Miniature Wargames

GLORY 1861

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◗ caliverboo­ks.com ◗ £19.50

Caliver Books continue publish rule sets for specific popular periods, rather than more generic‘horse and musket’ approaches, and few are more intriguing that the American Civil War.

Long time contributo­r to Miniature Wargames Jon Sutherland’s latest set of rules is Glory 1861: Raising and Leading a Regiment to Glory. The rule set is aimed – as it’s subtitle indicates – at ‘Wargaming Regimental Battles’ in the ACW and what you get for a little shy of twenty quid is an A4, perfect bound, softback of just under 100 pages. It’s very nicely presented in full colour and is packed with inspiratio­nal illustrati­on in the form of some good photograph­y and the odd illustrati­on (uniforms and such like) by the late Bob Marrion. It also has a splendid front and back cover painted by Chris Collingwoo­d: almost photograph­ic in their level of detail they are called Stonewall and Sharpsburg. Anyway – pretty pictures aside – what are the rules like?

Although they can be used for large skirmish sized encounters (Sutherland mentions‘less than 50 figures per side’) they are really aimed at fielding armies for larger battles – for either the North or the South – as regiments. The authors intention is to treat regiments as almost a character in a role playing system. The idea is that each regiment has individual leadership, skills and training and – with your position as the Regimental Colonel – you may then track their progress as they improve and build.

The focus is on the first few weeks of the war leading up to First Bull Run in Virginia on July 21. This battle has been selected as – although not the first encounter – it involves regiments from many of the states and they individual­ly represente­d many different skill and experience levels: it included those with Mexican

Wars experience right through to new recruits.

There are orders of battle for the armies of both the North and South and examples of a typical regiment: the 7th Georgia from the Confederat­e Army of the Shenandoah’s 2nd Brigade to see how a regiment can be put together. The figure ratio is twenty to one meaning about four physical models per company (of 80 men) so Jon’s approach is that – taking a box of (say) plastic Perry Miniatures plus a couple of metal officers – that’s all you need for a regiment (other manufactur­ers, are available!). Figures should be individual­ly based but movement trays are recommende­d. Scales in the rules are designed for 28mm models but most of the shots in the book, as far as I can tell, are 54mm. That’s not overly important, really, as I wouldn’t change any of the ranges or movement, even if you were to use 15mm, but the author does recommend the rules for both 20mm and 40mm as playable alternativ­es. The rules use six and ten sided dice and a snap metal ruler and (obviously ) terrain is needed but other than that you’re ready to start.

You keep stats on your regiment using an A4 card where you can collect ‘Glory Points’as you progress with your men (well, the survivors, anyway...).

Additional­ly the rules cover all of the usual material you need for a set of rules of this period. There’s Start up Points; Regimental Commander Characteri­stics (roll a red and a white d6 and consult the chart: bowl me up a Short Sighted, Overweight, Wheezy commander please!); Historical Realities; guidance on Choosing your Regiment; a whole section on Company Commanders and Training Bonuses; and Firearms (rifles available in 1861, really). That section ends with some Bonus Card ideas (and a sheet of these is available to cut out at the end of the rules along with a QRS).

The rules cover all of the usual stuff: the turn system is a twelve phase affair with a regiment able to perform one or two actions in each phase and the priority of what happens and when in these phases is affected by a number of factors: dice throws and those Bonus Cards I mentioned earlier included. This is an interestin­g system and certainly removes the IGOUGO approach of many other game systems. Actions for companies of troops include quite a lot of detail: Move and Charge but also Load, Aim, Fire, Volley Fire plus Fix (or remove) a Bayonet and changes of order (Skirmish/close etc). And that detail carries on:‘to hit’modifiers include not only the order that the target is moving in but also if it’s their first shot of the day (when they’re presumably fresh and keen!). Although much of the rest of the rules use D6, Morale – with sections like Exceptiona­l Circumstan­ces, Removing terror and Disorder – are handled by using D10s.

Finally there’s some aids to gaming: there’s a random Combat Encounter section which features Aggressor and Defender Mission Tables accompanie­d by some useful diagrammat­ic illustrati­ons of a table top. There are also some sample regiments which include different divisions with more or less time served: so Mcdowell’s Army, First Brigade, First Division, 2nd Maine – Two Year Men; as opposed to Mcdowell’s Army, First Brigade, Third Division, 5th Massachuse­tts (Volunteer) Militia – Three Month Men. Like I said, there’s a lot of impressive­ly detailed research that has gone into these rules!

If you like Jon Sutherland’s work in this magazine and the ACW is even vaguely ‘your period’, these are an excellent purchase, I think.

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