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"Need advice on good AWI rules for 28mm..." Topic

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Action Log

03 Nov 2017 8:47 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from 18th Century Product Reviews board
  • Crossposted to American Revolution board

1,148 hits since 3 Nov 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Baranovich03 Nov 2017 8:06 p.m. PST

As the title says.

I have experience with Fire & Fury ACW and ancients rules but not much experience with AWI rules.

I'm putting together two generic period forces for the Brits. and Continentals in 28mm.

Just for reference, I own a number of 18th Century rule sets but bought them mainly just for the enjoyment of reading the mechanics casually and the technical information about the weapons and tactics, etc.

I'm looking for something that is immersive but also can play fairly easily, I'm not looking for an exercise in algebra or statistics.

I pulled out the rules that I own. I've got British Grenadier, Warfare in the Age of Reason, Land of the Free, Volley & Bayonet, and I think one other one that covers a broad spectrum of wars. To be honest, Warfare in the Age of Reason looks terrifying in its complexity.

I've heard a lot about Black Powder, that some really dislike it because it's trying to cover too many different wars and isn't balanced. I am aware that there is apparently some amount of backlash against it because it's written by a former GW man, Rick Priestley of 40k fame. Despite the negative things I've heard, it sounds like it's more like the kind of rules that I'm looking for.

Another aspect of this is that I very much prefer the kind of basing where you have six or eight soldiers on a base in two ranks, I like the concept of a number of bases like that making up brigades or elements for lack of a better term. (I know the historical evidence indicates that both armies in the AWI used linear formations that were not elbow-to-elbow but actually a bit looser, but aesthetically I would like my AWI armies to be more compact on the bases, just a personal preference if not historically pure.) Land of the Free uses this kind of basing system but I don't know how the rules play.

So anyway, just looking for feedback on what rules you would recommend for AWI. Again, go easy on me! I want playability and fun without getting bogged down too much in heavy charts, etc. But I also want to feel like I've played a fairly realistic battle within reason.

Thanks in advance!

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP03 Nov 2017 8:36 p.m. PST

Warfare in the Age of Reason is not complex at all. You simply add or subtract or subtract D6 per tactical advantage. In that way it's much like classic games from the 70s or 89s.
Cavalry charges need to pass a morale check, with again D6 mods.
Infantry charges need a single D6.
Class is important. I find it much simpler than the others you mention.

Btw, in a dilatory fashion, I'm working on The Sword and the Flame with minimal mods for smaller battles. I've done Bennington, Cowpens, Camden…

For my larger battles, I base 3 infantry on 2"X1" elements. If the game calls for double bases, I double the stands.
My skirmish figures are on steel washers, and I have applied 1" wide magnetic tape to my infantry bases.

Rich Bliss03 Nov 2017 8:51 p.m. PST

I use Volley and Bayonet at the wing scale for my AWI games. You definitely won't get bogged down in the math. I usually don't reference the rules or the QRS during a game at all. Of course, it is a roster system which is not to everyone's taste but it does let you fight a full battle with most of the period ‘flavor' stemming from the OoB and unit ratings. It definitely allows you to put two lines of figures on a single large base.

GROSSMAN03 Nov 2017 9:00 p.m. PST

Check out Guns of Liberty by Eric Burgess. They are my favorite set.

KSmyth03 Nov 2017 9:27 p.m. PST

I like Regimental Fire and Fury if the games are fairly small. Most of the southern battles fall into that category. Der Alte Fritz's Fife and Drum rules look pretty good for larger games. They are available free from his website.

ancientsgamer Supporting Member of TMP03 Nov 2017 10:31 p.m. PST

Might and Reason has variant files on the Honour downloads section. One of the best rules for 7YW adapted for AWI and actually other eras now.

Maurice is different and worth a look. Note it is card driven.

Red358404 Nov 2017 1:28 a.m. PST

Another vote for Black Powder. They do seem to get some stick from certain folk on here but I've always found them a consistently fun and playable set of rules, ideal for this period/. Tinkering with the rules is fine ( indeed it's positively encouraged!) so it's easy too add period flavour.

Bandolier04 Nov 2017 2:17 a.m. PST

Fife and Drum by Der Alte Fritz gives a quick and fun game.
Guns of Liberty for more grit. A 3rd version is in the works.

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member04 Nov 2017 4:41 a.m. PST

Whichever rules you decide on, make a point of getting the four "British grenadier" scenario books, and "Rebellion" which is the supplement/army lists for "Black Powder". All of these books are invaluable and complement any rule sets.

21eRegt04 Nov 2017 6:18 a.m. PST

Another vote for Guns of Liberty. Been our rules of choice for some time.

Baranovich04 Nov 2017 7:29 a.m. PST

I just picked up a copy of Black Powder along with the Rebellion supplement, I'll give those rules a try.

Thanks for all the info. and input folks, much appreciated!

23rdFusilier04 Nov 2017 10:37 a.m. PST

Loose files and American Scramble. Have been playing these since they first came out. Gives a great game fun game with a good flavor for the Rev War. Also, they are free…..

Here is a link to how I play the rules:


huron72504 Nov 2017 12:24 p.m. PST

I've had fun gaming AWI with Black Powder, modified Muskets & Tomahawks and modified (by Winston) The Sword and the Flame. The others mentioned I have had no experience with.

Good luck and enjoy your gaming.

Personal logo Ironwolf Supporting Member of TMP04 Nov 2017 3:10 p.m. PST

With our rules, its easily modified for 28mm. Company – Regimental rule set. I'd have to second SuperMax's post on the AWI supplements. They can be easily modified for any set of rules.

Rules Link: link

YouTube link

Lascaris04 Nov 2017 8:36 p.m. PST

We use British Grenadier for 28mm AWI. I think it gives a great battle.

Early morning writer Inactive Member06 Nov 2017 6:31 a.m. PST

One try of Warfare in the Age of Reason and I re-dubbed it Warfare in the Age of Unreason. One try of Black Powder turned out to be about ten tries too many. Loose Files never appealed from reading it but some love it. British Grenadier is a 'child' of fantasy/sci-fi rules apparently so I don't get why it has such a devoted AWI following. But to each their own, clearly some people really like elements of my above list.

Guns of Liberty is my game of choice and its author is currently working on an updated version 3. The earlier versions I'm pretty sure are all sold out. It does play well – though originally designed for 15 mm. However, rules are rarely actually scale specific (except maybe 6 mm ones?). It gives you a fast playing and simple set of rules with period flavor. And I'm all for simple – I want to play the miniatures, not the rules. That feels more 'natural'.

My goal is not to recapture history – just a feel for that. What I really strive towards is the original child-like joy of pushing toy soldiers around – with a little more 'control' of the event. And camaraderie and good humor. That outweighs rules by orders of magnitude. Pick the right players and you get the right kind of game.

Oh, rules pre-AOR (AOU) was Volley Fire but you might not like them because they use lots of fractional math – though I converted it to coinage, as in quarters, easier to explain to players and not intimidating to the math apprehensives.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2017 11:59 a.m. PST

Our club rules "Sons of Liberty".


Lance Flint06 Nov 2017 12:10 p.m. PST

You could try "Yankee Peas and Crackers", available on eBay.
Designed solely for the AWI and for any figure or basing system.
They have a unique system of Temporary Disorder and Fighting Factor that constantly shifts as a unit moves and fights.
Tabletop unit is a "battalion/regiment" or the wing of a larger regiment or brigade. Small detachments are also catered for.
They are both simple to pick up and fast to play.

22ndFoot06 Nov 2017 2:33 p.m. PST

British Grenadier is a very well thought out set of rules which is one of the few that tries to model the different tactical operations of the different armies and the different approaches to moving around on the battlefield. This may be why it has such a devoted following. We use them for brigade-sized actions and enjoy them very much. For larger actions we go computerised and use Carnage & Glory which are also very good.

It really depends on what you want to model and whether you care about some of the stuff that many of the rules simply don't bother with.

I second the suggestion to get the British Grenadier scenario books as well as the BP Rebellion supplement.

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member06 Nov 2017 2:48 p.m. PST

British Grenadier is a 'child' of fantasy/sci-fi rules apparently so I don't get why it has such a devoted AWI following.

Not sure where you got this from – there's no fantasy/sci-fi genes in its pedigree at all. It's a combination of "General de Brigade" and "Loose Files & American Scramble". It is very good for brigade-level actions, and can be fought at anything from 1:20 down to 1:5.

womble67 Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 3:58 a.m. PST

I would recommend Black Powder Rules. Hope it helps.

As always, comments are appreciated.

Take care


GamesPoet Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 12:28 p.m. PST

Light Bobs is aimed at battalion level fights, yet I'd give it a go, and it could still be enjoyable.

afilter Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2017 1:21 p.m. PST

Well if you enjoy Fire and Fury it works great for AWI as well. Just started a new game last week.


Granted there are no official AWI scenario books out there yet (In future plans for Rich), but not that difficult to build a scenario using OoB.

The RFF QRS is posted online as well.


That said Black Powder has been our go to for AWI. The "Rebellion" supplement is probably the best of all the Black Powder supplements published to date and a great resource for someone even if you do not play BP.

Here are a couple of BP scenarios we played for AWI:

Saratoga campaign (scenarios from Main rule book and Rebellion):


Trenton (adapted from another blog post):


Other rules we have tried include Land of the Free (promising) and Sharp Practice 2 (great for skirmish level).

A guide to how I have based my troops so I can play BP of RFF.


While putting multiple troops on a single base can be appealing, I find it limits flexibility to go between rule sets without rebasing. For my F&IW figures I based all figures individually for Sharp Practice. Now I can combine them using magnetic sheet to instantly make larger basing groups for other games.



That said my

Jefthing Inactive Member09 Nov 2017 3:12 p.m. PST

Loose Files all the way. Worth looking at the Helion paper soldiers book, which has two sets of rules by Andy Callan, the same author. Not had a chance to play them yet, but they are an update on Loose Files.

23rdFusilier17 Nov 2017 3:38 a.m. PST

Jefthing, could you share a little bit more about the rules by Andy Callan? I am a great fan of the original Loose Files rules and was very curious about the rules in the Helion paper soldiers book.

historygamer17 Nov 2017 7:33 a.m. PST

I'm not seeing what level of play the original poster is looking for? Skirmish? Company? Battalion?

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2017 9:37 a.m. PST

The more scenario books out there the better. But let's try for some fresh new ones. We can never have too many Freeman's Farm or Guilford Courthouse scenarios. grin

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