Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Scenario: Stone vs. Iron

"Our men on the left loaded and fired with the energy of madmen, and the 6th worked with equal desperation. This stopped the rush of the enemy and they halted and fired upon us their deadly musketry. During a few awful moments, I could see by the lurid light of the powder flashes, the whole of both lines. The two ... were within ... fifty yards of each other pouring musketry into each other as fast as men could load and shoot."

-Maj. Rufus Dawes, 6th Wisconsin

August 28th, 1862: A "fierce and sanguinary struggle" (T. Jackson) erupts along the Warrenton Turnpike as Stonewall boldly strikes a column of Federals moving towards Groveton, Virginia.

Confederate Order of Battle
Maj. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson: + 2
2nd Virginia
Fatigue Grade: 4
2 stands
4th Virginia
Fatigue Grade: 4
3 stands
5th Virginia
Fatigue Grade: 4
3 stands
27th Virginia
Fatigue Grade: 4
1 stand
33rd Virginia
Fatigue Grade:4
1 stand________________________________________

(Col. Marcellus Douglass)
26th Georgia
Fatigue Grade: 3
3 stands
38th Georgia
Fatigue Grade: 2
2 stands
21st Georgia
Fatigue Grade: 2
2 stands

Col. Alexander Taliaferro: + 1
47th Alabama
Fatigue Grade: 1
3 stands
37th Virginia
Fatigue Grade: 3
3 stands

Union Order of Battle
Brig. Gen. John Gibbon: + 1
6th Wisconsin
Fatigue Grade: 3
3 stands
2nd Wisconsin
Fatigue Grade: 4
3 stands
7th Wisconsin
Fatigue Grade: 3
4 stands
19th Indiana
Fatigue Grade: 3
5 stands

(Brig. Gen. Abner Doubleday)
76th New York
Fatigue Grade: 2
3 stands
56th Pennsylvania
Fatigue Grade: 2
3 stands

Lines separate Commands. If the leader's name is in parentheses he is not present at the battle.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Then Holler Living Rulebook 1.1

Here's version 1.1 of the Living Rulebook. Inside you'll find:

an updated turn sequence
streamlined frontage rules

Living Rulebook Version 1.1

Stone vs. Iron: The Struggle for Brawner's Farm coming soon!

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Then Holler" at The Congress of Gamers

Then Holler will be making its convention debut at the Congress of Gamers in Washington DC, October 9th and 10th.

We'll be entering the game into the Rio Grande Game Design contest and running demonstrations most of the weekend. We'd be thrilled to see you there.

Find more convention information here:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Variant: Smoke

This variant introduces "smoke" into the battlefield. The smoke is certainly literal, but it is also an abstraction to generally represent the advantages of prepared volleys and the difficulties of redeploying men under fire.

Here's how to do put it into your games of Then Holler.

When a regiment fires at another regiment, put down a smoke marker. We represent this with an unrolled cotton ball spanning a length across the Frontage of the firing regiment.

Regiments moving through smoke take one Fatigue Point.

When a regiment executes fire combat, trace a straight line from the lead company of the firing regiment to its target. If that line goes through smoke anywhere, reduce their Combat Grade by 1.

Smoke stays exactly where it is laid down until an Ace is pulled. At this point "the smoke clears" and players remove all smoke markers.

Design: Feedback

Hello out there.

We hope you've been enjoying the game over the past couple of days. We've created this post as a place for questions and comments about the Basic Rules.

Post whatever you think could help us make the game better in the comments section below. Important/frequently asked questions will be addressed on the website and in the Living Rulebook.

Thanks for your support. We're really looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Illustrated Example of Play: Matthews Hill, part 3

With the 10 of Spades the 14th US moves immediately off of the road and into the woods, hoping to apply pressure to Evans's flank. They take one Fatigue Point for moving through Light Woods.

Now is a good time to clarify the order of battle in the Living Rulebook. The 14th US was attached to Porter's division, who was not present at the first attack on Matthews Hill. They may enter the game as early as Irwin pleases, but without a leader they will not regenerate Fatigue from drawn jacks. Burnside's Command Quality only applies to units under his direct command.

The next card is the 6 of Diamonds, and Pierre directs Company D to join their fellow South Carolinians, sending 2 Combat Grade worth of minnie balls into the 2nd Rhode Island.

The 5 of Spades, and the 1st Rhode Island hits Company B/4th South Carolina with a 4 Combat Grade salvo.

The 2nd Rhode Island is wavering, one Fatigue Point away from danger. The 2 of Hearts is drawn and Pierre orders Company B of the 1st Louisiana to move up from reserve.

Their 1 Combat Grade volley puts a sixth Fatigue Point on the 2nd Rhode Island. Now that the regiment is over 5 Fatigue Points they will rout and take casualties with Queens and Kings. We represent this on the battlefield by moving the companies a little ways apart.

The King of Spades is drawn and the 2nd Rhode Island is all out of luck. Irwin and Pierre check their orders of battle, looking for regiments over 5 Fatigue Points. Company B of the 4th South Carolina is at 9 Fatigue Points and is forced to lose a stand, taking them down to one. The 2nd Rhode Island is at 6, and Burnside watches grimly as his advance loses a company as well.

With a 7 of Spades the 14th US works their way to the edge of the woods, deploying into 3-1 and taking a shot at Company A of the 4th South Carolina.

The 14th US began their move with 1 Fatigue Point. Deploying into 3-1 cost them 2 Fatigue Points (Frontage - 1), moving through Light Woods cost one more, and firing cost one more for a total of 5 Fatigue Points at the end of the turn.

Their volley against Company A has a base Combat Grade of 3. Company A is uphill, which is a -1 modifier, but the 14th's Elite status gives them a +1 modifier in return. They inflict 3 total Fatigue Points on Company A.

With this comes a brief lull in the chaos as the Jack of Diamonds is pulled. Irwin and Pierre both roll for Command Qualities of Burnside and Evans, respectively. Irwin rolls a 2 on a D3, so with Burnside's +1 modifier his final Command Quality is 3. He heals 3 Fatigue Points on all regiments under his command within 6 inches (this is his Command Range, which is equal to Command Quality x 2).

Evans rolls a 3 with no modifiers. He heals his units in the same fashion.

NOTE: If enemy units were in either leader's respective Command Range, the player controlling them would roll a D6 at this point in the sequence. On a roll of 1 the leader is killed.

The Ace of Spades brings another sigh of relief. All regiments heal a number of Fatigue Points equal to their Fatigue Grade.

The 10 of Hearts brings more units into the fray, as it allows Pierre to activate one of his reinforcement brigades. He chooses to activate Bartow and the men of the 7th Georgia are brought out of reserve and pointed towards the smoke beginning to billow down the road...

Illustrated Example of Play: Matthews Hill, part 2

The next card is the 2 of Clubs. Irwin takes this chance to move the 1st Rhode Island up the road and into battle line. The shorthand we usually use for a formation like this is 6-X. Note that since the lead company both began and ended its move on the road, the regiment can both reform without taking Fatigue Points and move an extra 2 inches.

The regiment then opens fire on Company B of the 4th South Carolina. Although the units under Evans's command are referred to as "companies," they function like regiments in every way. The force holding Matthews Hill in 1861 was made up of two depleted regiments; Evans reorganized them into reinforced companies.

The 1st Rhode Island has a Frontage of 6, so it has a base Combat Grade of 6. Company B is both uphill and at long range, so the volley has a -2 modifier. Company B takes 4 Fatigue Points.

This is the order of battle we've drawn up for this session. The image is a little fuzzy, but we've added 4 black markers on Company B's entry to represent 4 Fatigue Points. Feel free to use dice, pencil and paper, etc.

The 1st Rhode Island also takes 1 Fatigue Point for firing.

With the 3 of Spades Irwin presses his advantage, moving the 2nd Rhode Island up to support their fellows and rattling off a volley at Company D of the 1st Louisiana. This fire is again uphill and at range, so Company D takes 4 Fatigue Points to the 2nd Rhode Island's 1.

The Confederate Player (Pierre) catches a break with the 9 of Diamonds. Company A of the 4th South Carolina remembers where they put their guns and returns fire on the 2nd Rhode Island.

They have a base Combat Grade of 2. Being uphill of their target gives them a +1 modifier, but being at long range gives them a -1. They inflict 2 Fatigue Points of damage.