Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thoughts about ACW and other musings.

I recently purchased the wargaming rules "Snappy Nappy" which promise to be alot of fun.  It got me thinking about basing conventions (seems to be a common, yearly theme around here...) and what I have my miniatures based for.  Technically I dont have a "favorite" rules set anymore.  It used to be Fire & Fury or Volley & Bayonet.  2 games with seriously different basing conventions.  Same goes for Napoleonics.  What the hell are my miniatures based for and what rules do I like???

If you had to pin me down to a particular rules set, I'd have to say there are a few I am liking at the moment.  Black Powder delivers a good, solid game with realistic results.  So does Volley & Bayonet.  Both of those games for ACW or Napoleonics have different (dramatically different) basing conventions.  With one using multiple stands, and 1 using HUGE 3" by 3" stands.  I also have to add that I'm not sure I love either of those games quite enough to remount all of my 15mm stands for them.  Same with Napoleonics.  Do I absolutely love Shako?  No I dont love Shako.  I enjoy a game of Shako every now and then.  But I dont love Shako.  Snappy Nappy looks promising but promising for fighting HUGE battles with lots of stands with only 3 to 4 troopers on them.....

It makes me rethink all of my Regimental stands I worked at basing this summer and why that might ahve been a mistake....  So looks like I'll be rebasing all of my 15mm ACW guys in the near future, and not looking forward to it.


  1. I have experienced the same dilemma - and am still experiencing it. I have a suggestion. Base your guys individually, or semi-individually - say pairs, using a fairly standard base dimesion for the scale you are using. Then create stands or profiles for the rule sets you are likely to use, but with no figures on them. When playing with this rule set just place your figures on these larger profiles.

    Example: V&B requires a 3" square stand. You are using 25mm figures (say) on individual 15mm (frontage) x 20mm (depth) stands. Twelve foot figures arranged 3 ranks of 4 leaves a 16mm margin all round, which you can use to build a rim all round to help stabilize them if you like. A 3x5 array might look better. 6 cavalry figures (20mm frontage x 40mm depth per figure) would also be easily accommodated by your 3"x3" stand.

    At the moment I am tossing up whether to make a more permanent arrangement of my 30YW plastics, presently based for DBR (and that decision turned out bad, even after I procrastinated for about a year fearing that what did happen, would happen), to change to Pike & Shotte.

    Actually, their 'block stand' should be 8cm x 8 cm, which would 'fit' my present set up better (I could fit 8 horse or 20 foot on such a stand), but a friend and I are thinking of using 3"x3" as what he has a supply of... The rule set is permissive in this respect.

    It is a chore rebasing figures, and when one is dependent upon others doing the same, a very risky undertaking, as i found to my cost...

    1. Thanks for commenting, Archduke. It would seem to me that the best route to go would be individually based soldiers as they could be used for literally any game system and just plunked onto a larger base. That said, I also love the look of stands of troops on the table so it's a tough call.
      I went with the Regimental stands almost purely for 3 systems: Black Powder, Shako, and Volley & Bayonet. But as it turns out, I would still like to play Warmaster ACW or Napoleonics variants every once in awhile, (or perhaps even Johnny Reb or other tactical level Civil War game?). So I am right back where I started with my generic basing dilemma.

      My ultimate wish is that I would just find a rules set I am completely happy with and stick with that.

    2. 'Sabots' was the word I was looking for (better than 'profiles'). I agree that the permanent V&B figure stands look very nice (there are a couple of guys in this town whose V&B armies look fantastically good). Yet for mine there is something soulless about them. That said, I set a high store on flexibility, and, not wanting 'parallel' armies (e.g. a Confederate army for V&B and another Confederate army for Fire and Fury, say), am more inclined to go with my original suggestion.

      At that, I believe such an arrangement can look good as well.

  2. You can always do sabot bases for VnB like I did even if it doesn't look as nice..

    1. Mikko,
      Your Gettysburg game looks fantastic! I would love to host a Gettysburg full game at my house using Volley & Bayonet but I definitely dont have the room. A proper game of First Bull Run is about all I can manage at the moment.

      You're quite right about sabots and I think for practicality purposes, ALL of my 15mm and 20mm minis should be based on pennies so they can be plucked onto whatever base I want them on. Then they could work for any system. But if I'm anything, I'm also quite lazy so I still want them based on troop stands.
      I may base them on 1 1/4 inch or 1 1/2 inch bases which could be used for any system and then plopped onto sabots for V&B. Lots to ponder!

      By the way, let me know if you need or want anymore 6mm ACW guys. Boy do I have a deal for you...

    2. If space is on a premium I think you could very well reduce the scale on VnB to 2/3. With two inch squares for brigades most scenarios become playable on a 6x4 table..