This page will contain a selection of random armies for each side, developed and trialled over five years, through the UK competition circuit. Many thanks are due to all those ACW players who have coped so well with four stand units, artillery arriving late, wide cavalry outflanks arriving at the most awkward moments, and corps with no commander.
The armies are selected by die roll [usually a d20, assuming you have the full list] and kept secret from the opponent. Along with the army, each player rolls for a random event, which may well affect deployment and the armies performance, so is also kept secret. These events can be found in the Random Events Chart, and they are specific to each side. Each side then rolls for exceptional brigade, divisional and corps commanders on a d10......8,9,10 for the CS, and 9,10 for the US.
The games are then played on a 4x4' (or exceptionally a 4x6') table. The former has been found more likely to produce a clear result. Terrain is laid out randomly, but as a coherent landscape, on the table, in a similar density to that found in the scenario booklets. Who ever lays out the table, should offer choice of sides to the other player. There is then no real need to use complicated random-terrain-generation tables. In competitions, I try and produce a variety of different battlefields....including features such as a central ridges, a river with several crossing points, a valley between two ridges, flat farmland with orchards and fields, a gap in a ridgeline, or heavily wooded terrain with clearings,....to mention just a few. Elements from each can of course be mixed. The skill is then as it should be......coping with the troops you have, in a terrain not necessarily of your choosing, fighting an army whose strengths and weaknesses are often far from obvious.
Deployment follows, with each side making appropriate adjustments as required by their random event. The US side deploy first, up to 12" from their own table edge, and the CS similarly, having seen the US deployment. Neither side fires during deployment. Turn 1 then follows.
In order to prevent players deploying and then sitting on the baseline and waiting, I have found terrain objectives most useful. I use Red , Yellow  and Green  spots placed on what could be key terrain features....cross-roads, fords, towns, hilltops, gaps, bridges, railroad junctions, etc. These are distributed evenly across the board, but often the green in the centre, to encourage positive play. I count a player as controlling a terrain point at the end of the game, if it is behind their general line of frontage, or if they were last to pass over it with a non-spent brigade. Points 'between the lines' are contested, and no-one gets them, irrespective of who last crossed them.
The following are the Random Armies...click to view.
|CS Army 1 to5||US Army 1 to5|
|CS Army 6 to10||US Army 6 to10|
|CS Army 11 to15||US Army 11 to15|
|CS Army 16 to20||US Army 16 to20|
|NB They are designed to be used in conjunction
with the Random Events Table.
NB Where 5/4/2 appears, this is assuming a printing error in the rulebook, that does not differentiate green from veteran for this number when it easily could.
NB Note also variation to cavalry rules so that cavalry do not unbalance the small competition armies.
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