An American Civil War Battle using Fire and Fury Rules

Here’s an account of a game played in Kidderminster in the first week of August 2019. This was an American Civil War battle fought with 20mm figures (courtesy of Nick) using the Fire and Fury Rules (Brigade Edition), which were first published in 1990. The orders of battle were as follows: -

The Confederate deployment

Union Forces (II Corps)

Corps Commander WS Hancock

1st Division (Caldwell) 4 Infantry Brigades (16 bases)

2nd Division (Gibbon) 3 Infantry Brigades (18 bases)

3rd Division (Hay) 3 Infantry Brigades (18 bases)

Cavalry Brigade (6 bases)

Confederate Forces (II Corps)

Corps Commander RS Ewell

1st Division (Early) 4 Infantry Brigades (25 bases)

2nd Division (Johnson) 4 Infantry Brigades (30 bases)

Cavalry Brigade (6 bases)

Andy W and Dave B shared command of the Union forces, Clive and Neil W were the Rebel generals and Nick was the umpire. The aim of both sides was to seize control of the crossroads in the centre of the table and force the opposition to withdraw from the field.

The Union right wing advances to the hill overlooking the crossroads

The Union left deploys on the high ground on the Confederate right wing

The game opened with the Union divisions moving forward quickly to occupy the hills in the centre and on their right wing with artillery and infantry The Confederate troops moved forward with the aim of holding the Northern forces on their right and then converging on the crossroads to deal with the remaining enemy divisions in the centre and left. This plan worked remarkably well. General Johnson’s 2nd Division engaged Andy’s two Union divisions in the left centre and engaged in a prolonged fire fight punctuated by occasional charges while the Rebel cavalry on the far left dismounted and held the attention of a couple of Union brigades. Meanwhile, on the Confederate right, Early’s division swept forward, routed the Union cavalry and then destroyed the artillery situated on the hill. Despite a spirited fight back by one of Dave’s Brigades, this effectively knocked his division out of the contest and the remaining Rebel infantry wheeled left and began to march towards the enemy infantry on the central high ground.

The Confederacy advances to the crossroads and begins the assault on the high ground

The Rebels successful attack on the Union left wing

The Confederate forces facing Andy’s remaining divisions were now suffering heavy losses and making no progress. The outcome remained in the balance until Clive’s division started to make its presence felt on the Union centre left. After a period of “softening up” the defenders, the Rebel infantry stormed the central hill and forced the depleted Union brigades to abandon the position. At this point, General Hancock conceded the field to the Rebs.

Early's division makes their presence felt in the centre

Considering that neither of the Confederate generals had played these rules before, the game flowed well and the principles were grasped fairly easily. The use of D10 can lead to some big fluctuations in close combat (which definitely worked to the Rebels' advantage) and, as Nick pointed out, the lack of an Army “morale” or “break-point” factor means that games can go on for even longer than this one did (approx 5 hours). Nevertheless, an enjoyable experience so thanks to everyone who took part

The Rebs drive the Union infantry from the hill