Rally Once More!

American Civil War Wargaming Rules.

Integrated Land & Naval Warfare.

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Union Skirmish Line Union Skirmish Line.

About Rally Once More!

Rally Once More! is a computer moderated wargames system for ACW miniatures players. It grew out of frustration with the hassles generated by complex rule systems and aims to provide a fast, simple but sophisticated game by greatly reducing the number of rules a player has to be aware of. The bulk of the complexity, such as the interaction of personalities, orders, reactions, fatigue, firepower etc is handled by the PC. This is not to say that a player's role is restricted.

Prior to the battle the player decides the characteristics of units (including type, size, experience, weapons, initial fatigue and morale etc), the command structure (i.e. who are corps and divisional officers and which units they command) and the characteristics of officers (such as rank, personality, leadership, efficiency and even any shortcomings such as a tendency to "hit the bottle").

During the battle the player has as much control over the units as an historical commander. New orders can be sent, officers can be relieved of their commands or units can change formation, to name but a few of the features. The "Fog of War" can also intervene in a variety of ways, for example by affecting the likelihood of orders being sent, received or misinterpreted. These events are strongly influenced by the current unit and commander characteristics as well, and are not simply random.

We are always looking for ideas from players as to what to include or change. It is a "for wargamers by wargamers approach" with the system being sold at minimum cost to encourage computer based gaming as a generally acceptable approach. New versions are being developed on an ongoing basis.

The new Version allows you the ultimate in army, battle and campaign size. There is no limit on the number of units or officers in an army! Battles can have any number of sides and any number of armies on each side! This accomodates even the largest club campaign game. Rally Once More also provides the enhanced Windows usability that allows greater ease of use and faster play without the PC intruding into the players awareness.

There are two main parts to the tactical component of the system, a setup module and a battle module. The first allows you to set up your army and the second allows you to play a battle. In the Setup module units are given a number of characteristics including but not limited to:-

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Creating and Modifying Armies.

The Create Army module creates each army separately so that at battle time each army only need selected when you need it. At the start of a battle Rally Once More! asks you for the number of sides and the number of armies on each side. This gives you the flexibility to play any army you have against any (or all!) others. You don't have to associates opponent armies at the time when you create them. When in the Create Army module you may save your data at any time. You will also be prompted to save your data once you exit or open another army. Armies may be as large as you like now. Some of the main data elements used to describe units and officers are:-

Name. Up to 40 characters per unit or officer is allowed so that longer names can be accomodated and the historical 'feel' preserved;

Training Level. This ranges over a five point scale from Ill Trained to Highly Trained.

Size of Unit A unit would have the number of troops in it and can be further sub-divided into a number of subunits or elements to allow fire or melee to be split or to represent historical subdivisions such as squadrons within a Battalion. Units may be split to form new units as well as combined.

Weapon types. This includes a wide range of small arms such as Smoothbore Muskets, carbines, various rifles, breachloaders, a variety of smoothbore and rifled artillery calibres, field howitzers of different calibres.

Skirmishers. Line units can be designated as having one or more subunits of skirmishers and can either deploy the whole unit as skirmishers or keep a proportion back as a parent body. For example, this allows the third line to skirmish. Specialist Light Infantry skirmishers are also allowed for.

Morale and Fatigue can be preset before a battle to match historical circumstances such as prebattle forced marches or a prior loss/victory in a campaign.

Flank March arrival times are also preset before battle, although the arrival depends on a number of historical factors such as the commander's ability and the capacity of the troops he is commanding.

Generals and their orders also receive full attention as the officers personality, efficiency, orders and place in the chain of command is established. Each army has a CNC, Corps level commanders and Divisional level commanders. The interaction between these commanders and the resulting effect on units is controlled by the flow of orders and the officer characteristics. At particluar points in the battle (eg Rallying from Routing) these factors are taken into account by the system in determining the outcome. This allows quite complex evaluations of unit behaviour witjhout any extra burden on the player.

Battles (Tactical).

The Battle module has four phases.

1. Deployment. At the start of each round use the Deployment Phase to perform all the actions that are preliminary to combat, such as formation changes, sending Orders, testing for Charges and testing for other events such as a unit's success at scouting or movement through difficult terrain. You should think carefully about your tactics before you issue directions. For example, if a command has been on the defensive (with Hold Orders) and the enemy attack is faltering, you may decide to attack soon. Think ahead and send an Attack order some rounds in advance. Once it arrives and you want to encourage the men to charge, then send their commander to join the key unit BEFORE you test for the charge. Sending him afterwards will be too late. Remember to allow some margin for delays and errors such as a misinterpretation of Orders. This is part of the "fog of battle" built into Rally Once More! You will find that it is quite a challenge to control a battle without modern aids such as direct radio contact. It gives the sensation of how it must have been and you may feel more sympathy for generals of those times after the experience.

A unit that has been involved in a test to charge will not be given a result immediately. This will be given once you move to the next phase (Bombardment). The reason for the delayed notification is that the unit may be involved in more than one charge and these may be against different types of targets. Consequently the total situation needs to be evaluated before the decision can be made on whether the unit charges, stands, runs etc. The total situation is only available once the Deployment phase is concluded.

After players have finished Deploying, choose the next phase, which is Bombardment.

2. Bombardment. By 'Bombardment' we refer to a situation where a battery lobs shells at long distance as quickly as practical (not too quickly in this period due to metal fatigue, dense gunsmoke and other limitations). A battery may bombard several units during the one turn, each at a different range and with different cover characteristics and ordinance types (eg Common Shell or Shrapnel). The more units that are bombarded the more thinly spread is the bombardment and the less damage done to each unit.

Bombardment is simultaneous and the effects of firing are not applied until the start of the next bound.

3. Firing. To fire, the player chooses the unit from the drop down list, chooses the target and adjust the target conditions (ie range, cover type etc). Then clicks on the Fire button at the bottom of the form. The losses resulting will be displayed immediately. If a unit is firing on more than one target then the player can split the fire according to the number of elements remaining in the unit.

Firing is simultaneous in this period and the effects of firing are not applied until the next bound.

4. Melee. At the start of melee, those units that have successfully tested to charge will be tested for charging home on the target in the light of the effect of any firing on them. Some may have taken unacceptable losses and may recoil without contacting their opponent. When fighting more than one target you may split the combat according to the number of elements that are available to fight.

Units that have been involved in a melee will only be given a broad interim outcome at the time of combat. The final outcome will be given once you cycle back to the first phase (Deployment). The reason for the delayed notification is that the unit may be involved in more than one melee and these may be against different types of targets. Consequently the unit may win against one but lose against another. Therefore the total situation is evaluated for you before the decision is made on whether the unit wins, loses, stands, runs etc. Then the position of the unit on the tabletop would be changed according to the outcome shown by Rally Once More!

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Grand Tactical Game.

Grand Tactical module is included at no extra cost.

The Grand Tactical module allows you to play against one or more opponents in the aproach moves that lead to a battle. The players deploy their commands in a landscape with terrain generated by the computer and then move towards a tabletop area marked in the centre of the table. During this Grand Tactical movement, commander ability, encounters with the enemy, difficult terrain and the excessive crowding of friendly commands can all contribute to delays and mishaps. When enough commands have entered the tabletop area the system declares the battle ready to start and exports the armies ready for battle. Commands that have not reached the tabletop area are set to flank march and appear later during the battle (you hope!). A Tactical Map of the battlefield with computer generated terrain and initial starting point for each command is provided for you to print and use as an aid to initial deployment. You now import the armies into the battle module and you are ready to fight the battle!

Campaign & Solo Games.

Solo and Campaign modules are also included at no extra cost.

The Solo module allows you to play against the system using a number of scenarios. Responses considered typical of an historical general are provided by the Solo module and are displayed for the gamer to act upon. The amount of activity needed at the screen is reduced as the Solo system handles all formation and order changes within the PC. The player does not need to perform these as well as those needed for his own side. Player intervention in the Solo side's activities is allowed however, so that inappropriate responses can be corrected.

The Campaign module allows map maneauver taking into account terrain and logistics effects on the armies. To increase ease of setup and to enhance the attractiveness of campaign games a number of colour maps with terrain displayed are automatically available for selection in the computer. The computer "sees" the map as a grid, with each sector having certain characteristics such as the arrability of the land, difficulty of the terrain etc.

The role of Quartermaster has been taken over by the system to reduce the onorous administrative load usually associated with campaigns. Bases can be created and resupply is allowed for. Losses through starvation, disease and straggling are also determined by the system. Sieges can be setup and the associated losses and the outcome are controlled by the system.

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Monitor V's Merrimac - Hampton Roads Monitor V's Merrimac - Hampton Roads.

Integration of Land & Naval Warfare.

Naval rules have now been integrated with the existing land based rules. This provides the player with even more options than before. The player can either play the same land based games as before, or play a conventional naval game, or play a combined arms action in which both naval and land forces are present and can fire on each other as well as ram and board.

Each bound the system determines and displays the wind direction and strength, as well as recalculating the maximum turn and speed of each sailing vessel based on a number of factors such as the training level, morale and fatigue of the crew and the state of the ship. A chart is provided to allow the player to calculate the ship's speed based on its angle to the wind. Vessels with engines have their speed reassessed each bound based on damage received and the effectiveness of damage control. The damage inflicted by enemy fire includes the number of cannon dislodged, flooding and fires caused. The effectiveness of damage control in stopping these problems is reassessed each turn by the system. Under heavy fire a captain may surrender and a ship and be destroyed by fire. Close Actions such as Ramming and Boarding are also supported.

A wide range of naval guns are provided to allow the vessel to be armed historically. These include Rifled Artillery, smoothbore artillery and ramming prows. A wide range of ship types is also provided, including Wooden Men O'War, Ironclads like the Merrimac and Armoured vessels such as the Monitor through to Submersibles with Spar Torpedos, and smaller types such as Cutters and long Boats.

To add realism, several kinds of fortifications have been added to the already extensive range of troop types. These can be armed with artillery and are assumed to have their own garrison. These forts can act as fixed strong points that can bombard, be bombarded, and can resist or be overrun by storming parties. The forts range from hastily fortified positions to heavy stone forts. A cluster of these strong points can be used to represent the aggregation of strong points (bastions) that compose any major fortification.

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Tabletop Action Using These Rules.

Scaled Down Battle of Mobile Bay. Ironclads screen troop transports and Engage Confederate Forts. Union land forces advance from behind the forts. Confederate David and a submersible advance to threaten the transports, which are unknowingly approaching minefields.

Tabletop created by some of our ACW Players for the Battle of Cross Keys.

Cross Keys Battlefield.

View from CSA Lines.

Union on the Advance.

Battle Joined - Skirmishers Advancing.

Some of the other brilliant tabletops created by the ACW players.

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