Playing Brigade Fire & Fury 2nd Edition in 10mm (‘I Did It My Way…’)

The Union I Corps organised for Gettysburg.

About 18 months ago I started out on a new ACW wargames project, despite previously telling myself in no uncertain terms that I was not to start anything new…   However, I managed to convince myself that as I was doing it in 10mm, it would be cheap, would be quick to paint, would be easy to store and could be played on a modestly-sized table.  somewhat amazingly, that all actually turned out to be true!  Brigade Fire & Fury (I quickly settled on using the 2nd Edition, despite my initial decision to start out with 1st Edition) has proven to be a truly superb set of rules, the armies have been cheap, quick and easy to build and I’ve been able to play games in a relatively modest space.

Needless to say, lots of people came out of the woodwork AFTER I’d started this project to say that they also had 10mm ACW armies.  However, they all seem to have taken the ‘traditional’ approach; using the normal ’15mm’ Fire & Fury base-sizes, but filling the bases with between 5 & 9 10mm figures.  This looks absolutely amazing, but contradicts most of my personal objectives – to do it quickly, cheaply and on a modestly-sized table.

A few mates have been asking me about what I do for base-sizes and scales, so here’s a recap and some of movement and firing tables converted to my chosen ground-scale.  Essentially, I decided to reduce all the scales by 1/5th, so 1 ‘game inch’ (25mm) becomes 20mm and a five-foot table becomes a four-foot table.  The maths is actually very easy to do – double the number of inches and call them centimetres.  So 1 inch becomes 2cms.

Here’s a chart showing my chosen base-sizes.  The various markers have finally given me a use for the piles of useless Euro-Cent loose change that always accumulates at the end of every holiday! 🙂 

A Union cavalry division mounted up.

The Union cavalry division dismounted. The horse-holders and division leader are based on 2 pence pieces (25mm discs).

 

 

Here we have Reb Disorder Markers based on 2 Cent pieces, Reb Low Ammo markers on 1 Cent pieces and Cavalry Exceptional Leader Markers for both sides on 2 Cent pieces.

Here are Union Disorder Markers on 2 Cent pieces, Low Ammo Markers on 1 Cent pieces and Damaged Battery Markers on 5 Cent pieces.  Although not pictured, I use dismounted officer figures on 1 Cent pieces for Infantry Exceptional Leader Markers.

A Reb Corps Leaders (A.P. Hill), with standard bearer and aides on a 40mm MDF disc base.

Here’s the Movement Rate chart re-scaled for my method with all distances in cms:

Reb artillery. Note that the 20mm frontage might be a bit of a squeeze using other manufacturers’ models (I use Pendraken), so increasing to 25mm would be no drama. Remember to keep the limber frontage the same as the gun frontage.

Here’s my re-scaled Musketry Chart:

To ease play and save on having to conduct (admittedly simply) mental arithmetic, I’ve made range-sticks out of 2cm-wide wooden beading, marked with the weapon-code and with the fire-points marked off in each range band.  The width of 2cm equates to the clear gap of 1 ‘game inch’ that needs to be present in order for a unit to fire at a target.  After making the sticks I had 24cm left over, so I also made a command-span stick, which comes in handy.

In addition to the self-explanatory Command Span stick, here we have the range sticks for Rifled Muskets (RM), Repeating Rifles (RP) and Smoothbore Muskets, Shotguns and Hunting Rifles (SM/SH).

The middle two sticks are reversible, so here they’re flipped over to reveal Mixed Muskets and Rifle & Carbine fire points (MM/RC) and Breechloaders (BL).

And here is the re-scaled Cannonade Chart:

Canister range-bands are marked off in red ink, while Shot & Shell ranges are marked in black. Again, some of the sticks are reversible, so the Light Rifle (LR) stick flips over to reveal Heavy Rifle (HR) factors. The Rifle & Napoleon (RN) stick has Rifle & Smoothbore (RS) on the reverse and the Napoleon (NP) stick has Smoothbore (SB) on the reverse.

Anyway, that’s how I scale Fire & Fury for 10mm figures…  Have fun!

114th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment (‘Zouaves d’Afrique’)

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