Saturday, July 25, 2009

Perry Hard Plastic ACW

I recently paid a visit to Brookhurst Hobbies in Garden Grove, CA. Ed an I had been playing Memoir ‘44 the previous week and he had shown me his copy of Battle Cry. Which, naturally, had gotten me thinking about ACW.
Now I’ve always been biased against ACW games. I have no idea why. Just one of those things, I guess. We all have our likes and dislikes and sometimes they just defy explanation.
Anyhow, there I was in Brookhurst wandering the aisles daydreaming about making my own version of Battle Cry using painted miniatures when I espied the boxes of plastic Perry ACW cavalry and infantry.
I bought one box of each just to check them out with Battle Cry in mind. The cavalry box build up into a unit of 12 and the infantry box builds up into 2 units of 18. One thought led to another and before you know it, I was thinking that those unit sizes were very close to The Sword and the Flame units.
A few quick calls to Ed and a couple of emails later and we have hatched a plan to host an ACW even-up fight at a 2010 Millennium convention in Round Rock (Austin) Tx.
Here are some pictures of the Perry ACW plastics that have motivated us to start another convention project:
Cavalry Box Front
How could I resist a box with cover art like this?
Cavalry Box Back
The back of the box provides a rudimentary painting guide.
Cavalry Frame Front
The front of one of the three identical frames
Cavalry Frame Back
And the back of the same frame
Cavalry Frame Detail 01
A close up of one of the cavalrymen
Cavalry Frame Detail 02
A shot showing some of the detailed parts
Cavalry Frame Detail 03
One of the well sculpted horses
Cavalry Frame Detail 04
And here’s another

Infantry Box Front  Brookhurst price tag on the box says $24.99—a good price.
Infantry Box Back
Like the cavalry, the infantry box provides a painting guide
Infantry Frame Front
The front of one of the four identical frames
Infantry Frame Back
And, of course, the back view
Infantry Frame Detail 01
A good macro lens lets me show you the detailed sculpting
Infantry Frame Detail 02
The drum is two parts and clips over the knapsack
Infantry Frame Detail 03
Here you can see the front of the figure above
Infantry Frame Detail 04
And here you see the arms for the right figure above
I hope that these pictures have helped some of you decide whether you want these figures of not. I can only say that I’m so impressed with the quality, flexibility and low cost, that they have motivated me to move into an era that I otherwise would have left alone.
In the coming months, I will keep a running commentary on my progress on this project.

The Blue, the Gray, and the Ugly


There you are: two “seasoned” wargamers who cannot agree on a new project that can interest both. One is all for tricornes and big battalions, the other for Fuzzy-Wuzzies and pith helmets. What to do?

Of course there is an obvious solution: find a third period which neither player loathes, but offers the opportunity for research, painting good figures, and a fun game. In this case, the American Civil War.

It may have started during our Memoir ’44 binge. We pulled out the first published version of the “Command & Colours” system (on which Memoir ’44 is based), Battle Cry. Although we didn’t end up playing it, we did discuss modifying the rules for use with our current collections, or possibly using new figures to do so. In particular, the plastic figures from Perry Miniatures seemed to be a good idea.

Ray took the initiative on his next business trip to California, stopping by Brookhurst Hobbies and picking up one each of Perry plastic infantry and cavalry boxes for evaluation. Ray’s enthusiasm for the figures quickly infected Ed and the rest, to paraphrase an old saying, is “historical gaming.”

Where We Are Now

We have decided we want to put together a project which:

1. could be done in about a year,
2. is easily adaptable, or played as-is, in a convention setting,
3. involves enough figures to be interesting, but not overwhelming,
4. isn’t based on any particular historical event, but just an in-period bash, and
5. motivates us to paint nice figures and terrain.

The first thing we did was to buy several more sets of Perry plastics. Ray now has six boxes of infantry and two of cavalry, while Ed has two of each. For the moment, we are using each box of infantry as two units of eighteen figures, and each box of cavalry as one unit of twelve. Preliminary plans are for each of us to build 12 infantry regiments and 2 cavalry regiments evenly distributed between Union and Confederates. That way we can play a small game at either of our houses without the other having to lug their troops around and yet if we want to play a bigger, multi-player game we can use all our troops. It also prevents one of us from having to paint all blue or all gray and butternut.

We have not yet decided on the rules. We are tending toward a game where each unit represents a regiment on the table. Ray has ordered a copy of Larry Brom’s A Glint of Bayonets (a variant of The Sword and the Flame) while Ed has ordered a set of Guns at Gettysburg. Once we decide on rules, we will decide on artillery units and leader figures we need to add.