Saturday, July 25, 2009

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.

1 comment:

Dave Gamer said...

Late comment - as you probably know by now, A Glint of Bayonets is not a TSATF variant. It's more a variant of "The Brom Standard" rules that used to be published on The Jackson Gamers web site ( Other rules that use this system is "Chassepot & Needlegun" (1870), The "Sound of the Guns" (Napoleonics) and "Disperse, Ye Damned Rebels" (AWI).

By the way - the missing mounted cavalry rules for A Glint of Bayonets is here ->