comments 21

Wargaming the American Civil War- a little more grape?

Just as the world of wargaming has been thrown into a frenzy by Epic Battles by Warlord games, the Tercio has reached half way in their own homage to that most constant of favourites, the A.C.W.. Is Epic scale 10mm, 12mm, N gauge or true 15? It’s beyond me, I’ve plumped for great big 18mm miniatures for my armies and I’m very pleased with them.

The figures are from Lancashire Games, designed by the very talented Kevin Howroyd. I’ve been slowly collecting up enough figures to refight Battle Cry games but with Blücher rules. If you are new to this project then it will hopefully become clearer as the year progresses. Basically GMT give the Battles and I play with a variant of Blücher wargames rules called Chamberlain ( oldmeldrumwargamesgroup is the must visit site!)

As you can see the miniatures are decidedly on the “chunky” or I prefer “athletic” side of 15/18mm. I love the sculpting and animation that Kevin has been able to apply. The faces especially are so characterful. I failed to find how many guns were in each pack so I now have a lot more guns than the Union needed. The models go together very well and are well cast in the main. A few spokes were missing but at the prices Lancashire Games charge , I can forgive them that. The web store appears to be almost always having a sale; thank goodness!

The artillery in the A.c.W. Was of course of critical importance, especially to the defence. Although the arm cannot do without infantry and cavalry support, the guns arguably changed the whole character of early modern warfare. The normal ratio was 2-4 guns per one thousand men, although Lee occasionally reached 8-10 gunned in his undermanned Army of Northern Virginia.

Blücher / Chamberlain gives the wargamer General the opportunity to either divide his arty between his brigades or else mass the batteries. The ideal use of artillery was in mass at medium range and with crossed fire. The three massed Union batteries depicted here should make Jonny Reb very anxious to close with the Union lines.

The aim was to “finish” an army a month in 2021. The Union army may take longer that the Scots that are now overdue. I hope to finish my Hun horde by the close of February. As to the Union infantry, I’m guided by Oliver Keppelmuller’s Grand Tactician Civil War computer game. I’m don’t intend putting more than twelve to fifteen figures on each unit base so I may well keep up with the schedule. I’ll add a list of paints at the close of the project in case anyone is desperate to paint quickly in the infamous Despertaferres quick paint style!

Please note I’ve been practising my draughtmanship for the forthcoming battlefield visits. Apologies to Mr. Dennis.

Have a great week ahead!




  1. You asked a question regarding the scale of the new Warlord Epic Battles range. The figures are 13mm foot to eye, which matches in well with the Kallistra Miniatures Range for this period (they have an excellent range). They claim 12mm but are large 12mm but will look good with N Gauge railways accessories. There are a few of us currently building forces using figures from both ranges and I don’t think we have settled on which rules to use yet, Black Power is definitely in the running. Currently, I am thinking of three of the infantry blocks to a unit rather than the five in the pack and then doing the same with the cavalry with 5 figures to a 6cm wide base. Guns at 2 to a battery, the limbers come with 6 horse teams but I am modelling them with 4, a pack of two then leaves me with a spare 4 horse team that I can use for a scratch but wagon at some time. I am also looking forward to the new buildings Warlord will be releasing for this range as scenic items do help.

    Liked by 4 people

      • I do find the Pendraken figgures too small for me, I think I will stick with the Warlord scale for now. I always have my 28mm ones as well so for me the best of both worlds. Must add to my Confederates in 28mm, I had enough for the participation game we ran at Crusade in January 2020 but do need the equivalent of a BP Brigade to offset my Federals. Once I have a brigade a side in the Epic scale I will probably do that, I just depend on where the butterfly wings take me.

        Liked by 2 people

      • My 28s are now based for skirmish games but Epic scale does have its advantages. I think I should of gone for Pendraken using Blücher but too late now. I did have some 10mm woR but gave them away. I’ll pass on those free acw with the mag when next we meet!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I forgot to add that 18mm is a good scale matching up with the Continental and American HO gauge railway scale so plenty of commercial items available to bulk out the scenic offerings.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I have loco in N scale, now looking for a few box-cars. The Loco is a non-powered version that came out with a magazine a while back,.They often come up on eBay. I will wait for a Railway swap meet when they start up again to get more. They used to have a good one in Penarth Lesure Centre. If you are interested I will let you know when they start up again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m afraid I’m cheating a bit! I’ve painted most minis already / just need to rebase and add a few specialist units! I have stuck to a no new armies policy- just!!!!!!

      Liked by 3 people

    • I should have qualified it with ‘ finished off ‘ an army a month! My Huns just need three warband and three foederati and they are done so not too bad! We shall see!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Seems like an interesting project. The figures look great and full of character as you said! ACW is yet one more great unknown period for me in my wargaming career but it is fascinating one anyway.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks very much! I ‘m so swayed by cartoon style!
      I fell in love with ACW after watching Red Badge of Courage as a boy and then came Airfix plastics.
      Although it hasn’t the glamour of Napoleonics, the history of the period is so compelling!

      Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s