As so many fellow wargamers also I am attracted to the American Civil War. The multitude of primary and secondary sources, of personal diaries, of books and films on the subject, the music, the battle sites, the technological developments, and the political background has a lot to offer to anyone interested in military history. Additionally, for a wargamer this conflict offers excellent possibilities for various types of challanges from set piece battles, historical scenarios, abstract campaigns right up to operational map campaigns or cosims.
Over the years I have tried a couple of rules systems for the ACW. For my earliest games I used Terence Wise’s rules from his “Introduction to Battle Gaming” of 1969 vintage.
Later I had a very challanging game at a wargames convention. The system used was Johnny Reb 2.0 which I liked very much. The main problem with the rules is the need to base for all sizes of units.
I started to paint quite a few figures for the system but to produce the multitude of different sized units proved to be beyond my capabilities. Since I came across Regimental Fire & Fury and Longstreet I have rebased all my figures to suit these rules systems.
As a miniatures painter I get a lot of different figures and models to choose from. My very first 15mm miniatures are early 15mm Minifigs ACW zouaves, infantry, and artillery crew. And I am proud to have them in active service on the tabletop.
The thought of playing an ACW campaign has allways attracted me. One approach is represented by the Shanandoah Campaign Campaign System, published 1989 by the American Civil War Society. Unfortunately it does lend itself to much for solo wargaming. And it requires quite a few figures which I do not have painted jet. Another approach has come up by the “Grand Campaign”, included in Sam Mustaffa’s LONGSTREET ACW game.
I am quite inclined to start a “Grand Campaign”. I will moderate the brigades and invite friends to play the individual battles. As for the figures I can deploy enough infantry and artillery for the 1861 battles for both sides. The campaign rules call for a regiment of cavalry which from my examination of the various orders of battle is much more than the average brigade or even division would usually get to deploy. So I will settle on a couple of cavalry companies whose main task will be scouting and flank protection.