Friday, 28 September 2012

AWI play test (part 2)

Ian remembered this rule set as being great fun, but on reading it after more than 15 years I was bit underwhelmed and didn't really 'get' it. However, as soon as we started playing I realised it was a little work of art, capturing as it did the spirit of our very first wargames back in the er,....sixties ! And the figures look great - check out  these Hessian Grenadiers outflanking the American left . . . . .

Notice the 'scorched earth' policy in the background !
As always, the best painting jobs have been done by Ian !

The essence of these rules is fine tactical detail. Reloading takes two game phases, first volleys are worth witholding because they are the most deadly, Redcoats simply fixing bayonets will cause a morale test for nervous Continentals and so on . . . . .

Minutemen defy Hessian Musketeers - they'll be gone in a minute !
  French Line vs Hessian Line - what country are we in again ?

'Command Options' (secretly diced for and allocated before the game) allow players to gain small advantages at critical moments - like extra movement, additional morale points and faster loading rates. To represent their better training, the European units are allowed slightly more control over the initial acquisition of these options.

The view from Washington's left flank
Fully deployed British regiments, seven companies each

Loss of officers during combat gradually reduces a regiments available Command Options. Colonels, Majors and Captains are thus very likely to be targeted by eager light infantry and skirmishers - I lost Colonel Warwick of the 3rd Foot almost as soon as the shooting started !

Note casualty figure - passing through these has a morale effect 

The 4th New York regiment exchange volleys with the British
Major Parkes dragoons retreat before advancing Loyalists

The core concept of  this rule set is excellent -  tactical minutiae representing the absolutely opposite experience to our army level 6mm ACW rules. When some of the peripheral ideas are tidied up, I think it's a winner !


  1. I love the "clean" look to your table-suits the AWI especially well.

  2. Thanks Matt. You may not have noticed but it was your handiwork that produced that "scorched earth" look!

  3. That's a very nice looking game, and the rules do sound interesting. I game AWI at 1:10 too but have gone for less tactical detail than you seem to. How many units are you using, and how long did/will the game take to play? I'm intrigued... Cheers.

  4. We have six infantry units each plus a squadron of cavalry and a couple of sections of guns. This is probably the maximum we can handle because of the fairly detailed nature of the rules. Each game turn is divided into 3 phases that each take about 20 minutes to play, so we could play 3 turns or so in an evening. We've played three turns so far and the game is likely to last for 5 or so turns in total.

    What's absorbing and fun about the rules is the timing of the small tactical decisions you have to make - we write orders for each three phases of a turn in one go. So if you decide to hold your fire until phase 3 for example, you may find that the enemy have moved away out of range or worst still, have played a double charge option and closed on your line!

    Each infantry unit has a Colonel, Major and Captain and they have different effects on the unit. For instance, if the Major is killed you can no longer play a "Quick March" option (double move) or "Charge" option, if the Captain is killed you can't use a "Load with Haste" option etc etc. It's all good fun...

  5. Lovely table, Ian. Looks like an interesting set of rules too. I llok forward to reading more of this. Regards, Iain.

  6. Thanks Iain, should be more later this week...

  7. Thanks for the run down Ian. I like your approach, although, as our games involve typically double your numbers, i probably won't get to try that level of detail. Perhaps in solo games... Cheers.