BLUE & GREY (revised) - 2nd edition Applicable to:First Bull Run, Shiloh, Second Bull Run, Road to Richmond, Seven Days Battles (Savage’s Station, Seven Pines, Gaines’ Mill, Frayser’s Farm, Malvern Hill), Antietam Campaign (Harper’s Ferry, South Mountain, Sharpsburg), Antietam, Fredericksburg, Hooker and Lee, Road to Vicksburg, Cemetery Hill, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Olustee, Battle of the Wilderness and the Atlanta Campaign (Peachtree Creek, Atlanta, Ezra Church and Jonesborough).
Private Robert J. Jones, 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
The Blue & Grey (revised) game system is a simulation of tactical warfare during the American Civil War era. Each game in the system represents one of the battles in the period. The playing pieces represent the actual units which participated, or could have participated, in the battles, and various information Markers to used assist in play. The map sheets represent the Terrain over which those units fought.
The rules are presented in two sections: the first contains standard rules, which are common to all the games in the Blue & Grey (revised) game system; the second section contains exclusive rules for each specific game, including Initial Deployment and Reinforcement Charts applicable to that game only.
This revision of the original system amends certain aspects to improve historicity without adding inappropriate complexity. A primary aim of these rules is to create a common system applicable to all games in this series, and to collate and codify certain of the various changes and developments that have occurred over the years into a unified whole. The “2nd edition” incorporates the more recent additions to the series published in the 1990s, which in turn has resulted in a further major overhaul of the system.
Players familiar with the classic S.P.I. Blue & Grey game system or any subsequent interpretation of it should read these rules carefully as they contain extensive changes and additions within the body of the text. In particular, the degree of differentiation in the functioning of the various unit types has been increased, and an enhanced element of tactical nuance has been added. In addition, an entirely new section on unit Morale replaces the original optional Attack Effectiveness rule.
This revised system does not attempt to recreate multi-battle campaigns. If these are of interest, Players should refer to the original rule books.
In summary, Players will hopefully find the system somewhat richer and more satisfying than hitherto, whilst retaining its essential simplicity.
S.P.I. capitalisation conventions are used throughout the rules and accompanying notes.
Amendments to previous versions of the 2nd edition will be included in light blue type when applicable.
[2.0] GAME EQUIPMENT
[2.1] THE GAME MAP
Each battle has its own individual map sheet. The map sheets portray the area in which each battle was fought. They include a representation of all the significant Terrain in the area of the battle. They may also display a variety of Charts and Tables; these are useful for identifying Terrain types, but are otherwise superseded by the Charts and Tables sheet included herein.
A hexagonal grid is superimposed over the Terrain features printed on the map sheets in order to regularize movement and positioning of the playing pieces. The hexagons comprising this grid are hereafter referred to as hexes.
Unless there are exclusive rules to the contrary in a particular game, it is not permitted for units to move off the map sheet; likewise, unless there are exclusive rules to the contrary, any units forced to retreat off the map sheet are eliminated.
[2.2] GAME CHARTS AND TABLES
Various visual aids are provided for the Players in order to simplify and illustrate certain game functions. These are the generic Combat Results Table and Terrain Effects Chart, and the individual Initial Deployment and Reinforcement Charts applicable to each game.
[2.3] THE PLAYING PIECES
Each battle has its own discrete playing pieces. The pieces represent the actual military units that took part in the original battle. The numbers and symbols on the pieces represent the strength, movement capability, and type of unit represented by that piece. These playing pieces will hereafter be referred to as “units”. Most units are combat units; certain units represented in specific battles may be wagon trains; these are non-combat units.
Various Markers are also required for play. Each game will have a Game-Turn Marker used in conjunction with the Game-Turn Record Track to denote the present Game-Turn. In addition, Disrupted, Shaken, Routed and Rally Markers will have to be made by the Players or borrowed from other games. Finally, Breastwork Markers are provided with certain of the games in this series; otherwise they will have to be made or borrowed.
[2.4] HOW TO READ THE UNITS
Unit Designation Unit Type
The picture above displays a typical unit representation in this game system. Some games in the series include a second value on the face of each unit to the right of the Combat Strength. This represents the unit’s Movement Allowance. Exception: cavalry units always have a minimum Movement Allowance of eight, regardless of any lower Movement Allowance printed on a unit itself.
Union units are coloured blue and are generally identified by numerals in this sequence: brigade/division/corps (Roman numeral). Example: “2/3/IV” is the 2nd Brigade of the 3rdDivision, 4th Corps. Alternatively, they may be identified by their commander’s name. Confederate units are coloured grey and are generally identified by their commander’s name. Differences in the shade of a unit’s colour, or different colours within the unit’s type indicator box or otherwise present on the unit counter reflect a unit’s formation. Some games in the series may display this information in a slightly different manner.
The unit types are identified either by representative icons or stylized symbols (NATO symbology) within type indicator boxes on the counters:
Infantry Crossed webbing straps/infantryman icon
Artillery Cannon ball/cannon icon
Horse artillery Cannon ball & sabre/cannon and horse icon
Cavalry Sabre/cavalryman icon
Gunboat Gunboat symbol/icon
Certain other specialised units may exist in individual games.
Unit sizes (where given)
Units not defined by a size notation are generally brigades.
Combat Strength is the relative strength of a unit when attacking and defending, expressed in terms of Combat Strength Points. A unit’s Combat Strength is subject to various positive and negative effects as a result of Range, Morale, Terrain and Night modifiers.
Movement Allowance is the maximum number of clear (level 1) Terrain hexes into which a unit may be moved in a single Movement Phase. In games where no Movement Allowance is shown on the counters, the Movement Allowance for all infantry and artillery units is six Movement Points, and the Movement Allowance for all cavalry units is eight Movement Points. More than one Movement Point may need to be expended for certain hexes entered.
[2.5] GAME SCALE
Each hex on the map sheet represents 300 to 400 metres of real Terrain from side to side. Each Combat Strength Point generally represents between 125 and 500 men or a battery (4-6 guns) of artillery.
[3.0] SETTING UP A GAME
The cardboard playing pieces for the game to be played should be punched out from the die-cut counter sheet. The blue coloured pieces represent Union forces; the grey coloured pieces represent Confederate forces. The map sheet should be unfolded and then back folded against the creases to make it lie flat. Players should determine who will be the Union Player and who will be the Confederate Player.
The Players then refer to the specific exclusive rules of the game to be played, and consult their respective Initial Deployment Charts. These charts identify the hex number, Combat Strength and historical designation of each unit which is in play on the map sheet prior to the first Game-Turn. Players should simultaneously place each of these units in its proper position on the map sheet. All remaining units should be placed aside and brought into play according to the Reinforcement Chart. Where units have reduced Combat Strengths on the reverse of the counter, these units are always set up or enter play with their higher values face up, unless specific instructions in the exclusive rules of the game being played otherwise dictate.
Once the units are set up, Players are ready to commence Game-Turn One; place the Game-Turn Marker in the first position on the Game-Turn Record Track.
In order to determine which Player is the First Player and which the Second Player, consult the exclusive rules applicable to the battle to be re-fought. There Players will also find a listing of any Reinforcement units, which are given on the Reinforcement Chart. Play proceeds according to the Sequence of Play through to the final Game-Turn.
[4.0] SEQUENCE OF PLAY
The game is played in successive Game-Turns composed of alternate Player-Turns. During each Player-Turn, the Player manoeuvres his units and resolves combat in sequence, according to the following outline, and within the restrictions detailed in the rules which follow. Unless a Player has already achieved an automatic victory as determined under the exclusive rules of a specific game, at the conclusion of the final Game-Turn, the Victory Conditions are consulted and a winner is determined.
The Game-Turn is divided into a First Player-Turn and a Second Player-Turn. The Player whose Player-Turn is currently in progress is termed the Phasing Player. The activity which may take place during each Phase is outlined below:
1. FIRST PLAYER-TURN
A. Movement Phase: The Phasing Player may flip Breastworks Under Construction Markers to their Breastworks side. The Phasing Player may move all, some or none of his units as he desires within the limits and restrictions of the rules of Movement and Zones of Control, and the exclusive rules of the specific game being played. The Phasing Player may bring Reinforcement units on to the map as allowed by his Reinforcement Chart and the Reinforcement rules. The Phasing Player may indicate with a Marker certain units which are to construct Breastworks, or are intending to Rally in the ensuing Combat Phase; these units may not move in the present Movement Phase. The non-Phasing Player’s units may not move.
B. Combat Phase: The Phasing Player may attempt to Rally any units indicated with a Rally Marker. The Phasing Player then uses his units to attack the non-Phasing Player’s units according to the rules of Combat and Artillery. During this Phase neither Player may move his units except when required as a result of the retreat before combat or combat resolution procedures.
2. SECOND PLAYER-TURN
The Second Player now becomes the Phasing Player and undertakes movement and combat in the manner described above.
3. GAME-TURN RECORD INTERPHASE
The Game-Turn Marker should be advanced one space on the Game-Turn Record Track to mark the passage of one Game-Turn and signal the start of another.
Both Players may receive Reinforcements according to their Reinforcement Charts. These enter on the edge of the map sheet in the appropriate hex or hexes. The Reinforcement units arrive in a columnar formation of stacks (one stack of two units behind the next stack of two units) at any time during the Player’s Movement Phase of the Game-Turn indicated. The Owning Player may determine the exact order of arrival at the point at which he moves the Reinforcements on to the map sheet. He may hold back Reinforcements for entry in a future Game-Turn at his discretion.
The Players should visualise the Reinforcements as a column of stacks of two units entering the map sheet from a chain of hexes off-map, so that the first two units brought on to the map each expend the appropriate Movement Points for entering the designated Reinforcement hex, the next two units expend one additional Movement Point to enter the Reinforcement hex, the third stack of two units each expend two additional Movement Points to enter the Reinforcement hex, and so forth. Exception: each subsequent stack of units entering the map sheet along a turnpike expend an additional 2/3rds Movement Point (not one Movement Point) to enter per prior stack entered in that map edge hex.
[5.1] The Owning Player may enter his Reinforcement units on to the map sheet at any time during his Movement Phase.
[5.2] Once a unit has entered the map sheet, it may move and engage in combat freely, just as any other unit already present.
[5.3] If there are more Reinforcement units scheduled to arrive than can physically be entered on to the map sheet during a given Game-Turn; the un-entered balance of Reinforcement units may be brought into play on the following Game-Turn(s).
[5.4] Reinforcement units may not enter the map sheet in a hex occupied by an Enemy unit but may enter the map sheet in a hex in an Enemy Zone of Control.
[5.5] A Reinforcement unit that cannot move on to the map sheet on its scheduled Game-Turn of entry may enter at a map edge hex within three hexes of its scheduled entry hex on any later Game-Turn.
[5.6] Units forced off the map sheet as a result of combat are considered eliminated for Victory Conditions purposes.
During the Movement Phase, the Phasing Player may move as many or as few of his units as he wishes. They may be moved in any direction or combination of directions.
Units are moved one at a time tracing a path of contiguous hexes through the hex grid. As a unit enters each hex, it must pay expend one or more Movement Points from its Movement Allowance.
[6.11] Movement may never take place out of sequence. A Player’s units may be moved only during his own Movement Phase. During the Combat Phase, a unit which is either attacking or defending may have the option to retreat before combat, advance or be called upon to retreat after its combat is resolved. During the Enemy Player’s Movement Phase and during both Players’ Combat Phases, except when advancing or retreating before or as a result of combat, Friendly units may not be moved.
[6.12] A unit may never enter a hex containing an Enemy unit.
[6.13] A unit may never exit an Enemy controlled hex during any Movement Phase. Exception: Case 11.12. An Enemy controlled hex may be exited only during a retreat or advance before or as a result of combat (Case 8.7).
[6.14] No combat may take place during the Movement Phase. Once a Player has begun to resolve combat, and has rolled the die, he has irreversibly initiated the Combat Phase.
[6.15] The number of Movement Points expended by a unit during a single Movement Phase may not exceed the unit’s Movement Allowance. Exception: Case 6.16. A unit may expend any portion of its Movement Allowance, but unused Movement Points may not be accumulated until another Movement Phase nor may they be transferred to another unit.
[6.16] Units may always move one hex in a Friendly Movement Phase, unless prevented from doing so by Enemy units, Enemy Zones of Control, prohibited Terrain or play restrictions set out in the game’s exclusive rules. Prohibited Terrain is a hex that a unit may not enter or a hex side that a unit cannot cross during movement, or when advancing or retreating before or after combat.
[6.17] Movement from hex to hex must be through consecutive contiguous hexes.
[6.18] Once a unit has been moved, and the Player’s hand is taken from the unit, it may not be moved any further nor may the Player change its move without the consent of the opposing Player.
[6.2] EFFECTS OF TERRAIN ON MOVEMENT
[6.21] A unit must expend one Movement Point to enter a clear (level 1) Terrain hex. To enter other types of Terrain, a unit must expend up to six Movement Points. Some hexes are prohibited to movement entirely. See Section 10.1, Terrain Effects Chart.
[6.22] A unit which moves from one turnpike hex directly into an adjacent turnpike hex through a turnpike hex side expends two-thirds of a Movement Point, regardless of other Terrain in the hex. Exceptions: Cases 6.25 and 6.26.
[6.23] A unit which moves from one road or railway hex directly into an adjacent road or railway hex through a road or railway hex side expends one Movement Point, regardless of other Terrain in the hex. Exceptions: Cases 6.25 and 6.26.
[6.24] A unit which moves from one trail hex directly into an adjacent trail hex through a trail hex side expends one Movement Point unless the hex being entered contains woods/forest and/or rough Terrain, or swamp in which case the unit expends two Movement Points. If the hex being entered contains clear Terrain, the unit expends one Movement Point irrespective of the clear Terrain level. Exceptions: Cases 6.25 and 6.26.
[6.25] Hex side Terrain costs are in addition to the Movement Point cost of entering a hex. These additional costs are not negated by turnpikes, roads, railways or trails. Exception: Case 6.26. In addition, units may not use turnpike, road, railway or trail Movement Point costs to move into the Zone of Control of an Enemy unit; they must use the Movement Point cost of the other Terrain in the hex.
[6.26] A unit crosses a slope hex side when it moves to or from a slope hex from a non slope hex or from Terrain at one level to Terrain at another level. This movement may be up slope, costing one additional Movement Point, or down slope costing no additional Movement Points. A unit does not cross a slope hex side moving from one slope hex to another at the same level. Units moving up a slope along a turnpike, road, railway or trail do not incur the additional one Movement Point cost. Although rough Terrain is elevated, it is not considered a different level for the purposes of this rule.
[6.27] Units may never enter river (exception: Case 9.6: Gunboats) or lake hexes. They may cross rivers only by moving through bridge, pontoon or river ferry hexes.
[6.28] Units may never end their movement in a river ferry or pontoon hex unless this is specifically allowed in the exclusive rules of an individual game. They may enter a river ferryor pontoon hex only if they retain sufficient Movement Points to enter the river ferry or pontoon hex and the hex on the opposite bank in the same Movement Phase, and may only enter and exit river ferry hexes through the hex sides to which the arrow indicators point, or to which the pontoon symbol connects.
[6.29] Units may never cross a non bridge or ford creek hex side. They may cross creek hex sides only by moving through bridge or ford hex sides. There is one additional Movement Point cost for moving through a bridge hex side. Movement through a ford hex side also costs one additional Movement Point.
[6.3] EFFECTS OF FRIENDLY UNITS (STACKING)
[6.31] A Friendly unit may move through hexes occupied by other Friendly units. There is no additional cost for entering a Friendly occupied hex.