TITLE: Regimental Fire and Fury: Wargaming the Civil War with Miniatures
AUTHOR: Rich Hasenauer
PUBLISHER: Fire and Fury Games
PUBLICATION DATE: 2010
WEB SITE/SUPPORT FORUM:
PRICE (with date): $36.00 (in 2010)
REVIEWED BY: Mark “Extra Crispy” Severin
PERIOD COVERED: The American Civil War
Regimental Fire and Fury (RFF) is a full color hard back book. It includes two quick reference sheets. The book is a total of 96 pages long, 66 of them being rules and the remainder made up of scenarios.
SCOPE: RFF is a tactical game of Civil War combat.
ARMY SIZE: Conveniently, the author provides the number of stands needed to play each scenario. For very small games like Ball’s Bluff, you will need about 40 stands of infantry per side, plus guns and leaders. Most of the scenarios require a total of between 100 and 200 stands, primarily infantry. The number of figures per stand is not important as each stand is considered to represent 40 actual infantry. Accordingly you will need about 300 actual infantry figures per side.
- Each infantry unit in the game represents a single regiment (hence the name of the game), artillery section of two guns, or cavalry regiment.
- Ground Scale: 1” = 25 yards
- Time scale 1 turn = 10-15 minutes
- Figure/Base Ratio 1 infantry base = 40 men
- Recommended Figure Size: 15mm but conversion for other scales is covered by adjusting ground scale, ranges, etc.
- Table Size: Based on the scenarios included, a 5’ x 7’ table will be ample space. Smaller tables are playable but will obviously constrain scenario choices.
- Game Length: Most games should be playable in one evening.
Infantry stands are 1” wide by 3/4” deep. Cavalry are 1x1” and guns 1 x 1 1/2”. Officers are mounted on round bases based on rank.
RFF is an -Go-You-Go based game. One side completes his turn followed by the other. Each player conducts the following phases during his part of the turn:
- The Maneuver Phase: During the maneuver phase units take a maneuver check which combines morale, command and control. Fallen leaders are replaced, and leaders may attach to units.
- Musketry and Cannonade Phase: All units eligible to do so may fire. The non-moving player fires first (Defensive Fire) followed by the moving player (Offensive Fire).
- Charge Phase:
Units carry a number of ratings in RFF. First is Experience. Units may be Green, Trained, Veteran or Crack. This rating acts as a modifier to the Maneuver Check (see below). Each unit also has an Effectiveness Level. Units may be Fresh, Worn or Spent. Finally each unit is rated for morale. Each unit may be either Spirited, Reliable, or Unreliable. Essentially all units start fresh. then, based on size, Experience and Morale their worn and spent ratings are calculated. A unit’s rating might be, for example: 12/8/5 This means it is a 12-stand unit. When it has dropped to 8 stands it is worn, when it drops to 5 it is spent. These ratings act as die roll modifiers to most everything units do. Fresh units are +2, spent are -2.
Central to Regimental Fire & Fury (as to the original) is the Maneuver Check. In each player turn every unit must make a Maneuver Check. Units in command (within command radius of their officer - normally 8”) may check as a group. Units out of command must check individually.
To conduct a Maneuver Check roll a D10 (the game uses only ten sided dice). There are a few modifiers for morale, formation, fatigue, etc. The result is cross referenced on the Maneuver Table. There is one column for units in good order and one for disordered/broken troops.
Units in good order will generally move, though they may move relatively faster or slower based on the die. There is a chance they will fall back or panic if the modified die roll is zero or less.
The same chart is used for broken and disordered troops. Instead of moving, these troops will rally (or not). They may “Rally With Elan” which means they return to good order and may maneuver (albeit slowly). But they may also Rot, retreating and losing stands as they go.
Movement and formation rules are quite detailed in RFF. Changing formation, passage of lines, and marching by the flank are just some of the details covered. Allowable formations are line, extended line (open order or skirmish line), field column and march column. Rules for cavalry cover mounting, dismounting, and loss of stands to horse holders when dismounted. The movement section of the rules provides complete explanations and numerous examples and illustrations. The rules include a template for wheels.
Charges are declared and carried out at this time.
Musketry and Cannonade:
Fire combat whether by small arms or artillery is resolved in the same way. Each stand has a strength measured in Fire Points. For example, rifled muskets are worth one fire point per stand from 0-4” and 1/2 Fire Point from 4 - 16”. The number of Fire Points firing at a single target is becomes a die roll modifier from -4 for a 1 Fire Point attack, up to +4 or even more.
A single D10 is rolled. This is cross referenced with the target’s Experience, and a result determined. Results may be casualties (casualties are entire stands, not figures), disorder, and checking a charge. There are a few modifiers to the die roll, such as target formation, cover, etc.
RFF also includes provision for Pass Through Fire. This is a form of opportunity fire. If an enemy unit moves through the arc of fire and line of sight of an enemy unit, it may fire at it in passing.
As with the rules sections on maneuver, the fire combat rules are detailed and explicit. they cover, for example, plunging fire for artillery. This allows guns to fire over troops or obstacles provided they have enough space and height. In addition, each of the modifiers and situations is discussed and explained in detail.
Hand to hand combat in RFF is called Charge Combat. Charge Combat resolution is resolved by opposed die roll. As with maneuver and fire combat, each side rolls a sinlge D10. Modifiers and calculated and the defender’s result is subtracted from the attacker’s result. This is read on the Charge Combat table and the results applied. So if the attacker rolls a modified 9 and the defender a modified 6, 9-6=3. Reading on the chart for the 3 row we see the defender is Hard Pressed, and retreats 2” with possible losses. The attacker carries the position.
Modifiers include the unit’s Experience (Crack, Veteran, Trained or Green), numerical advantage, attached leaders, disorder, etc. Charge Combat can be quite decisive. In a successful attack the defender may be Swept From the Field - losing 2+ stands, leader casualty, and retreat broken.
As with all the other rules sections there are detailed explanations and diagrams covering attacks by and on single or multiple units.
The rule book includes six scenarios:
- Ball’s Bluff
- Wilson’s Creek - Bloody Hill
- Seven Pines - Casey’s Redoubt
- Stones River - Battle Comes to Sheridan
- Gettysburg - Little Round Top
- Battle of Olustee
There are no army lists but the opening section of the book provides instructions for how to build an OOB or a scenario.
Regimental Fire & Fury was a real pleasure to read. It is a very well thought out set of rules. Every rule is covered in detail, with design notes, examples and illustrations. It is a rule set that has been in the works a long time, but it was clearly time well spent. They are quite thorough, and do a very good job explicating all the finer detail.
I especially like that all the charts work exactly the same way. Roll a single D10, add and subtract modifiers, and read your result. Many variables are built into the charts, as by having one column for good order and another for disorder on the Maneuver Chart. I imagine this makes for a very fast learning curve, especially since a majority of the DRM’s are common to all the chart - spent? Pretty much -2 on everything. Leader attached? Pretty much +1 on everything.
Aside from that, the book is beautiful to look at. It is filled with color diagrams on nearly every page, and sprinkled with impressive photos of game tables with nice figures and stunning terrain.