Martin's ACW Rules

These are my ACW rules and as usual are old school. They are not extensively play tested but seem to work and no doubt will be tinkered with extensively. As usual feel free to comment, steal, copy or ignore

Martin’s ACW Wargames Rules

These are brigade scale games for 28mm. They are YGOIGO and place emphasis on local control and not on grand sweeping battles. Generals are there to rally troops, in my experience once you’ve set up and started it’s tough to do much else but fight. With that in mind the control of the troops is based on getting them to do stuff by testing against their leadership / morale and morale is greatly influenced by supporting troops, nobody likes to fight alone. As such more than one line of troops is useful and therefore on a 6x4 table 2 brigades is a table full. I use about one and ½ brigades. This means I can have a reserve or a meaningful local concentration without big holes in the line. All dice are D6.

Base size

Whatever you want, I really hate rules that set base sizes. I use 20mm by 20mm for infantry and 20mm by about 60mm for cavalry. The cavalry bases are a little narrow but it’s a historical artefact of my gaming. In reality cavalry charges are rare and units are small. If I think it will be important I will slightly spread the figures out to give about 25mm.

Units are deployed as blinds using cards approximately the same size as a unit in column, I use index cards. Add approximately 1/3 extra blanks
although this can be adjusted depending on the scenario; more for meeting engagements and fewer for a defensive side
Not al1 the cards need to be deployed and some unknown units can be left off the table to use a reinforcements.
Reinforcements can be brought on at the start of any move but must be done so as a blind.       
Any unit that is deployed in this manner can do nothing else that turn.                  
There are 2 basic unit formations, column 2 figures wide and line 2 figures deep.

All dice are D6.                                                

Turn Sequence                                                                
Roll for initiative at start of each phase turn. Highest D6 goes first. Can add general's characteristics to throw if there are any. Once 1st player has completed their turn then 2nd player takes his turn
Morale recovery phase; test routing troops, recovered troops are disordered for one turn, failed troops move at charge speed away from enemy and lose 1 casualty per turn routing                        
Declare charges; chargers may not fire during the firing base                                                                
Move phase; units move, change formation, limber/unlimber, mount/dismount                             
Shooting phase; kill people at a distance. Artillery fire first.
Morale testing phase; test the morale of units have lost 25% of their figures through shooting this turn. If any rout then test the impact on any friendlies                              
Melee Phase, complete charges and kill people close up. This is simultaneous so both sides fight and inflict casualties and take morale tests.                                                                          
Morale testing phase; test morale of figures as a result of melee and routing friendlies                       

Troop Type
Move / Line
Move / Column
Special rules
Regular infantry

 Any regiment can deploy up 1/4 of it’s troops as skirmishers 1 full move ahead of unit
Regular Cavalry
 Can dismount and form skirmish line within 1 move of horses
Foot Artillery

Can not move and fire
Horse Artillery
takes one full move to limber / unlimber. Can not move and fire
automatically overrun and captured if undefended

Skirmishers               Upto 25% of an infantry unit can be released as skirmishers. These can advance 1 full move in front of the main unit. They can return back to the unit at no penalty. They ignore terrain penalties. They must retreat from all melees and cannot engage in a melee unless defending an obstacle or in woods. If caught in charge they are removed from battle. Their loss is counted from their main unit and a unit takes a morale test.
Linear obstacles        Walls, hedges, fences and small streams take 1/2 turn to cross. If crossing is not complete then unit is disordered                                                                     
Difficult terrain         Woods. hills, shallow rivers, marsh. Move is 50% and if in line then unit must pass morale test at start of move or is disordered when moving through  the terrain                                                             
Impassible terrain     Deep rivers, cliffs, swamp. Cannot cross.                                                            
Charging                     All units must charge into combat at 50% increased move,
                                     Units in column receive no charge bonus                                                            
Changing Formation This is from column to line and line to column and the unit must pass a morale test to complete. If failed then move is completed but unit is disordered            
Factors                        Underfire -1, In difficult terrain -1
Disorder                    A disordered unit must remain stationary to regain formation.
If fired upon, firing or attacked then order is not restored. Disordered units cannot charge Effects  Melee -1, firing -1, Morale -1     
Interpolation              2 units in line may interpolate provided 1 remains stationary and the move is completed in one turn. This also applies to a routing unit passing through a rear unit. There is no penalty for this                                                                   
Basic hit is 5
Firing Arcs are 90o from front. Skirmishers may fire in any direction.        
Musket                            9                                                                             
Rifle                              12                                                                          
Shotgun / pistol               6                                                                             
Cannon                          36     Cannon rolls I dice per crew man, 4 crew normal.  If 2 dice are 1 then misfire and cannon doesn't fire (or 1 dice is 1 if any casualties, If additional officer present then may add  1 dice                                               
Each hit can be saved on a 6 to account for light wounds and some poor sod being shot twice                                                                                    
Factors Soft Cover +1     Hard Cover +2   Veteran +1 ( better use of cover and discipline), Raw -1 (poor use of cover and bunching),  +1 if shooters disordered, +1 if skirmishers, +1 if shooters at more than ½ range                                                                                       
Units may only charge into combat. All charges must be declared at start of turn and take place after the shooting phase                                                                                               
Attackers may not fire prior to a charge                                                                                
Attackers must take a morale test before charging. If failed then they become disordered and do not charge                                                                                    
Defenders must take a morale test to receive a charge                                                                           
If passed then the defender may stand, fire at chargers or retreat 1 full move firing occurs at half charge distance. If firing results in a morale test which is failed then chargers halt and are disordered
Melees are simultaneous and all figures at start of combat throw melee 

Melee factors                                                                                  
Infantry Charged into combat +1,
Defending linear obstacle +1 also no charge bonus for attacking linear obstacle,
Disordered -1,
Cavalry charging infantry in open +2,
Attacked from flank -1,
Attacked from rear -2,
In column  no charge bonus, -1 if charged in column
Throw 1 D6 per figure in base to base contact. Resolve each unit attack separately. If a unit is attacked by more than units then resolve frontal attacks first then flank then rear then work out results                                                                                      
Basic to hit = 4 on D6  plus factors which  apply to all figures on each side                                       There are no saves.
Combat results
Add number of casulaties to the following factors                                                                                           
Each unit supporting the attacking unit within charge range +1                                                 
Each unit supporting the defending unit within charge range +1                                                             Supporting units must not be disordered
Defending an obstacle +1                                                            
The side with highest score wins and losers must take immediate morale test. If passed then losers disengage 1/2 move distance morale. Losers failing the morale test rout.   
If an obstacle is being defended then defenders relinquish it and attackers can stop at obstacle without crossing                                                                                             
Attackers may follow up on routing defenders by their remaining move distance. If they make contact then the attackers get a free hit attempt with no save.                                                        
If the follow up does not make contact then the attackers halt. Take an immediate morale test. If failed then attackers are disorganised                                                                                     
If the follow up makes contact with another unit then combat ensues. No charge bonuses are applied. The defenders may not attempt to avoid or fire at the unit. The defenders fight at -1 for first round as they are surprised                                                                                    

A modified roll of 3 on a D6 is needed to pass a morale test
Use the standard factors plus additional factors below                                                                                  
Standard Factors
disordered -1, lost total of 25% casualties -1, lost 50% casualties -2, lost 75% casualties -3, +1 veterans, -1 raw, -1 isolated (more ordered enemy troops closer than ordered friendlies,                                   
The commanding general may reroll one failed morale test per turn for any routing troops within 12"                                                                                     
Test when                                                                                          
Changing Formation  This is from column to line and line to column and the unit must pass a morale test to complete. If failed then move is completed but unit is disordered.    
Factors                         In difficult terrain -1
Charging                     When Charging
Factors                          each supporting unit within move range +1, Each defender in shooting range -1                             
Facing Charge            When receiving charge each supporting defender within move range +1                                           Each attacker in charge range -1                                                                         
Losing melee               If failed then routed, if passed then retreat 2"                                                                                             Each supporting unit within move range +1, Each attacker in charge range
Received 25% casualties in single turn  as standard                                                                             
Adjacent friendly unit routs within 6"   As standard                                                                       

Units that have failed a morale test with a score of 1 or more are disordered.
A unit that fails a morae test with a score of 0 or less is routed
A disordered unit that fails a subsequent morale test is routed.                                                                              
Special Rules                                                                                    
Generals             Each commanding general can have special charcteristics                                                                              Initiative +1 on initiative roll,
Cautious -1 on intitiative                              
                                Inspiring 1 extra reroll for morale tests                                                                  
Blinds                   If a competitive battle then the blinds don’t have to be the blinds for the general.

Weapons            Union troops to have more rifle armed units than musket armed troops                                                                              
Shooting              Confederates to have +1 shooting skill