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Author Topic: ACW or Napoleonic skirmish (in 15mm)?  (Read 538 times)

Offline FriendlyNeighbourhoodNerd

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ACW or Napoleonic skirmish (in 15mm)?
« on: March 02, 2024, 10:43:27 AM »
Lately I've been interesting in playing a skirmish game or two either in the Napoleonic Wars, or the American Civil War.

I have a very small table, 2x2' (60x60cm) so I'm thinking of going with 15mm. Not that it matters that much since I'm not gonna be putting huge armies on the table, only up to about 10 figures a side, but still, the terrain is cheaper and easier to make.

Also the figures are far cheaper (yes, plastic 28mm figures are a thing, but then I end up buying boxes of 40 to only use 8-10 dudes, which ends up more expensive). And finally, 15mm figures look cute :D

Having said that, there is also a good possibility that I only play once or twice, and then the figures will sit on my shelf/desk for me to lovingly stare at them. So, to me, what really matters is that the figures are nicely sculpted and look good when painted and sitting on a shelf (and most importantly are fun to paint!)

My experience with 15mm so far is, I have some Peter Pig Wars of the Roses figures and they are really nicely sculpted, fun to paint, and I like looking at them on my shelf (they've turned out a bit dull but I suspect that's also my own fault). Also, I have one AB Napoleonic French fella that I haven't painted yet, but the sculpt looks gorgeous (more 18mm, but still).

I would probably just go with AB based off everyone raving about them online, and my own Mk.1 Eyeball, however I live in the EU and ordering from the UK sucks. Eureka Miniatures, the UK retailer for AB Figures, is registered for IOSS so no import taxes, however last time I ordered from them Royal Mail screwed up and I ended up getting my figures after 3 months, which frankly sucked (Eureka were very helpful throughout this, props to them! nothing against them, only RM). And most other manufacturers of figures aren't registered so I'll have fun paying twice the value of my order in charges to the postal service/government.

The Peter Pig figures I ordered from Minairons in Spain who ordered them from PP for me (they only stock the Spanish Civil War range and some WW2), the guy who runs the store Lluis was very helpful, however I don't wanna inconvenience the guy for an order of two or three packs from PP.

Really, from what I've found the only 15mm ACW or Napoleonic figures I can easily order are Essex, from a store in France (philibert.net) or Campaign Game Miniatures in Spain, I think. Everyone else is either US (Old Glory 15s, Battle Honours for instance) or UK (AB*, PP*, Old Glory, Blue Moon, Minifigs, etc etc).

So, essentially what I'm asking is, are Essex figures good (or rather, are PP or AB so much better to justify the inconvenience, expensive shipping in the case of AB, and waiting time)? Honestly from pictures I can't tell, the paintjobs on the Essex website are a bit meh. But they seem decent and people seem to like them.

The thing is, I can much more easily order a pack of Essex, paint them, decide "oh I don't like the look of these/don't like painting Napoleonic uniforms/ACW look boring" than a "test" pack of PP figures, for example. I hope that makes sense :(

Rant about ordering from the UK and figures aside, what are some good skirmish rulesets in this scale (8-10 dudes) for the period? Bonus points if they're fun to play solo. I know of Fistful of Lead (even has a horse and musket supplement) but, as silly as it may be, I much prefer dice over playing cards.

As for the period. Of course, for someone who is more into the painting side than anything, Napoleonic uniforms are more interesting to paint. However, I really like the look of the armies in the ACW, and I just have a more clear image/vision in my head - the little white wooden houses, the snake rail fences, the fields, in my head it's more interesting and evocative? than the dry landscapes of the Peninsular War, for instance. Perhaps I should visit Waterloo first though, since I live half an hour away and all :P and we'll see.

Feel free to convince me in favour of either Napoleonics or the ACW, tell me 15mm are shit and that I should get 28mm figures instead, I should stop whining and just get AB Figures because they're worth their weight in gold, or maybe even tell me I should skirmish in 6 mm! etc :D

Thanks in advance! and sorry about the rambling and the wall of text.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2024, 11:02:20 AM by FriendlyNeighbourhoodNerd »

Offline rumacara

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Re: ACW or Napoleonic skirmish (in 15mm)?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2024, 04:30:15 PM »
Well, im not gonna convince you of any scale or theme. That is your own choice.
Im in EU so i face the same problem.

About napoleonics and ACW i like both and i have them in 15mm and 28mm so its a matter of taste.

For your table size i would go 15mm specially at that quantity (10 figures per side) and the possibility of scratchbuild a large part of the terrain.

About Eureka, they are great in service and both the napoleonics and ACW are very good figures so its a good choice.

If you ever go for ancients you have Atlantica Juegos in Spain that sells Xyston miniatures. They are great.

That said why dont you try to place a wanted message at the Bazar section asking for someone to sell you some figures so that you can try paint and see if you like them?


Offline FifteensAway

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Re: ACW or Napoleonic skirmish (in 15mm)?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2024, 05:25:27 PM »
Essex figures are among the best out there for quality - and actually designed to be easily painted.  The one challenge for skirmish is not a lot of pose variety, if any, in a given pack so you will need to buy a few packs and end up with a few dozen figures likely per period.  I would not consider that a problem - you may find you want to expand later and you will have those extras in reserve.  Not sure of availability for you, but Bluemoon Manufacturing figures come in packs with most figures unique - but larger packs, like 30 per pack, also the sculpting style is not to everyone's tastes - I'm fine with them.

As to rules, I'm going to suggest Fistful of Lead and its first cousin Fistful of Lead:Bigger Battles, both available as PDFs so not shipping needed.  Just need a pack of normal playing cards, d8, d10, and d12 dice and the figures and you are good to go - unless you want to add terrain (you really should - it is a visual hobby).  FFOL will not only allow your chosen two periods but virtually any other period you want to game.  They are fun, simple rules that provide an enjoyable gaming experience - and I believe there is even a solo supplement out there. 

Good luck with your plans.

Offline PeteW

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Re: ACW or Napoleonic skirmish (in 15mm)?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2024, 06:26:52 PM »
I've just had the similar issue in reverse - UK based but wanting to purchase from Spain.  lol

I've got a battalion pack on order from them, but don't currently have any of their figures, but you might want to look at

https://www.campaign-game-miniatures.com/

I've also got some AB on order, and I'm hoping they will mix well.

P
 
« Last Edit: March 02, 2024, 06:55:36 PM by PeteW »

Offline FriendlyNeighbourhoodNerd

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Re: ACW or Napoleonic skirmish (in 15mm)?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2024, 07:15:33 PM »
Rumacara, I hadn't thought about asking at the Bazar... I might. Thanks for the idea!

FifteensAway, good to know about Essex. It's a shame that most of their packs are 4/8 of the same pose, but they do have some packs with assorted poses which is nice. I think for ACW I'll go with them.

Bluemoon look great but there's like one retailer in Germany with a minimm order of 50 euros and like 20 euros shipping as well. So probably not.

Fistful of Lead does sound good, I'll take a look. Although I am perhaps prejudiced against playing cards, I like the ol' d6 and maybe the RPG dice (d4, d8, d10, d12, d20), not sure why :P.

Pete, I see Brexit is screwing us all over... As for Napoleonics, Campaign Games Miniatures do look really really nice, from the pictures at least. Must be the great paintjobs on the webstore as well :D for Napoleonics I'll be ordering from them, I think. Expansive range, too!

Thanks everyone!

Offline PeteW

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Re: ACW or Napoleonic skirmish (in 15mm)?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2024, 07:27:33 PM »
Pete, I see Brexit is screwing us all over...

Oh in so many ways, but enough of that.

I'm planning on building units that can be used for both the new General d'Armee2 rules (divisional level) and Sharp Practice (skirmish) - can play the latter while building up a big enough force for GdA.

I too love painting miniatures, and so am looking for the best quality figures in 15mm. Drop me a message if you do want to purchase some AB, as I'm sure we can come to some kind of arrangement  ;)

P

Offline FifteensAway

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Re: ACW or Napoleonic skirmish (in 15mm)?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2024, 09:28:57 PM »
The playing cards are used for turn sequencing - and certain special options with some cards.  I'm also not keen on 'card game' gaming but for this I make an exception, the rules just work.

Offline FriendlyNeighbourhoodNerd

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Re: ACW or Napoleonic skirmish (in 15mm)?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2024, 10:15:23 PM »
That's fair honestly, I'll have to get over my card racism and take a look. Since they have a proper solo supplement as well... Can't say that about many rulesets. But I've also been looking at Song of Drums and Shakos. Seems interesting and the basic mechanics sound fun.

Offline rumacara

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Re: ACW or Napoleonic skirmish (in 15mm)?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2024, 09:59:51 AM »
Song of Drums and Shakos is a great set of rules and as you stated a fun one and simple. And cant be hard to change to ACW.
Ganesha also have a ACW set of rules (sixty-one sixty-five) but its for a larger number of figures (40-100 per side).

Offline FriendlyNeighbourhoodNerd

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Re: ACW or Napoleonic skirmish (in 15mm)?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2024, 10:18:37 AM »
By the way, for anyone interested I've come across this set of rules, the production value is not the greatest and I haven't played a game so far but they seem simple and fun, very beer and pretzels. The ruleset is called Sergeant Ligloo (http://regles.wargames.monsite-orange.fr/SGTLIGLOO.pdf)", the website is down but it's on the Wayback Machine.

They're in French, but I've made a quick translation (heavy use of Google Translate there) to English as my French isn't the greatest good practice, though. I've been trying to find a way to contact the author to ask if he wants to publish it or something but so far I haven't found anything sadly.

Anyways, I think I have a few rulesets to choose from, thanks everyone! Now to make up my mind for the period and figures.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2024, 12:24:08 PM by FriendlyNeighbourhoodNerd »

 

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