Battles of the American Civil War Q&A

Fun Interactive Military History

Battles of the American Civil War Rules Questions


Officer Seniority: Is this for informational purposes only?

The senior officer on the map commands the Army as well as his formation, if any. Its important when the Army Commander isn't on map yet (Gettysburg) or when he becomes a casualty.

An available officer could: 1) command an arty survey, 2) move all units, and 3) attack with each/all units that are in Good Order, all in one turn?

If precisely placed, yes. The Surveyed units must be in his placement hex, and the units being moved or attacking must be in command range and subordinate. An hour is a long time.

If a formation leader can be placed within 6 hexes of his current location (which is the first priority), why would anyone ever bother to look at priorities 2, 3 or 4?

Those options aren't choices, they are priorities.
If you can't do 1 (because your officer was unavailable last turn so he isn't on board), you go to 2.
If that is impossible (no deployed HQ), then 3.
If no mobile HQ (it's been lost), then within 6 hexes of the LOC.

Each priority is less desirable than the earlier ones.
The reason there's a limit on what officers do is that in some scenarios, there is a temptation to maximize their value by placing them with forces who are detached and sometimes behind enemy lines. So, with these limits, an officer must spend most of the time in an area connected by a path to his HQ. The army commander, for example, can't teleport over the enemy army to help a formation attack the enemy rear. These rules were added to address a situation that comes up when people stretch the rules.

If unavailable, are officers removed from the map?

Yes, put them on the Turn Record for next Turn as a reminder.

Once placed, a leader cannot move because it has no MV? Also, I guess there's no retreat or advance during combat?

Officers stay where placed. The piece is more of a marker of the main focus of his attention. He may actually be moving around a lot during an hour. (A good horse moves @24 hexes an hour at the trot, which is why I didn't bother giving them speeds and making you count out their perambulations.)

If no formation leaders were available, the Army commander could still command all movement and then one attack with his efficiency rating of two, at a range of three?


I assumed an available leader can rally all of the infantry in its placement hex if it chooses to perform a rally operation. Was I correct?

Yes, If at least one "subordinate" unit is also in the officer's placement hex. This is to prevent placing an otherwise unemployed officer in the backfield Rallying somebody else's troops. The CinC, of course, can do exactly that. I have sneaky playtesters.

Can only one officer lend his ER to a combat?

Yes. All participating units must be under the officer's command, so only the most senior can command an attack.

Can an officer add his efficiency bonus to an attack in which some of his units are disordered but others are not?

Officer shifts: the attack must involve ONLY Good Order subordinates in Command Range (plus 1 other friendly Artillery unit from any source firing at Long Range): "An officer may command one attack per phase. All participating units must be under his command." The artillery unit (and any stray units in his placement hex, if there's also a subordinate in that hex) are "under his command". Disordered units can't be under command, so no.

I understand all units must be in good order, but do all units have to be in range of an officer that lends his ER to a combat?

Yes, to get the ER bonus.

An officer commanding an attack rolls for officer loss on an "A" loss, regardless of range, but only rolls for a "D" loss when stacked with the defenders?

Correct. An attacking officer is assumed to be placing himself at risk during the attack.

If there is no replacement officer available...the formation is out of command the rest of the game? Under the command of the overall Army commander if he is available and within his command range?

The Army Commander can command any unit whether or not a formation leader is available. If there is no replacement officer available, it means that formation/army command structure has broken down. Other formation leaders may be able to take some of the slack (by placing in the same hex with units from other formations) or you may just have to move more slowly and attack without an Officer efficiency bonus. Later war armies have more replacements at more levels.

Operations Orders

"An officer with an Operations Order may conduct a Grand Tactical Maneuver or a Prepared Assault." Sounds like one or the other, until you read "It is difficult, but not impossible to do both at once."

The officer is placed in one hex, and the Operations Order goes away on the Turn after use. So to conduct both a maneuver and an assault in one turn, the officer placement hex must be in command range of subordinate troops, and the officer must be in range to coordinate an attack with subordinates (not necessarily the SAME subordinates) during the Combat Phase.

Can one officer hold two Op Orders or two officers assist one unit to do both or...?

Each officer has only one Operations Order (they're issued to individuals and expire at the end of the day or after use). You could use two officers, each with an Operations Order if you let one officer conduct the Grand Tactical maneuver while another commands the troops that just moved for a Prepared Assault. Both orders would then go away.

Brigade and Division Attacks

What about Division and Brigade attacks? Are they used by themselves or can they be combined with an officer's ER in a single combat?

They are used instead of another officer ER. Brigade & Division Attacks represent officers junior to those who are given counters. They are a specialized form of officer command.


Artillery at long range inflicts a "D" loss, but not an "A" loss on an exchange, unless there's a defending artillery unit that can fire counter-battery?

The defender has to be able to fire counterbattery when in Good Order (i.e. be in range). Even if it is on its Disordered side it can still cause an A Loss in EX results.

Why doesn't artillery take A Loss from an AE result?

A battery of 100 men that takes 7 or 8 casualties will almost always pull back rather than fight to destruction, regardless of what its orders are. So no A Loss from AE results - the battery displaced instead. (Artillery combat is asymmetric - defenders don't need a similar rule because their defense strength is much greater than the attacker's Long Range Fire value.)

Can artillery fire long range to fulfill the mandatory "attack all defenders" in your ZOC?

Yes, as long as the firing artillery isn't itself in somebody's ZOC. It is one of the artillery's primary missions - screening the flank of an attack, what we'd call "isolating the combat area" today.

Can any/all artillery support a single attack?

The only limit to how much artillery can support an attack is command span. If an officer is going to exercise Attack Command, he can control his SUBORDINATE artillery, in any number, and one attached artillery unit (from anyone's formation or Army reserve). Uncoordinated attacks can receive the help of anyone in range, but you'll be better off to put an officer in command instead, even if it means fewer guns.


If infantry assaults an all cavalry force the infantry can't receive losses via AE or EX?

Counter-intuitive, but yes. Generally, cavalry fights aren't nearly as bloody as infantry fights unless they can turn a flank or something like that. Cavalry are skirmishers, they don't try hard to take or hold ground by doctrine, so they won't trade punches to the end. A Retreat outcomes (in effect wasting the attacker's time for an hour and throwing him back) seem more like what should be going on.

Cavalry Combat "DE outcomes are not modified." -Meaning that DE results are applied normally?

Yes. D Loss and D Retreat both apply.

There are Confederate cavalry units that don't have a yellow box. Is that an oversight?

No, they are Dismounted Cavalry. They're is really infantry, and to avoid confusion should have the infantry type symbol. But for historical reasons I put up with it. Several Texas and Arkansas cavalry regiments were unhorsed because not enough people volunteered for the infantry. However, the men were grossly insulted. They insisted on keeping their cavalry names and guidons. By 1864 they were back on horseback so everyone was happy.


Does an HQ count for stacking?

Yes. A HQ is a unit.

Can a HQ retreat, even when on its deployed side?

Yes. The HQ flips and retreats.

Road Movement

"..........A unit which uses its entire movement along any combination of Towns, Roads or Trails moves at its full printed MP." -Does this suggest that you cannot move at full MP when moving in other terrain?

A unit doesn't suffer the movement reduction for being out of command when moving on roads.


Do reinforcements spend 1 MP to enter the board?

"Entry spends the cost of terrain in the entry hex."

Reinforcements are due to enter the map. Assume officer placement with an "available" result lets the reinforcements move at their full Movement Value?

Yes. Trace command range to the entry hex.

Attack from March

Are all units that Attack from March disordered? Once they do so, if they continue into a ZOC in the combat phase they must attack w/out leadership, right?

Yes. Attack from March is a reason NOT to use low value delay units "soak offs". That's its major function, though it also prevents construction of mathematically un-turnable defense lines. A defensive shift is a hefty penalty for its use, as is the 1 MV Movement cost. Attack from March is not a major feature of the system.

Can officers affect attacks from march?

Yes, presuming the units are in command range and subordinate.


Units in enemy ZOC are required to attack, but can only attack if an officer commands them?

Units may attack without an officer. Disordered units, or units out of command range, MUST attack without an officer.

How do you then attack ALL units in a ZOC, if a unit can only attack once?

Each unit has to attack someone, and all enemy must be attacked by someone.


Disordered units do not have any disadvantage in attack except the inability to be in command?

That is true of Disordered infantry and artillery adjacent to the enemy. Disordered artillery don't conduct Long Range Fire, and Disordered cavalry are between 1/3 and 1/2 weaker.

Does artillery become disordered if bombarding either alone or in support?

Yes. Per the Combat Results Table note to Combat Outcomes. Both sides' units in any combat become Disordered. Artillery can self-rally, so if they hold in place and Rally, they can fire next Turn; if they move, they stay Disordered and so can't fire.

Can disordered units be rallied in enemy ZOCs?



Are Demoralization and Fatigue calculated using the Good Order CV's or Disordered?

Good Order.


"Reorganizing will change Fatigue totals." -What is Reorganization?

Yes. Reorganizing occurs in Gettysburg and Fort Donelson (3 day battles). A Division (BOG) or Brigade (Donelson) can reorganize for a full Day, after which the largest lost infantry unit is replaced. Buford's Cavalry Division does almost the same thing in Gettysburg as well.


Do Creeks and Fords provide cover and/or a column shift against long range artillery fire? I would think not, but I could not find anything prohibiting it.

Creeks provide cover under all circumstances (unless Scenario Special Rules intervene, all creeks are assumed to have some brush lining their banks). Fords and Bridges don't provide Cover (these are assumed to be more open, with fire lanes and at least some brush clearing, in Across the Wide Missouri).

All three terrain types provide a shift if all the adjacent attackers must cross those hexside types.

In Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove there is a terrain type called "wash". What is it?

A "Wash" in mid-Western ACW parlance is a creek flood plain (if there is a seasonal water flow in a wash, there will be a "run" or "creek" in the middle.). See the Terrain Samples for a picture.
A Wash is a -1 altitude level and a Wash rise is a - 1/2 altitude level. The names are for period flavor.

Fog of War

Can one look through enemy stacks? Important for determining odds!

Yes. You could play that this is only done during the friendly Combat Phase, but I don't recommend it. This isn't intended to be that complex a game, and the Officer Availability rules account for some battlefield confusion already.

If both players agree to hidden stacks as an optional rule, then do it this way: a stack must have an artillery unit on top, if present, and its strongest unit second. The players can examine the unit under an enemy artillery unit before friendly movement, and any stack adjacent to a friendly unit at the start of the friendly Combat Phase.

Battle of Honey Springs

What, exactly, are the Confederate At Start units?

The units which start on the Starred hexes are all those identified as 5 Nations (5N). This includes the Creek Mounted Rifles (White band) and Cherokee Mounted Rifles (Red band). If Colonel Stand Watie is in use he is also placed on these hexes. There are 2 Creek Regiments, 2 Cherokee Regiments, Tandy Walker's Choctaw & Chickasaw Regiment, and the Texas units: 20th Texas, 29th Texas (2 battalions), 5 Texas Partisan Rangers, Scanland's & Gillette's squadrons (combined) and Lee's Battery, plus the 5 Nations Brigade Headquarters. Creeks and Cherokees can't stack together, otherwise anyone can start anywhere.

The deployment restriction to the starred hexes is for historical reasons. Cooper wrote out standing orders for his brigade to facilitate forming up rapidly. His plan was to ambush any force heading his way as it formed to cross the creek. He assumed his opposition would be elements of Colonel Phillips' brigade, instead of Blunt's whole Army.

I'm having trouble deciding who can command who.

The rules are written as they are to describe all the possibilities of any game in the series.
In Honey Springs, these are the commanders and what they can do:

Cooper (Army Commander, "Officer") can command any unit in the army out to 3 hexes. He isn't too useful, except to Rally the 20th TX Dm Cavalry or Survey the Artillery.

Cabell (Minor Leader & Formation Leader) can command any C units in his hex or adjacent. He's no more useful than Cooper.

Watie ("Officer") is the Cherokee formation leader. He can command Cherokees out to 3 hexes and, if he commands at least one Cherokee unit, anybody stacked in his hex (except Creeks).

Walker (Minor Leader) can command any 5Nations units in his hex or adjacent.

The Creeks haven't a leader of their own. Creek ID stripes only identify which units can't stack with Cherokees. Their command arrangements are otherwise identical to "unassigned" 5N units.

I find the Confederate OB on the Honey Springs CyberBoard set to be a bit confusing, as it
has a separate set of counters for both the "Arkansas Brigade" and "Arkansas
Conscripts." Unless I am missing something, are these not just the front and
backs of the same counters?

The Arkansas Brigade is what you put on the map. When one of the [?] counters is scheduled to be revealed, you replace it with one of the Arkansas Conscript counters, which come out of their tray randomly. You can examine the remaining "mix" but can't predict what you will get until combat is joined.

Wondering about Watie. Do I use him and if so does the Union get some sort of bonus since Cooper had sent him away on a cavalry feint shortly before the battle?

Stand Watie is included with the Five Nations brigade for play balance or just to see what happens. The most Pro-South you can get is to add both alt-history options (Watie plus good gunpowder). The North doesn't get much because they simply had a better trained Army, and no nearby reinforcements.

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