Friday, August 12, 2016

Two Skirmish Wargames with Peter Laing ACW

Since finding Man of Tin blog, I have started rethinking doing skirmish wargames. MoT uses a modified set of Donald Featherstone's Close Wars. They are rules using HEROSCAPE terrain pieces. He calls his rules CLOSE LITTLE WARS BISH, BASH, BUSH!  I decided to try his rules and Chris Salander's Horse & Musket 2.0. and see which rules I prefer.
The Close Little Wars field of battle. Donald Featherstone advocated a crowded battlefield. The Union skirmishers are on the left, the Confederates on the right.  I wanted the field to be somewhat like "the Devil's Den" at the battle of Gettysburg.

The Union infantry struggle through the rough terrain.

The Union troops form up behind a stone wall.

The Confederates try to turn the Unions' left flank.

The rebels suffer heavy losses and pull back.

The Confederates now take up positions in through terrain and start sniping at the Yankees, killing two Zouaves.

A Confederate is killed crossing open ground trying to reach the hilltop.

The Union manage to kill two of the snipers behind a boulder.

Two Union infantry storm up the hill;  meanwhile two Zouaves have gotten behind the Confederate line, endangering the rebels lines of communication.

The Confederates are down over 50%; the battle is lost.

The H&M 2.0 game. The Confederates are on the left; the Union, right. 

The Zouaves storm the hill on the right....

....but are forced to retreat.

The rebels attack the center of the Union line.

The Zouave form a new battle line.

The Confederates fall back to stabilize their line.

The rebel fire keeps forcing the Union infantry back.

The Zouave try to outflank the rebel line.

But two are shot down.

The Zouaves take up position behind the stone wall this time, giving themselves some protection.

The Union now snip at the Confederates below them.

The Confederates lose three more men; a fourth turns and runs away.  The Confederates  are below 50%  and must retreat.

After playing both games, I prefer H&M 2.0. When I first got Donald Featherstone's WARGAMES, I remember playing Close Wars. In the end I stopped playing with these rules. I am not a fan of saving rolls. I also like rules with built in retreat rules, such as in H&M 2.0.  The crowded field does slow down the game when using H&M 2.0.  Still, both games were enjoyable. By using skirmish rules all that were used were 32 figures.  


  1. I certainly like the look of these games and suspect that I would prefer the 2nd set too.

  2. I find the saving throws seriously cuts down on casualties and the game bogs down. With the H&M 2.0, too much terrain also slowed the action down, but at least some troops were forced to retreat. I also have been using 4 man units for so long, I am finding it hard to use them as skirmishers. Perhaps this game with sharpen my skirmishing skills.

  3. John, great game write-up as always

  4. Thank you Ian. I am trying to get some more close ups of the action, so the Peter Laing figures are featured.

  5. I followed up your reference to Chris Salander's Horse & Musket rules, purchased a copy of MWAN 102 from Wargames Vault and printed them off, after tweaking the text so I could fit the Basic Game on one side of A4 - that's my kind of rules!
    My daughter's been showing interest in classic old boardgames - RISK, Cluedo, Monopoly &c. and I think I can persuade her to try the chessboard version with our RISK figures.
    Thanks for recommending them!

  6. When I got into wargaming, these rules were among the first I played. It is a great introductory set for beginners, or children. I used them to fight Medieval and WW2 battles, with a little tweaking. I wish when my brothers and I fought wargames we had a set of rules like this.