I have just taken delivery of the new Peter Pig American Civil War rules, part of their “Rules for the Common Man” series.

 After the fold I give a “First Impression” review.

First impressions (before having a chance to play)

 

I ordered my copy online (within UK) late last Thursday night, and it arrived Saturday (2 June), by Royal Mail- so well done all those in Weymouth at your quick turn around!

 

Professionally put together, as is the norm now-a-days.  If you’ve played Bloody Barons, or to a lesser extent, Regiment of Foote then you know how these will play (although there is no ‘choice die’ as a unit is only one type of troops).

 

It includes the innotive Peter Pig “pre-game”.  Players assign dice to a number of events for opposed roll offs, which determine who will attack, and good or ill fortune to befall your troops, meaning although you may have started with a 600 point army when you arrived, much of this (especially if you end up being the defender) may be off table as reserves/late arrival.  The mechanism is straight out of BB (to such an extent that there are two instances where they forgot to change ‘purses’ to ‘War points!)

 

There are 12 army lists each army getting 1 for east and west theatres for Early, mid and late war.  These give maximum points allowed, modifiers to general’s quality and Warpoints that may be spent, plus minima/maxima of each unit type for that particular Army/Period.  Also included are a French and British list in case you which to fight Mexican or Canadian border wars.

 

Units must be ‘motivated’ by their General (Generals command value+Unit quality+1 per full 3″+mods, roll more than this on 2d6) Motivated units then roll d6 for Action points.

 

The amount of APs you may spend on movement varies with unit width 1 base (i.e. column) 5APs may be spent, 2 wide 4 AP, and so on, so a unit 6 bases wide may not move (but of course has increased fire power).

 

Shooting involves 5 or 6 to hit, rerolls depending on unit quality (Vets re roll 1-3, Average 1/2, Raw units 1s), then the target getting saving throws- 4+ if at close range in open, 2+ Long range.

 

Scattered helpfully through the book are “Generals Tips” that give both tactical hints, and ways to use the rules to best advantage.

 

Although designed with Peter Pig’s 15mm range in mind, I was assured by a post on TMP by Martin that the rules will be fine with my (non-PP) 10mm based for Fire and Fury). 

 

The emphasis of the game is on good humour.  Results have a little ‘story’ attached (Example from part of the Pre Game –

Scouting…3 Successes Is this General Dagger I see before me?  General Macbeth always knows where the enemy are.  All units of one ‘own Division’ can be totally redeployed).  The first ‘Rule’ (after 1 Introduction) is “2.  Declarations and Etiquette … Players should remind other players if they have forgotten to carry out an action.”  Later the rules make it clear this extends to reminding your opponent when he is entitled to ask you to reroll a die”

 

Criticisms

1. Like in PBI some of the rules are not where they occur during play, or some definitions are buried.  Example Reinforcements.  Units are moved from the table to the reinforcement area in the pre-game.  The rule for their arrival is at the end of which units to remove, rather than as a separate section at the point in the main rules where you need to dice for them.

 

2. The maps for the 12 Scenarios are all hand drawn, and far below the standards of the rest of the rules (which includes photos in the examples).  Not only this, but they are BADLY hand drawn- it looks like some-one delivered the first drafts to the printers.  For me this is the thing that really lets the presentation down, even though I am unlikely to play them.

 

3. General point to ALL rule writers.  Index please!  Makes things so much easier to find amid the roar of the cannons!

 

Otherwise I look forward to my first battle with them.  I’ll let you all know how they play.

 

To visit Peter Pig go to http://www.peterpig.co.uk/

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