Trying out Epic ACW Black Powder

For the next issue of WS&S, we are doing a 'Let's Play' on the new Epic ACW Black Powder from Warlord Games. Fortunately, we managed to play a few games before the current Covid Lockdown. I thought I'd give you all a rundown on our experience.

Warlord has chosen the curious scale of 13.5mm 'foot to eye' (or 15mm tall) for their new Epic plastic figures. The cynic in me thinks they wanted a unique scale as a selling point to go with. Well, it worked!

As no complete boxed sets ready as yet, we had to do some 'old fashioned' improvising. The bases used in the game are 20mm x 60mm, so I had to dig out my spare bases box and improvise with everything I had (yes, there were a few 25mm x 50mm bases in there too!).

As you can see, the lovely Cigar Box Battles mat helped offset the otherwise plain-looking battle. I can see how impressive the board would look with a full complement of miniatures.

We took one of the scenarios from the new ACW booklet - one which best allowed us to play with only what you'd get in the boxed set, and nothing more. So the battle was purely infantry and cannons, no cavalry.  Not only did we complete the battle in about two hours (despite being unfamiliar with the new rules), but we had great fun.

I admit I did have concerns about this new 'Epic' scale. How would this new scale fit with Black Powder? How do the bases translate into Black Powder units? Would the 32-page booklet be enough to explain how this new system worked?

Everything was well explained and it all worked smoothly on the table - I was, in fact, very impressed. Yes, I'll be looking forward to playing more games of Epic ACW when the miniatures are released. This gets the thumbs up from this cynic. Next time, with luck, we'll be playing with a bunch of pretty miniatures and with a better-looking river!



6 thoughts on “Trying out Epic ACW Black Powder”

  • ken Butt

    Kallistra Miniatures seems to be compatible with these figures and from the comments on other Facebook groups many plan to use them to add to their armies while waiting for the Warlord range to expand. It is not just the Black Powder rules that work with then, simple rules such as Firepower do just as well. I think they are onto a winner but personally, I do believe that three stands to a unit look better and have half the frontage of a 28mm 24 man unit. They also make it possible to game in a small space producing a Battle in a Box element to wargaming for those whose space is restricted. Looking forward to the next issue and the release of the initial elements in the range and hoping that it sells well enough to expend into other periods, Hai; Caesar anyone.

    • Guy Bowers

      As each infantry base is 60mm x 20mm, and you require five bases to a unit, it is surprising how much frontage the Epic units take. That said, it looks right for the American Civil War.

  • John Randall

    Have painted up 2 regiments from free sprues. Happy with the way they have come out. Hopefully we'll see Pike and Shotte epic as well. I might eventually get a painted ECW army.

  • Mike

    I don't think it's cynical to suggest a wargames company would create a unique scale, it's happened a number of times. You can't really blame them because unlike say Games Workshop you can't own the IP for historical figures so they are always in danger of releasing a product which immediately becomes irrelevant because of the competition (and that's also happened a lot recently). However, in this case the scale isn't innovative, it's just traditional 15mm. 'Foot to eye' is just a modern fiction created to justify scale creep.

  • Da Moiti

    I also see the problem in the scale. I’ve got a nearly complete painted Union Division for Across a deadly field, mostly Essex and Peter Pig Minis. The Warlord figures will not match my existing range and so are not an option. Black Powder will get a chance on our gaming tables, definitely.

  • Chris Kartchner
    Chris Kartchner March 1, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    I am very intrigued by the system in conjunction with these new minis.

    it actually might make gaming more affordable and easier to get into a new period.

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