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"AWI Rule sets" Topic

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4,065 hits since 28 Nov 2006
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DRKRONIN Inactive Member28 Nov 2006 8:30 a.m. PST

Hey everybody …..I just received a lot of 15mm essex awi brits/militia and was wondering if there are any rules out there that are pretty good and simple to understand. Thanks for looking and the help in advance.

John the OFM28 Nov 2006 9:08 a.m. PST

I like "Patriotd and Loyalists", because it captures the feel of a battle, to my prejudices, anyway. It works best with 5 or so battalions per player/brigadier.

I really like the way small elite forces, like Grenadiers at Guilford Courthouse, are tough and invincible…until they take a casualty and then become mortal. Most rules sets make this almost impossible, but PAL gives the small units a function.

Ths ehooting is unique, in my experience. The shooter does not roll the dice, but the target takes an immediate morale check, just for being shot at. It is counter-intuitive at first, but works.

Melees are fun, with a deck of 10 cards, each an "event" in a charge. You may close right away, or have to take up to 3 volleys at close range before resolution. I had a troop of British Legion cavalry charge 6 riflemen and take 3 volleys at point blank range. This may be extreme, but it does show that only the best troops have any business charging, and then they should only charge shaken or disrupted troops. In that, it succeeds.

RudyNelson28 Nov 2006 9:31 a.m. PST

This is the link to Ec;s Free games website. Fire & Discipline: European Wars have rules covering the war at a 1:10/15 scale with company movement stands. I cannot find 'the Americas' Army list so send me an email and I will send you a file of the Army Lists.


11th ACR28 Nov 2006 10:10 a.m. PST

I like "Bloody Backs by Steve Jones.

There easy to learn and its an enjoyable game.


RangerWorks Inactive Member28 Nov 2006 10:24 a.m. PST

We have gamed AWI for many years and have tried most sets. Our set of choice is Whites of Their Eyes by the Canadian Wargames Group. We have tweeked of couple of things to reduce actual casualties, but it's a really fun game that plays quickly. I also highly recommend Loose Files and American Scramble by Andy Callan. You can get it from I believe. It's well worth playing!

DRKRONIN Inactive Member28 Nov 2006 10:56 a.m. PST

I kinda like the looks of 'bloody backs" but there is no basing requirements for the figs?

DRKRONIN Inactive Member28 Nov 2006 10:59 a.m. PST

Oh and rudy i cant find your email addy?

60th RAR Inactive Member28 Nov 2006 11:19 a.m. PST

"Bloody Backs" does look good. judging from their gallery pics, regular units have three stands of six figures each. According to one of the examples, cav have three stands of three figures each.

Thiepval Inactive Member28 Nov 2006 12:07 p.m. PST

We have played British Grenadier and really liked them. However this is the only AWI rules I have tried. My mate has played a Fire and Fury adaptation for AWI and was quite pleased with them. As I love Fire and Fury ACW I plan to give these a try to.

The Swamp Foxy Inactive Member28 Nov 2006 12:20 p.m. PST

I like Carnage and Glory. The computer keeps track of all the thing that are usually done by reading charts. I like a clean game so I am not a fan of using playing cards on the table. The same for marker dice. Route and shaken are enough.

I disliked British Grenadier and the way it handled disruption. Going over a fence and taking a volley from the enemy have an equal effect on the unit. Other than that it played fairly easily.

This very ground is not the exact period but I plan on using it for some of the smaller battles of the Southern Campaigns. Huck's Defeat.

corvettek225 Inactive Member28 Nov 2006 1:31 p.m. PST

I would have to say that I only play Guns of Liberty "but do also plan on trying Patriots and Loyalists and would like to give it "two thumbs up" (one from my gaming buddy). It is an easy set of rules that give a good flavor for the period of warfare. I played Johnny Tremaine (an free download adaptation of Johnny Reb) but found it in need of quite a bit of adjustments. It plays like a serious "simulation", as is Johnny Reb, but disaggree with a lot of the values for ranges and effectiveness. I will still play it again sometime but after i have scrubbed the charts a bit more.

freewargamesrules Inactive Member28 Nov 2006 1:32 p.m. PST

For free sets visit here:

I can recommend by friend Will McNallys rules at:
There is also a computer version!

There was also a free set in Issue 4 of Wargames Journal.

Gnu200028 Nov 2006 1:41 p.m. PST

Bloodybacks basing is as follows (for 28mm)

Infantry, 6 figures on a 60mmx50mm base, with 2-6 bases per unit
Cavalry are 3 figures on a 60mm square. Again 2-6 bases per unit
Artillery is one gun and 3-4 figs on a 60mm wide base (as deep as you need. I use 3 figs for light guns and 4 for filed pieces)
Skirmishers are mountd 3 figs on a 60mmx25 or 30mm base. These are placed side by side for a skirmish line, or can be doubled up to create normal infantry stands if the troops are allowed to do so.
Officers are mounted on whatever you like. I use oval, or kidney shaped bases.

The rules play nice and fast as I wrote them to allow club-night games of about 10 units per side +artillery in a maximum of 2 hours. They are easy to tweak if there is anything you don't like. The key is getting command values and morale levels right for a scenario.

They work really well for campaigns. In the last one we fought at the club, based on the 1780 Virginia campaign, the Americans lost most of the battles as their militia ran away, however they did consistently inflict casualties on the British (who tend not to run away) and eventually they won the campaign partly through asttrition and partly in a climactic final battle.

Adjusting for 15mm should be easy. You could halve the base sizes and measure in cm, for example.

Hope you try them and like them


60th RAR Inactive Member28 Nov 2006 2:01 p.m. PST

I may well try them for 40mm once I finish painting. Your 28mm basing is identical to my 40mm stuff! sounds like the same amount of figures I'd like to use, also.

major blunder Inactive Member28 Nov 2006 3:24 p.m. PST

I would also back P&L. Have played small and large games with it, all have been good. The cards melee can be a bit slow, but most of the time you will be shooting away at each other….

Dave Crowell Inactive Member28 Nov 2006 7:33 p.m. PST

I favor "Disperse Ye Damned Rebels" from Larry Brom Period tactical evolutions on the tabletop made easy.

For small actions Patriots! from the Perfect Captain is free and great fun.

mikeah Inactive Member28 Nov 2006 9:56 p.m. PST

The British are Coming is my favorite set. Fast, easy mechanics, this is an older set of rules that feels right, has withstood the test of time, produces a plausible result and is the only set of rules that I play totally without modification. Since the AWI is my absolutly favorite period, and the only period that I have an emotional attachment to, these are worth playing. It has a few charts, and a decent amount of "fluff" (fluff is stuff like scenarios, painting guides, history, army lists, etc)

I've played P&L and hated them enough to put them on my short list of games that I would not play to avoid a root canal. A root canal would be more fun. The mechanics are difficult to understand, and after a few hours with the author, I still could not resolve my own combats. I found the mechanics bizzare and unrelated to anything. Fluff in this game would have the effect of dulling the drill bit.

The Regimental version of F&F is a valid choice. While I'm not a big fan of F&F in general, it is a fast, playable, and plausible system. When I played it it was fun and I will buy it when it comes out. Not a bad choice. I would really like to see it published. It is worth publishing.

Flint and Steel was the most complicated game I've ever tried to play for the AWI. Physically very beautiful, intensely well researched, I cherish the appendix as a most prized resource. If I lost this game i would rebuy it even if I can't actually play it. It has the turn sequence from the lower regions of the hottest part of hell. Buy it, read it, enshrine the appendix as the work of a man who really loved and understood the AWI, but don't actually play it without a Mensa IQ.

British Grenadier reminded me of Flint and Steel in that it is chart intensive and in my opinion a bit too detailed and complicated. At least it is playable by some.

Volley and Bayonet is good if you want to do the larger battles in a short time. It has the complexity of checkers but does have a fan club. In all, fast, easy, but not particularly a lot of flavor.

American Battlelines is another game at the 1:20 or so scale. It tends to be mechanic bound but is playable. It has no fan club that I can detect, but for me was not as satisfying as TBAC.

Guns of Liberty is a distilled down set of rules very similar to TBAC, is popular, is very playable, has lots of flavor, but has the physical quality of a 10 page term paper in a school report binder. At $12.95 USD it should have a bit more than the basic rules. This one has no "fluff" at all. Nothing beyond a few laserprinted pages. For $12.95 USD you could have had "The British are Coming".

No one loves this period more than I do. Each year at the club I faithfully run Trenton and Princeton for Christmas and New Years. Its as close as I ever get to a religious experience. There is no war in history where the individual soldier counted for so much, or where so much was accomplished against all odds. While it has none of the glitz and glamour of Napoleonics, or the scale of the ACW, or the fancyness of the SYW, it is a war of high drama. There is no set of rules that can do it full justice, or represent every battle as so much was utterly improbable. But, TBAC is the best candidate of the lot for someone who does it a good deal.

Hwiccee Inactive Member28 Nov 2006 11:07 p.m. PST

Loose Files and American Scramble are a good set and free here –

Personal logo Ironwolf Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member29 Nov 2006 3:03 a.m. PST

Is the rule set The British Are Coming still being produced?? Anyone know where I can track down a copy? Thanks

ezza12329 Nov 2006 3:13 a.m. PST

I have played Patriots and Loyalists with Major Blunder and others for both small and large scale games.

The rules come complete with scenarios for Bunker Hill, Freeman's Farm, Princeton and Guildford Courthouse. There is also a website for the rules (although not updated for quite some time) with a few more scenarios. A quick reference sheet is included in the rules, which could have done with a bit of proof reading before publishing.

The melee can be a bit fiddly at times, but as pointed out by Major Blunder most of the time is taken up for each side blazing away at each other. The randomness of the melee cards can alo disuade attackers from charging in, especially if the 'Defender Fires' card is drawn. Don't worry John your not the only one to have experienced the multiple 'Defender Fires' cards of death!

'The Whites of Their Eyes' by the Canadian Wargames Group is a good source for scenarios and information (and also has a campaign game included). But you should be aware that this book is not a standalone set of rules (although the scenarios can probably be adapted to most rule sets). If you did want to use the rules that complement the scenarios you want need to get hold of a copy of 'Habitants and Highlanders' (French & Indian Wars) or 'Rockets Red Glare' (War of 1812)both of which contain a set of rules.

The Perfect Captain website has some free AWI rules and beleive there is also an AWI campaing game.

I agree with Mikeah about 'Flint and Steel', uber-complex rules but the appendix is packed full of information.

Supercilius Maximus Inactive Member29 Nov 2006 3:59 a.m. PST

British Grenadier – which is based largely on "Loose Fiels & American Scramble" – is my current favourite and, IMO, gives the best "flavour" of the period of any rules I've used. I agree totally with the views on P&L and Flint & Steel (though I've had root canal recently, and would have to think long and hard about that particular choice).

To my mind, the surprise omission from this thread is Peter Berry's "Minuteman" – 1:10 ratio (ideal for this conflict, with its small armies and units) and very playable, as well as including some "fun" ideas for fate-altering incidents.

DRKRONIN Inactive Member29 Nov 2006 6:12 a.m. PST

Guys i want to thank you for all of the responses …….you have been really helpful!!!!!

Jeigheff Inactive Member29 Nov 2006 6:24 a.m. PST

mikeah, or anyone else, I'd like to know what you think of two out-of-print rule sets from the 70s that sometimes show up on Ebay. (I happen to have both of them.)

What do you think of "1776" by Jay Facciolo and Joe Miceli? I know John the OFM likes these, from previous posts.

Also, did you or anyone else try the rules from "The Wargamer's Handbook to the Amercian Revolution" by Z&M Enterprises? I played some AWI games with Airfix figures back in high school (back in the 70s) with these rules. I remember they were fun, but then, we didn't know any better!

I'm just asking for curiosity's sake. People sometimes discuss AWI rules on TMP, but I've never heard anyone mention the Z & M rules.

mikeah Inactive Member29 Nov 2006 7:58 a.m. PST

I have 1776 and they are like other rules of the period a bit statistical. I used to play them alot before TBAC came along. They much resemble TBAC. A good deal of "fluff", useable scenarios, pretty standard mechanics. I still use them for a painting guide and for the scenarios.

The British are Coming is STILL IN PRINT. The company that took over TCS sells and distributes them. I can't find the web site, but I get a copy at every other HMGS convention or so. (I stock them for the club)

John the OFM29 Nov 2006 8:46 a.m. PST

mikeah, I have to agree that P&L is extremely counter-intuitive. For one thing, the wrong guys are rolling the dice! It is one of those things where it suddenly makes snese, and the "Ahah!" light bulb goes off. However, I remember my mother trying to get me to eat olives, which I hate. She loved them, but admitted that they were "an aquired taste". No, thanks, Mom. But I will have some more of your apple pie.

You either like P&L or you do not. I still hate calling unit commanders "NCOs".

I will have to try TBAC. Who carries it at HMGS cons?

I did not suggest 1776, mainly because with the exception of eBay, it is impossible to find. It came out in 1976, for Heaven's sake!
It is a typical game of the 70's. You add up a lot of factors, subtract a lot of factors, and roll the dice. You remove casualties, but could also use casualty caps. The basing system is fine for Minifigs or Hinchliffe, but totally inadequate for Old Glory. Mount all infantryat 3 figures on 2" x 1" bases, and you will be fine for all 25mm manufacturers.

AWI is not the game you take on the road and challenge all comers, like Ancients. Find the basing system that protects your figures best, looks best, and stick with it. If both sides are mounted the same, any rules set will work.


When I did Trenton, it was the culmination of years of wondering why I did not. My Hessian regiments were at least 70 figures strong, individually based. My rules were a mix of everything, along with some bad ideas of my own.
The rules sucked, the table was beautiful, and everyone enjoyed the game. Knowing ahead of time that the Hessians were outnumbered and surrounded was a lot better than finding out the hard way that they did not really have a chance. It was indeed a religious experience.

ezza12329 Nov 2006 9:11 a.m. PST

John wrote, "I have to agree that P&L is extremely counter-intuitive. For one thing, the wrong guys are rolling the dice!"

We had problems getting used to this too and even when we did get used to it we always felt something was missing. Then we tried letting the firing player roll for the opponents morale results. Everyone thought this felt better from a gaming point of view. Guess that its because in most games if you are firing you roll the dice not your opponent.

P.S John how is your Brandywine project going? We played it a while back using the OOBs from the P&L Yahoo group. Great fun! So much fun we followed in up with Germantown and Monmouth.

John the OFM29 Nov 2006 9:27 a.m. PST

My Brandywine project is coming along nicely.
I am rebasing all my old 1776 figures. The main reason for this is that they are Hinchliffe figures, and the bases will be off when I add in the newer stuff. that is a lot of work, but luckily I use bass wood for my basing, so utility knives split them easily.
That is almost done.
I have also given out some of the free figure stash I inherited two years ago for "volunteers" to paint.
Then, I will concentrate on the "missing" regiments, although I have a lot of surrogates and replacements. DeLancey's boys will be surprised to find that they have been drafted for Brandywine, for one thing. Too bad I can't fit in Indians and Pirates, but that would be too farby. 8^)
Almost done: Ferguson's Rifles.
Primed and in the queue: 4th, 5th, 27th, von Donop, and lots of Yanks.

Dave Crowell Inactive Member29 Nov 2006 12:02 p.m. PST

As the OFM says find a basing system you like and stick with it. My own for 6mm to 15mm is 1 inch frontage, 3/4 inch depth for foot, 1 inch depth for mounted, as needed depth for all else. It is close enough to rulebook specs for most of the rules I have tried. For things like V&B where it is way off I either put multiple bases on the "proper" sized sabot or I adjust the distances to suit.

My bases work fine in place of single figures for those rules that call for single based figures as well. Since most of those rules are on a 1:* ratio anyway the look is actually better imho.

Andy Boarer Inactive Member29 Nov 2006 3:16 p.m. PST

Completely agree with Mr Maximus above, BG is a "proper" set but with Pete Berry's rules a strong second – I love the risk to generals bit as well as the tendency of American militia to leg it just as soon as the loyal forces of the King show up!

mikeah Inactive Member29 Nov 2006 10:37 p.m. PST

TBAC is offered by TCS, now under new owners. They were not at Fall IN but are at COLD WARS. They do have a web site but I don't know what it is. James Mattes would know.

1776, TBAC, and Age of Reason base identically. I did increase the size of the Artillery a bit to give them a diorama look. This makes my AWI figures compatible with my SYW stuff. If I were to do it today, I might go WRG sizes. (40mmX20mm 3 figures). Also, 1 1/8" is an odd size. I hate English system measurements! Even the English are not stupid enough to use the system.

Carlos Marighela Inactive Member30 Nov 2006 12:06 a.m. PST

The range bands for P& L are hilarious. Even with the somewhat cheeky caveat that there is no fixed game scale (often a sign of design laziness) they are totally out of whack with both reality and the system itself. Do the maths. Using the recommended basing of 3 figures on a 1" X 2" base, between 3 and 6 such adjoining bases represent a battalion of any where between 200 and 500 troops, taking up between 6 or 12 inches of table space. Presumably they are deployed 2 or three deep.

Now look at the range bands for muskets. Ooh look I can fire out to 30 ". I can fire effectively at 20". The figures get worse using the 15mm scales and basing. Amazing ranges for the average 18th C musket Particularly since the optimum move distance for troops in line is 3" using 25mm figures. So theoretically a Battalion advancing over a foot of table space against another could be subjected to 10 moves worth of fire before it makes contact.

There's something just so NQR about the rules ( ita maybe the Arty Conliffe factor) that I have never developed a taste for them.

Supercilius Maximus Inactive Member30 Nov 2006 2:40 a.m. PST

<<as well as the tendency of American militia to leg it just as soon as the loyal forces of the King show up!>>

A re-enactor acquaintance endeered himself to his (extremely hospitable) American hosts some years back by explaining that the reason they were called "Minutemen" was because that was about how long they lasted……

(dons kevlar and hides under desk)

ezza12330 Nov 2006 3:10 a.m. PST


When using P&L we quickly coverted from using 25mm figures and the 25mm range bands to using 25mm figures and the 15mm range bands.

John the OFM30 Nov 2006 6:39 a.m. PST

That's a good idea, ezza123.
I "house rules" rules to death anyway. My Warrior, Age of Reason and GW friends do not, but I do. Since there is no perfect rules set for the AWI, I grab bits and pieces of everything I like.

Carlos Marighela Inactive Member30 Nov 2006 3:30 p.m. PST

Actually you would need to reduce it much further than that. 18 " is still a big chunk of table space.

FrankHunter Inactive Member30 Nov 2006 4:44 p.m. PST

British Grenadier in 10mm at a 1:10 figure ratio looks and plays great :)

I own a lot of rulesets, including all 3 CWG sets on the period, because I love the whole 1756-1814 timeframe in North America. Unfortunately there's not a single ruleset I would use to the exclusion of all others and nor would I turn my nose up at buying a new one :) Fun period regardless of which ruleset you settle on.

DRKRONIN Inactive Member01 Dec 2006 12:29 p.m. PST

guys you have been great with the responses thanks so much

tiger g Inactive Member02 Dec 2006 10:43 a.m. PST

MacDuff to the frontier is great for the smaller battles and available online for free

Thomas Mante Inactive Member03 Dec 2006 8:35 a.m. PST

I like two of the sets mentioned previously: the Will McNally set mentioned by freewargames, I particularly like the computerised version, I have used both the DOS version done by Will and the Windows version by Tony De Lyall in Oz.

The latest version is available for free here:


I tend to use the McNally/De Lyall rules for larger actions (Germantown, Brandywine etc.).

The second set were mentioned by Supercilius Maximus, namely Pete Berry's venerable 'Minuteman'. Aimed at 1:10 this provides a wide scope for AWI battles such as Greenspring and Spencers Ordinary. It includes a scenario for Cowpens based on pre-Babits interpretations.

I have both Patriots & Loyalists and British Grenadier but I have to confess neither has grabbed me enough in the reading to make me want to put lead out on the table. Andy Callan's 'Loose Files & American Scrambles' (upon which some of the BG was based) is more to my palate.

John Watts06 Dec 2006 4:33 a.m. PST

I've been playing 15mm AWI using `Loose Files & American Scramble' for about 4 years now. I never felt the need to look for another set, though I use the figures for the occasional game of The Perfect Captain's `Patriots!', which are fun and give a quicker game. However, Napoleonic friends banging on about GdeB persuaded me to get a copy of `British Grenadier' and give those a try. I reckon that they are OK, and I'll probably give them another go. Like GdeB, I find them rather old-fashioned (lots of tables)and, try as I might, I can't get the QRS down to a single, easily-read sheet – my aim with any game. There are problems with the organisation of the rules – some bits seem to be in the wrong plaace, or difficult to find – but if I had come to them before LF&AS I should probably have stuck with them. If I can persuade people to give it a go, it will be interesting to see how battles that I've already played with LF&AS (like Camden) turn out with BG. I suspect that the games will take a lot longer.

Buckeye AKA Darryl23 Apr 2018 10:30 a.m. PST

The British Are Coming even has a dedicated Yahoo group:


Wee Davey Inactive Member08 May 2018 4:12 a.m. PST

Land of the Free is another fun set which is designed to cover F&I, AWI and War of 1812. It is written with a range of scales in mind as is well illustrated by the folks at Osprey. There is quite an active Facebook dedicated group run by Joe Krone, the author and on which can be found several additional scenarios and other useful downloadables.
Joe is also currently working on a campaign game to accompany this set.

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