Wednesday, August 29, 2012

World War 2 skirmish game at Dan's garage

Dan found a free set of WW2 skirmish rules that he wanted to try out called Warrior WW2 tactical rules.  These use hexes for movement and a die roll to activate forces.  Each pip on the die will activate the forces in one hex.  Each infantry stand is a squad of 7-8 men.  There can be up to three infantry stands or two vehicles in a hex.   We opted to cut the ranges in half, but left the move distances as written.   John Riley commanded the Germans and I commanded the Americans with Dan acting as referee.   My die rolls were mostly 3's and 4's while John's were 1;s and 2's.  A die roll of 6 counted as 1 and the person who rolled the 6 also had to draw a random event card from the deck.  Each pip advanced the game clock one minute.  The game length was set at 90 minutes.  During play we found the mortar fire to be too effective and changed the damage zone to only one hex instead of the target hex and six surrounding hexes.  Due to my higher die rolls I was able to out maneuver John and caused his forces to take a break test for losing half his forces.  These were a fun set of rules, but need better editing.   They are best suited to a one against one game instead of multiple players per side.  The battlefield was somewhere in Normandy with the hedgerows east of the village.

 The remains of the village
 view from the German side
 American forces
American forces occupy the village.

The game mats are from Hotz artworks.   You can't see them in the photos, but they have a five inch hex grid printed on them

comparing Rapier Miniatures and Baccus ACW figures

Baccus and Rapier both make 6mm American Civil War figures.   Their prices are similar and their figures are compatible with each other.   Baccus only makes three poses for their infantry - a standing firing pose, a loading pose, and a march attack pose.  The first two are in their skirmish packs and the other is in a separate pack with command figures.   The skirmish pack includes 24 of each pose.  Rapier makes a greater variety of poses.  These are standing firing, kneeling firing, loading, march attack, advancing with rifle across body, and advancing with rifle forward.  These come one pose per pack of 24 figures.  There are three different command packs of 24 figures available.  Each contains 6 officers, 6 drummers, and 12 standard bearers.  At this point Rapier does not make any cavalry or dismounted cavalry.
 Baccus figures from four different packs
Not all strips in a pack are the same.  Some of the strips have a mix of kepi and hat.
Rapier figures with Baccus in middle.
Rapier has packs with either kepi or hat for each pose.

Casting quality is comparable though Rapier seems to have slightly better detail.  Baccus' rifles seem to be a bit shorter than Rapier's.   All the recent additions to my armies are mixed bases of Rapier and Baccus providing a units with a variety of poses.

Update:  Rapier has added cavalry to their ACW range in the five years since I originally wrote this post.   Like their 6mm ancient cavalry, their ACW cavalry figures are similar in size to the Heroic and Ros Figures.  I ordered a pack of each of their four different poses which will be enough to provide extra figures I needed to complete my ACW cavalry.  Though it will require a bit of extra effort I will be mixing them on the same bases with the Heroics and Ros figures that I already have.

150th Anniversary Battle of Cedar Mountain

August 9, 1862.   Jackson is in the Shenandoah Valley facing Banks Corps near Cedar Mountain.  Historically Jackson drove Banks from the area inflicting more casualties on the Union troops.  Jackson had Ewell's, A.P. Hill's and Winder's divisions under his command.  A.P. Hill was marching to the battlefield, while most of Ewell's division was on Cedar Mountain.  Winder's division was deployed on a rise facing the Union army on another rise on the opposite side of a field.  A brigade each from Ewell's and Hill's divisions were attached to Winder's command.  I was only able to take a few pictures of the early stages of the battle due to loss of battery power  I had bought a new pack of batteries, but they were old and only lasted for one picture for each pair of batteries.

The battle started about 5:00 P.M. and would continue until 9:00 P,M, when darkness fell.  This gave a game length of 8 turns.  When Winder's division activated the Confederates launched an all out assault on the Union lines.  Union defensive fire caused the attack to falter.  As the battle progressed William's division advanced and drove the Confederate left flank back  Bayard's cavalry brigade moved to the Union left flank and dismounted to cover the end of the Union line.  Hill's division arrived and joined the attack on Auger's division and the Union guns.   By the 7:00 P.M. turn the Union conceded victory and withdrew.   Three brigades on Union infantry, most of the guns, and most of the Cavalry brigade were still on the field at that point.  The Confederates had lost 34 stands of infantry due to casualties or routs.  The Union had lost 18 stands of infantry, two stands of cavalry and two gun batteries.  This amounted to 8500 Confederate losses vs about 5000 Union losses.
Initial positions. Union on right Confederates on left.  Both on rises facing across an open field.
View from Confederate side
view from union side
 Battle in progress.  Initial confederate attack has been repulsed.  Union is preparing to launch an attack with its right flank division against the confederate left.  

Even if half the remaining Union infantry stands were counted as lost, there would also have been some additional stands of Confederates lost.   Though Jackson had driven Banks from the field, his losses were such that the game victory was awarded to the Union side.

I will be running this battle again at the upcoming Pacificon convention at the end of this month  Some additional hills will be made by then.  A couple of minor adjustments will also be made to reflect the surprise union attack at the start of the battle.  This scenario can accommodate up to 6 players with three on each side.  The Union side has Banks commanding the artillery reserve and the cavalry brigade and the one player for each of the Union divisions.  On the Confederate side there would be one player commanding Hill's division, one player commanding Winder's division and one player as Jackson and commanding Ewell's division .  Jackson can also take command of the two brigades attached to Winder's division.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

From Manassas to Appomatox back in print

Thanks to Manny Granillo and Hoplite Research my ACW rules are now back in print.   They are available from


in either full color or black and white.

A yahoo support group has also been created for the rules at