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Rule Clarifications for Fire and Fury

   The rule set was written with the intention of recreating the larger battles of the American Civil War. A lot of the detail of weaponry, command and unit organisation is necessarily lost in the rounding-up process necessary to make the rules playable. Because of this generality, there are quite a few grey areas, both in how the rules are written, and the impossibility of addressing all situations that one might meet on the gaming table. For these reasons the following rule clarifications were written, and aimed at providing competition players, with an agreed set of interpretations of some of the more contentious areas. They are not infallible, but a consensus of what the competition players of the last five years have found works, and feels sensible.

   In the introduction to the rule book, Hasenauer says..."if a unique situation arises that is not covered by the rules....use common sense to resolve the situation." [p.16]

Eastern Scenario Book

Victory Points: use the modified table from the Eastern Scenario Book;

1VP’s worn brigades, wrecked/captured batteries, or killed exceptional/division/corps commanders. 2VP’s spent brigades. 4VP’s destroyed brigades.

March Column: may not initiate charge combat, except with a limbered battery, which must then move off a full move and end its turn disordered.

Charging a Bridge: roll a well handled within a half move of the bridge, form an assault [march] column and charge. It counts as enfiladed in fire and only the front stand may return fire, and outflanked in combat, but all stands may fight, though not count support. If combat is won, it deploys on the far side in any line formation. If bridge is undefended, it may cross and deploy unhindered.

Quits the field: a disordered brigade is removed from play only if it is forced to retreat through an enemy brigade or impassable terrain, but may angle more than 45 degrees. [Rules pg. 29 col.2.]

Benefits of Woods; artillery and mounted cavalry deployed in woods do not get a terrain modifier in fire or combat. [Eastern Bk. pg. 5 col.1]

Fire over Obstacles; changed to....'may fire if...battery or target is on a...higher elevation, and no part of the obstacle is closer than 4" to either the firing battery or the target'. [Eastern Bk. pg. 5 col. 2]

Modifiers; 'defensive modifiers given in charge combat for favourable ground are non-cumulative... but... modifiers given for stone walls and fieldworks are in addition to those given for favourable ground'. This is not clear from the original rules. [Eastern Bk pg. 4 col. 2] Stone walls and field works do not modify combat if the unit is attacked from flank or rear. [pg.5 col.1]

Western Scenario Book

Looting: the first CS brigade to move within 2” of a camp [tent] halts immediately to loot. Charging brigades do not stop. Camp is removed once looted. Brigades forced to retire through camps do not stop to loot.

Abatis: may not be crossed by artillery. May be crossed by other troops, at no movement cost, but they are then disordered.

Commanding Position: all artillery firing from a commanding position [2 levels above target], may add 1 fire point per battery.


Movement: you cannot wheel and oblique in the same movement phase. [Rules pg 28 col. 1]

Wheeling: is achieved by pivoting the brigade on one or other front corner, which remains fixed during the wheel. It is not achieved by pivoting the outside moving stand. (pg. 27&29)

Refusing Flanks: In order to maintain its facing, a unit should only refuse up to half its front rank stands. When moving, its refused stands come back into the original facing before movement. This should prevent the temptation to form on the refused stands for a subsequent move. (pg. 28 col.1) Also, " it advances and withdraws..." suggests to me a brigade can refuse flanks if it is pushed back, and if it is occupying the ground. (pg 48 col.1) The only exclusions are "...when charging or in column..."  count breakthrough as a charge.

Batteries: cannot be enfiladed. [Rules pg.39 col.1.]

Dismounted Cavalry: dismount from any formation into a single line, and mount up into any formation. They may not support or be supported. When tardy, they may dismount, but only if in a single line. [Website Answers.] Do not charge in the same turn as mounting because of formation change.

Charge Bonus: +1 bonus is carried through by CS troops into desperate struggles and breakthroughs. [Rules pg.39 col.2.]

Retreat: away from enemy need not be in a straight line. It may angle more than 45 degrees. [Rules pg.29 col.2.]

Firing: a unit may be targeted when...

    a) some part of 2 stands are in range....(ie 8" for infantry)

    b) and it is within the firing arc...(45 degrees for infantry/30 for artillery)

    c) and firers have line of sight to the unit. Blocked by terrain and troops. (p38)

Combat: effects of the table are applied separately to each participating brigade, except for a ‘desperate struggle,’ when each ‘side’ loses one stand. [Rule pg.42 col.2.]

Outflanked: you are, if a breakthrough starts from behind your frontage. [R. pg.46 col.2.] Frontage is measured by drawing a straight line between the outside corners of the two front end stands and extending it.

Charges: should be by the ‘most direct route’…'the centre of the charging brigade to the closest point of the defending unit..’ though it may wheel first. [R. pg.28 col.2.] Thus if the centre of the charging unit is unable to contact the target, one might assume that the target is not an eligible one. It would also seem to suggest that most of the charge should be in a straight line...'the most direct...'route.

chargemove.gif (4217 bytes)

A diagram demonstrating how the charge move might be clarified. Comments?

About face: a unit may about face free only in the following circumstances…

A] when it withdraws ’..more than half its movement rate to the rear..’ and ends facing the enemy.

B] when ‘..moving by the flank..’

C] or when ‘.. holding its ground..’ [Rules pg.27 col.1/2.]

There still remains much discussion about this one....some players would like to about face free, when ever they wished. I feel this ignores typical brigade organisation and deployment, and goes against the fundamental idea of not changing your facing by more than 45 degrees.

Units having about faced may not charge.

Club Preferences

Cavalry Fire: at 3” and 6” because of carbines, thus out ranged by infantry.

Crack CS cavalry fire mounted at half effect in close range only, dismounted as union cavalry at both ranges, because of pistols and shotguns.

Rifled Artillery:   US: have 2 rifled to 1 smooth.    CS: have 1 rifled to 1 smooth.

eg. a US army with 4 guns would dice for the final one...1-4 rifled, 5-6 smooth.

Rifled fire points: 0-4”: 5pts.      4-16”: 4pts.       16-32”: 3pts.          32-42”: 2pts.

Competition Rules:

1. Timed Games:

The aim is to simulate the difference in the quality of generalship on the battlefield. In reality, generals who were indecisive or slow in troop direction would rapidly be out-manoeuvred. However, in a wargame this cannot be simulated easily, where both sides are forced to have the same number of turns. By giving bonuses for rapid play, we hope to reward the decisive general, and encourage more turns to be played per game, enabling good tactics and battle plans, which won or lost battles in real life, to be developed properly in the game.

Log the time each side starts to move on the chart.

At the end of the game record the time taken for each side’s turns, and apply initiative points.

20 minutes available per side, per turn without penalty, allowing minimum 4/5 turns in a 3 hour game.

Initiative points for rapid movement, penalties for slow movement. (< = more than, and > = less than)

< 20 mins

+1 initiative point

> 20 mins

-1 initiative point

< 15 mins

+2 initiative point

> 25 mins

-2 initiative point

< 10 mins

+3 initiative point

> 30 mins

-4 initiative point



US start

Time taken

+/- points

CS start

Time taken










































































Deduct - from + points, and calculate the balance of +/- initiative points for each side.

Apply the table below for extra Victory Points.

Initiative Difference between US/CS

(eg. US –3/CS+5 = diff 8 to CS)

Additional VPs

(diff 8 to CS = extra 2 VPs)










2. Average Dice:

Average dice have been suggested in an attempt to both   a) continue to allow for the freak results that were an occasional feature of the ACW, and   b) make skilful play and good tactics more crucial, by reducing the frequency, and therefore impact of these large dice variations. 

The chart indicates the differences in probability between the 2 approaches.

to roll 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
chances with 1d10 1 in 10 1 in 10 1 in 10 1 in 10 1 in 10 1 in 10 1 in 10 1 in 10 1 in 10 1 in 10
30% of throws 30% of throws 40 % of throws
with average d10 1in 100 5 in 100 9 in 100 13 in 100 17 in 100 19 in 100 15 in 100 11 in 100 7 in 100 3 in 100
15% of throws 49% of throws 36% of throws


 to throw difference of 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
chances with 1d10 2 in 100 4 in 100 6 in 100 8 in 100 10 in 100 12 in 100 14 in 100 16 in 100 18 in 100 20 in 100
12 % of throws 30% of throws 58% of throws
with average d10 > 1 in 100 > 1 in 100 1.5 in 100 3.5 in 100 6.75 in 100 11.25 in 100 16.5 in 100 21.5 in 100 25 in 100 12 in 100
< 5% of throws 22% of throws 75% of throws

The results in trials at Devizes showed an obvious increase in 'pushes back', and fewer 'big wins', but the modifiers became much more crucial.  With the games less dominated by huge dice swings, one might even attract some players for whom the game has so far been considered, 'a bit of fun'! (Apologies for the rough maths.)

Regimental Rules:  I have produced a set of Regimental Rule Adaptations, for use with smaller scale engagements. Constructive comments welcome.


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