Saturday, 20 December 2014

Black Powder - 1815

A few weeks ago (I am behind with updating the blog, again) my good friend Derek came around to play a Napoleonic game. We essentially used the Black Powder rules with about a dozen units on each side on the grounds they should be fun and quite simple .

I have had Black Powder for a while but have never done very much with it. I'll confess that I not much enamored with all the mechanics. For example the Command mechanic which makes a triple move so much more likely than than a double move; I do think this can be quite easily fixed though by making a double move the maximum available and allowing this on a roll of 3 or more less than command (I am an incorrigible fiddler with rules). I also made a few other minor rule changes including introducing a penalty to shooting for units which have just moved.

The scenario was intended to be straightforward with one infantry brigade (4 units) per side initially quickly followed by the arrival of a brigade of cavalry and then somewhat later by a second brigade of infantry. I, as the allied player, chose to have Brunswickers initially (I could have had Dutch if I'd preferred) followed by a brigade of British/Highland Infantry. The French were umm, French; their second brigade were Guards (a somewhat unusual appearance on the table for them). Unfortunately, due to poor scenario design on my part the game didn't get anywhere near finishing and sadly neither the Britigh infantry nor the Grognards got to play much part. However as a proof of concept it was well worthwhile and we learnt a good deal about how these rules work. It was also very good fun.

Derek definitely had the edge, in that he took the farm in the centre and beat my cavalry; his lancers saw off two units of British dragoons. Here are a few pics of the game; we used 15mm figs with a relatively small number per unit (typically 12 for an infantry unit) and a 50% reduction in scale.

The French Commanders meet for an early drink at the inn 

French infantry close in on the farm

French cavalry arrives:
and then promptly leaves again after a blundered command roll!

Brunswickers support their skirmishers who hold the farm

The French assault the farm (and are initially thrown back)...

... and the line unit in support

British infantry starts to arrive...

... but the Grognards are ahead of them

The British dragoons are beaten by French lancers

Game End: the French have now taken the farm

But the British are still forming a defence

In the centre a disordered square holds off French Chasseurs

Hoping to return with more soon

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