Category Archives: Rules

Explanations of Rules

Game Table Introduction Sheet

The following document was created as a handout for new gamers to read as an introduction to A Firebell in the Night rules.  With the player assigned to Divisional command, the player is put in the position of having a briefing by his new Corps Commander.  The key game terms are in Bold text to provide a quick start up for understanding the rules.

Introduction game sheet

Review in Miniature Wargames #363

Review by Paul D. Stevenson in issue #363, Paul is well known for his Civil War Scenarios –        1/2 of review used due to copyright.  –

“The rules come in an A4 softback cover with 54 glossy pages, some in color.  Of this total, ten pages feature the Battle of Seven Pines and twenty pages are given over to rating every commander (over 1,000) in the Civil War.”

“There is no index, but the rules are nicely laid out and easy to follow.  The illustrations are from Battles and Leaders…”  (There is an index/ the Table of Contents is just before page 1 of text)

“Also included is a glossy card playsheet and five A4 sheets enabling the gamer to cut out 50 ‘crisis cards’ which are drawn during play to cover random events that might influence the battle.  Some preparation is needed to play and records are kept of a unit’s supply status, ‘diminishing’ brigade strength and fluctuating battle efficiency – not to onerous. ”

“I do like the way skirmishers have been accounted for in assessing casualties – they are represented in the abstract, but when battle lines get to close quarter, their presence as a screen is removed with an inevitable increase in casualties.  Command functions have a part to play and the commanders have characteristics and a radius of influence.  They can be hit, too – though (inferior) replacements can be made.”

“If the title seems a little obscure, the rules seem pretty much spot on in presenting a good simulation of large scale ACW conflict and is represent an alternative to the popular Fire and Fury set, also aimed at brigade level.”

Union Leadership losses at Antietam

Union Leadership at Antietam, the bloodest day, a firestorm if there was one.

Profile for the day.  6 Corps leading 15 Divisions during the battle – 21 command bases —
Two Corps Generals were hit out of the Four in heavy action, Mansfield, shot by rifle fire and killed, Hooker shot and out of action.
    So what happened with Mansfield, this was his first major action, had been promoted with only coastal small actions, back water, this was his first real fight, GREEN yet leading a Corps.   As his Corps moved toward the battle, they moved into the East Woods,with firing heard ahead, HE MOVED TO THE FRONT THINKING IT WAS HOOKERS I CORPS MEN, to tell his men it was Union  fire.   It was Southern Rebels hidden in the Corn field, opened up, first volley.   EXAMPLE OF SURPRISE FIRE, HIDDEN UNIT. A weak Corps at the front..
In the Firebell system, Crisis Cards are drawn, with Gen. Mansfield a weak leader dealing with visibility in the woods, he is up close working to maintain Command, within the fire zone.
   Gen. Hooker was shot in the foot with rifle fire, he was forced to leave the field due to blood loss.   No other Corps Generals were hit.
Three Division Generals were hit and out of action.
   Gen. French leading his division close up behind his brigades, action was hot, he is there directing units, has two horses shot out from under him, the second not so good as he can not get out of the saddle quick enough and the horse lands on him, he is out of service for over a year, but returns in 1864.
  Richardson, Michigan’s own!  Richardson is at the Bloody Angle, it is a blood bath for his division, he is in the rear, but at an Artillery Battery directing fire onto the Confederate guns behind the sunken lane, out in the Piper Farm.   Shell-Case fire hits close, the bullets from the shell hit Richardson and he dies.
In the Firebell system a Crisis Card can cause this if close to a battery under fire.
  Gen. Rodman in Burnside’s Corps late in the day as the Union pushed to edge of Sharpsburg they are hit in the flank by the surprise arrival of A.P. Hill’s rebels.  Rodman is at the front to redirect his men, in the fire zone and is hit by “Sharpshooter” fire (Skirmish?).
  Gen. Sedgwick was hit by small arms fire many times but was able to stay in the field.
In game terms, his Brigades are under heavy attack, crisis cards are being drawn but Sedgwick isn’t hit.
Command results for the Union on this bloody day.

Vae Victis Review – 2013

This new rule-set allows you to reconstruct the fighting at the time of the Civil War. The rule-set is specifically for 15 mm figures, with all bases an inch (2.5 cm) wide. This represents in reality about 300 infantry and dismounted cavalry. An artillery unit, always with an edge of an inch, is equivalent to a battery of four to six guns. In fact, the “strategic” brigade forms the base unit, consisting of about four bases on the table so one base is equivalent to one regiment. One inch on the game table is 100 yards (about 90 meters) and a turn represents twenty minutes. Note that all distances are given in the rules in two formats. The first corresponds to the bases with a frontage “standard” (one inch or so): the second in a frontage of one and a half inches (about 4 cm), suitable for example for 28 mm figures.

Practically, a unit is rated by its level. Four morale grades are possible: militia, green, veterans and cracks. Each player also has a sheet with the order of battle of his army, and for each brigade, boxes based on strengths (one box per 100 men) and efficiency points accumulated. These points are  inefficiency, stragglers, fatigue, or disorder. In fact, they have accumulated Es of combat or while traveling in difficult terrain. The E factors affect the morale and combat. Fortunately, they are possible to reduce during the game: at the end of a round, if a unit has not moved, fought or been lost it recovers 1d6 efficiency. Proper management of these issues is one of the keys to victory. It is indeed necessary to take time to know when to reorganize your command.

During a turn there are successive phases of “buy and supply,” initiative, control and movement of troops’ gunfire, morale checks due to the shooting, fighting infantry and cavalry, morale checks due to the fighting and, finally, the possibility of recovering efficiency points. Fighting is resolved with 1d20 for each “natural” result of 1 to 5, the unit loses a level of ammunition. Four levels are possible and the lowest two levels affect combat. To go back to the maximum level the unit must be in phase supply near his truck divisional supply and pass a die roll 1 to 10 of 1d20. Besides influencing the level of ammunition, during combat if a die roll is odd a crisis card is drawn. Five sheets of 10 cards are provided for a total of fifty cards. For example, a card may be drawn that shows the General of the brigade was drunk and so he and his men must charge any target in range. Another card may tell you that your Brigadier was killed at the head of his brigade. There may also be a box of exploding artillery (1D16 efficiency points for the battery). Etc.

For fighting, either shooting or melee, the principle is to take the strengths, usually by efficiency minus points, then multiply by various tactical factors (x 2 for rifled artillery short-range x 0.5 extreme range, etc..) and / or add or subtract other tactical factors (30 if the target is column -10 if the shooter has little ammunition, etc.). The end result is usually a fairly high number. For each 20 points, the target loses a point of strength. The remainder tested with 1d20.  Thus, for a final score of 72, the target loses three points of strength and must get 12 or less on 1d20 to make a fourth.  It’s simple, but it still requires some calculations.

Control of troops is simply done through distance of command that depend upon the skill of the Generals. Moreover, you will find a list of more than a thousand Generals, and, for each, their command radius and bonus it brings morale. This morale is tested also with 1d20. Note a very original feature: for an assault, the morale basis for the militia is 5, it increases to 10 for the “green” descends curiously 5 for veterans and goes back to 15 for cracks. In fact, the veterans saw the fire and are well aware of quite “lethal” nature of a charge. In short, it is paradoxically easier to launch an assault with novices than with hardened veterans (by contrast, the cracks are really able to mount an assault “on demand”). It is well thought out.

Finally, note the presence of a historical scenario the Battle of Seven Pines (31 May 1862).  A summary sheet duplex and full plastic everything. In general, the rule is interesting, medium complexity and clearly oriented “strategic level”.

Formations – The use of Double Line

As we look over Civil War books with good maps – we find the Formation of “Double Line” was very common during the last half of the war.  The formation was formed by having half of the Brigade Regiments in line with the remaining Brigade Regiments deployed in the rear but with deployment distance – not stacked close up.  In the Firebell rules, we should have a 1″ to 2″ open space between the Brigade lines (100 -200 yards).   This space was important to give the rear regiments the space required to deploy as the Brigadier ordered, also if the front of the Brigade entered into a fire fight this space limited damage to the rear support regiments.

In 1861, the Brigade officers went to war with the tactics learned from the Mexican-American War, the Brigade forming all of its regiments in line for maximum fire power. 

The tactics and terrain defined it’s use – (as a Brigadier leading 2,400 men the Brigade in line would be 1/2 mile long, could you see the end of your own formation or beyond and the threat to your flanks?)

Example, Antietam, the Union Iron Brigade, Gen. Gibbon in command, advances south to the battlefield during early dawn.  The Brigade in March Column moves off the road, forming regimental columns of divisions (2 companies wide) with two regiments in front, with two trailing behind, two long lines made up a number of company lines.  This Brigade formation of Double Line putting the unit into a battlefield formation, but not fully deployed into line yet.





Howard’s Brigade is sent forward, advancing south of the crossroads, moving to flank the Rebel line on Henry House Hill, working to stop the rebel advance and turn the battle.    As Howard moved up the western slope, he left two regiments in line as support and advanced two regiments in line up Chinn Ridge to the crest – his Brigade formed “Double Line”.
This formation was not stacked with the ranks closed up, but with intervals between the front and rear lines to allow the support regiments to deploy (react) as needed. 
Well, we know this turned out bad, unless your underwear is grey.   (Link for battlefield map)


Why would Howard do this?  He was not certain of the situation, his flanks appeared to be in the air (no support).  The combination of the crest line and woods limited Howard’s battlefield awareness.  Howard’s attack was a cautious advance, giving him the flexible choice.  Once he could see the enemy and know their position, the Brigade would form a four regiment firing line to launch the attack.  In history, he would not have the time…

Hope these battle examples help in understanding the battlefield. 

Combat Risk to Corps or Divisional Generals

Chancellorsville -Spring 1863.  Another example to help understand the battlefield and the risk of leaders, Division and Corps.  Hop into the saddle to take a ride with Gen. Hooker –
Hooker has 7 Corps Generals, none were seriously hurt and taken out of action, and this was in woods with a crushed flank, we tend to think with impressions, surprising fact for this battle.  A major victory for the Southern army, yet the Northern Leadership was little effected.

Gen. Hooker had 20 Infantry Divisions, 20 Division commanders at Chancellorsville. 

In the III Corps with Sickles is Berry, (present in our Seven Pines game) he is in the woods and is in the rear but close to the action where a Division Gen. should be.  Barry is with one Brigade, has to cross a road to get to the rear of his next brigade, he is told by his staff to not expose himself.   He runs over and makes it, the other brigade is in command, things are good, he runs back at which time a rebel SHARPSHOOTER HITS HIM IN THE ROAD, HE DIES. 

Gen. Whipple in the III Corps with Sickles, late in battle, the men are digging in on the new line north of the crossroads, light skirmish fire, snipers are bothering the men, the Gen. is in the act of sending an order to get Berdan’s men to assist when a SNIPER in a tree hits him in the chest, he dies OF RIFLE FIRE.

Gen. Devens with the XI Corps with Howard, his Division is hit first by Jackson’s men, hot – chaos – bad.  Devens is up close for command and control in the heavy woods, he moves up to rally one of his brigades that is breaking, is HIT BY SMALL ARMS IN THE FOOT WITH THE FRONT LINES, wounded out of action.

Total, 3 out of 20 Division Generals, 0 out of 7 Corps Generals.
No hits from Artillery, very poor ground for artillery, short fields of fire, short-range work.
Of note is that two of the hits were from what is described as Sniper/sharpshooter fire, in the Firebell system this is represented by the random Crisis Cards.  The Artillery would play a role in just two months at the Battle of Gettysburg were Gen. Hood, Gen. Pender, and Gen. Sickles would fall from Artillery hits.

Interesting info huh?  Note, remember this is not counting the Brigade Generals/Colonels on the firing line – they die.  By giving these examples in major battles known by many, it helps to see the result compared to Firebell.


My Corps General is Superman!

In the post on the evolution of the Command system in Firebell, our focus was with the gamer/player leading as the General of a Division.   Our solution for the role of the General of the Corps was to provide help, yet to put a historical brake onto the game table.   Decisions will have to be made, the General of the Corps can not assist everyone, all the time, limits exist.

With the list of options that the “gamer” can make for decisions, the day will happen quickly and the debate can be heard “they could do more than one thing!”   True, very true.
This question could be answered before it is asked – lets ride along to see the action.
“The General of the Corps was surrounded by Aides, the quartermaster was reporting in on the status of the Artillery trains that had been slow on the march.   Messengers had arrived from the nearby Corps to deliver information on the coordination of their mutual flanks.   As the Divisional Generals lead their formations into position, a steady stream of riders could be seen reporting in on their situation as the battle developed, within this Chaos the Army’s General had sent a currier to secure a ‘full report’, there wasn’t enough time in the moment.
As the Corps leader conducted the discussions, he looked about, his eye was on the General of the 1st Division, he was the weakest within his command team and his deployment needed to be addressed.  The Brigade that had led the Corps into action was off to his flank with the officers desperate to rally the men that would be needed in the hour ahead.  On the other flank was the artillery reserve waiting to be ordered into position for fire support, they should already be moving into position.   His thoughts flashed back to the last action-their last battle, in a desperate moment he had left his Corps position to order one of his Brigades into a counter attack, it was risky but had saved the day.   His mind was racing….”

The shell of a enemy battery exploded nearby, it disrupted the HQ group discussion but for the Veteran General it was time for a decision, an order was yelled….

Development discussion on leadership in Firebell

This is a collection of my emails on command written in Sept. 2011 –

Have thought about this issue quite a bit the last few weeks, these kind of questions sometimes find a hole where you never knew one existed.   High command during a battle, we often read of the high command moving to battle, the deployment issues, the angle of attack, yet then what?     Gettysburg AGAIN, sorry,  many good examples.

Day 2, Longstreet’s attack at 4:00 PM> three Division commands –

Hood Div. HQ, is following the attack across the fields, in the rear where he belonged but hit by long range Artillery most likely smith’s guns on Devil’s Den, this was early in the advance.  He was out of action for the battle; aides had to find Gen. Law who commanded the southern most Brigade and was moving towards Big Round Top with his AL boys.   By the time they find him, he now has to transition his brigade command to the senior officers within his Regiments, confusion during the advance.   While Texas Brigade, under Robertson is split, half moving to the west on line with the AL boys, half drifting to the northeast.  With Gen. Hood down what has happened is the two brigades are drifting into two different attack vectors.  Gen. Law orders two of his AL regiments to swing north to fill the gap formed within the Texas Brigade line.   BOTH BRIGADE FORMATIONS ARE NOW BROKEN UP.   Gen. Law moves to take command for Gen. Hood.   The AL boy’s move into the fight, two actions form one for the south ridge on Little Round top, the other in front of Devil’s Den.

So what happened here, with the lost of Hood, and the replacement by Law, both Division and Brigade experienced Command changes in the launch of the attack, the early attack became disjointed.   With the next wave of Benning and Andersons’ Brigades this was over come.   Also to note, the Brigade that attacks Little Round Top (really half Law AL and half Robertson TX brigades) was under the command of the senior AL regiment out of touch with Division command.

End Result, the Division Command was not the same; the Brigade Command was not the same. Not good period.

Looking north to the Peach Orchard, McLaws Division, reading history you don’t hear much of McLaws.   Where was he, what was he doing, did he have any effect?   Kershaw and his SC boys were in the front wave, you read of him sending aides to Semmes Brigade in his rear, working to coordinate the two brigades actions, but what about Div. McLaws, He is not visible!

Gen. Longstreet has a large shadow over McLaws, Gen. Lee was concerned so old Pete was very close by.   He ordered artillery placement during the deployment, he is the one that released the Brigades/advancing with the SC boys under Kershaw for a short distance, and it was old Pete that stopped the attack and recalled the last attack by Wofford.

Looking North to the open fields, Gen. Anderson’s Division under A.P. Hill with five Brigades would continue the Southern attack at 6:30/7:00 PM with his five Brigades.   During the hot attack in Plum Run valley to the break thru on Cemetery Ridge by Gen. Wright’s GA boys, aides would find Gen. Anderson and his staff resting on the ground back in the woods behind Seminary Ridge, THEY WERE NOT EVEN IN ACTION, NOT EVEN WATCHING FROM THE REAR, SHOULD HAVE BEEN FIRED.   In game terms all five Brigades went into the fight out of command control, interesting heh?  Additional failure of Divisional command, Divisional Artillery is not repositioned for support as the attack breaks through.

On the other side of the field, the Union command is working like a machine, so much for the general history Gen. Lee’s army-Good command, Northern army-Bad command.

Example, Gen. Hancock’s ride during this period, he/II Corps command/ is ordering Divisions, he is ordering Brigades, he is ordering Regiments, he is ordering Battery’s, and he is in constant movement on the front lines moving over a mile on Cemetery Ridge.

Problem I will continue to work on, what I don’t like in rules systems, making the Division Command an extra fill in for Brigade command, the spare tire to fill in as needed, not correct.


Additional thoughts this afternoon, standing with the Union Command July 2nd, 1863—

What is the command Radius of Corps?

What Decisions can a Corps HQ make?

Is the Decision Limit based on ability per turn, a piss poor Corps (1 action/order/decision/ per turn), a good Corps maybe 2??

Note 100% correct, thinking out this; going from memory, what does the game model; do we place the gamer in the same decision box?  Got to love, Multiple Choices, but limits on how many one can make, pick wise……..

III Corps Sickles MADE the decision to advance to the high ground at the Peach Orchard, Corps Command is required for a division to move or to be placed, Corps level….  Divisions were given direction, not 100% rule, but damn close.

III Corps HQ staff with both Division Leaders place the artillery battery’s, High level (Corps and Division HQ) decision by 1863 AOP. (Additional point, the battery would unlimber by a brigade/regiment for support, but the direct/decision for placement was made by upper Command)

III Corps Sickles made the decision to transfer a Brigade from Humphrey’s Division to Birney’s Division, Corps Level Decision.

(Note, done by regiment piece mill, but with Grand tactic system, based on the whole Brigade.)

III Corps Gen. Sickles effect to rally men early in action.


V Corps Sykes

Sykes leads his Corps to the South to reinforce Sickles III Corps, ordered by Army command.

Sykes makes decisions on the ground how to deploy his Divisions, breaks up some to send separate Brigades to Little Round top.

Sykes is not in Heavy action, but in the rear guiding troops to where they are needed, which was his job.

Key, Corps Command is placing units giving the Direction of movement.  Command points/value are spent in making another decision as each unit arrives in March column – this is good.

Late in action, Wheatfield, Sykes?Staff? Gave ok for the Brigades in Trostle Woods to reenter the Wheatfield to support Caldwell when his division was pressed.    V Corps/Division HQ, (Barnes? not sure) was there within radius, key point…


II Corps Hancock

Hancock had moved one of his Divisions South about 500 yards at 1:00PM – about 4:00 or 4:30PM he is ordered by Army command to move a Division south to support the flank.  Army/Corps HQ decision.   The Division under Caldwell was in reserve had moved south by the flank, the regiments were stacked by brigades.   Interesting Point from John Simmons, this Division moved on the reverse slope, we shit history for Wellington and the reverse slope, yet at Gettysburg, little noticed.  Gibbon had Webb’s Brigade in reverse slope as well.  I think Willard/Hays Division moved done the reverse July 2.  The east side of Cemetery Hill is a broad slope, good ground to move men on, not as steep as the west side, wider as well.  II Corps Hancock is not with Caldwell at the South end of the ridge; Caldwell takes his division into action as ordered before.  Hancock-Decision- had set the direction and the movement.  This was Hancock’s old Division, a good one….

III Corps Divisions

Birney was stretched out – units out of reach. Command issues, Radius?? Coordination became impossible.

Took command of Brigade sent by Sickles to fill the line, -Division Decision

Birney worked to hold the line/Rally the men, Division Decision, later failed to rally what was left.

Humphreys’ on Emittsbury Road, only two Brigades, fought hard, rally to hold the line, controlled the artillery Battery’s – Division HQ decisions.  Late day, organized chaos in retreat, did rally the 2 small brigades at the ridge and was able to assist in the late day counter attack.  One Brigade had about 150 men, the other maybe 300, very small.


 The Brigade ratings [1-6] from Todd Fisher work well, we could review as needed.
Artillery, to unlimber an Artillery Battery it would have to be placed by a senior officer – Division and Corps.
Division and Corps rated as 0,1,2,3 by labels we discussed
—- The action by a Division or Corps command should count as a command action.
Artillery was a second class to infantry, many artillery officers would move to infantry command to get promotions.  —- The officers of a Division from another Corps cannot order another Divisions guns around, Command Friction.  Sorry!   If within the OOB, guns were part of a Corps reserve, the Corps or ANY Division leader from Corps could place them.

—- Interesting Idea,— this could be scenario rule addition for early war ’61 and ’62, Artillery were assigned to a Brigade, the artillery would have to be within a defined range of the brigade for supporting it {it’s parent brigade}.   Old Mexican-American style OOB, Limits gamer…
The reason for this is to show how the organization of artillery mattered, how it would affect the battle fought.  Interesting to fight this way, then fight a later battle where artillery has more freedom to move and mass.

I strongly believe you need to have leadership within the system, as to optional rules, make the leadership rules standard and add the option for all leaders to be rated the same, maybe Able and Tolerated for new players learning the system or for a head’s up more competition type game.

The Civil War attraction is the cast of characters found in the pages of our history.

The values of two sets, Management and Morale – I support this, very good.

One is the combination of administration, could be Tactical skill of leading and Multi-Task management.  Give’s you terms to think as to how to describe this.

Morale separate, like this, there are guys that were good at tactical but the men would not fight well for them, it can cut both ways.

Good stuff, as to the ranges, have to playtest to tune this function.  From our talks you see the avg. gamer handling a Division, 4 to 5 brigades.   I think with experience this could be a Corps and it would work.


Working on the Shiloh OOB tonight, thinking on this very thought, I really like this leadership.

For the South you have old reliable Gen. Hardee,  “Efficient and Respected”

But of Course you also find Braxton Bragg, a “Hapless but Tolerated” General!

Sounds good.  I used the same tables for the Corps and Army as well, I think it will work; to have a different table would be very confusing to the gamers.  At Shiloh we have Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston a “Able and Respected” army commander, assisted by the hero of Bull Run, P.G.T. Beauregard, a very “Efficient and Respected” General!!

Lots of really bad leaders in the spring of 1862, wow.

P.S., I also have been writing down the Brigade Leading value for Division Generals, to put on the OOB in case they grab the colors and try to lead the men into battle if things start to go really bad.

I.E.  Old Hardee, the man that wrote the book, (Hardee’s Light Infantry Tactics) is a (4) – a better then avg. fighter; some of the Brigade leaders are not on the list, now going to the books to read up on their actions.

Union Example, the author Gen. Lew Wallace, between Ben Hur chapters he is seen as “Able”, but if leading the fight, a (2), He was heard to say, “I’m a writer, not a fighter!”   But of course not all is lost, old Crazy Sherman is very “Efficient”, and a real fighter (5) when pushed around.

Corps is a difficult thing, if the player is a Division leader, to model command above the player, you cann’t build alot of restrictions or you leave the game world for the simulation, no fun for most.
Current thought is to have the Corps help the Division command, identify the positives that a Corps leader could assist a Division command, but not to build in the restrictions, I don’t believe you want that.  (-command points,  -chits  I Don’t think you want to go here..)
I’m thinking and working on this,  Corps would launch the advance and the attack, these functions would be built within the scenario for attack or when a Corps arrives onto the field of battle, agreed?  The Corps is managing his Divisions, working to see they are doing what he thinks, (we are letting the gamer do the thinking).
But, also the Corps General is giving orders – ADVICE – I had written before on this, so repeation what do you think of a Corps commander able to assist a Division General, this is the personal touch.   Note my Gettysburg article on Division McLaws and Gen. Longstreet as Corps is glued to his ass…  In game terms, maybe this moves the Division radius up on grade, the Corps General and his staff are on TOP of the Division to make sure they do ….
In game terms, three Divisions in battle, all calling for the Corps Generals attention, come help me???
Also, Corps could place Artillery Batteries that are needed for support, the placement might be outside the Division General support, maybe the Division is advancing, the Corps General is to the rear and guiding the support Artillery placement as they come into action.
Here again, players/gamers would see the role.  Lastly, a brigade in trouble, running to the rear, the Division General is still up front supporting his remaining brigades, the unit has routed outside of the Division radius; the Corps General moves over to step in the middle and rally the boys to reform the line!!

Friction in Battle – Fatigue, Disorder, and Shaken

per the question from a gamer-
“how is fatigue handled under these rules?”

The Brigade or Battery will pick up fatigue from movement, formation changes, firing, and melee. This is in the thought process of the Friction of battle, it could be looked at as physical – the men are tired, stragglers – men increasing falling out of ranks, equipment – gun barrels are fouled, cohesion of the unit – officers are losing control. This friction is measured in the game by the term Efficiency Points. These directly reduce the fighting strength of the Brigade/Battery. If the Brigade/Battery has the chance to reform for a turn, i.e. not in combat, the Brigadier can attempt to restore order, how much is not known.  An example would be during the Pickett/Pettigrew charge on July 3 at Gettysburg, as the rebels advanced they entered a swale about half way across the field, this allowed the unit to halt and officers to reform ranks, close ranks, collect straggers etc. from long range artillery fire, the officers cry “take a breath men”.
For the artillery crews, the act of firing the battery for a turn causes this lost as well, with the risk of ammo and the physical effect, it is not uncommon to see a battery rest for turn vs. the game where we just fire away.
Another example in a recent game, 1st day of the Seven Days at Oak Grove, Virginia; Gen. Sickles moves his brigade across White Oak Swamp, it is heavy rough, slows the unit down, Gen. Sickles is pushing to clear the wet land and reach the higher ground.  He orders the unit at the Double Time, the unit is hit hard by E-factors, he gets the ground but is in bad shape. The Rebels under Gen. Huger advance into a Skirmish fight which does not allow Sickles to reform, he now is in a bad spot.  During the next turn, with the brigade in trouble, it fails morale, falls back over the stream, and picks up more e’factors in the process. It will take time to reorder the unit, although it has very little strength point loses it is wrecked due to friction. With luck and good officers Gen. Sickles Brigade will recover and could re-enter the battle in an hour.

The guns at Gettysburg

The Guns at Gettysburg –  This information was used for A Firebell in the Night discussion –

Deployment-engagement distances found during the three day battle –

Gettysburg presented a very open field for a Civil War battle –

Day 1

Herr Ridge to McPherson’s farm 1,300 yards

Seminary Ridge to West McPherson’s ridge/Perrin Brigade 600 yards

Seminary Ridge to East McPherson’s ridge/Scales Brigade 300 yards

East side of Oak Hill/Rode’s guns to Union/Dilger’s Position 1,230 yards

NE York Ave/Early’s guns to Barlow’s Knoll 1,000 yards

Day 2

Culp’s Hill to Brenners Hill 1,000 yards

East Cemetery Hill to Brenner’s Hill 1,500 yards

East Cemetery Hill to Brenner’s Hill the north end 2,000 yards, Position of 20# Parrotts

Hood’s Position on Warfield Ridge to Smith’s Guns on Devil’s Den 1,333 yards

Warfield Ridge to Little Round Top 1,667 yards

Wheatfield Road line to Rose Farm 500 yards

Seminary Ridge/McLaws to Peach Orchard 666 yards

Seminary Ridge/McLaws to Plum Run 1,500 yards

Trostle House/Bigelow Position to Peach Orchard 666 yards

Smith’s section Valley of Death to the Slaughter Pen 1,500 yards

Seminary ridge to Cemetery Ridge 1,333 yards

Seminary Ridge to Cemetery Hill 1,500 yards

Seminary Ridge, North, to Cemetery Hill 1,733 yards

Powers Hill to Spangler’s Spring 1,000 yards

Steven’s Knoll and East Cemetery Hill vs. Early 670 yards and less

Day 3

Rogers House/Emitsburg Road to II Corps 850 to 1,000 yards

Powers Hill to East Culp’s Hill 1,200 yards

Longstreet’s Guns on Emitsburg Rd to Union/McGilvery gun line 1,330 yards

Daniel’s/McGilvery line to the flank of Kempers line 666 yards

Seminary Ridge to Cemetery Ridge 1,333 yards

Seminary Ridge to Cemetery Hill 1,500 yards

Seminary Ridge/North end to Cemetery Hill 1,733 yards

Cemetery Ridge/II Corps Guns Canister opened at 350 yards

-without shot or shell had to wait for Canister Range, 3” rifles.