Wednesday, 15 February 2017

ACW Rules: Week Three:Charging

I will give you three seconds! Exactly three f**king seconds, to wipe that stupid grin off your face, or I will gouge out your eyeballs and skull-f**k you!

Simple Charge :One V One
The confederate brigade bottom center has elected to charge the Union Brigade at top. To do so it echelons with the center of the attacking brigade moving directly toward the nearest point of the defending brigade.
Contact! Fire is resolved first. Note if the attacking or defending brigade becomes disordered as a result of fire, that is carried into the close combat ,however a brigade becoming worn or spent as a result of this fire is not. The units effectiveness level stays the same from the moment the unit is contacted until the close combat is resolved. This includes a second round of combat if the first is a desperate struggle (draw).   In this example neither unit is disordered ,neither unit has a rear rank so has no support, both are fresh (+2), the Union unit has a 3:2 advantage on numbers (conf -1), and the Confederates are charging (+1). Its then a die roll off.

Simple Charge :Two V One
The Confederate player has decided to push a second brigade into the combat.
The unit on the bottom left has wheeled right and now charges with its center toward the nearest part of the enemy unit. It did not START its charge with two of its stand behind the front of the Union unit so is not outflanking it
Contact! Note the Confederate player does not get a second +1 modifier for Confederates charging but can now put more fire onto the Union unit and is no longer outnumbered so does not take a -1 . As there is a 1" gap between the two confederate units that charged, the unit at the bottom can fire at the defending unit also. The Union unit will be able to split its defensive fire across the two charging units BUT the union stand 3 from left cannot fire, as no target is within its 45degree arc and a brigade cannot split its fire more than twice.


A rebel 7 stand unit in supported line has charged a yankee 6 stand unit in Line. The Rebel unit is counted as supported +1, the stands in both its front and rear rank can fire in the close combat and count in the fight. It is NOT a dense target.
A single 4 stand rebel brigade in LINE has charged a 6 stand yankee unit. A second 4 stand rebel brigade has moved up  behind the first also in LINE. Because it is within 1" of the front line of the clash the First rebel brigade is now supported. The stands from the supporting brigade can also fire and count toward the close combat numbers. Should casualties be taken they should be removed from the Leading Brigade First, then the Rear Brigade and then the Leading and so on. If the attacking brigade is driven back and /or disordered the supporting brigade is also driven back and/or disordered and if the worst happens and the attacker routs the supporting brigade goes to.
Even though this rebel unit is with 1" of the attacking unit it is NOT supporting although it may fire on the defending unit. To be supporting over half its stand must be directly behind the first unit and within 1" of the clash
Rebel unit in the bottom center is NOT supporting the attack of the other two
A single 4 stand Rebel unit has charged a 6 stand yankee unit. A second 8 stand Rebel unit in supported line has moved up behind the first Rebel unit. In the close combat that follows the First rebel unit is now supported (+1) but only the second rank (the first rank of the supporting brigade) may add its fire and stands into the close combat. The third rank are just cheerleading.
A Rebel 8 stand unit in supported line has charged a 6 stand Yankee unit. A second 4 stand unit in line has moved up behind it and a third 3 stand unit has moved onto its left. The 1st rebel unit counts as supported because it is in supported line formation (+1). The second rebel unit takes no part in the fire or close combat that follows. The third unit can fire on the defender but does not count as support.

Multiple Units

Mahone Brigade (4stands) has charged a 6 stand Yankee brigade. Lanes Brigade (5 stands) has also charged and contacted the same brigade. Because both Brigades have contacted the enemy the full strength of both brigades is added to the combat. However the yankee unit has a Brigade in support(+1), and the four stands in the front rank of the supporting yankee unit can fire and will be added to the close combat. The third rank takes no part in the action. To ensure success the Confederate player moves Wright up to support Mahone adding his 4 stands into the fire and close combat and Wilcox up to support Lane therefore adding his 3 stands to the fire and close combat. Note the confederate player only get a +1 modifier for support. It is not cumulative. If the Yankee unit is pushed back etc the supporting brigade is also pushed back. If the Confederates are pushed back all four rebel brigades will be pushed back.  In the event of a breakthrough all four rebel units will move forward.

Incidental and Participating Units
Only a defending unit can be Incidental. Attacking units must either be in contact, support or taking no part. An attacking unit cannot move to within 1" of an defending unit without intending to charge that turn.
Two rebel units have charged and contacted a yankee unit. All the rebel stands will take part in the close combat. However a second yankee unit is now within 1" of the front line of the assault.(it can also be contacted incidentally)  Less than 50% of its stands are to the enemies front so the second yankee brigade becomes incidental. It may fire and also ADD UP TO half its strength into the combat. It MUST add at least ONE. It does NOT count as Supporting the first
As an Incidental  it does not suffer the fate of the defending brigade but if the defender loses it must wheel or refuse stands to allow the attacker to occupy the defenders ground.
Similar situation accept now over 50% of the second unit is to the enemies front. Even though it has not been contacted it is within 1" of the front line and so is NOT INCIDENTAL but PARTICIPATING. Its full strength will count toward the close combat resolution and it will suffer the same fate as the unit that has been contacted. It does NOT count as supporting.

Artillery Batteries in Close Combat
Artillery Batteries have NO Flank. An artillery battery that is not touching a friendly infantry or dismounted cavalry stand counts as Worn when Normal in Close Combat and as Spent if it is Damaged. A limbered artillery unit must immediately attempt to fall back its full movement. Having done so the enemy unit may continue to move and if it catches the limbered artillery it is destroyed. An artillery unit that is touching a friendly infantry stand or dismounted cavalry stand is attached to that Brigade, and even if it is contacted on the end of the Line, the Infantry brigade counts as being contacted, not the Artillery and the artillery stand just becomes an extra stand in the Brigade sharing its fate.

And so ends Week 3. If you still have the guts join us for week 4. Live firing exercises


  1. These are really nice rules write ups - probably the bench mark from now on. The annotation at the top of the post would make a good replacement for our "its 6mm" badges - if it will fit!

  2. understood,
    As far as the annotation is concerned, I thought we were a friendly, welcoming and peace to all men kind of group now.

  3. Thanks for the comments chaps.i have spent a lot of time on the forum and there is some excellent guidance on there both from the author and a chap that the author affectionately calls his rules lawyer . It is now very clear to me what I should be applying to different situations and as an umpire I think it will make game play much quicker.

  4. Looking forward to seeing what you dig up when you go through the Spearhead rules!

  5. Addendum to the support rules,I discovered on page 43 that units in field column and March column cannot support other charging units. To support a charge a unit must be in line or supported line. March column must contact the enemy to be counted in close combat.