F. Excellent write up and pictures.