Monday, 18 April 2022

Rebels and Patriots ACW Campaign Rules?

 A question mark, in case they don't work! Knocked up at lunchtime...

The Glen Campaign of 1862.

The Shenandoah Valley runs geographically from northeast to southeast West Virginia. During the American Civil War, it was hotly contested by both sides.

One of the “spurs” of the Valley was extensively colonised by Scots in the 18th century and thereby earned the nickname of “The Glen”. This too was hotly contested, though with far fewer men and in a far less well-known campaign.

The Confederate General Graham and his counterpart in the Union General Stuart each commanded a small, detached brigade of men and played a game of march and counter march, skirmish and encounter to capture and deny the other the key towns and river crossings of the Glen. Each hoping thereby to prevent the area being used to move troops around the flank of the main armies operating in the Valley. Truth was however, that both sides original orders became lost and in a confusion of paperwork, poor administration, geography and couriers with a lamentable sense of both duty and direction the main armies of either side lost contact with these commanders. Instead they were left to persecuting the war to their own devices for some time until being recalled somewhat embarrassingly by their superiors and promoted to keep their silence. Thus, the campaign was lost to history and forgotten, until now.

Campaign Rules


Each side has a pool of units to select from. They may field up to 24 points of units from that pool. However, as each unit takes casualties and suffers the affects of the campaign it will diminish and may be removed from the roster. The winning side in each encounter regains half its casualties from the battle, the loser, a quarter. Guns which lose their entire crew however are considered lost due to damage if they are not physically captured. Units may not be combined. Thus a unit will fall in strength and points value until it is too small to take part in the campaign.

The player may modify the profile of the unit as per the rules, for example making them veterans. The cost to do so is paid as normal.

Each side also has their General and a Regimental Colonel and Major to support them. Each General has 2 traits and their Colonel and Major have 1 each. One officer may accompany the detachment send to carry out a mission, (i.e. complete a scenario). They player is free to select which, but should they be slain or wounded the game rules apply as normal and they are not replaced. Should any side lose their officers then the game is over as their toops, lacking orders, surrender.

The Pool of Troops

• 10 companies of infantry – May be any class. Each coy is a unit from the rules (ie 6 or 12 figs)

• 2 squadrons of cavalry – May be skirmishers only. No shock cavalry. Each sqdn = 6 figs.

• 1⁄2 Battery of 3 guns – May only deploy a single gun per scenario. Cost of a limber is as per rules. Medium Guns only. Guns without Limbers may not move other than to turn.

• Ad-hoc specialists – the player may draw such men as required should a scenario so require.They do not count as a unit unless described as such in the scenario. 


The Union Player starts the campaign in Meldrum, the Confederate in Skene. Each player draws up their 24 point detachment for the mission ahead. They then write down where it is and where it is moving to on a piece of paper, folds it and hands it to their opponent simultaneously. Should the two forces collide then a battle is fought using the scenario generator from the rules. If not, then the detachment makes its way peacefully to its destination. Note movement may only be made along roads and rivers crossed only at a bridge. But the battle takes place anywhere along the road between the two points.

Should there be less points allocated to either side in the scenario to be played out, the player may only select the units which he has ordered to move to take part in the game. The rest are assumed to be off table. They may provide reinforcement, should such a benefit be rolled for in the game. Otherwise, such men come from the main pool or are sent from the main army in the Valley.

The Scenarios

The scenario (from the book)  is played as normal. Any odd situation caused by the campaign rules conflicting between the scenario and the rules should be resolved amicably by the players. The winner achieves the benefits stated in the scenario and is able to recover 50% of his loses. The loser is denied any benefits and only recovers 25% of his loses. The losers troops also return to their start point or back to their Depot of Meldrum or Skene, or away from the enemy if unable to do so.

Ending the Campaign

The Campaign ends when either side loses its depot or does not have the required 24 points in order to be able to field a detachment for a scenario.

So....give it a go..or wait to see how the results pan out. And in case you're wondering, the Glen is the Garioch, home of the Oldmeldrum wargames club!

Sunday, 17 April 2022

Rebels and Patriots - ACW

 Yesterday I popped up to see Graham H. We had planned to go to Culloden to attend one of the talks there, but got the days muddled. So instead we had a couple of games with Grahams fine 40mm ACW collection, which hadn't had an outing for quite a long time. 

To keep things simple we used the suggested army lists in the rules, picking two mid war sides. Some terrain was placed, a long road crossing a river with a stone bridge, and a church, quite an idyllic scene til the soldiers came!

The first game kicked off with Graham's Confederates advancing along the road over the bridge and deploying onto the southern side of the river. My union troops were a mix of veterans and green men, and the latter proved somewhat tardy getting off the road and into line. I had enough time to get a line of my Irish veterans out before the firing started. Graham started to move round my flank, but his gun was soon masked by his own men and was forced to redeploy onto the bridge. My new recruits were still sluggish, and at one point panicked and fired on their own men, but later  I received some reinforcements from the rear and eventually got myself sorted into two lines, bringing a halt to the Grahams advance. 

The Irish took several casualties and were forced back, luckily to a more protected position. My gun was now in action and wearing down the rebels to my front and the men in grey were taking casualties from my springfields too. My recruits were now in position to the right of the Irish and in time to catch a unit of rebels as they advanced over a hill. They opened up and the Irish managed a double volley and Grahams men were forced back. 

With the union troops gaining the upper hand and high casualties amongst the confederate ranks, it was time to call it quits for lunch.

After sandwiches in the patio in the warm Moray sun, it was time for game two. This time with early war forces from the book. Green infantry for me, supported by a gun and aggressive inf, a unit of cavalry and a gun for Graham. 

This time the terrain was more open the table being nipped in at its waist by two wooded areas, a cabin on the left and the county church on the right.

The confederates advanced quickly, cavalry galloping to the cabin and taking up skirmish line behind its picket fence. The rest of Graham's men headed for the church woods. Again my troops were sluggish and difficult to get moving, but I uncovered my gun early and this meant I was able to score some early hits. 

When I did advance I got the cavalry winkled out from behind the fence and drove them off and swung my line across the table. Grahams men were in the woods, and I couldn't get my troops to go in and get them - sevens to activate, kept rolling six. So a firefight erupted, and gradually I was able to bring my numbers to bear, although again the gun did most of the killing. Although my activations were poor, my morale tests were good and my troops held their positions, whilst the rebels were whittled down. 

Two quick games was good fun. Rebels and Patriots is a good system, though the guns were probably too much for skirmishes. We intend a to have a mini campaign, giving each player a few named units to draw on, and a few officers to lead them. This will let the units gain some history and the leaders some honour and add a bit of flavour to the games,