My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

AWI Rules

I've gotten the basics down for a new set of American War of Independence Wargaming (AWIW) rules, this time based on Neil Thomas' Napoleonics Wargaming (NW) rules. They still need to be playtested - I am basing up some unpainted AWI figures for the interim - so you might see some battle reports. But, don't expect any pictures as I rarely take pictures of playtest games using unpainted figures!

The rules feature:

  • Measurements in units scaled to your troops.
  • Representing close order and loose order with the same set of figures.
  • AWI-style Skirmishers.
  • Indians.
  • Three weights of Artillery: Light (3 pdrs), Medium (6 pdrs), and Heavy (12+ pdrs).
  • Artillery's lack of mobility on the battlefield.
  • More terrain types, especially linear obstacles.
  • Added the Column formation for Cavalry and Skirmishers, not just Infantry. This allowed for refinement of terrain rules and made the lack of interpenetration rules less of a problem.
There were some fundamental mechanics that I changed from NW that will change how the game plays.

  • Scale is considered much smaller. It is hard to judge what scale a unit represents in NW, but my belief it is a regiment/brigade. In 
  • Columns are shallower. All column formations in AWIW are equivalent to the Column of Route in NW, but are formed using the formation for Attack Column.
  • Skirmishers have three formations rather than one. This makes maneuvering units around one another possible (but slow).
  • Cavalry have two formations rather than one, for the same reason as above.
  • Column speeds have increased slightly, but getting shot at or meleed while in Column is a bad thing, so this forces columns only to be used behind the lines, which is as it should be in this period.
  • Line infantry in loose order can move relatively fast - as fast as skirmishers - but they still have maneuver problems. This still results in two turns of fire at incoming infantry, so the basic mechanic has not changed.
  • Skirmishers and Indians move like lights in Ancient and Medieval Wargaming (AMW), possibly even more flexibly, but still have to maintain "formation".
  • Changes of formation are basically slower.
  • Lighter artillery is allowed a "prolong" move when unlimbered. This is necessary as no artillery can limber back up once unlimbered. This represents the civilian drivers moving the horse teams to the rear once the guns have been deployed, and their reluctance to return to the battle until after the bullets have stopped flying.
  • Saving rolls are given to Skirmishers and Indians to represent their formation's lack of density as a basic defense. It also evens out a firefight between Infantry and Skirmishers.
  • Patriots always lose ties in hand-to-hand unless defending cover.
  • Not having bayonets really hurts.
There are a few more things I might play with, such as the British infantry's notorious lack of ability to use woods as cover. The main thing I want to see from playtest is whether the British have enough of a compelling reason to move rapidly into hand-to-hand. If you try out the rules, let me know what your playtesting reveals.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dale,
    Very interested in your adaptation on Thomas' rules to the AWI. How have your playtests progressed?

    For my own 15mm AWI games, I prefer whole unit removal to composite base removal and wondering how to alter Thomas' rules to accommodate tracking casualties without base removal. Should be straight forward enough but haven't given it much thought until i saw your AWI version of Thomas.



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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 50 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ (although I have a townhouse in Houston, TX and a small home in Tucson, AZ) working on a contract for "the next two years" that is going on five years now. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").