Sunday, August 14, 2011
I've finally got my hands on it and to say I'm impressed with the new deluxe edition of British Grenadier would be a huge understatement! In my opinion it's the most beautifully made wargames book I've seen to date and the one I just bought isn't even the gentlemen's edition! I felt I didn't deserve that as I tend to not treat my wargames books with the best of care. However, had I known just how nice this was going to be I might have reconsidered and gone for the gentlemen's edition in spite of my dodgy handling of books.
On to a little description. The cover is hardback made in a lovely glossy deep brown with a fine cursive script featuring the now famous British Grenadier of the previous rule set. The inside jacket and pages use an aged Betsy Ross Star Spangled banner as the background rather then just plain white. The pages are of high quality and superb binding from what I can observe.
The book is lavishly illustrated with inspiring full coloured pictures of figures, battle scenes, drawing and painting. Many fine figure painters work is featured in the book , but a large percentage of them are by Giles Allison whom I consider to be the foremost figure painter of this period and who's body of work in terms of scope and standard of excellence sets the bar. He's the main reason I started the period and blogging a few years back and I strongly recommend visiting his blog at
Basically, the format and presentation of the entire book just exudes period feel like nothing I've seen and makes you feel like humming Yankee Doodle as you read it!
British Grenadier is set in the American War of Independence and can be played in several scales from 6mm to 40mm with 28mm and 15mm being the most common. Basing is generally multi-figure with an average of 4-6 infantry per base and 2 cavalry if at all present as this war was dominated by infantry with cavalry being a pretty small percentage.
The rules themselves are simulation in nature and quite sophisticated where the author tries to present you with the difficulties of commanding troops in North America and does an excellent job of doing so. They deny you full command of each troop forcing you to use well thought out battle plans and making you judge when to use your limited command options to achieve the best effect. Moving formed bodies of troops was difficult in this theatre and the rules reflect this very well indeed.
This isn't a beer and pretzel type of game as it takes time to develop, but still isn't overly burdensome in record keeping and charts either where a few tokens will cover most of what you need, because of this the game flows very nicely once you have the feel for the rules. It's also not a tournament type of game and is best suited for club play and Demo's as it's mainly centred around historical engagements where scenario conditions decide the victor. British Grenadier already has 3 published scenario books and includes 4 scenario's in the rules themselves to keep you busy a plenty, however if there is something you wish to do not already covered the author gives a guideline on how to do so.
If your looking to get into AWI wargaming then I can think of no other rule set better for this period and I strongly recommend that you should pick up a copy. You can get a copy from Caliver Books http://www.caliverbooks.com/
British Grenadier has a forum that is well supported by a great bunch of knowledgeable and nice group of gentlemen that will answer most any question you have. They helped me a great deal when I got started(and still do!). The forum can be found here http://generaldebrigade.greatboard.com/viewforum.php?f=13
For those who already own a copy of the previous British Grenadier and don't think they need the deluxe version then think again!! The new version has some new rule changes that reduce arty effect and improve the chance of a successful bayonet assault and a few others, but mainly it's just so well done it's worth it!!!!
I wish I had time to work on some more AWI as I'm now chomping at the bit to do so, but I have a priority project I must complete first. Five star inspiring stuff folks!