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"Fall In Theme games for AWI and ACW" Topic

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Areas of Interest


866 hits since 13 Oct 2018
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historygamer Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2018 8:30 a.m. PST

Here is a breakdown of the rules being used:


Fire and Fury Regimental 2 games
Johnny Reb (RB) III 2 games
Frontier in Flames 6 games
61-65 1 games
Kids game 1 game
Carnage and Glory (C&G) 4 games


Black Powder 2 games
Yankee Doodle 1 game
Sharpe's Practice 1 game
C&G 2 games
British Grenadier 2 games (both mine)
Glint of Steel 1 game
All the Kings Men 1 game
Thrust of Bayonet 2 games
Battlecry 1 game

Maybe it's just me, but I find the rules (and number) of games being offered in these two periods kind of interesting.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2018 9:25 a.m. PST

Could you be a bit more explicit, historygamer? To me, it looks normal--and a bit depressing.

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2018 11:11 a.m. PST

Well, in my opinion, not many theme oriented games – at least in the more main stream periods of AWI and ACW. I also find the selection of rules curious too. The ACW FB group recently ran a survey of favorite rules and the various versions of Fire and Fury won hands down, yet I only see 2 games of that listed, and only two of the also popular Johnny Reb rules (they've held their own convention for many years).

Overall, I find the offerings rather sparse, especially given the theme of the con and the rules being offered vs what is apparently popularly played.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2018 1:37 p.m. PST

Oh. That was what I found normal and depressing. Of course, having a poll on Facebook already skews the results, but I'd agree: the various incarnations of Fire & Fury and Johnny Reb are the most popular ACW sets. (Mind you, the last time I saw a poll, the most popular rules in EVERY historical period were "house/home/other" but still…)

That said, horse and musket games generally seem to be a diminishing percentage of the HMGS-east conventions--as are all historical games, come to that. And a lot of success is just showing up. So nearly as I can see, HMGS doesn't recruit game masters. These are the people who volunteered to build a convention-level game, transport it hundreds of miles and let someone else play with their toys. When I do that, they can play with the rules I like, and not what some pollster prefers.

Only things I can suggest are that you make your games so good you'll have players next year and maybe someone else putting on games you can play in, and that you encourage friends to put on games you think people would enjoy.

I suspect we'd also benefit from more "simple rules will be taught" and less "players should be familiar with" even if this meant playing stripped-down systems. But it's only a notion. I can't prove it.

coopman13 Oct 2018 1:52 p.m. PST

"Frontier in Flames"? Never heard of them. Anyone got any info on them? Thanks.

TheKing3013 Oct 2018 1:58 p.m. PST

Johnny Reb – I've always wanted to play that game. Hopefully I can get in…

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2018 6:55 p.m. PST

Johnny Reb gets it's own convention, why doesn't Fire & Fury? Unfair! I think somebody needs to organize a F&F convention for me! grin

- Ix

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2018 9:49 p.m. PST

Going onto a tangent here:

I can't help feeling the lack of an ACW-themed US convention is a hole in our hobby. The ACW is a popular theme among miniatures gamers.

I actually get some of my annual AWI gaming fix at the Seven Years War Convention in IN. It's a very long trip for me to attend a tiny convention (100-ish gamers…?), but the enthusiasm for the 18th C. theme is infectious, the sense of community is remarkable, and the high standards of presentation are inspiring. It would be nice to find a similar community with an ACW focus, or at least a strong 19th C. focus (there are lots of passionate Napoleonics gamers too).

Cons like Nashcon, Hurricon, and Siege of Augusta seem likely candidates for ACW-themed gaming, but it's very hard to tell if any of those would scratch the ACW itch better than one of the big HMGS East cons. I'd love to see discussions like this thread for those and other cons. A 2000-3000 mile flight is too far for me to run a personal scouting mission.

- Ix

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2018 10:11 p.m. PST

(Mind you, the last time I saw a poll, the most popular rules in EVERY historical period were "house/home/other" but still…)
Not surprising.

I've had too many bad experiences with poorly sorted or just clumsy home-brew rules at HMGS cons, now I avoid convention games with "house rules" like the plague, unless I know the GM and trust his creative instincts (e.g., I will play almost anything Brian DeWitt comes up with).

I suspect we'd also benefit from more "simple rules will be taught" and less "players should be familiar with" even if this meant playing stripped-down systems.
This is the trend in our hobby right now anyway, but I dispute that miniature wargaming benefits from it.

I'm not a big fan of complex systems, especially not at conventions, but I'm exasperated by many of the common outcomes of the quest for simpler/faster games: overreliance on luck, bolting together too many "simple" mechanics that add up to a slow and clunky game, "2 page rules" that are really just purged of all the "extra" rules that would make them work right, games that "play faster" because everything dies so fast there's no maneuvering going on, and so on. Simpler, faster gaming doesn't have to be like this, it just too often is.

These days I find that the games I enjoy the most have enough rules and chrome that I can only play well after some practice. I've become a big fan of RF&F (despite being a reluctant adopter), and I even run it at conventions. It definitely runs better when the players are familiar with the rules, but I can usually get newer players moving well enough to get them in action. I have similar favorites in other genres (dogfight gaming, naval gaming, etc.).

- Ix

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2018 8:29 a.m. PST

YA, I think there are bad rules of all types. But there's a chance I'll get a decent game out of "rules will be taught" while in a 32-page set I haven't read, really I'm just taking up space. That's not a reflection on the rules, which may be excellent--for the player who owns a set and has run through a few games. I've participated in my full lifetime quota of games in which I never really know what's a lawful move, when I should have declared something or whether the idea is to be just touching or just separated from the adjacent unit.

It's the long and unfamiliar I'm leery of--and that's most of Historygamer's list.

PJ ONeill14 Oct 2018 12:10 p.m. PST

A quick clarification- The events labeled F-160:09 (Friday 9am), F-159:19 (Fri 7pm)and S-160:10 (Saturday 10am) are all American Civil War and not AWI. They will be played using a "home-brew" rule-set that recently got a name- "A Glint of Steel" As a home-brew set, they suffer from some of the above mentioned issues, but still play fast and are similar to my favorite rules- JRIII

oldnorthstate14 Oct 2018 4:46 p.m. PST

Unless I'm seriously mistaken I thought the theme was generally revolutions and civil wars, not the American Revolution and Civil War…I understand why the first thoughts might be those two periods, and I could have easily done games in both periods, but I will be doing a Eastern Renaissance game…Poles v. Lithuanians…given those broad themes I'm frankly surprised there are as many ACW and AWI games as there are…and I suspect even without the theme incentive there probably would be almost as many under normal circumstances.

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2018 6:28 p.m. PST

Agreed, but I find it odd since ACW is/was such a popular period, you'd think there would be even a slight up-tick of said games. I find some of the rules being used though even more puzzling.

Seriously, two games of F&F and two of JR? Just wow. Suprised me.

To be fair, I have the same thoughts on many of the WWII rules used (or more to the point – not used).

corzin15 Oct 2018 3:54 a.m. PST

1) you missed at least 1 american battlelines game for AWI
2)as a player who runs a jr3 game. There is a core group of people who play at east cons.and there are not enough for two games at the same time,so Generally there is 1 game going on in each time slot. so at the fall and spring shows there is really a max of 4 or 5 games

Skip2a15 Oct 2018 4:57 a.m. PST

I'm not sure why some of the simple rules aren't used at conventions to get young people and new players interested? I'm just starting ACW and looked a all different rule systems to teach my son. Our of curiosity I bought Black Powder and the Glory Hallelujah supplement: it is way too much for my son to start with.

I ordered a copy of Gettysburg Soldiers and also read the rule book that comes with Perry Brothers Battle in a Box set: Fire Powder. Both are very easy to learn and will keep my son coming back for more.

Eventually more complex rules can be used but why not start simple, gain interest and progress from there?

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2018 6:17 a.m. PST

Apologies for missing the battleline game, but I have never heard of those rules either – other than perhaps in a previous HMGS program.

While you may be right about there not being enough players interested to run two JR games at a time (I never suggested that anyway), my point is that F&F variants and JR (which apparently is popular enough to have held its own convention for years) aren't running very much. Of the two, I am more surprised by the lack of F&F games.

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2018 6:49 a.m. PST

There are often kids' games available, but as a long playing wargamer, I'm interested in the rules being run and the overall quality of the game.

PJ ONeill15 Oct 2018 7:42 a.m. PST

History- Not that I know all the details, but "Johnny Con" a small con focused on John Hill games, started as a small convention (about 30-50 attendees) about a decade ago (?) in the midwest. A few years ago, the people that run NashCon in Nashville, invited the JC organizers to combine the conventions in Nashville. JohnnyCon is still a part of Nashcon and usually presents 8-12 events.
When you say "it has it's own convention" you make it sound bigger than it is.
As corzin says, there are not enough JRIII players, at the East HMGS cons, to fill 2 games held in the same timeslot.

muggins15 Oct 2018 8:18 a.m. PST

Hi, I am running an ACW Sharp Practice game in addition to those listed above.

F: 224: 10 – Bummers at the Crossroads
Friday, 10:00 AM, 3hrs, Players: 4
Period: American Civil War, Scale: 28mm, Rules: Sharp Practice

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2018 8:51 a.m. PST

PJ I did not ascribe a size to the con, just the fact that rules can generate their own con is noteworthy. But JR rules aside, only two games of F&F?

I'd also note that the Johnny Cons weren't exactly held in largely populated areas either. I believe there is a group local to Lancaster/York that plays the rules all the time too.

Muggins I did not know Sharp Practice had an ACW rules variant, thought they were only Napoleonic.

Anyone notice that Brother Against Brother is also missing from the games list?

I get that new rules sets come out, but I'm not even seeing any of them on this list. I just find it all rather odd.

muggins15 Oct 2018 11:07 a.m. PST

It is not necessarily a rules variant, you can use Sharp Practice for anything from FIW all the way up to Indian Mutiny.

muggins15 Oct 2018 12:33 p.m. PST

(Meant to edit in, and ACW).

PJ ONeill15 Oct 2018 2:50 p.m. PST

Checking the PEL, there are 3 games of F&F, not counting Wilber Gray's "Age of Eagles / Valor" which are F&F spin-offs. And a big thank you to Patric Lebeau, Larry Morris, Joe Evans and Steve Franco- the GMs presenting 4 Johnny Reb games.

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2018 4:48 p.m. PST

Good to hear the F&F games have increased by 33%. LoL.

Like many, I look at the games offered and also look at the rules being run. I often compare that to what rules people discuss on TMP, what rules I've played, or what rules I'd like to try (again, usually based on discussion on TMP or gaming FB groups). Hard to see much of a pattern with the games/rules being run, and the few rules I do know surprise me how little they are being run.

For AWI I play either JR or Guns at Gettysburg (kind of a JR light system). I'd like to give Fire and Fury Regimental a try since Rich gave me a play test set way back when.

I guess BAB has run it's course. For a while it was all the rage for the larger scale figures.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2018 8:28 a.m. PST

I did not know Sharp Practice had an ACW rules variant, thought they were only Napoleonic.

Just signed up for the Sharp Practice AWI game on Sat. morning. Looking forward to it already.

47Ronin16 Oct 2018 2:28 p.m. PST


If you (and your son) are interested in ACW, I suggest playing in one of the Carnage and Glory ACW games.

All the C&G GMs are very experienced in hosting convention games and in welcoming new players. Try the rules. You might like them.

Hope to see you there.

95th Division Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2018 6:21 a.m. PST

Hey Bowman, I'm running the Sharp Practice AWI game on Saturday. Looking forward to meeting you. Now, I've just got to get the stable built…..

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2018 8:15 a.m. PST

Are you using the new or older version of Sharp's?

95th Division Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2018 11:35 a.m. PST

I'm using SP2, the newer version

Grumble8710619 Oct 2018 3:56 p.m. PST

Anyone notice that Brother Against Brother is also missing from the games list?

I ran Brother Against Brother at Barrage 2018, not least because of the request for kid-friendly games. I had six players, most of them over 60 and none under 20. ;-)

At Fall-In! I'm running games with other rules sets and in other periods because that's sort of the pattern I've gotten into: BAB at Barrage, Command Decision WW1-WW2 and Men Under Fire WW1 at HMGS-East conventions.

At the 2019 HMGS-East conventions, I will try to conform to the Themes, but this time I just couldn't give up my already-laid plans.

Grumble8710623 Oct 2018 3:07 p.m. PST

Checking the PEL, there are 3 games of F&F, not counting Wilbur Gray's "Age of Eagles / Valor" which are F&F spin-offs. And a big thank you to Patric Lebeau, Larry Morris, Joe Evans and Steve Franco- the GMs presenting 4 Johnny Reb games.

PJ, a friend coming for the first time to an HMGS-East convention is looking forward to playing in a Johnny Reb game. Glad there are four to choose from, for flexibility in scheduling!

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2018 10:51 a.m. PST

Hey Bowman, I'm running the Sharp Practice AWI game on Saturday. Looking forward to meeting you.

Same here!

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