Review of ADF: War in the West


TITLE:  Across A Deadly Field: War in the West

ADF- War in the West

Across a Deadly Field: The War in the West

AUTHOR: John Hill

PUBLISHER: Osprey Publishing

ISBN: 978-1472802644


PRICE: $20.00 approximately – available both from Amazon and Barnes & Noble



GENRE: History | American Civil War

FORMAT: Hardcover


About the Book

This is the third rulebook of the ADF Trilogy.  This will be John Hill’s last book because as his fans and friends are aware, John passed away earlier this year on January 12, 2015.  This book has the reputation of being of his best rulebooks yet and as is a special book which serves to leave a lasting and memorable legacy.   My father always had an interesting and entertaining perspective on history and it always showed through his works.  Across A Deadly Field: War in the West is no exception to that.

In the field of Civil War research, despite the many hundreds of very well-researched books and resources that are widely available in both print and digital format there never ceases to exist some new piece of research or a new perspective of looking at how the interplay of terrain, tactics and pure chance helped to shape battles and campaigns.   Historians of all kinds are taking fresh looks at prior accepted interpretations and wargamers are taking their miniatures to the tabletop terrains and playing out alternate decisions and vagaries of chance.

There are full color imagery throughout this attractive hard bound book.  This book is worth owning if you have any interest in the Western Theater even if you have not used the ADF rules in the past.  There are many Western ACW scenarios in this book to keep you and your wargamer group busy for many hours.

The following are the scenarios you will see in this rulebook:

  • Four scenarios covering the first day of Shiloh (Apr 6, 1862)
  • One scenario covering Champion Hill, part of the Vicksburg campaign (May 16, 1863)\
  • One scenario covering Pickett’s Mill, part of the Atlanta campaign (May 27, 1864)dad-mom
  • Two scenarios covering Nashville (Dec 15, 1864)

About the Author

In the field of tactical wargame designs, only a very few designers had as much impact as, my father John Hill (1945-2015). In the 1970s, John started his own company to design and publish tactical and operational games that broke from traditional wargame mechanics. Realizing that he preferred designing wargames over running a business, John sold the company and became a freelance wargame designer. From then on, John Hill’s designs for Avalon Hill, SPI [Simulation Publications Inc.], SDC and others became noted for their innovative approaches to simulating unique tactical situations. In 1977, John designed Squad Leader for Avalon Hill.

According to the Fire & Movement magazineSquad Leader broke the mold for how tactical combat was portrayed on the gaming board, and its impact is still felt today. The first freelance wargame designer inducted into the Origins Hall of Fame, John is perhaps best known for his Johnny Reb rules for the American Civil War. The author lived in Santa Fe, NM with his wife Luella.  They were married in Guadalajara in August 1968.


If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below and I will reply.


  1. Jake

    This looks like an outrageously fun game to play. I will be talking to my Friendly Local Game Store about seeing if we can’t pick some copies of this game up to give a try out in our local market. 😀
    Now is there a specific game that ADF is designed to work with or is it a stand alone game?

    1. Stephanie Hill

      Hi Jake:

      There are actually three ADF scenarios that are out. The first one that was released was Regmintal Rules and the second one was War in the East with the third one being War in the West. It is an ACW (American Civil War) game. The best place to get them is not through your local gaming store, but through online purchasing. You can grab a copy through my Barnes & Noble ADF Store or Ebay or Amazon.

      Have a wonderful day and thank you for leaving a comment.


  2. Bo

    Fantastic review Stephanie! I’ve never played war games but this definitely makes me super interested in learning more. Price point is amazing including the kindle version! That’s awesome because I prefer kindles and e-books. I was wondering though it you felt ADF War in the West is beginner friendly or do you think it is for a more experienced player?

    1. Stephanie Hill

      Hi Bo:

      Thank you for visiting my website today. I sure appreciate you taking the time to read my review of Across A Deadly Field: War in the West. In answer to your question, ADF War in the West is more for the experienced wargame player. ADF War in the West is actually the third book in the ADF series. The first book in the series came out in August 2014 and is called Across A Deadly Field: Regimental Rules for Civil War Battles.

      You may be best to start with the first book in the ADF series. The kindle version of ADF Regimental Rules is $9.99.

      However, if you are completely new to wargames and not sure if you want to invest too much money in something you may not enjoy, here are some suggestions which will not break the piggy bank:

      Thank you again for checking out my father’s tribute site. I hope you have a great day! Happy Holidays! And remember books may great Christmas gifts.


  3. Ryan Low


    Great book review!

    Fiction about war/war strategy really intrigues me. I’ll check it out! 🙂



    1. Stephanie (Post author)

      Hi Ryan:

      You are certainly welcome. I am delighted you enjoyed the review of Across A Deadly Field: War in the West. Please come back soon!


  4. Ira

    I’m very much into history especially the Civil War and so is my brother so we will have to check these books out on the rules. I’m really glad you shared information within your post about John. This post has made my morning thank you. I also did not realize he had been writing as long as he had.

    1. Stephanie Hill

      Hi Ira:

      Thank you for visiting my site this morning. Pleasure hearing from you. My father, John Hill, has been writing for a long time. My entire family to include both of my parents are known for their creativity. Be sure to check into all of the books associated with Across A Deadly Field by visiting either the Amazon or the Barnes & Noble online store.

      Since you and your brother are both history fans, you each might also enjoy the Warbonnet Series by Robert Kresge. Kresge’s latest book was a dedication to John.

      Have a wonderful day!


  5. Brian

    Hi there,
    Great review about the book. It seems that it will be viewed as particularly special due to the death of it’s author.
    I find it very interesting the participation and role playing that still goes on to this day concerning the Civil War. That said, the continual study into the strategies, battlegrounds, characters involved, etc., is getting more and more pin point as time goes on.
    Great review of the book!

    1. Stephanie Hill

      Thank you Brian for the comments regarding the review of Across A Deadly Field: A War in the West. The author was John Hill and this book indeed is very special because it is probably his best work. Unfortunately, it will be his last. One of the many ways in which we can study the effects of the Civil War is through role playing and wargames. Playing wargames can be educational in that are you not only learning about what took place during certain battles fought in the Civil War, but you are learning what other scenarios may have taken place which could have had an impact on the outcome.

  6. John

    A great review of Across a deadly field Steph!
    This sounds like an awesome book and well worth a read.
    Sorry to hear of your Fathers passing. You have done a wonderful job with this site and I am sure he would be very proud of you 🙂
    Great job!

    1. Stephanie (Post author)

      Thank you John for the kind words. I am sure my father would be proud of me as well. Please be sure to visit this website again soon.



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