United and Divided ACW Rules -Playtest kit

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“United and Divided” is a set of rules that I have been working on for over a year. They are designed with the American Civil War in mind. The basic unit is a brigade or battery while the basic maneuver element is a division. These rule focus on commanders and their ability to control and effectively command their subordinates into carrying out the plan of attack.

This set of rules is designed with 2mm in mind but perhaps larger scales could be used. Bases sizes for brigades are 80x40mm or 60x30mm. I have been playing with 80mm frontage. Ground scale is 100 to 150 yards an inch or 200 yards and inch. The scale is abstracted and I am trying to achieve a balance of look and playability.

I have played tested them with many different groups many of whom have never played a war game before. These rules are intended to be a light set of rules ideal for big battles played in a reasonable amount of time. I also have conventions in mind. Many of the rule’s mechanics are abstracted so that not many dice are rolled.  This is especially true when it comes to combat results.

Players roll for their commanders and their command points which allow them to maneuver their subordinates on the table to try and bring their army to bear against the enemy. Combat is carried out by rolls as well. These two elements of dice rolling as well as the random initiative draw for activating generals provide a good amount of friction to the players that can often lead to their best laid plans not playing out. I believe this produces a more enjoyable game because of the frustration. I believe it also does a good job representing in a simple way the confusion, dereliction, and genius of the Generals at times.

All of us have different tastes when it comes to games we like. You might like this one and you might not. It is doubtful as we playtest these rules that major changes will be made. If one of the core concepts of the games does not meet your likely then perhaps this is not the rules set for you.

Why pay for a playtest? I really have no idea if these rules will ever be officially published. They might take on more of a living rule set model. The cost isn’t high and this playtest kit gives you access to not only the rules and QRS sheets but also to card units if you want to play without miniatures. It also gives you access to card trackers if you want to use existing miniature bases. It comes with a scenario for the 1st day of Gettysburg and others will be included as they are developed.  You will still need a table, dice, cards/tokens, and measuring device to play this game. You are free to use to the rules to run a game for friends. But please do not make copies for others. If others are serious about playtesting and using these rules, please encourage them to support them by purchasing the playtest kit. There are some STL files included in this kit that can enhance your game table it you choose to use them.

In this first round of playtesting, I hope to focus on the basic game. A feedback sheet is included in both PDF and Word documents. Please be kind in your feedback. As we move forward, I will provide updates as well as FAQs if needed.