FREE rules for ACW wargaming – Give Them the Cold Steel!

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Ed McKie has graciously allowed the Johnny Reb Gaming Society to publish here on our website his new rules for miniature wargames for the American Civil War (ACW) period.  He maintains a support site which has more details on these new rules. It is a Yahoo site where quick play sheets and game counters can be found.

Give Them the Cold Steel is an interesting addition to the pantheon of published rules for ACW wargaming, and are worth a look, especially since Ed has provided them as a FREE service to the wargaming community.

Here are the rules and supporting files:

Please try out these rules when you get a chance, and report your likes and dislikes by adding comments to this blog post. Feel free to suggest any improvements or house rules, or any after-action reports!

Thanks Ed for your generous contribution to the JRGS and our CHARGE! website!

Categories: Civil War wargaming, Product reviews | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “FREE rules for ACW wargaming – Give Them the Cold Steel!

  1. what scale is the ACW rules for

  2. Robie Cagle

    Kaleb, the rules are meant for 15mm or 10mm according to page two of the rules download.

  3. Anonymous

    I live in West Milrd New Jersey I had made a 4×8 Bull Run Diorama looking for someone to game with joeluberto.jl@gmail?com Joe Luberto

  4. Neil

    I tried these rules this afternoon. It’s a solid set. Like the cards and the fire resolution rules. There are a lot of morale rolls required. It makes sense why they are needed but their quantity slow things down. The same goes with the list of modifiers. They all make sense, but because the lists are long it takes a bit to go through them. What I would recommend to gamers who feel the same way is to shorten the list of modifiers and\or frequency of morale rolls. For the game designer, I’d recommend extending the list of cannons in the Weapon table. I had to research the capabilities of the 10lb Parrott gun in the middle of the game because it was not in the table. I played tested these rules with my WW1 figures to see if the game was enjoyable enough to purchase ACW figures. I’m happy to say that, yes, this game is enjoyable enough to make it worth buying figures for it.

  5. Neil

    Is the “average die” referring to a 6-sided dice?

  6. Jim

    What are the measurements on your basing for units. The look awesome.

  7. Mike Layton

    Are the counters available?

  8. Anonymous

    I moderated a game with these rules played by three new miniature gamers. I paired down some things and modified the scale and it played great. Particularly for the number of units (about ten to a side). Rules are actually pretty clean and good moderation takes care of the rest, especially if you feel too complex. Actually pretty accurate to history too. This may be my go ACW rules now. I modified the scale to 1 cm = 10 meters. 1 fig is 20 men or 1 gun crew. Thus a gun model is two pieces. One turn is 5 minutes. This plays well then at regiment level and the frontage and depth for batteries and regiments works on the typical basing of figures to reflect historically. I am not in love with the range break down of artillery as I prefer range break down to ammo used, but heck it played fine as is and you can modify if you want more realism/complexity. For Parrots I allowed the piece to fire at the most advantageous number for the range given; whether that was rifles or SB. Simple enough. I won’t list all of the minor modifications here (Mostly arguable historical stuff) but I will say the moral table I felt a little too generous and I did alter that a tad. Units don’t route until they are a -3 after die roll. Granted, my scale was regiment so perhaps it makes more sense at BDE level. One suggestion if you don’t like checking moral a lot; I love fog of war. If you moderate, (and don’t have a ton of units) secretly check the moral of a unit the first time required and record it. Only as modifiers pile up, once a unit takes enough grief to matter, then you can reveal the results to the players, but still not the moral roll. No one will know for sure how much will push a unit to the next level of breakdown. Lastly, I especially like how difficult exploiting success in a coherent way can be with the rules system. Many games fail to take this into account. Great job Scott, and since I am long already, another plug. I really liked your book on human interest stories from the Antietam campaign!

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