Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Serious back-pedalling!

I find that I've been rather disparaging about the American Civil War in the past in my blog, and yet despite declarations of it not interesting me; I find myself having bought three boxes of the Perry Plastics.

I think it's time for some humble pie, or at least revisionist history.
Of course I've always found the American Civil war to be a fascin....
NO! No, no. I can't lie like that; a swift 180 this is not, but I have had to reconsider in some small way my reasoning's for a disinterest.

On face value, I bought the figures for something to do on those nights over my winter in the Alps, where I'm too burnt out to go to the pub. The intention is to strip them from their sprues, throw em in a box with the paints needed and take just a minimum of material to allow me to work on them. It may only be once every couple of weeks, so I didn't want to take a big project; a mistake I made last year.

I looked at the Perry Napoleonics, but got the fear over entering such a huge topic, this was a score in favour of ACW, it had a much more clear-cut history, one I could get to grips with fairly easily.

Secondly the Perry Naps were, French; In a rare streak of patriotism, I wanted to start there with the British, if anything at all.

Next there was the issue of uniforms. Napoleonics are complex to say the least, and it seems, it is critical to get the details right, lest the button counters come and get you. With the ACW forces, the uniforms were more basic, and often not particularly regular. Another score for them.

Finally price, who doesn't like a bargain? I managed to pick up two pack, one of each, for £20, and added another for £12. 72 foot and 12 horse for £32 is great value in 28mm. Sold.

But now I have to make myself learn about this war, at least enough to get the painting basically right. To that end I've read a couple of short books on the topic so far, one of the Osprey Essential Histories series and A Europa Militaire uniform guide.

Actually, as a reader of history, it is no less interesting than any other war. And although it has it's huge set pieces, that seem to be the point of interest for many wargamers, there are plenty of smaller actions, that are well recorded that seem more fascinating to me, and more reasonable to reproduce on the table in this scale.

Who knows, I may even enjoy it. It is after all a venture into a completely new period of gaming for me, up to now, my gaming stopped at 1650 and didn't pick up again until 1939 (I do have an army of Zulu's, but they have no completed opponents, and have yet to go to battle, so I can't count them in gaming terms).

I blame a number of factors for this: Having to cover this period in detail on a non-military level three times in the course of my education (school, college and degree - the Industrial revolution every time!), the uniforms putting me off back when I was new to painting, and the cost of assembling decent forces in a scale I liked. Since youth I've only really read about the Zulu war in detail, and to a lesser extend the Wars of liberation in South America in this period. Now I will make myself learn at least a bit about the events of 1861 to 1865.

And well take it from there, without blinkers.


  1. Power to your elbow - the ACW is a project I've put on the back burner for now (just not enough hours in the day) but which I have every intention of coming back to... I look forward to hearing more...

  2. If you fancy a game with a quick set of rules contact me next time youre in Grimsby and Ill try and get you hooked on a great period of history

    Dave Tuck