Friday, June 11, 2010

The Civil War ... a matter of scale

Well I hadn't watched the Civil War ... an old favorite Ken Burns documentary since I was in College working on my BA in history. For some reason I saw it pop up on Netflix and decided to watch it ... oddly just this morning netflix took it down again along with THE WAR which I didn't have a chance to see. 

Anyway beyond putting me into a  patriotic, nostalgically melancholic mood. Watching the nine episode film brought my mind back to history and Ken Burns films and finally buying and reading Shelby Foote's three volume history of the civil war ... it got me thinking about historical gaming and American Civil War historical gaming in particular. 

At present I'm trying to look up rule sets and consider scale. It seems like 15 MM might be a good way to go ... or even 10 MM ... given some of the large battles smaller scale might allow for more options. For me scale creates all sorts of issues ... I've never done much historical stuff other than a very brief flirtation with FOW a few years back so I have nothing other than 28 MM Warhammer 40K oriented terrain. As for terrain if I stick with 15 MM I could get some crossover with 15 MM WWII historical gaming and maybe some day Napoleonics though that seems like the ultimate historical gaming undertaking and I don't quite know if I'm ready for that. I think I'd like to do WWII, American Civil War and perhaps American War of Independence. Another confusing thing is it does seem like 20 MM is really popular for ACW too and that is a pretty unique scale. I suppose if I coupled the ACW stuff with an eventual move into AWI ... it might be worth the time, effort and monetary expenditure. That is another issue ... I'm not sitting on my cushy six figure income anymore ... being back to near starving student level income makes me wonder if ACW is doable in any scale ... lol. 

To further compound matters. It seems with all the companies putting out 28 MM stuff in plastic now ... that perhaps 28 MM is a viable scale for ACW/AWI. But I don't know really. 

As for rulesets ... I vaguely remember hearing about Jonny Reb and Mr. Lincoln's War. I've also heard of Honor and Glory and Charge! ... but I have no experience with any of them and have to admit I own none of them and short of perhaps picking one of the books up and glancing at them ... I haven't read them.


ScottyVegas said...

I think you and Jason Coffey can re-enact together. Two chubby dudes in Civil War I even have to explain how sexy that is?

The Lord of Excess said...

LOL ... screw yew man ... yer just jealous ... its ok you can play the confederates and Coffey can chase you around and you can give the rebel yell!

Seriously though I'm very interested in historicals, I see their value in terms of you get a few people in on them, buy in (usually to a lower level than with GW stuff) and your done. Get a cool campaign or two in ... shelf the stuff for six months then do it again.

I'm also keeping an eye towards the future too ... like I've been snagging old skool D&D stuff for future games with the kids. I sort of have the same feeling about historicals ... I'd love to give them history lessons and then let them watch or even play in a historical game. I really wish as a kid I would have had access to that.

As far as mini gaming with the kids ... its a good five to ten years away before any of them will even be able to do basic mini gaming. By then who knows what GW will be like, who knows what other standard mini games will be like. Historicals ... you buy the minis ... paint em ... get a ruleset ... and basically they are like elaborate board games. They essentially last forever. Now you could do that with GW ... but to me the fun of GW stuff is all the variety and being able to play against alot of different opponents. I don't see that as much with historicals. I see the variety as the different battles, etc.