Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy

Sunday, November 26, 2017

ACW Peninsular Campaign - Part Two.

I have done a little more groundwork for the campaign. I have scrapped the idea of pre-programmed movement for both forces. It was too much of a headache, instead I will make two or three logical options on the spot when two forces meet, or a decision needs to be taken. Rolling a die to decide which action they take.

After the Crooked Valley Campaign, which was really just a big testing ground, I have also decided to modify how the combat mechanism will work. The artillery was far too powerful, especially in counter battery fire, as the Union found to their cost in that campaign. I was thinking about making all firing/shooting simultaneous, but an easier method is just to reduce the number of dice rolled. This will hopefully nullify to some extent, crippling losses being dished out by one side upon the other, with little chance of a fair response.

Will roll two dice in canister/melee range (6 cm), crossed sabres will also count at this range.
From 6 cm out to maximum range of 30 cm, just a single die will be rolled. 
Artillery strength points will be raised from the current two to three. This should make them less vulnerable.
Horse artillery will be allowed to move, unlimber and fire all in the same turn, or fire, limber and move. 
Maximum movement 10 cm or 5 cm if moving/firing in same turn.

Will shoot or melee with just half the number of dice, rounded up, per pip of strength. So a full strength unit will now roll three dice, as would a unit reduced by a single strength point. On four strength points it would roll only two etc.
Also a bonus die will be added for Union battalions in a firing line, to represent better weapons, powder etc.
Confederates will receive a bonus die in melee, to simulate the rebel yell.
Maximum movement 6 cm.

Will stay the same, with a basic strength of four, they also count crossed sabres in melee if mounted.
Maximum movement 15 cm.

I hope the above modifications make the battles more realistic, but maintain the simplicity of the system.

On to the campaign map. I have placed red counters for Confederate and blue counters for Union on the map. This denotes the current location of a force, but not what it consists of. There would be other Confederate units in strategic locations too, but they will be added as and when needed.

Starting in the south, it seems logical that a substantial force/garrison would be located at each major town. Here at Hampstead and Port St. Charles. The bridges over the Owl and Charles Rivers, would likely also have some sort of defensive force.

In the central region, the large town of Clanfield is the obvious base, with a detachment at Stockton. Also the bridge over the Marsh River would be covered.

In the north, light Confederate recce units would be deployed covering both roads into the peninsular.
I have placed advanced scouting units on the map for the Union. It has yet to be decided if VI Corps will advance in force down both roads, or concentrate on a single route, with just a small force as a diversion on the other road.

Now it remains to roll for the starting locations and make up of the Confederate forces, as well as the Union plan of attack. Once that is completed the campaign can begin, I think I have thought of everything, but any problems encountered will be solved on the fly.


  1. So... I'm sure you may have posted this before but what dice are you using? What do they have on them? What are the basic mechanisms you use! Are they based on the C&C rules?

    1. Hi Andy, I am using the dice from C&C Napoleonics. Each die has two infantry symbols, then one each of cavalry, artillery, crossed sabres and a flag. It is based on the C&C rules, but with modifications mentioned in this posting. All infantry have a starting strength of six, cavalry four and artillery three. Once a unit has a single strength point remaining it can no longer carry out aggressive action, but can defend itself. I also use a one third of total units in the battle as the break point.

  2. Are their variations for elite units?

    I have some blank dice and thinking of making some up and trying this...

    1. You could easily allow for elites, by giving them a starting strength of seven, it would of course work the other way too, a green unit/conscript could start with a strength of just five.

  3. The dice system sounds a bit like a variation of the Memoir 44 dice system. One method you might consider is to imagine the dots on the dice outlining a NATO military symbol: '1' for artillery; 2 and 3 for cavalry and 4,5,6 for infantry. Lacking the special dice until recently, I came up with that dice system three or four years ago. It doesn't force retreats instead of losses, though. My whole combat system had something different in mind...

    1. I have never played Memoir 44, but I do have other C&C titles. Your dice dot system sounds both simple and clever. I am able to stick with the Napoleonic dice, as the ratio of each arm is about right, I like the push backs, formerly straight battle lines, bent and then broken as the battle ebbs and flows.

  4. Very interesting and informative Ian. Ever considered allowing an Union amphibious landing. There were a few during the conflict.
    Cheers, Richard P

    1. Thanks Richard, you may have noticed three sandy bays on my map ;o)