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"Rule differences between FIW & War of 1812" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

Tiger7325 Nov 2018 12:54 p.m. PST

I'm considering getting into the War of 1812. It will not take a massive effort, as I have a large collection of FIW 15-18mm figures & period terrain, as well as an extensive
collection of British Napoleonic figs & thus feel that I can use by proxy many of the Brits & FIW militia & Indians.

Being a novice with respect to the War of 1812, I'm seeking information/advice/recommendations at to rule sets for the period as well as unit scale.
I have played This Very Ground & Musket and Tomahawks for FIW & like them both.
My questions are:
First, if I game 1812 at the 1:1 skirmish level, can these rules (especially TVG) be modified to accommodate the period. What were the primary differences in tactics, weaponry, unit organization, etc., between the two wars in North America?
Second, is skirmish the best gaming level? I'm aware there were numerous battles in 1812-14 that were larger than the typical FIW raid. I'm fond of 1:1 skirmish games, but don't want to make the effort of branching into another gaming period just to use different figures with exactly the same tactics & rule mechanisms. Would a 1:10 to 1:20 figure scale & rules such as Black Powder be more period appropriate?
I'm aware that much depends on one's preference, but I very much appreciate opinions & guidance from those with superior knowledge & experience.
Thanks in advance,

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2018 2:22 p.m. PST

Hmm. I'd have said the main difference at the "woodland wars" skirmish level was the rise of mounted infantry and especially mounted rifles. If the rules can accommodate them, you should be OK. But you'd be playing something very like what you're already playing--as you say, different figures but essentially the same game.

I don't know that there is a "best" gaming level in this context, but somewhere around 1:10 you'd be fighting proper battles--small battles, but with columns and lines and colors flying. It would be a different game altogether. I can't speak for Black Powder through personal experience, but it's a very flexible system and many people seem to enjoy it.

Glengarry525 Nov 2018 11:01 p.m. PST

Both sides in the War of 1812 deployed squadrons of cavalry, both regular and militia. They operated essentially as light dragoons, mostly for scouting, escorting and skirmishing. There were a couple actual cavalry charges but nothing on the scale you would've seen in Europe at the time.

RudyNelson26 Nov 2018 12:49 p.m. PST

In the south the Americans had a large number of mounted Gunmen troops. They fielded over 300 mounted Gunmen at several battles. They were key when it came to surrounding the Creeks and racing to fill gaps to prevent warriors from escaping.

Tiger7326 Nov 2018 4:29 p.m. PST

Many thanks for the responses guys.
If I delve into this period, I think I'll opt for small battles, but something above a skirmish level. As Robert said, with lines, columns & flags flying.
My research has revealed that General de Brigade has rules for the War of 1812. I've got a set somewhere. I will dig it out & take a look. Anyone have recommendations for other rules for this conflict?

huevans01126 Feb 2019 7:34 p.m. PST
IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2019 11:16 a.m. PST

I use General de Brigade for my War of 1812 games. I have built a steadily growing addendum to cover War of 1812 items not covered in GdeB e.g amphibious operations for the Chesapeake operations etc. It is a great rule set that has the granularity that I require.

F.Y.I. likely you have discovered that GdeB has only one page to address War of 1812 anomalies.

For small skirmish battles I have used Sharpe Practice 2 -along with the War of 1812 supplement.

Have fun with this great war gaming period.


Pvt Snuffy14 Apr 2019 2:07 p.m. PST

Tactically, I'd say that 1812 is the same as AWI.

In terms of gear, there is very little practical difference. There may be some improvements in artillery…would they impact a game, unknown, it would depend on how you game.

I think most of the things that would be differentiated would be at a scenario level for a 1:1 game. With larger scales, there is more abstraction and more generalization. How much you put into your game is up to you.

Certainly in Europe, there's a big difference between 1777 and 1812, but aside from uniforms, and considering the detail of most wargames, I think you can safely call it a wash and use TVG and M&T as you prefer.

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