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 16, 2010

AWI using Neil Thomas' Napoleonic Wargaming

So, I tried DBA-HX for the AWI and both DBA and HOTT as the basis for AWI variants, and I was never really quite satisfied. I had some fun games, to be sure, but something just did not quite click.

I recently bought the new Peter Pig Washington's Army and I can already tell you it is not striking a chord with me. I don't know why, maybe because the units just do not look right (four figure bases in two ranks). I'll keep reading them - I hear they have some good ideas I may want to pinch - but they do not seem to match what I consider the ideal, which is to say how it is written in With Zeal and With Bayonets Only.

I finished reading Neal Thomas' Napoleonic Wargaming and I rather like it. I still have not played a game with it, but I intend to. To start, I am simply going to use four singly-based infantry figures to represent each unit. I'll have to adjust the distances, of course, but as it will all be proportional, it should give me a feel for how the rules work. If I like the way it plays, I'll probably start basing units - or building movement trays - for the system. I have plenty of 40mm by 20mm bases to use.

The only thing I have to figure out is how to get the period flavor in, like Mr. Thomas does with his special rules. I also have to develop army lists. In the beginning I will simply use an all-infantry force - always possible in the AWI - so I don't have to deal with how to represent cavalry right off of the bat.

The areas that I want to model are:

  • With Zeal and With Bayonets Only: The tendency for the British to advance rapidly to close range (50 yards), deliver one volley and then charge.
  • Open Order versus Closed Order: The British and American loose formations, which allowed for rapid movement over broken ground and changing formation, versus the slower, plodding movement of the French and Germans.
  • American Scramble: The tendency for the Patriots to retire from bayonet charges. Of course, these retiring movements can sometimes turn into routs...
Still mulling over how to do it. I will probably play one game using the Napoleonic Wargaming rules generically, in order to get a feel, before adding the flavor.

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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").