I bought these expecting a polished version of the old free wargame rules DBACW, but from the onset let me be honest, these rules are very disappointing. Given that they are titled and proposed as quick play ACW or later war rules, yhey do seem to be
simply an iteration of the authors earlier ruleset "C'est la guerre" with a couple of nods to the period such as including Rifled Muskets etc. I could be harsh and say the author has not truly designed the rules for this later period at all
First of all I have no objection to abstracted games, but if this was the case why does the author then include rules for advanced weaponry but never explain what that actually means. In one part the Sharps carbine is noted for which you pay an extra cost, but then more because of extra range presumably because carbines (in the rules) have zero range but this is one of the undescribed advanced weapons
There are plenty of other omissions as well, for instance no description of terrain types, but the movement charts note bad going - what is that. Line of sight is never defined but effects command ranges
Next flaw the infantry movement rates are miniscule, infantry in line moving 3cms a turn - yes cms not inches - but ten why move in line at all when you engage in shooting you are not penalised for your shooting or being in a denser target. Although there is a paragraph stating one of the best ways to breakinfantry is to flank them this is near impossible.
The inclusion of combat engineers into a tactical game is strange. However adding the sniper type is frankly ridiculous at this level of combat, use these with cavalry and you will win every time
The biggest issue is that for some reason cavalry are the queen of the battlefield. Cavalry are the only type to get an additional move and so can easily flank enemies or simply charge directly at infantry or artillery units and simply blow them away, abstract or not the rules should reflect the period
As a whole the rules come over as a beta version rather than a full playtested set and as such need tightening up eg several infantry grades are mentioned but only regular infantry are specifcally mentioned in the combat results table does that mean the other types are not (obviously entry should simply be infantry). Another example was Artillery it took me a while to find the note that they are targetted as infantry.but this was not in the Shooting section
A fully fleshed out sequence of play needs to be added
More work needs to be done to expand the role of infantry and its increasing role as the dominant force on the battlefield and nueter the role of cavalry. Add terrain types and their effects, the river rules about unceratinty of crossing are good and could be aplied to woods etc. Expand the weapon types on offer and add a bit of variety and at the same time suggest some form of army listing, even if these are very generic.
Sorry to be harsh, but I hope to have been fair and would be happy to help to improve this ruleset,
[2 of 5 Stars!]