I bought 1775 (same basic design as 1812) when it was on sale and so far it is fun and has the general "flavor" of the time period. Just don't expect a detailed historical study. That is not what the game was intended for anyway.
I will pick up 1812 the next time it goes on sale as well.
If you own an iPAD, my strongest recommendation is for Command and Colors The Great War. It had and still has some card mechanics issues but it is a lot of fun. It's the type of game you could play as a pick up game, sit down with a new friend and have a blast. Atmosphere, music and art are all A+ on that game.
I also like Assault on Arnhem - the limited command points is not my cup of tea but once you adapt and get used to it, the game can be challenging and has a good "old time" SPI feel of large board war games.
I don't like any of the Eastern Front style games - they are way to crowded, no room to maneuver and the lack of specific turn controls makes the mechanics for flanking and rear shots poor.
I like Battles of the Ancient World full collection. It's like a sampler of various eras, with "light" realism and mechanics. Don't expect FOG II but if you just want some light battles with a historical flavor, it can be fun.
Really looking forward to Command and Colors Ancients - based on the excellent WWI version, I have very high hopes !