Saturday, 16 July 2011

Tea anyone? Starting The American War of Independence

When I first started playing Lasalle nearly a year ago I wasn't swept off my feet. Having fallen instantly in love with Grande Armee (GA) I found Lasalle a little tame and lacking an element of fun. Since then I have been turned around on Lasalle but at the time I decided to go looking for another horse and musket period to fulfil a desire to fight smaller actions than GA.

Since first playing Columbia Games War of 1812 many years ago I have maintained an interest in this minor war during the Napoleonic period but decided against it as I would be limited to Lasalle basing if I used by existing British. Sticking with the theme of North American I decided to move back in history and settled on the American War of Independence (AWI) knowing that several players from the North Tyneside club already play the period.

As always when I start a new period the first thing was to get a good overview of the history. My holiday reading therefore became Robert Middlekauff's The Glorious Cause. This was an excellent read, striking a good balance between political, social and military history. Starting at the end of the French Indian Wars and running through the wars until the signing of the American constitution.

Choosing a set of rules for the period was easy. I had a copy of British Grenadier (BG) lying around from God knows where and within a few chapters I had decided to go with this. BG has received good reviews wherever I come across it and I am looking forward to playing a game with a written orders element to it as it has been while since I used one. I also love the scenarios books which provide order of battle for most (if not all) of the engagements. Recently I have been finding the limitations of pick up battles very repetitive and scenarios are the obvious cure.

Mentioning my interest in the period at the Sheffield club raised the interest of a few members who are willing to do up armies. Within a week Paul had already painted an American battalion so I agreed to make a start on the British.

Having enjoyed painted Peter Pigs Wars of the Roses range I was going to use their AWI range but saw the Blue Moon figures at the Triples show and they looked so good I couldn't resist. The figures are large, 18mm, and I don't think my painting can do them justice. The photos throughout this blog show my efforts over the past month to paint the 33rd regiment.

I have decided to mainly use the 1768 warrant uniforms. Although they were not the practical uniforms most British wore during the wars, they are distinctive for the period and can easily be used for French Indian Wars and other conflicts during the period.

They did take me longer to paint than I hoped and I may try both Peter Pig's and Essex's ranges to see if I can turn them out faster. Either way I doubt I'll be in a position to have a game until nearer the end of the year so maintaining motivation will be a challenge.