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"The easiest period to get started with is..." Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian26 Jul 2022 5:19 p.m. PST

You were asked – TMP link

Which miniature wargaming period or genre do you consider to be the most easy to get involved with?

36% said "WWII"
19% said "American Civil War"
17% said "Wild West/Cowboys"

torokchar Supporting Member of TMP26 Jul 2022 5:48 p.m. PST

Napoleonics of course!!

skipper John27 Jul 2022 5:30 a.m. PST

Which ever period the gaming group closest to your home plays.

codiver27 Jul 2022 5:45 a.m. PST

Skipper John makes a very good point. While torokchar's response is [I believe] tongue in cheek, the (IMO) relatively recent increase of skirmish rules for periods like Napoleonics has made those periods easier to get into, there is still the same old "barrier to entry" to play the "traditional" battalion-level game.

Bill N27 Jul 2022 7:40 a.m. PST


In athletic terms you can start out in ACW or WW2 as a casual jog. Napoleonics even at the starting out level is a distance event. If you want to use French cuirassiers or the Old Guard, and who wouldn't, and you want to do so in a historically realistic manner, you are in 10K or half marathon country.

One thing that Napoleonics has going for it at the beginning level, other than inspiration, is that you probably won't have to do it alone. Individually you may not be able to pull it off. Like a relay race collectively you can.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2022 8:23 a.m. PST

I said ACW but WWII works too – for Napoleonics while are lots of rules/figs/refs out there, not as easy to start as getting a few generic ACW/WWII units and starting to bash it out

Pyrate Captain13 Aug 2023 9:36 a.m. PST

WWII. Well known. Still remembered. Still exploited by the mass media. Lots of figure, vehicle, aircraft, vessel options. It can be scaled to taste and favor.

UshCha13 Aug 2023 1:20 p.m. PST

The period of history that catches your imagination enough to want to read up on it and wargame it to better your understanding. Without that it will prove hard with no understanding of the period. Cowboys are not John Wayne, they are broke, have poor gone and often are not using sophisticate 6 guns, too expensive. Not my period but my dad was interested.

donlowry13 Aug 2023 4:28 p.m. PST

The one everyone in you group is already playing -- as they can help you get started.

Griefbringer14 Aug 2023 12:31 a.m. PST

And what if there is no local group in existence?

donlowry14 Aug 2023 7:23 a.m. PST

Then who are you going to play with? If you're starting a new group (or duo), go, first, with what interests you all (both).

Pyrate Captain15 Aug 2023 1:23 p.m. PST

What is an unsophisticated 6 gun, UshCha?

donlowry16 Aug 2023 7:59 a.m. PST

a Naive Colt?

Andy ONeill16 Aug 2023 11:17 a.m. PST

A callow Colt?

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Aug 2023 11:41 a.m. PST

"Old West" cowboys were definitely John Wayne, that is mid-20th century actors. The characters John Wayne mostly played, however, were common man underdogs, not rich people who can afford bourgeois things. Americans like to cheer for underdogs, and they did especially during the heyday of Wayne's films.

At the time the premiere revolver, the Colt .45 "Peacemaker" was $17 USD, an average ranch hand salary was about $30 USD/month.

But that's the Peacemaker. This is either overlapping or just after the ACW (depending on how you define Old West), when Colt mass produced the Army and Navy (actually, two variants) revolvers. With a lot of people having served, these weapons were available. With military contracts for weapons waning, manufacturers were looking for customers.

So, there weren't shiny, new revolvers under every rock. But a little more than half a month's pay wasn't a massive barrier to ownership.

A workhorse would be $50 USD-$75, roughly four times as much, so maybe no one had them. Then again, rifles and shotguns were more expensive than revolvers, so maybe they didn't have those either…

Pyrate Captain17 Aug 2023 6:05 p.m. PST

I don't know. So much is known with so little supporting evidence. I was reading an entry on a Civil War forum, and another expert stated that the Confederate Navy used almost exclusively the Brown Bess refitted for cap. Yet no where else on earth can I find a reference that would support his claim. In 28mm, who cares if it's an Enfield, Springfield or Tower India pattern but to the reenactor it makes a difference.

The argument about what type of firearms were used and when to me is more about availability and usage. Cap and ball stuck around for a while after 1871 even though conversion models of the same pistol were being manufactured. By 1890 I would imagine with steady use those pistols were rather worn out, as existing examples would indicate.

On the tabletop, my favorite sidearm argument, when it ensues about the "best handgun" is the one the individual can hit the target with. Beretta M-92s are just too big for my grip and tend to shoot to the left. Yet I can hit a target all day long with a browning Hi-Power firing the same round. A lot of what was used I believe, had a lot to do with what worked best for the individual. Think Mississippi, in El Dorado. A firearm you can't hit the target with is as good as a dull knife.

donlowry18 Aug 2023 4:20 p.m. PST

John Wayne often played a reasonably-well-off rancher.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Aug 2023 4:31 p.m. PST

Guns and Ammo magazine did a comparison of the Springfield and Enfield rifles. They had a historian restore a pair using period techniques, then had a marksman shoot them both without telling him which was which. The hits were statistically the same and the marksman said the rifles were different, but there was no appreciable way to call one better than the other.

It's almost like shooting is influenced by things other than just technology.

Pyrate Captain18 Aug 2023 6:07 p.m. PST

Which is rather amazing considering the Enfields purchased by the Confederacy were not produced to the same grade as those being produced for crown forces amassing on the Canadian border. I read where many were factory seconds, reworked by the Confederacy and manufactured in other factories than Enfield's facility. The Confederacy bought both rifled and smooth bore Enfields and both 1853 three-bander and 1858 two-bander models, which were shorter but of stronger construction. Both the Confederacy and Northern aggressors took delivery of Enfields. In some cases the Confederate purchasing agent was just days ahead of the agent for the North. The North not only needed additional rifles but conducted a spending campaign to deny the Confederacy European arms.

Etotheipi, if you know the issue number I'd love to track that article down. Thanks.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Aug 2023 4:23 p.m. PST

I remember whose desk I took it from, so all I can do is narrow it down to roughly 2009-2011. Do they have an online index of articles like National Geographic?

Crappy maintenance or production values really wouldn't affect the G&A test. They restored the rifles based on period spec, so they would have reflected the varied conditions of real rifles in places.

I am not a big ACW but, I do study the emergence of the standoff infantry weapon that led to the advent of Third Generation ("Modern Trench") Warfare. ACW is a major conflict on the leading edge of that.

By my understanding one of the major underlying problems for the Confederacy was lack of logistic support. This would be one of those major non-technology issues that influences performance.

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