AWI (American War of Independence) wargaming is a type of Revolutionary War strategy game played with miniature figures on a tabletop instead of through virtual simulations in a video game.
Players recreate specific battles with miniature versions of the actual units, commanders and soldiers that took part in the actual battle.
The Revolutionary War is ideal for miniature wargaming because the battles consisted of only a small number of troops (usually less than 5,000 soldiers on each side) which is easier to replicate in miniature than other battles in history.
These games are played with AWI miniatures in various sizes, ranging from as small as 2 or 3mm to as large as 54mm.
The following is a list of some of the best AWI wargame rules and rule sets:
(Disclaimer: purchases made through the links in this article help support the History of Massachusetts Blog)
1. Black Powder: Battles with Model Soldiers in the Age of the Musket Rule Book
Black Powder’s rule book, written by Rick Priestley and Jervis Johnson, is published by Warlord Games and contains hundreds of color photographs by the Perry Brothers of their collection of miniatures.
The book contains rules for decisive battles from numerous wars such as the Sudan War, the Crimean War as well as the American War of Independence.
Black Powder offers a supplement to the rule book called Rebellion: Fighting the Battles of the American Revolutionary War with Model Soldiers. The rule set for Rebellion! is 147 pages long and includes 19 scenarios:
Newport (historical and what-if with French involvement)
2. British Grenadier! Gaming the Wars for America 1775-1783
British Grenadier! is a tactical miniatures rule set by Partizan Press that focuses on the American War of Independence. The rule system was adapted from the General de Brigade rules.
The figure scale is 1:10 to 1:20 and there are three scenarios included in the book. The rule set is 80 pages long with four color pages and four pages of card play sheet.
3. Guns of Liberty: Wargame Rules for the American Revolution
Guns of Liberty is a miniatures rule set that focuses on the American Revolution and is designed to be easy, simple and fun to play.
The rules are intended for use with 15mm figures, but conversions for 6mm and 25mm figures are included.
The ground scale is 1 inch = 25 yards, time scale is 1 turn = 10 minutes and figure scale is 1 figure represents 20-25 men. The rule set is 18 pages long with two identical reference cards.
4. Patriots and Loyalists: Rules for the American Revolution
Patriots and Loyalists is a set of miniatures rules focusing on the smaller battles of the American Revolution and the French and Indian War. It is originally designed for 25mm figures but can be played with 15mm or smaller scales.
Units in the game are infantry battalions, artillery regiments and cavalry regiments. Typical organizations require 6-9 stands of infantry.
5. Warfare in the Age of Reason
Warfare in the Age of Reason is a rule set that focuses on 18th century warfare and includes the Wars of Frederick the Great, the Marlburian Wars, the Great Northern War, the French and Indian War, the Jacobite Rebellions, Clive’s Conquest of India, and the American Revolution.
The tactical rule set uses simple but in-depth mechanics to keep the fighting style true to the period. The rules are easy to remember and can be accessed easily on a quick reference sheet.
The game comes with complete tactical, campaign and siege rules, army lists for the various 18th century wars, 102 tactical maps and a campaigning map for Europe, India and the American colonies.
6. Maurice: War in an Age of Gentlemen and Philosophers – 1690-1790
Maurice is a combination wargame and a role-playing game in which the characters are officers, units and armies of the 17th and 18th century.
The game is driven by action cards and is played in alternating rounds. The game continues until one side’s army morale breaks. If neither side’s army morale breaks before the game runs out of cards, then night has fallen without a decisive victory.
7. Loose Files and American Scramble: Wargaming Battles of the American War of Independence
Loose Files and American Scramble is a free online rules set for 15mm miniatures that focuses on the American War of Independence.
The units in this game include infantry, cavalry, skirmishers and artillery. The ground scale is 1 inch = 25 yard. The figure scale is 1 figure = 10 men. The time scale is 1 turn = 5 minutes.
8. Sharp Practice: Wargame Rules for Large Skirmishes in the Black Powder Era
Sharp Practice is a rule set that focuses on skirmishes during the black powder era. The game is a combination wargame and role-playing game that allows the player to fight large scale skirmishes between 30 and 120 figures per side.
The game is ideal for the Napoleonic era but allows room for expansion to other campaigns and includes rules on North American Indians, colonial types and etc.
The game won the TMP “Best Historical Wargame for 2008” award. The rule set is 68 pages long and was published by Too Fat Lardies, a wargame development partnership from the UK.
9. Fields of Honor: The American War for Independence
Fields of Honor is an introductory level wargame that focuses on the American War of Independence and is a sequel to the original Fields of Honor game.
Various individual battle scenarios are included such as the Battle of Bunker Hill, Monmouth, Brandywine, etc, plus a campaign covering the entire war. Maps and counters are provided but the game can also be played using miniatures.
10. Peter Pig’s Washington’s Army rules
Washington’s Army is a rule set by a British company called Peter Pig. The rules set focuses on your choice of a mid sized battle from the American War of Independence.
Scenarios include Battle of Bunker Hill, Freeman’s Farm, Brier Creek, Newtown, Camden, Kings Mountain, Hannah’s Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse, and Eutaw Springs.
The game is designed for 15mm figures but can be adapted for 25mm and uses about 100 figures per side.
11. Redcoats and Rebels
Redcoats and Rebels is a very detailed set of free rules that are based on Elan but focuses exclusively on the American War of Independence.
The game is designed for 10-25mm figures using variable ratios from 1:10 – 1:50. The rule set is 100 pages long.
12. The British Are Coming! Miniatures Rules for the American Revolutionary War, 1775-1783
The British Are Coming! is a rule set that focuses on smaller actions of the Revolutionary War. Scenarios for Cowpens and Guilford Court House are included.
The rules are designed for 15mm figures but can be adapted for 25-30mm figures. The ground scale is 1 inch = 30 yards. The figure scale is 1 figure = 25 men or 1 gun.
Units include infantry battalions (3-20 figure), cavalry squadrons (2 to 5 figures), and artillery batteries (1-4 guns.) Each player commands 6 to 8 units.
13. Disperse ye Damned Rebels!
Disperse ye Damned Rebels! is a tactical level rule set, by Sergeants 3, that focuses exclusively on the American War of Independence.
Each player commands a brigade (or more) made up of multiple battalions. The base units are: infantry battalions with eight to 10 companies where one stand equals one company, artillery batteries of three stands, and cavalry regiments of up to five stands.
The game is designed for 25/28mm figures with provisions for 6,10,15 and 20mm figures.
The ground scale is 1 inch = 5 yards, figure scale is 1 figure = 15 men, recommended table size is 6′ x 8′. Time scale and game length are not stated.
14. Piquet: Cartouche
Cartouche is a supplement for the Piquet miniatures rules. The rule set covers the Wars of Marlborough, Seven Years War, and the American War of Independence.
“Suggest some good AWI rules to me please!” The Miniatures Page, 28 Mar. 2012, theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=262783
“AWI rules? Topic.” The Miniatures Page, 15 Aug. 2005, theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=50847
“Disperse Ye Damned Rebels!” Deep Fried Happy Mice, www.deepfriedhappymice.com/html/rd_disperse_damned_rebels.html
“Guns of Liberty Historical Miniatures Game.” The Miniatures Page, theminiaturespage.com/rules/18c/gol.html
“Introductory Miniature Rule Set for American War of Independence.” BoardGameGeek, 4 April. 2014, boardgamegeek.com/thread/1150557/introductory-miniature-rule-set-american-war-indep
“Maurice: War in an Age of Gentlemen and Philosophers.” BoardGameGeek, boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/124838/maurice-war-age-gentlemen-and-philosophers-1690-17
“Washington’s Army.” Peter Pig, www.peterpig.co.uk/infowashingtonsarmy.html
“Patriots & Loyalists: Rules for the American Revolution.” BoardGameGeek, boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/37338/patriots-loyalists-rules-american-revolution
“The British Are Coming! Miniatures Rules for the American Revolutionary War, 1775-1783.” BoardGameGeek, boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/37340/british-are-coming-miniatures-rules-american-revol
“Fields of Honor: The American War of Independence.” BoardGameGeek, boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/4666/fields-honor-american-war-independence
“Warfare in the Age of Reason.” BoardGameGeek, boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/10310/warfare-age-reason
“British Grenadier!” BoardGameGeek, boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/30566/british-grenadier
“British Grenadier ‘Rules’ Topic.” The Miniatures Page, 22 Sept. 2005, theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=53879
“Too Fat Lardies: Playing the Period, Not the Rules.” Too Fat Lardies, toofatlardies.co.uk/
“Piquet: Cartouche.” BoardGameGeek, boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/18706/piquet-cartouche