Friday, 16 May 2008

A Redcoat reminisces

I think that most of AWI regulars of a certain age originally became interested in the period thanks to Airfix and the “Washington Army” and “British Grenadiers” packs of 1/72nd soldiers, mine were supplemented with the Napoleonic range and drawing on inspiration from films like “Waterloo”, “Northwest passage”, “Drums along the Mohawk”, “The Alamo” and “The Buccaneer”, also armed with my imagination I set about playing soldiers with Uncles, Grandad and my Father.

The older I got the more interested I became in military history, my first endeavour with metal was the Hinchcliffe and Minifig English Civil War when I was about fifteen, soon it was WWII with 1/300th scale. Dropping my interests with figures I pursued more adult past-times from the ages of 16 – 23 but still having an interest in all things military, around 1988 I met up with another chap who had the same interests as myself, Front Rank English Civil War were our first 25mm collection which was closely followed by Front Ranks AWI....... and the rest as they say is history.

We have put on various demo games since 1990, the first was The Battle of Princeton, by this time we had become interested in re-enactment and signed up with “SAR” (Society of the American Revolution) as members of the 37th Foot, the first demo game was fun as we had members of the 3rd New York and 2nd Rhode Island groups commanding Washington’s army and the 37th in charge of Mawhood's brigade. Between 1990 to around 1998 we were demo game regulars at the Colours and Warfare shows, one year we staged a Crimean game, owing to work constraints we have had to put on hold some of the games planned and have not been at Colours since the show moved to Newbury, we have however staged two WW1 games and two generic AWI games at the Warfare (Reading, Berkshire).

During 2003 and 2004 we even staged a couple of games in conjunction with the National Army Museum, the 2003 game was “Spencer Ordinary", I prepared the game using my figures and information supplied from Brendan Morrissey's knowledge of the engagement, we fought the game on a 1:5 ratio, I now have raised the Queens Rangers to fight the same engagement on 1:2 ratio using Front Rank and Perry Miniatures figures, rules set has always been "Rebellion in the Colonies" by Peter Helm, printed in 1989, with some of our changes though. The army list used is really the Novek books, we use the listed returns of the Novek books to raise regiments. Presently we re-basing and tidying up all our old Front Rank figures to mix in with the Perry/Foundry stuff, the 37th no longer participates in UK events as we have all became older (wider in some cases) and tied down to our responsibilities, however we have not yet written ourselves off.

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