Saturday, October 29, 2011

ACW with They Couldn't Hit An Elephant rules

Played another American Civil War game today at Stephens against his brother John. We used the 'They Couldn't Hit An Elephant' rules from Too Fat Lardies which I only read through once prior to game. Quite an interesting set with some novel concepts. As with all TFL rules the use of Blinds and Cards is great generating the chaos/inertia we like in our games. But the rules are rather ambiguous in several areas and we found ourselves head scratching quite often as to what rules meant or how they are meant to be played. That said once we decided how to resolve things they flowed quite well and seemed to give a plausible game. Key concept is the 'Decisive Combat' section which subsumes a lot of 'regular' game phases into one table and set of outcomes. Aggressive Veteran troops can be very potent as lots of pluses if charging with attack orders against lesser quality troops. There was only one such unit in todays game.
Game was based around a Guns Of Gettysburg scenario (Pine Oaks 1862 I think ?) with yours truly set up in defence with a single Brigade of Union regulars on table and John as Rebs attacking. Rebs were slowed by lots of woods but the aforementioned aggressive Veteran unit charged a Union Regt in Adams Farm (soft cover from surrounding fence) and managed to Rout it which caused supporting unit to rear to be routed in burst through and flank support to fall back (both routers were later rallied but took no further part in game as such). Union reinforcements (a further 3 Brigades arriving on successive turns) arrived quickly as we only had a single 'Coffee Break' card in deck initially (we later added a second to extend turns). Union Brigadier Crouch was rated as Inspirational and upon turn of an Inspired Cmdr card he was able inflict revenge upon the Rebs by adding +2 to a charge by one of his Regiments (equivalent for one turn to aggressive charge) which routed a Reb Regt and its rear support. On Union left a Brigade deployed to fend off an arriving Reb brigade and the Union artillery unit with this brigade used aimed fire (2 command Pips to direct fire) to decimate Rebs forcing them to withdraw. Union center was shored up by a Veteran Brigade which deployed behind the Farm then went onto attack orders to try to re-occupy the dwelling. They dealt heavily with the aggressive Reb unit (Texans I think ?) which had become isolated due to their forging ahead alone in Union positions (aggressive troops are forced to charge when within 8" of enemy if under attack orders). On Union right a struggle in the heavy wooded area was taking place with several close combats and fall backs with units on both sides bloodied and with shaky morale (Fightin' and Defeated modes in rules). We had to call time at this point with things very much in balance. Next game with rules (although Le Feu Sacre by TFL as real possibility for next outing) will be smoother and quicker as we now know the quirks of the system and will likely spend much less time discussing rules and indeed what we intend to purchase at Warfare next month !!!

iPhone pics as yet again forgot camera !  

Rebel Brigades deploy

Rebel blind advances

Initial Union Brigade deploys at Adams Farm (arriving Brigade blinds behind)

Union reserves arriving as Blinds

Union left flank secured

The Rebs deploy in woodland

Reb skirmishers screen their Brigade

The aggressive Reb unit routs 2 Union Regts (seen skedaddling in lower pic) at Adams Farm 


  1. Nice report and very nice looking game.

  2. Very nice. I really like the quality of the blind markers too. Obviously some effort went into them, and that effort really helps in preserving the appearance of the table.

  3. Great looking game and I really need to try out some TFL rules.


  4. Great looking game and very nice pics too!!

  5. Good looking game well done!