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Polemos for the ACW

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TITLE: Polemos American Civil War (2008)

  • Crisis of Allegiance (Grand Tactical Scale)
  • On They Came (Tactical Scale)
Polemos ACW

AUTHOR: Peter Riley

PUBLISHER: Baccus 6mm Ltd

www.baccus6mm.com

PUBLICATION DATE: July, 2008

WEB SITE/SUPPORT FORUM:

PRICE (with date): 15.00 (in 2008)

REVIEWED BY: Peter Riley (author)

The Polemos American Civil War rules are “two sets of rules in one book”.  The first is for smaller scale battles that deal with Battalions, Brigades and Divisions with the commander in chief being the Division or Corps Commander and is called On they Came (OTC). The second is for larger scale battles that deal with Brigades, Divisions and Corps with the commander in chief being the Army Commander and is called Crisis of Allegiance (COA).  The vision of the rules is to be able to use one rules book that allows the player to represent both the smaller and larger scales of the war, to be able to recreate both the small and large scale battles that took place and recreate the sweeping grand strategy without having to invest in two sets of rules. We have achieved that by using a common framework throughout the rules but tailored to represent the scale that is being played in one rule book.

PERIOD COVERED: American Civil War - 1861-65

THE BOOK:

The Polemos American Civil War book is a glossy paperback a staple bound 8.25” x 11.75” booklet. It runs 76 pages. It has a color cover with a B&W interior that also has a full colour photo section in the middle. It includes two card stock play sheets.

SCOPE:

On They Came:  The basic unit base is the battalion and is Tactical / Grand Tactical – For games up to Corps Level.

Crisis of Allegiance: The basic unit base is the brigade and is Operational / Strategic – For Games at Army Level.

ARMY SIZE:

Looking at the army lists most armies will require about 25 bases (750 - 6mm figs) but can go up to 50 bases (1500 - 6mm figs). In The Polemos American Civil War, a base (unit) is on average 30 figures for infantry and 9 for cavalry. Most armies require 18 infantry units, 5 cavalry and Artillery units.

BASE UNIT:

On They Came: The basic unit is the base this represents a regiment. Up to 5 Regiments (bases) represents a Brigade. 2 to 3 Brigades (10 to 15 Bases) represents a Division. 2 to 3 Divisions (20 to 45 Bases) represents a Corps.

Crisis of Allegiance: The basic unit is the base this represents a Brigade. 2 to 3 Brigades (2 to 3 Bases) represents a Division. 2 to 3 Divisions (4 to 9 Bases) represents a Corps. 2 to 3 Corps (8 to 18 Bases) represents an Army.

GAME SCALES:

On They Came

  • Ground scale. (1Base Width = 200 yards)
  • Time scale (1 turn = 20 to 30 minutes)
  • Figure/Base Ratio (1 base = Regiment 300 to 500 men)
  • Recommended Figure size (6mm)
  • Table Size: (6ft by 4ft)
  • Game Length: (8 to 12 turns)

Crisis of Allegiance

  • Ground scale. (1Base Width = 400 yards)
  • Time scale (1 turn = 30 to 40 minutes)
  • Figure/Base Ratio (1 base = brigade 1200 to 2000 men)
  • Recommended Figure size (6mm)
  • Table Size: (6ft by 4ft)
  • Game Length: (8 to 12 turns)

BASING SIZES:

The rules can be used with any basing standard.

On They Came

  • Infantry, Cavalry & Limbers: 60mm x 30mm
  • Artillery and Officers: 30mm x 30mm

Crisis of Allegiance

  • Infantry & Cavalry are based on 60mm x 60mm (CdB bases placed one behind the other)
  • Artillery and Officers: 30mm x 30mm

TURN SEQUENCE:

The tempo bidding process is central to Polemos American Civil War. At the start of each move, both players will attempt to gain the initiative, allowing them to carry out manoeuvres and attacks and force their opponent to respond.

  • Tempo bidding (both players)
  • Tempo Winners Player Sequence
  • Tempo player bombardment phase (Player makes all ranged artillery attacks)
  • Tempo player moves CinC and generals; allocates TPs. (Player moves all officers and allocates available TPs.)
  • Tempo player attack phase (Player makes all ranged attacks and performs any outcomes from the ranged attacks and moves all units launching attacks into contact then completes all close combat attacks and performs any outcomes.)
  • Tempo player other moves (Player completes all other moves)
  • Non-Tempo Winners Player Sequence
  • Non-tempo player bombardment phase (Player makes all ranged artillery attacks)
  • Non-tempo player moves CinC and generals; allocates TPs. (Player moves all officers and allocates available TPs.)
  • Non-tempo player attack phase (Player makes all ranged attacks and performs any outcomes from the ranged attacks and moves all units launching attacks into contact then completes all close combat attacks and performs any outcomes.)
  • Non-tempo player other moves (Player completes all other moves)
  • Outcome moves. (Both players complete all other moves due to, Rallying, Morale, Army Morale Pursuit and Shaken level results)

GAME MECHANICS:

  • The bidding phase (both players take part). Tempo is decided in this phase by a bidding process based on the experience of the general staff, the player and the need to gain first moves.
  • The bombardment phase. This is the phase in which the player makes all ranged artillery attacks
  • The player moves the CinC and generals; allocates Tempo Points (TPs). This phase covers moves for all officers and the allocation of all the available TPs.
  • The attack phase. This is the phase in which the player makes all non-bombardment ranged attacks and performs any outcomes from those ranged attacks and moves all units launching attacks into contact.
  • The contact phase. The phase where the player completes all contact phase activity, close combat attacks and performs any outcomes.
  • All other moves. The player completes all other moves for his forces.
  • The Outcome moves. (both players take part). The players complete all other moves due to, Rallying, Morale, Army Morale, Pursuit and Shaken level results.
  • Once the both players have played through the full turn the next turn begins.

ARMY LISTS/SCENARIOS:

  • To create armies using the army lists you must decide on a Minimum number of bases in your army.
  • Roll for the Grading of the CinC and any attached Corps assets detailed in the army list using a D6.
  • You will be generating formations from the lists until this minimum is reached or exceeded.
  • The first formation to be generated in each army list is an Infantry Division. 
  • Dice as directed to decide the number of Brigades in the Division, Battalions or Regiments in the Brigade and their type and class.
  • Then Dice for the grading of the commanding General and the number of and type of the Divisional Artillery units.
  • Once the first line Infantry Division is complete, dice at random for what the next formation will be; this may be a Cavalry Brigade or Division, for instance or another Infantry Division.  Continue to dice again for the composition, type and class until this formation too is complete.
  • Once any other type of formation has been generated, the formation which follows will always be a line Infantry Division; therefore line Infantry formations will always equal or outnumber all other type of formations within your army.
  • When the minimum number of bases you decided to start with is reached, continue to dice for the formation you are currently generating until it is complete. 
  • Do not stop generating part of the way through a formation, only when it is complete. You may therefore exceed your minimum by some margin.

Army Lists Included for both On they Came and Crisis of Allegiance:

  • Union, All Theatres 1861
  • Confederate, All Theatres 1861
  • Union, Eastern Theatre 1862
  • Confederate,  Eastern Theatre 1862
  • Union, Eastern Theatre 1863
  • Confederate,  Eastern Theatre 1863

Scenarios Included:

  • Push On Cautiously – Gettysburg, July 1st 1863. (Crisis of Allegiance - COA)
  • First Down the Pike – Antietam,  September 17th 1862 (On They Came - OTC)

REVIEWER’S COMMENTS:

As the Author I think these rules fit the period perfectly.  They cover the difference in the emerging technologies and organizational approaches to the different periods in the war. The two sets in one book also give the players the ability to cover the varying sizes of the engagements enabling them to recreate the both the larger and smaller engagement using the same figures.  All this leads to a brilliant set of rules that can be used for a campaign game using two scales and lets you, the player, decide which of the two sets to use for each engagement.  I do think they are Brilliant but I would say that…

I also think they are a great addition to the Polemos Range of rules that deals with a similar structure enabling ease of learning, familiar approaches but deals exactly with the period they are written for.

PLAYER’S COMMENTS:

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