Sunday, 29 May 2016

Black Powder - Glory Hallelujah! trial game

Yesterday at the Hall of Heroes we trialled Warlord Games’ new ACW Supplement Glory: Hallelujah! to see if we would adopt some or all of the unit stats and special rules contained therein. 

Day 2 of our 3 day Gettysburg Megagame of July 2013
There has been a lot of interest in this supplement, since we wondered if they would adopt our local special rules that we developed for our Gettysburg 150th Megagame back in 2013: ‘Rebel Yell’ and ‘Seen the Elephant’.

We knew that Warlord knew about these as they very kindly mentioned my batreps of the game on their site! However it seems they kept our names, but modified the actual rules to make them less extreme! 

We set a fairly generic small Eastern Theater scenario – 3 Union brigades defending a ridgeline, amply supplied with artillery and supported by a Cavalry Regiment.

2 Confederate Infantry brigades - each 4 'line' regiments, Brigade skirmish screen, and 'Gen'rul'

They would be attacked by 4 Confederate Brigades, adequately supplied with artillery and with a Cavalry Brigade. We adopted the stats for 1863 Eastern theatre, so that the Union army was saddled with a barely competent Staff Rating 7 Brigadier (friends in Congress no doubt). Both Army commanders were SR 9, other Brigadiers SR 8.

 I had set up quite a large patch of open woods over about a quarter of the table, as we wanted to test the new rules for fighting in woods. If these are workable then this has potential to open up the Western theatre for a lot more scenarios, as well as the Wilderness battles! 

Each army opted to field a single Brigade armed exclusively with smoothbore muskets, to reap the rewards of the ‘pour it on’ special rule.

 The Union army was sprinkled with ‘Seen the Elephant’ units, one to each Brigade, but all the Rebels Line Regiments were deemed to have the ‘Rebel Yell’ attribute.

 As for artillery batteries, we adopted the new ranges and firepower, and as many 6 gun batteries as we had models for. We chose to give the Confederate redlegs mixed batteries, but had the Union deploy homogenous batteries which we felt was more historical. 

'Young' Marc, Terry, and Philip - without a mug of tea for once - it must be serious!
Terry and (‘young’) Marc lead the forces of the Confederacy, and Philip and (‘old’) Mark remained loyal to the Union. I sat on the end of the table and desperately flipped the pages of the supplement trying to answer all the questions and adjudicate over the ‘organised’ chaos! 

 The Confederates moved forward resolutely in true Southern style, and, once their lead regiments were disordered by artillery fire,

attempted the new rules for ‘passage of the lines’, known to most Black Powder wargamers as ‘leapfrogging’ one friendly unit other another so as to lead off with a fresh unit. Unfortunately the first few command rolls were muffed, but eventually we got the hang of it, and found the process straightforward, albeit slightly more time consuming. A small price to pay for greater authenticity.

 Terry is one of our keenest Civil War buffs, but had always had reservations about the frequency and ease with which our regiments had previously crossed with cold steel, which he felt, quite rightly, was inauthentic for anything but the very earliest actions of the Civil War. He is very pleased with the thrust of the supplement’s optional rules, which will tend to force prolongedfirefights rather than going in straightaway with the ‘arme blanche’.

 And so it proved in our trial game – there were some assaults, mainly against vulnerable targets. Whilst cavalry, for instance, are now forbidden from charging the front of ordered and unshaken infantry and artillery, they may do so if the target is shaken or disordered. Terry spotted such an opportunity for his Southern cavaliers, and in they went – only to be rebuffed by the now increased firepower of a six gun battery!
Shaken and disordered cavalryment - but now wiser!
Once the armies closed,

the combat mainly consisted of deadly firefights.

 And the Union discovered the cost of deploying a smoothbore musket armed brigade in the open...


Their rifle armed opponents kept a healthy distance away to maximise the range differential!

Elsewhere the lines closed to within 6 inches to maximise firepower!

Artillery has been made more resilient by having its stamina increased to 2, but even so this Union battery was incredibly lucky - taking massive casualties to close range musketry, on two occasions ti passed a breaktest needing 11, then 12 to pass, and passed both! Truly the battery of men without fear!

On another occasion, our sole 'Uppity' Union regiment - the 10th New York - duly closed for an assault a l'outrance, but were repulsed by closing fire...

All in all all participants were very impressed by the stats and special rules in the supplement, and we tried them all, apart from the sniper rules. We do think that in encouraging firefights at the expense of default bayonet charges, allied to the lingering 'whipped units' upon failing break tests, they will slow the game down, but this we think will be remedied by adoption of the broken brigades rule.

 I have yet to consult more widely with the group as a whole, but I think we will adopt the supplement entirely - Glory Hallejujah!


  1. Great read, sounds superb! Looks like a great game!

  2. Fantastic pictures and report! Thanks for sharing!


  3. Thank you all very much for your encouraging comments. Yes considering we didn't have a scenario planned, just wanted to play through the new rules, it was actually very enjoyable game!

  4. Very good read as always. Fine looking figs showing the rest how to stand firm.....infanty don't look too bad either

  5. Sparker great AAR etc I am about to start using this supplement for ACW
    how did fighting/skirmishing???? in woods play out
    ps love the elephant markers and your river sections any ideas where you got both those items

  6. Enjoyable look at the rules thanks Sparker

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