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"The OFM's suggestions for starting in the AWI" Topic

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John the OFM01 Jan 2012 9:26 a.m. PST

I have written on this before on TMP, but usually in response to questions.
I am starting a fresh thread on the topic so I can find it when I need to refer to it.

First, I am assuming that YOU are doing this by yourself. Your friends let you play in their 15mm Age of Reason games or in their Empire Napoleonics or Jutland or Necromunda or Check your 6 or ACW games, and you want to start a period in which they can play.
Or, maybe you are doing the British and Frank is doing the Americans.

First, decide on the theatre. If your group is not so tight-knuckled as to sneer at 1768 Warrant uniform at Guilford Courthouse, then build for the 1776 New York campaign. There are more figures available for this, and you have a nice variety of choice.
For the record, I have gamed happily with Hinchliffe for 30+ years, and they are in the 1768 uniform. They happily campaign in the South, and the sky has not fallen.
Off the top of my head, I can recommend Old Glory, Foundry, Hinchliffe and Front Rank in this uniform.
Saratoga campaign has rather unique uniforms, but nothing radical. Perry's line for this theatre is superb.
For the South, I would go with Perry and DAF's Fife and Drum ranges.

I would start with 5 British regiments. Pick any 5 regiments with different facing colors. I did the 38th (yellow), the 3rd (buff), 23rd (blue), 33rd (white) and 63rd (green). Paint the entire regiment, including the LI and grenadiers. This gives you two "free" battalions, the converged flank companies. Add 2 6 pdr cannon.

For the Continentals, paint up a regiment with blue coat and red facings, blue with white, brown with red and brown with white. Give them early "patriotic slogan" flags, or if you have a favorite flag, do it. There are a LOT of figures suitable for Continentals, but my favorites are the Eureka Ragged Continentals. Dixon does "raggeds" too.
Paint about 3 regiments of militia, which can be both militia or sad-sack Continentals. Add guns. Remember that Knox did a rather good job of supplying guns to the Army. He had to, since they kept "losing" them! SYW French guns would be a nice touch, since that is what was captured at Ticonderoga.

This will give you a good start for battles.

You will of course wish to expand on this, so do this for the second round of painting.

For the British, do Hessians. If you wish to use them as both Hessians in the main army and Brunswickers at Saratoga, do tricorne Hessians with red, yellow and white facings, with grenadiers. Again, that gives you 4 battalions. If you do Hessians/Brunswickers, by all means do jaegers too. YES, I know. The Hessians and Brunswickers are "different", but only slightly, and on the tabletop, hardly noticeable.
In this second round do a regiment of Highlanders too. If tartan intimidates you, good news! They probably fought in overalls! (Not tartan trews.)
If you like cavalry, add a squadron of the 16th or 17th Light Dragoons. More guns.

Continentals, repeat, lather and rinse.
Add Continental Dragoons. Pick your favorite color scheme from whatever year, and do it. When you play a game, they are who you say they are. I did the Philadelphia Light Horse (brown/white) and the brown/green and white/sky blue Continental regiments, because I thought that those unifirms were Cool.

By all means, divert from this plan if you wish. I have had the Queen's Rangers from the beginning, as well as Hessian fusilier regiments because I love the cool hat. I did that because Hinchliffe made the figures. grin

If your favorite battles are things like Trenton or Guilford Courthouse, then my Master Plan should of course be modified.
And you don't need my permission to use weird one-off units like Ferguson's Rifles. I used the Perry LI in roundabouts and painted them green. Green is a nice break from red.

If you can't decide on rules, I might suggest that you base generically with 3 infantry on 2" x 1" bases. Double the ranks of bases for British Grenadier, use as is for Patriots and Loyalists, etc. For dragoons, turn the same base 90 degrees. Base your artillerists individually, so if your rules call for differing numbers of gunners for varying gun weights, you are OK. Keep your guns off bases, and if your rules call for a set size base for guns, just do a terrained base and put the guns and gunners on them.

The rules you end up using will depend on whether YOU think they are simple or complex enough, and how well YOU think it "captures the feel" of the period. I gave up chasing my tail trying to find the "perfect" set of rules, and settled on Age of Reason because we are all familiar with it, and like it. We can get a nice battle in in 4 hours with 6-8 players, each commanding 5 units. YMMV.

Connard Sage01 Jan 2012 9:32 a.m. PST

What rules do you recommend?

evil grin

John the OFM01 Jan 2012 9:35 a.m. PST

Flames of Liberty.

Or is it Glorious Fields of Flames? I forget.

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP01 Jan 2012 9:36 a.m. PST

Very nice round up John. Pretty much how I approached my figure purchasing. I am on round four now, fleshing out Germans and French.

cavcrazy01 Jan 2012 9:36 a.m. PST

Excellent advice, I am in the process of painting my AWI units, My British units were units that were at Bunker Hill, my Continentals are alot of militia and state units. I have all of the different units to paint including Hessians , Loyalists, indians and cavalry. I can't think of a more interesting period to start as a gamer.

KSmyth01 Jan 2012 9:48 a.m. PST

Great suggestions to get started John. While I no longer have them, I loved the Hinchcliffe figures.

My rules choice is Regimental Fire and Fury. There is a specialized Quick Reaction Sheet to support AWI.

John the OFM01 Jan 2012 9:50 a.m. PST

My British units were units that were at Bunker Hill…

And that gives you a nice variety of facing colours!

(I use "color" and "colour" situationally, depending on whether I am taliking Britishly or Yankeely. grin)

John the OFM01 Jan 2012 10:03 a.m. PST

The hard-core "win at all costs" British gamer might want to check out what I call the "Cornwalis Task Force". He habitually took all of the Grenadiers, all of the Light Infantry, all of the Guards, the Highlanders, the dragoons and most of the artillery when he had a subordinate command. When he could get away with it he took all the Hessian grenadiers too!
We all know gamers like that… grin

Captain dEwell01 Jan 2012 10:05 a.m. PST

A very welcome AWI post, and perfect sense and advice. Thanks.

(Wargaming British troops in the 1768 uniform, with tricorn and tails, is like pennies from heaven for me. Joy)

CATenWolde01 Jan 2012 10:19 a.m. PST

Great post! Both informative and practical.

One thing that made starting the ACW easier for me was to purchase the Partizan Press scenario books (and later build on these from other titles). What do people think about following the same approach for the AWI? Do the Partizan Press AWI scenario books (I think there are three now?) provide a good core to build on?

For the smaller scale figures, any feeling on 10mm Pendraken or 6mm Adler?




CATenWolde01 Jan 2012 10:23 a.m. PST


We are using RF&F for the ACW, and people are also looking at it for the 1809 Russo-Swedish War. Have you been playing the AWI for long with these rules? IS the QRS on the RF&F site enough to go at it, or do you have any other advice?



John the OFM01 Jan 2012 10:38 a.m. PST

I have all three British Grenadier scenario books. Even if you do not like those rules (and I do like them), the scenarios are first rate.

FABET0101 Jan 2012 10:40 a.m. PST

Nice post John. A good start to the New year.

Any suggestions for simple one (or two) page rules for the 18th Century (ala Featherstone)?

Don196201 Jan 2012 10:43 a.m. PST

John the OFM … didn't the 33rd have RED facings? They certainly did have a white regimental standard, maybe that's what you were thinking of?

My choice of British units has been influenced by two factors: (a) they were at Monmouth, and (b) nice variety of colors so each unit is easily recognizable from the others …

5th Foot (light olive green facings)
10th Foot (bright yellow facings)
33rd Foot (red facings)
37th Foot (yellow facings)
40th Foot (buff facings)
46th Foot (pale yellow facings)
55th Foot (dark green facings)
64th Foot (black facings)

John the OFM01 Jan 2012 10:46 a.m. PST

John the OFM … didn't the 33rd have RED facings?

Errr…. yes. grin

rusty musket01 Jan 2012 10:51 a.m. PST

Thanks, John. I wish I had that to go by years ago. I am sure it will be very helpful.
Oh, and who is Frank?

Proniakin01 Jan 2012 11:22 a.m. PST

My initial AWI forces were from the Battle of Paoli. Later, I started painting up units for Trenton and the Southern campaign.

Eventually, I re-based the British flank companies and Patriot militia to run a 'Battle road' scenario at a convention.

John the OFM01 Jan 2012 11:28 a.m. PST

"Frank" is the fictitious Other Guy who is willing to paint the other side.

Spiffy Iguana01 Jan 2012 11:30 a.m. PST

I have to say that was one of the more useful posts I've read. We spend a lot of time on minutia, its refreshing to see a simple guide to getting started in a period.

Pijlie01 Jan 2012 11:47 a.m. PST

A very good guideline and doubtless usefull for many.

If only I could have read this sooner and saved my soul….

I took about the same route (only in 20mm) with an even more liberal approach; I only chose Cool Uniforms and only worried about the nationality of the troops. And still the sky has stayed up there ;o)

Cheriton01 Jan 2012 12:13 p.m. PST


I have written on this before on TMP, but usually in response to questions.
I am starting a fresh thread on the topic so I can find it when I need to refer to it.

Many thanks I am archiving it in my "TMP Threads" folder and will update it as this thread continues.

Michael guinness

sneakgun01 Jan 2012 12:34 p.m. PST

Excellent!! I've started with getting and reading some of the book recommendations from the earlier question.

ancientsgamer01 Jan 2012 1:24 p.m. PST


A simple idea to archive threads. Now why didn't I think of that since I bookmark so much as it is? Sometimes the obvious ideas are the most overlooked; thanks!

And John, very helpful as always, no matter what your detractors say :-)

Dave Crowell01 Jan 2012 1:47 p.m. PST

Years ago I started by following John's advice given above.nnit has served me well.

Now I do the AWI in multiple scales and theaters, as well as multiple rule sets and all thanks to the man who was there…the OFM

JCBJCB01 Jan 2012 2:01 p.m. PST

I've been debating picking up some of the Blue Moon 15mm range, and have always thought AWI presented an accessible, smaller project I might actually finish. Finding out which uniforms the British wore, and when, has been puzzling. This post is most helpful.

Chris Rance01 Jan 2012 2:33 p.m. PST

Your post last year was one of my "10 most useful on TMP"; this one is even better set out. AWI is a year off for me, but it's great to have a guideline like this. Thank you thumbs up.

BTW, any thoughts on starting the Seven Years War grin ?

John the OFM01 Jan 2012 3:19 p.m. PST

BTW, any thoughts on starting the Seven Year War?

Nope. grin

Cheriton01 Jan 2012 3:34 p.m. PST


A simple idea to archive threads. Now why didn't I think of that since I bookmark so much as it is? Sometimes the obvious ideas are the most overlooked; thanks!

Yes, it suddenly occurred to me a few years ago. I suppose many were well ahead of me on this idea, certainly.

One can highlight the entire thread in one sweep. I then copy & paste it into an open WordPad. Highlight the topic header, paste it at the top of the WordPad page and make it bold.

Press <ctr>-S then <ctr>-V to enter into the Save dialogue window as, in this case, OFM's suggestions for starting in the AWI, press<spc> and type the current number of posts, here "28" and you've got:

OFM's suggestions for starting in the AWI 28.rtf

and then I save it to the "TMP Active Thread folder". If one values a thread's info one can go back later and if (eg OFM's) now has 44 posts one opens the original file and copies and pastes the newer posts then Save As (changing 28 to 44) :

OFM's suggestions for starting in the AWI 44.rtf

Also, it's easy to highlight and copy link locations and then paste into the proper spot in the WordPad file. After a period of time I'll go through and move all "completed threads" to an appropriate folder such as AWI Info in this case for future reference.

Nothing brilliant here, really, but I have saved a ton of useful information this way over recent years. A guinness to TMP and its contributors…

Captain dEwell01 Jan 2012 3:51 p.m. PST

Good input, Cheriton.

(and if that's a Guiness, then Cheers!)

Oddball01 Jan 2012 5:08 p.m. PST

John, Great suggestions. I wish I had read it about a year ago before I had 12 Batt. for each side done.

Cheriton01 Jan 2012 5:31 p.m. PST

Captain DEwell

Good input, Cheriton.

(and if that's a Guiness, then Cheers!)

I am a Sam Smith's IPA man myself but the lighter emoticon seem too pale, more like Budweiser evil grin !

So, SM IPA or Guinness it is Cheers!


Fried Flintstone01 Jan 2012 5:59 p.m. PST

Hi John

Thanks for a useful post.

I can recommend Old Glory, Foundry, Hinchliffe and Front Rank in this uniform.

Which figures would mix well from a size perspective. Which would you keep separate?

John the OFM01 Jan 2012 6:18 p.m. PST

I would not mix them within a unit. The style differences alone would make the stand look … awkward.
Hinchliffe are "true 25.4mm". grin They are also slimmer.
Old Glory have an awful lot of weird poses in the 1st ed figures, suitable for "charging" units, but not so weird in the second release.
Front Rank are rather bulky, with one pose per catalog number.
Foundry have a nice mix of slightly different poses within a pose pack.

Each have their own virtues, but would not mix well with the others. Keep them in separate units.

John the OFM01 Jan 2012 6:23 p.m. PST

By the way, I also like Dixon, with the caveat that some may not like the large heads. Dixon are close to "true 25mm", but not too much different from Foundry.
They are in 1768 Warrant uniform too.

In my case, I started in the late 70s and early 80s. I did not care for Scruby or Minifigs. That left Hinchliffe. I did not have to agonize over such esoterica as "compatibility". grin I did NOT have an embarrassment of riches.

Fried Flintstone01 Jan 2012 6:31 p.m. PST

Appreciate the reply

KSmyth01 Jan 2012 6:38 p.m. PST


I used the QRS off the R FnF support page, but I also had a set of the hardcover rules to go with it. Last year I ran Hobkirk's Hill at Enfilade, and I also used the rules when they were still in development to run Cowpens. The QRS for 28mm makes play quite doable. I liked it.


Thomas Mante02 Jan 2012 4:17 a.m. PST

"For the smaller scale figures, any feeling on 10mm Pendraken or 6mm Adler?"


Both Pendraken (10mm) and Adler (6mm) have pretty good ranges which are still being added to albeit it a snail's pace. Baccus also have a 6mm range which is pretty much complete. As to 6mm personally I would not mix Adler and Baccus figures, each has its charms. If pressed for a preference I would probably choose Baccus.

In 10mm there are the Histofig/Scruby and Old Glory 10mm ranges. Have not seen the figures so I cannot comment on sculpting/compatibility. I like the Pendraken 10mm range a lot although there are some gaps such as there being only a single cavalry code but the quality of the sculpting is first rate.

skinkmasterreturns02 Jan 2012 4:28 a.m. PST

I'm using my American dragoons from my War of 1812 figures to double as my American Rev Dragoons.They look fairly similar,and they're wearing blue,but they're what I have.Am I a heretic?

John the OFM02 Jan 2012 7:10 a.m. PST

Yes, you are a heretic. However, in these economic times I forgive you.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2012 7:31 a.m. PST

One starting source on AWI Battles is at link

Under each link for a battle are suggested readings

korsun0 Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2012 8:17 a.m. PST

A useful thread…makes me think I've dipped my toe in the pond the right way.

I became interested in AWI so decided to pick a smallish battle (Guildford Courthouse). Worked out the forces at 1:5 and sent off a request to Pendraken who advised me on what figure to use for what and made up my units for me so I didn't have surplus from many packs. Nice figures. Of course I now have nearly 1000 x 10mm to paint so may rethink the 1:5 aspect….:) It will serve me as a starting point for bigger forces for any theatre/year (I'm not a purist). As for rules, I'll be using Rank and File.


Militia Pete02 Jan 2012 8:34 p.m. PST

Who's Frank? I didn't know he wargamed?

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Jan 2012 10:08 p.m. PST

FYI: the Fife & Drum range of AWI figures is intended to portray the Continental and British armies on campaign during the 1777-78 Philadelphia Campaign. Thus the British are wearing the adapted uniform with cut down coats (but not round abouts) and brimmed hat with one side turned up. The Light Infantry wear the round abouts in this range. Accordingly, the British can be used in the Philadelphia campaign as well as in the Southern theatre.

The Continentals are suitable for nearly any campaign up to the official uniform change cited in the 1779 regulations, although they would still be suitable for the Southern Theatre battles.

If you are just starting to build armies for the AWI, consider building and growing your forces with Fife & Drum as we continue to expand our range of figures.

That said, with so many different ranges and figure choices these days, you really can't go wrong with whatever range of figures that you end up using.

Early morning writer03 Jan 2012 12:15 a.m. PST

How many iterations before I can do Long Island, then?

Sane Max03 Jan 2012 3:08 a.m. PST

Excelsior! Now I can start painting my PP Rebels.

Thank you John!


Spudeus03 Jan 2012 1:25 p.m. PST

Always good to hear from 'pathfinders' who have trod the trails before! I'm taking the plunge into AWI and have a pile of 15mm Peter Pig.

My rough plan (like many here, evidently) is to proceed semi-chronologically. I'll start with British regiments in 68 warrant at Bunker Hill, along with several battalions of Patriot militia. I'll then proceed with Continentals, riflemen, hessians, & loyalists for the mid-war battles in the North, along with Brits in campaign dress and (eventually) French for the southern theater.

The sheer variety of uniforms/units and the manageable size of battles seems a perfect fit for me. Looking forward to the Black Powder AWI supplement!

richarDISNEY03 Jan 2012 1:59 p.m. PST

Methinks John was bored…

Shootmenow04 Jan 2012 7:31 a.m. PST

One of the best posts I've ever read on TMP especially as I'm looking to start recruiting AWI units soon. Thanks John. Genuinely appreciated.

My biggest problem at the moment is deciding on a scale…never, in the field of human conflict, has so many figures been available, from so many, in so many scales, to such an indecisive few.

Dave Crowell04 Jan 2012 7:59 a.m. PST

Go 40mm. You can actually see all those lovingly painted details at tabletop viewing distance.

BigHagar13 May 2012 2:07 a.m. PST

Just two words, John: THANK YOU!

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