Updated 090530
  1. TITLE: Bloody April
  2. PUBLISHER: Simulation Publications Incorporated (SPI)
  3. SCOPE: The Battle of Shiloh, 1862
  4. RULEBOOK DESCRIPTION: BLOODY APRIL is a grand tactical, regimental-level simulation of the Battle of Shiloh (Tennessee), April 6-7, 1862. BAP uses the award for Civil War battle games first introduced in TERRIBLE SWIFT SWORD (Gettysburg). The system may seem somewhat difficult to those not familiar with it. However, it is a system the plays quite smoothly and is easy to learn. It is thus suggested the played first study the Sequence of Play (4.0), as it is the backbone of the game. Those Players already familiar with TSS and/or STONEWALL should read the rules carefully, as there have been some subtle changes and many additions. BLOODY APRIL also contains a large number of optional rules that players may use to increase historical accuracy with a impact on the ease of play. In all, BLOODY APRIL, is somewhat more complex than TSS.
  5. GAME BOX DESCRIPTION: Bloody April is a grand tactical simulation of one of the most decisive battles of the Civil War: Shiloh. The Order of Battle is exceptionally accurate, checked against the Official Records of the battle. The game-system is the same award-winning system used in SPI's Terrible Swift Sword. The game is played on a map depicting the area of battle, across which playing pieces move through a hexagonal grid which regulates movement, like the squares on a chessboard. Simple probability charts reveal the outcome of various game functions.
  6. YEAR PUBLISHED (EDITIONS): August, 1979. Only one published edition. Published errata from SPI was taken from on Web Grognards
    • Game System & Development: Richard H. Berg
    • Physical Systems and Graphics: Redmond Simonsen
    • Additional Development: Tom Walczyk
    • Additional Research: James, Bowman, Dr. David Martin, George A. Reaves (Shiloh National Military Park)
    • Playtesting: Tom Zombek, Eric Smith, Fred Schachter, Warren Singer, Tom Walczyk, Peter Herzing, Joe Perez, Jon Gautier
    • Additional Testing: James Epperson and Jamie Adams, The Northwest Pennsylvania Wargamers
    • Rules Editing: Eric Goldberg, John H. Butterfield
    • Special Acknowledgement: Michael Jack (for his help with maps and the terrain) and Mario Antoniozzi (for sending me the battlefield relics)
    • Production: Michael A. Barr, Rosalind Fruchtman, Ted Koller, Manfred F. Milkuhn, Bob Ryer
  10. TYPICAL PLAYING TIME (HOURS): Two scenarios (Confederate attack 8-10 hours>; and First Day <24hours>, hours) in addition to the entire Two day (campaign) battle. Six variants are also defined which either bring in other nearby forces into the battle or delay the arrival of actual participants.The entire battle will consume 40-70 hours of playing time to complete the 88 turns. Game box states the average playing time as 12-22 hours.
  11. MAP SCALE: 115 yards per hex.
  12. UNIT SCALE: Regiments, gun batteries, leaders.
  13. TIME SCALE PER TURN: 20 minute day turns, 1 hour night turns.
  14. NUMBER OF GAME TURNS: Confederate attack-13 turns, First Day-44 turns; Entire 2 day battle-88 turns.
  15. ARTICLE LISTING: Click here
  16. GAME INVENTORY: 1200 (six 200 piece counter sheets), one 36 page rules booklet, one historical situation briefing booklet, two identical charts & tables booklets, two different roster sheet booklet, two unmounted 22" x 32" game maps, on die.
  17. WBC & AVALONCON HISTORY: Not Applicable
    • No Java application VASSAL module at this time.
  19. PBEM OPPORTUNITES: Contact Wargame Academy if interested. A Group effort would be required to create a VASSAL module.
  20. WARGAME ACADEMY COMMENTS: I have no play experience with this title. However I have played TSS and also the SSI computer Game SHILOH: Grant's Trial in the West giving me some familiarity with the battle. The confederates are on the attack on day one. The union, heavily reinforced during the night have the burden of attack on the second day. Learning this game should not be a major effort. As a VASSAL Java module for TSS is on my 'to do' list, its completion should lend itself to a BAP module as the components are nearly identical.

Please send comments and corrections via to Wargame Academy

Go to the Wargame Academy main page