Saturday, 30 January 2016

Revolutionary Quandary

My next big project is going to be the American War of Independence or the Revolutionary War, AWI for short.

I have never done the AWI before (can't think why as I seem to have done almost everything else).

My first quandary is what scale or size of figures to use. There is an enormous choice, some of which are listed below. I have used a standard line infantry unit as means of measure.

Warlord Games, 28 mm, £18, free postage, 24 close order figures, 6 open order figures, flags, bases, can pick them up at most shows.

Perry Miniatures, 28 mm, £20, free postage, 36 close order figures, flags, bases, can pick them up at most shows.

Kallistra, 12 mm, £6 (£5 in multiples of 6), 32 close order figures, no flags, bases, only at certain shows.

Pendraken, 10 mm, £4.50, 30 close order figures (pack), no flags, no bases, only at certain shows.

Baccus, 6 mm, £5.50, 96 close order figures (4 units), no flags, no bases, only at certain shows.

No clear option here but the smaller sizes are cheaper per figure, no surprises there, but tend to not come with flags or bases.

I know that there are other manufacturers and ranges to consider but I'm trying to keep it simple for the time being. I can always add others in further down the road.

In 28 mm a standard line unit could be 24 figures strong and based on six 40 x 40 mm bases making a unit 240 mm wide.

12 mm equates to 32 figures and four 40 x 20 mm bases making a unit 160 mm wide.

10 mm equates to ~30 figures and four 40 x 20 mm bases making a unit 160 mm wide.

6 mm comes in at 24 figures and one 60 x 30 base making a unit 60 mm wide.

My table is 6 foot by 4 foot or approximately 1800 mm wide. A single line of close order infantry units across the table will be: 28 mm - 7.5 units, 12/10 mm - 11.25 units and 6 mm - 30 units.

Smaller sizes, bigger armies, fairly well known across the hobby (yes, I know, it brings in smaller tables too).

Being an old age pensioner and grand-dad to be makes the budget something to consider.

28 mm, 7.5 units at £18 each totals £135.
12 mm, 11.25 units at £5 totals £56.25.
10 mm, 11.25 units at £4.50 totals £50.63.
6 mm, 30 units at £5.50 for 4 units totals £41.25.

At the end of the day I will probably sample more than one of these options. Apologies if my arithmetic is dodgy.

I have been painting 28mm Napoleonic units for charity sale over the last couple of years and now that the big anniversary of Waterloo has passed it may be a diminishing market. I am quite likely to pick up some Warlord/Perry AWI boxes next weekend at Vapnartak. They will make excellent charity sale objects if I decide not to keep them for myself.

Kallistra, hmm, they didn't easily jump into my awareness for AWI. I have an awful lot of their Medieval/Fantasy figures. I'd best not get any more in the short term.

I wouldn't rush into getting some Pendraken AWI at the moment. I have an absolute ton of their Seven Years War offerings so I am quite familiar with them as a manufacturer.

The Baccus 6 mm figures are intriguing, are they big enough to differentiate Continentals from Militia, I'm not sure, I might pick up a pack or two for a trial run. I have a lot of Peters ACW figures so I am familiar with their tiny size and an appropriate painting style.

The last part of the quandary is what ruleset to use. Black Powder is one obvious choice but I'm not sure about the AWI add-on (Rebellion). At the other end of the rules spectrum there are Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames options and his Horse and Musket generic set.

Are there any other rulesets that I should be considering. My main requirements being simple to learn and play, one versus one, solo, and no massive games.


  1. 6mm. I have two unpainted 6mm AWI armies which I hope to paint this year - but in terms of mass effect, tactical elements etc. then 6mm for me is the best scale.

  2. 54mm. You know it makes sense...

    1. Thanks Tim, not a surprise coming from you. You echo what my old mate Iain would say but he's gone so I can ignore him now. I'll have to ignore you too, sorry.

      What shows might I bump into you at this year?

  3. 28mm would be my choice, the Perrys range covers everything and there really isn't a better range anywhere.

    There aren't that many big battles to drop to a smaller scale for me. We have been using British Grenadier rules, very old school but then so am I!

    There are a few articles / painting guides etc on my blog you might find useful but THE AWI blog is Tarletons Quarter check it out for ideas etc.

    Good Luck with your new project.

    Regards Ken

    1. Thanks Ken, more browsing for me.

      Will check out British Grenadier.

  4. Jim,
    Go to the Perfect Captain website and download their free AWI rules designed for smaller size battles ( although we have used them for the biggies) army generation etc etc I think one of the best sets available

    1. Thanks Graham

      Anything free is worth a look!

    2. I've had a look at Perfect Captain and I'm not so keen on all the markers and cards that the game requires. I don't think they will give me the sort of game I am looking for the AWI.

      I do have the Perfect Captain rules for the RCW however.

  5. I have thought of doing this in 15mm. Peter Pig do the figures and a ruleset called Washington's army. Only played them once but remember having an enjoyable game

    1. Am trying to avoid the mid sized figures i.e. 15 mm and 18 mm. My painting is OK for 28 mm and 6/10 mm. I struggle with the inbetween sizes as there is detail the needs painted that I can't quite see clearly.

    2. The rules might be worth a look. We play Peter Pigs Bloody Barons (designed for 15mm) with 28mm figures no problem

    3. Thanks again David, I'll put your suggestion on the middle burner for the time being.

      I've had strong suggestion from several notable directions to try British Grenadier so I hope to get a copy next weekend at Vapnartak.

  6. Dear Uncle Jim,
    Peter Pig rules are rather good. Don't be put off by them being for 15mm figures. Hopefully you'll be able to ask about the rugby if the home team wins on Saturday.

    1. Yes, I've has a couple of nudges in Peter Pigs direction already. One day perhaps, one day.

  7. Try Will McNally's free rules - there'll be a link from his blog "Fire at Will".. I like them so much I've used them for over 20 years now.... for some idea's and the like, there's a link to my AWI Project page from my main blog...