Sunday, 27 January 2019

TF-ON design problems with rivers

Last year, I took a slice of action from a boardgame and transferred it to my Hexon terrain with figures and used my Two Flags - One Nation rules. It played fine, but the question arose as to whether a smoothbore musket could fire across Bull Run.

With the waterway not being crossable and smoothbores being limited to a range of 1 hex, the result within the system seemed to disadvantage smoothbore muskets and carbine, but what to do?

This has brought about so much thought and deliberation that I thought it worthy of a post, just to demonstrate design problems and the compromises that can fall out of putting sticking plasters on gaps that appear in rules.

Please use the ‘read more’ tab for the rest of this post.

The Bull Run post referred to and more importantly the commentary that followed from helpful readers who know the terrain, can be accessed via the Resource Section at the foot of this post.

Firstly the Two Flags - One Nation rules system as it stands. Smoothbore muskets fire 1 hex (i.e. into the adjacent hex) and a rifled musket can fire out to a range of two hexes.

The issue is that in my Hexon terrain, the rivers / streams are an in ‘in hex’ feature (not hexside as in the boardgame). That is, they fill the hex and have small banks.

Above, this is how units are currently represented that are on the banks of a waterway, rather than in the water hex itself - that is the units are either side of the river hex.

So for such units to fire upon each other, the target will be at range 2. One to cross the waterway hex and another to enter the target’s hex beyond. In effect, this stops smoothbores and carbines being able to fire across the waterway as their limited range of being able to only fire 1 hex stops them firing beyond the river hex tile. This is true whether we class the waterway as either crossable or non-crossable.

From a game mechanic perspective, this is not a problem until there is a need to represent a narrow waterway over which a smoothbore could fire and reach units on the other side, but the system won't let it.

I should say at this stage, that the rules currently allow the hex to hold a single regiment, which we may assume, typically has a frontage of 200 yards, which in turn gives us our hex scale of 1 hex equates to roughly 200 yards and as such, the smoothbore should not be firing beyond an adjacent hex, so the weapon range of 1 is right for the game scale.

So, what to do?

It seems like this should be an easy fix, but the more I have dwelled upon in, the more convoluted the fixes become. What we would really like to simulate is units being able to fire directly into what is and what looks like the opposite bank (see Photo above)

As well as defining a waterway as being either crossable or non-crossable, perhaps we also need to define in the scenario whether it is either narrow or wide. Wide being something that smoothbores could not fire across. If wide, then the rules as they stand work perfectly, if narrow, we need to ‘invent’ something that makes close range fire across the waterway work.

If crossable and the waterway is entered, the unit in this system is assumed to be actually in the process of moving into the hex (i.e crossing the water) and the fire range for both sides drops to 1 (adjacent, close range) and again, this works with the rules at present, though often, the unit will be doing this as part of a charge move action and so will have foregone the chance to use a fire action and there is little chance therefore of softening an enemy up before putting a charge in (unless another regiment that has weapon range, does so). But the important thing is that having a mechanic of ‘entering the water’ being given the same meaning as ‘entering the hex’, preserves the current game mechanic, or rather, does not put it under pressure.

If we start to consider whether a unit should be able to occupy just their bank as part of the river hex then we have immediately ‘invented’ three locations within the hex, the friendly bank, the enemy bank and the waterway itself. This multi location aspect does not occur with any other type of terrain.

We could say that only one unit can occupy a hex (see above photo) and that accords with the rules as they are and that this unit can be thought of as being on their own bank, so the range into the enemy in the adjacent hex is now just at a range of 1. That would work as per the rules if the feature was a non-crossable waterway.

For crossable water, the anomalies that this produces are that if the unit on the bank wants to advance, it must first do that by leaving the bank and going into the water (and testing for disorder) and again take fire, at range 1, which it already did when it sat on the bank.  But more problematic is that if the unit holding the bank is happy to stay there, how does the other player attack it. Does it first need to move onto it’s own friendly bank, which it can’t because the hex would then have two units and we have created another in hex location and then how does it go about entering the waterway (a third location ?) to attack the enemy on the far bank, this becomes ‘in hex’ combat, which does not naturally occur anywhere else in the system.

There are of course ways to rule for this, but the peculiarities of the multiple situations that could arise would likely need at least another couple of full pages of rules and examples, which would by their nature be pretty much just giving exceptions to the main mechanics, increasing complexity for something that should be more intuitive.

Another possibility is for neither unit to enter the waterway (see above photo) which is how it works now, but from their respective hexes, which we must think of as including banks, be able to fire onto an enemy immediately on the other side of the waterway and ignore the river hex itself for range purposes. This would allow close range fire (1 hex) which gives 4 fire dice, so maybe a new modifier of firing with a -1 D6 penalty over a waterway, to reflect the compromise in range and to preserve 4 fire dice for when unit actually enters the waterway and becomes ‘really’ adjacent.

The qualifier needs to be available to both rifled and smoothbore muskets, as otherwise the rifled musket, when in the same situation, will be firing at a range of 2 with a reduced number of fire dice and consequently would then be disadvantaged in terms of range compared to the now ‘exceptional’ smoothbore / carbine.

Also, the ‘thing’ of hexes means that the smoothbore is now really firing at 2 hexes distance and because of the arc of fire that our hexes gives us gets wider, this means that the firer would be able to legally fire into one of three hexes, rather than the one of two hexes that would result from range 1 adjacent fire.

This is a problem, because we have now given our smoothbores yet another benefit, when really, the circumstances of firing over a waterway probably demands that it is the target immediately ahead that is hit and so we must prise in another forced rule, that of targeting just the unit directly 2 hexes ahead (see graphic above - a smoothbore could usually only fire into A or B, but we will be letting it hit the centre unit ((only)) instead) and another substantial paragraph of rules or two, to give our new exception to fire arcs, plus of course the above example.

Plenty of these sort of things can be sorted out between players who are playing to a ‘you know what I mean’ principle, but when things have to be tightened down into properly presented rules and be robust enough to stand scrutiny and Q&A and mitigate impact on other parts of the rules, it becomes altogether a more difficult task.

I have probably ‘thought’ myself or even designed myself into a corner and no doubt need to think a bit wider. I am pretty sure that when I finally decide what to do, it will be a compromise that in no small part will be driven by according with the main system as much as possible so that it minimises lengthy rules of exceptions. Hmmmnn, I might take up golf instead!

EDIT - a poster at Consimworld suggest just counting the river hex as zero, whilst that option is generally covered above, the change in language of calling the river 'hex zero' did make me think again about that, but calculating the fire as though it was coming from the river hex, which would have the effect of preserving fire arcs and as such, mitigate a chunk of rules needed to cover that aspect.

The post for Ball’s Ford, Link


  1. Hi Norm. First, I had a devil of a time finding the rule regarding units entering a stream hex required to take a CT. I found it not in the rules but in the Action At Mill Creek Special Rules. Maybe this important rule should make its way into the body of the core rules?

    Given that I found the stream/creek and Capability Test Special Rule, the answer to your conundrum lays therein, I think.

    Here are my suggestions:
    1. Allow one unit to occupy a crossable creek/stream/river hex. This could apply to a non-crossable water obstacle as well without the ability charge across such feature.

    2. As for your Mill Creek Special Rule, a unit takes a CT upon entering such hex. Think of this "entering water obstacle hex" CT as a means of allowing a unit to overcome the complications of operating in this difficult terrain. The water obstacle may be found anywhere within the hex and not bifurcate the hex precisely. Water obstacles are not typically straight but often meander. Vegetation is more likely found along the banks and the ground may be soft or marshy. No need for a near bank/stream/far bank delineation. A more abstract approach may help to visualize what is going on down at the unit level.

    3. If a water obstacle hex is occupied, the occupying unit fire from and be fired at from adjacent hexes. This removes the smoothbore conundrum.

    4. Charges (Close Combat) into and out from a water obstacle hex lose 1 Attack die as in the Mill Creek Special Rule. No additional rule needed here either.

    The rules as written seem solid enough to handle this situation without any additional modifications or pages of explanations. Apply what you already have to address this situation. You have already done the work and an answer seems at hand.

    You did not ask for input but here you go...

    1. Thanks Jonathan for taking the time for a considered response. I had thought the CT test for entering water was in the rules body, so I will update that.

      1. Allow one unit to occupy a crossable and non-crossable creek/stream/river hex. The latter can't charge.

      yes, I am good with that. It would deal with Bull Run. It would also encourage rifle musket to use the tactic so they can get the close range fire ... though they don't have to.

      2. As per Mill Creek, a unit takes a CT upon entering such hex. Think of this "entering water obstacle hex" CT as a means of allowing a unit to overcome the complications of operating in this difficult terrain - abstraction.

      Yes, good with this also, I would envisage that the whole entering the hex and CT business is a combination of organising a unit effectively on a difficult terrain'd bank AND to also abstractly include movement into the water when potentially crossable, whether such movement is made at that time or not.

      3. If a water obstacle hex is occupied, the occupying unit fire from and be fired at from adjacent hexes. This removes the smoothbore conundrum.

      Agreed, and importantly the system is not compromised and Rifled muskets are not disadvantaged as they can both fire across a river hex (2 hex range) at reduced fire as normal, or do exactly what smoothbore would do to get the full short range fire dice by sharing the tactic of entering a waterway hex (obviously not having two sides able to do it at the same time ... 1 occupant only).

      4. Charges (Close Combat) into and out from a water obstacle hex lose 1 Attack die as in the Mill Creek Special Rule. No additional rule needed here either.


      5. The rules as written seem solid enough to handle this situation without any additional modifications or pages of explanations. Apply what you already have to address this situation. You have already done the work and an answer seems at hand.

      Mostly, yes, I think where your intervention has moved things on, is to allow both a crossable and non-crossable hex to be entered and then to use the same mechanics, with the obvious proviso that a non-crossable cannot actually be charged / moved over and the unit exit from the opposite bank.

      6. You did not ask for input but here you go.

      All good, delighted by the contribution and clear thinking.

    2. One addition, it seems that given the above, the rules should assume that a waterway is narrow and only when wide, should a scenario specifically say so. If a waterway is wide, then a smoothbore should not be able to reach the other side (increasingly relevant in napoleonic games ... when that happens!). That does of course upset the apple-cart to some degree and would simply need a scenario special rule that forbids smoothbore and carbines to fire out of a waterway hex.

    3. I have just been reminded (on the Pendraken forum) that the influence of ZOC's will need to be considered. This will matter for wide and non-crossable waterways. The ZOC is not only reflecting firepower, but also the physical capability that a unit has in directly interfering with a unit that is entering or trying to leave a ZOC ... and so it begins :-)

    4. ZOCs: Your rules handle this well as is. Your questions become:
      1. (a) Does the ability to deliver firepower alone into an adjacent hex constitute a ZOC or (b) must a unit also project a physical threat of contact with the enemy for sufficiency?
      2. Given the answer to (1), do ZOCs extend across non-passable terrain features?

      If "yes" to both (1a) and (2) and firepower alone creates a ZOC then ZOCs still extend to adjacent hexes and an enemy unit entering a non-crossable waterway hex is limited to a one hex move only due to difficult terrain. No move from ZOC to ZOC is allowed.

      If "no", an enemy unit moving into an adjacent non-crossable hex is still limited to a one hex move due to difficult terrain. No movement restrictions when moving from ZOC to ZOC (if ZOCs were exerted).

      The direction taken depends upon your goal and your perception of ZOCs. I could argue for either. What happens when a smoothbore-armed unit is prohibited from firing across a wide, non-passable obstacle? Can it still project a ZOC? I would say, no since it can neither deliver fire-on nor contact the enemy.

      Very interesting discussion.

    5. Thanks Jonathan, it certainly highlights how even small changes that generally fall within the system as it stands, still requires considered explanation and the impact on other rules to be evaluated.

      I had considered the above and found myself on the fence between those two clear cut positions because I see firepower and physical presence as being two cumulative elements in providing effect ZOC. I am happy for units to stop when the enter a ZOC based on the firepower alone and this is fine because the attacking unit even though stopped, have still delivered themselves into a position to launch their charge (i.e. adjacent), so in essence, they would always find themselves stopping anyway at an opposed waterway location.

      Where I feel the situation we are looking at might need additional rule verbage is when a unit leaves a ZOC. The restrictions I put in place were largely based on the dangers of pulling away from a ZOC in which the physical presence of the enemy meant they could interfere / attack etc while carrying out such a manoeuvre. Up against the obstacle of a river bank I think this threat is much reduced for crossable waterways and negated for non-crossable waterways.

      The easiest solution that brings some compromise, but that delivers minimal rules overhead is to say that a ZOC cannot extend across any waterway (unless we are talking about nothing more than a disruptive small brook or something, in which case a special scenario rule could cover such occasions) - a common device in hex boardgames.

      Thinking about bridges and their narrow funnelling effect, I would also be happy to include them in a general rule of 'no ZOC over waterways'.

    6. How about this as a consolidation of what has been discussed?

      A scenario will always define a waterway as being either crossable or non-crossable and it will always be treated as narrow, unless a scenario specifically describes it as being wide. Crossable waterways are always treated as difficult terrain.

      Narrow means that a short range weapon (smoothbore musket or carbine) can fire across the waterway. Wide means that these short range (1 hex) weapons cannot fire over the wide body of water.

      Regardless of the waterway type, as with any other type of hex, it can be occupied by a single infantry or cavalry unit. When a unit moves into such a hex, it must immediately take a Capability Test and if it fails, it will become disordered. This is a single event that is jointly representing the initial lining of the bank, which will usually have a lot of undergrowth, plus the difficulties of entering and crossing the water, should the unit later do that to move or charge across the far bank.

      While units can occupy a waterway hex, they cannot move out of the hex via the opposite bank or charge into that opposite hex if the waterway is defined as uncrossable.

      If a waterway hex is described as wide, a unit firing into it or out of it can only fire into the adjacent hex, but that will be classed as long range fire (not short range). Therefore it will only get two Fire Dice and importantly, smoothbore muskets and carbines will not be able to fire at all because they can only use short range fire. This is an abstraction based upon a single hex representing a wide body of water.

      All charges (Close Combat Phase) made into or from a crossable waterway will lose 1 Attack die (1D6).

      A Zone of Control never extends into or out from a waterway hex, even if that hex has a bridge or ford

    7. Leaving an EZOC:
      If the danger of withdrawing out of an EZOC needs to be added into the combat model, why not allow the rules to handle this event? The pieces are already in place to do just that.

      As you provide options for the recipient of a charge to react, why not expand that to include units moving out from an EZOC? Require a CT when leaving an EZOC (or even when moving from EZOC to EZOC)? If the moving unit passes the CT, it disengages and falls back one hex. If it fails the CT, it becomes Disordered and falls back one hex. This way, the friction associated with leaving an EZOC is modeled with little fuss.

    8. "How about this as a consolidation of what has been discussed?"

      I could see ZOCs extending into/out from narrow, fordable (as opposed to "crossable") waterways.

      Looks good to me.

      By the way, my "Leaving an EZOC" comment was posted before I noticed your consolidation above...

    9. Thanks Jon, I am pretty happy with the current rules in the way that they handle ZOC’s and Disengaging for general movement. To date they have seemed quite stable and cover all bases in relatively little rules overhead (top page 15).

      And of course I would not have re-visited the ZOC concept had changes to the concepts of rivers not caused an area for question. Many hex based boardgames use the blunt ‘no ZOC’s over rivers rule’ and so to apply it here keeps the page 15 rules intact and recognises that a waterway significantly reduces the impacts of what we think of as ZOC influences - so much so that to disregard them at waterways is not, I feel, a step too far, though I some granularity is no doubt lost as a consequence, by treating advance to water / desengage from water equally (you are right, there is an arguement for an approach to be influenced by ZOC due to musket fire, but there is a weaker one for disengaging from the friendly side of a waterway, due to lack of physical immediacy of the enemy), treating all waterways regardless of type the same from a no ZOC perspective and dragging bridges and fords into the ‘no ZOCs at rivers’ deal, is probably a cleaner solution for users.

      What this does highlight though is that the original rules never really covered waterways properly (by contrast the Tigers at Minsk rules do have some river rules) and so some rules do need to be introduced here and probably further refined over time.

      Even with what we have covered, there remain potential situations that a player will have to adjudicate on during play. For example, can a unit turn face in a river hex and stay there to face a new threat from the non-river side of its position and fire ‘normally’ i.e. as though from a non-river hex, rather than falsely limiting a rifled units units range to 1 hex when firing out of a wide river hex or applying the -1 D6 modifier to fire etc. There are probably a few similar situations waiting to pop uf their heads and though they do leave the sort of loose ends that bother my imagination, stopping somewhere and keeping rules coverage in perspective is necessary, though we may not have reached that point yet :-) .

    10. More thinking - Kallistra Hexon terrain actually includes a terrain feature that is two hexes wide rather than the usual 1 hex. I am going to have the rules use the 2 hex wide feature to represent wide rivers. At a stroke, this will look intuitive and and get rid of the comprises being made of ‘pretending a 1 hex wide feature is really the equivalent of two hexes and cocking up gun ranges to accommodate that. A wide river might still be crossable, being difficult, that advance would be slow and the moving troops exposed .... that sounds about right! Though will likely make a rare appearance on our battlefields. But importantly, it deals with the issue of range in a proper way and accords more generally with the rules as originally written

    11. That is a great solution! Now, you can determine river class at a glance without a lot of extra rules, special cases, etc..

    12. You know, it really is a good example of how easy it is to get oneself up a blind alley and to get stuck in a mindset of a limited solution. I actually have some 2 hex wide rivers and so the terms narrow and wide should have been an obvious connection, but I was probably drawn away from seeing the utility of the 2 hex deep feature because of the relatively small tables that I do (I have never used them on the table!).

      Right ..... to the keyboard Smithy and make it happen!

    13. This may have been a case of having one's eyes to close to the chalkboard.

  2. Interesting reading your deliberations and the various options considered with their associated rule implications. On a hex map, rather than Hexon tabletop, this would not be an issue as the river would be drawn between hexes (on the connecting line) and not though them. Is it a case of reworking the terrain (the constraint) in a similar way rather than adding to the rules?
    Although, I did like Jonathan's idea of entering the hex, but not being allowed to cross.
    Don't take up golf - Golfers also struggle with water features. So I am told.

    1. Thanks Peter, yes hexside terrain in boardgames, a bit harder to do on the hexon, well it can be done it is just a bit of effort and the system already has in hex river modules manufactured and while I might be prepared to do hexside stuff, I couldn't expect others to who may wish to use the rules to necessarily do that.

      I think Jonathan has worked his magic by envisioning crossable and non-crossable to be closely aligned in terms of shared mechanics.

      What golf ...... with my back! :-)

  3. Interesting dilemma Norm. Personally I would opt to have one unit in the river hex and the other unit in the adjacent clear hex, farther from the bank on its side. This is covered in your fourth picture above. This way the range of 1 hex for smoothbores is retained without needing to change anything. Should the unit on the other side opt to enter the river hex on its side of the waterway, then it is taken to be assaulting across the river (if fordable).

    1. Thanks Mike, I'm good with that and it keeps the basic mechanics of one location per hex and one unit per hex.

  4. Norm , this has been a very thought provoking read. I would regard the ACW is being my one and only specialist period and I have some insight on the subject of rifled muskets v smoothbores under battlefield conditions. Think not so much in terms of range given that the typical engagement of ACW firefights was around 100 yards, but more in terms of projectile, the ‘minie’ Bullet was more accurate but the ball ( or indeed buck and ball) was equally destructive at this close range. I think that an engagement across a narrow river would be pretty even!

  5. Thanks Lee, I was reading in the Black Powder ACW supplement (I think), Glory hallelujah that some veteran units actually preferred to keep their smoothbore because they were proficient at getting off a greater rate of fire, as the rifling made ramming harder / slower. One assumes that that comes from a premiss that unit firefights were often fought at close quarters and that the veteran unit would not necessarily be disadvantaged by being so armed.

    I found the deliberations concerning this post to be interesting, as much from the problem of rule cohesion as much as anything else. Glad you enjoyed it too.

    1. Yes. The Irish Brigade was one such veteran body that preferred the smooth musket and was so armed at Gettysburg.

  6. Very nice looking ACW troops, Norm. I can understand how some troops would feel more comfortable/proficient with weapons they were more accustomed to.

  7. Thanks Dean, interesting when soldiers sometimes prefer their old kit to something that 'the army' sees as better.

  8. Smoothbores could also be loaded with ‘buck and ball’ which gave a shotgun effect at close range. ACW battlefields were often very wooded, closing down ranges. And then there is the question of siting and training. Paddy Griffiths’s books argue that ACW warfare was rather more Napoleonic than the rifle-swept battlefield assumed by some. My personal view is that advances in rate of fire (from breech-loaders and then magazines) was in the mid-19thC far more important than rifling.

  9. Thanks, I have the wonderful Paddy Griffiths book. Over on the other post mentioned in the resource section, a commentator kindly posted a link to some video of the woods that lined part of Bull Run. I was surprised to see how thin it was, but enough to be quite disruptive. I had not thought about it, but I think you are right that the step up from rifling to faster rates of fire was more telling on warfare than the step from smoothbore to rifle.

    I note that you just got your copy of Rebels and Patriots, it was in Waterstones yesterday and the artwork is most inspiring.

  10. A tad late on the reply front, but I think the occupying the river hex as outlined by Jonathan appears to solve your problem, famous last words!

    1. Thanks Steve, I am trying that out. It is unintended consequences that fascinate me, but I think the solution contradicts the rules as written, least of all.

    2. Norm, did you mean to write, "the solution DOES NOT contradict the rules as written?"

    3. Jonathan, I did mean least of all, because some ‘fixes’ are being introduced with the concept of wide rivers and ZOCs - all pretty much minor stuff.

  11. Interesting and thought provoking post, definitely illustrates the contortions that rule writers put themselves through. Also how a small change here produces an unintended affect elsewhere. It’s a lot of thinking!
    The discussion going on is one level higher than my brains this morning. I can’t think of anything intelligent to add. So I’ll make the obvious suggestion to just drop Smooth Bore muskets all together; problem solved. 😀

  12. Thanks Stew, even better, drop all rivers, I am close to hating them :-)

    I find with rule writing that once I introduce a change at the keyboard, there and then, I have to go through the entire rule set looking to see if there are any knock on effects.

    1. Another valid option. No scenarios with rivers. Ever. 😀

  13. Norm, this has been an interesting discussion to follow in addition to the original post. Good to see Dr Paddy Griffith referenced above, his study of Civil war firefights concluded that despite longer range more accurate weapons average battlefield range remained very much 'Napoleonic' which is quite staggering and probably accounts for the extremely high casualty rates. Ammunition supply was a nightmare as few units were equipped with a standard calibre or weapon, there could be a mix of rifles and smoothbores within regiments or even companies. When you see an original rifle being rammed it does require more effort, especially as the barrel heats up, a smoothbore has slightly more windage, you can even tap the ball down with the butt. While the rifling increases accuracy at longer ranges, when firing into a mass of soldiers at 100 odd yards this advantage is cancelled out. My tendency was to drop the separate category for units armed totally with smoothbores.

  14. Hi Lee, I have enjoyed the discussion generated by the post and it has me browsing through the Griffith book again - it is a gem. I think I should probably have a bit more representational cover on my battlefields, so that some of those open fields of fire are reduced somewhat.

    My rules have 1 and 2 hex firing, so ranges are quite contained and the charge into an adjacent hex is representing the very close range firing and moving to contact to take ground, with one side losing confidence and breaking away before contact is made, but it will also encompass bayonet contact, all wrapped up in that final 100 yards push, but charge seems the best term to use, as it id reflecting the purpose of taking ground. However, all of this generalisation of action in the 1 - 2 hex range makes me feel the rules accord more with the sentiment of yours and previous comments than over emphasising the range benefits of the rifle, which would no doubt just produce long distance firefights.

  15. Based upon the conversation above, I have put together a draft proposal of the various rules that cover things discussed to date, it is located above at the entry timed 1211 hours 28th Jan.

  16. The following are the rules that are being ‘squeezed’ into the rulebook now.

    in addition, I will need to modify the ZoC rule section, the close combat modifiers, the Mill Creek scenario notes and probably the design notes.

    In conclusion, it transpires that the system as written can deal with most of all of this, it just needs a rule section to integrate a waterways rule, which in truth should have been there in the first place.

    Anyway, thanks to everyone who has commented, both here and in other forms, with special thanks to Jonathan, who has not only sufferred the evolution of the rules on his table, but has been really helpful in getting this river rule knocked into shape.

    note, I have changed the emphasis of the Zone of Control rules since posting some views above.

    Here is the text, which will eventually replace page 6 of the rule book;

    Waterways (rivers / streams / brooks etc)
    A waterway is a single hex wide and it fills the entire hex. A scenario will always define a waterway as being either crossable or non-crossable. Waterways are always treated as difficult terrain.

    A waterway can be occupied by a single infantry or cavalry unit. When a unit moves into such a hex, it must immediately take a Capability Test and if it fails, it will become disordered. This is a single event that is representing the initial lining of the bank, which will usually have a lot of undergrowth and irregular terrain, plus it covers in an abstract way, any movement that the unit may make later, over a crossable waterway to move or charge across the far bank into the hex beyond.

    While units can occupy a waterway hex, they cannot move out of the hex via the opposite bank or charge into that opposite hex if the waterway is defined as uncrossable.

    All charges (Charge Phase) made into or from a crossable waterway will lose 1 Attack die (1D6).

    A Zone of Control always extends into a frontal adjacent waterway hex, bridge or ford, just like with any other hex, but the reverse is not true, a unit in a waterway or on a bridge or ford does not assert a Zone of Control into it’s frontal adjacent hexes.

    Wide waterways - these are represented by river terrain that is two hexes deep and are useful for representing a body of water that is too wide for a smoothbore musket to be able to fire across to the other side. Essentially all of the normal game rules apply to these features.

  17. For those wanting to update their rulebooks, only the following pages may or may not need printing;

    Page 6, the main body of the waterway rules, this will need printing off. It is located out of sequence, but was the only spare bit of space in the ruleset that could be used for this.

    Page 15 - Zones of Control / Disengaging section, the first sentence has been expanded to say that units in waterways do not have a Zone of Control
    Probably not necessary to print.

    Page 12, the close combat modifiers now have the ‘lose 1 attack dice if charging into or out from a water feature’ inserted into the modifier list. necessary to print.

    page 32 Quick reference sheet also has that same modifier added. Necessary to print.

    Page 40 Index updated, not necessary to print.

    page 22 - the Mill Creek scenario special rules have been reworded, but essentially have exactly the same emphasis, so don’t need reprinting.

    Page 27 - McPherson Ridge scenario special rules have some rewording for Willoughby Run, no need to print off, though some rule reminders have beed added, so it knits in better with the main rules.

    1. Norm, where do we find the latest version of the rules document?

    2. Here is a link, not sure how to make it live on the blog, so it needs to be copied and pasted. All previous links in articles should work, but I will change the Commanders ACW page to make it more obvious over there.


  18. Interesting read,I can see that just a little adjustment can start a ripple effect in the rest of the rules, you seem to have come to a sensible solution, me I'll just stick to painting toy soldiers!
    Best Iain

  19. Thanks Iain, It was interesting to explore the ripple effect out in the open here, though I think most of the ripples were actually caused by me!


Thanks for taking the time to comment