So… Black Powder…
John Bertolini popped by last night to try out Black Powder. John’s actually played it before. He played a Napoleonic game with Curt back in November.
[New France, 1758]
British and French are vying for supremacy in the new world…
Sorry, I spent so much time reading rules I didn‘t really have time to come up with a clever scenario…
Simple meeting engagement.
Brigadier Angus Bottomwallow
78th Regt. of Foote (Fraser’s Highlanders)
35th Regt. of Foote
48th Regt. of Foote.
Rangers and Indians (Small, Skirmish)
2 batteries Light Artillery
Le Marquis d’Hiver
R. du Guyenne
R. du Langedoc
R. de La Sarre
Indiens et le Marine (Small, Skirmish)
Corps de Cavalrie
2 batteries Light Artillery
Hmmmmm…. I didn’t take so many pictures (must have spent too much time looking in the rule book…).
The table I have is 5’ across, 8’ long. A pretty big table by local standards (most seem to play on 4x6). I have a sense the rules were written for much bigger tables than even mine! I wondered if maybe we should halve all distances, John assured me things would be fine…
WE set up some troops and diced for who went first.
Brigadier Angus Bottomwallow ordered his entire brigade to advance towards the French with all haste. They did so!
(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)
Before John even had a go my troops were over halfway across the table… so much for maneuvering.
Overwhelmed by the ferocity of the British advance the french… did nothing…
Luckily I’d forgotten to move Brigadier Bottomwallow at the end of my command phase (I guess he, too, was a little overwhelmed by the ferocity of the British advance!) so was unable to get orders up to his troops and thus they held their ground. He did manage to reposition himself to take control of the situation the following turn
On the French move the Regt. du Langedoc advanced towards the highlanders on their side of the river. Regt de La Sarre advanced and formed into line to the right of Regt. du Langedoc. I think the guns moght have moved up as well. Then, to get them moving Le Marquis d’Hiver galloped up to La Regt. du Guyenne and cried “Follow Me!” and marched them up the road and across the river.
The French fired off their muskets to no effect.
The 78th Highlanders used initiative to charge the Regt. du Langedoc, The French closing fire was withering and the Highlanders were disordered, but made it into contact. The 35th, also using initiative, crossed the river and supported the Highlanders charge. The 48th … I can’t remember if they used initiative and simply advanced towards le Regt de La Sarre, or if they were ordered to charge in…?
The Highlanders and Regt. du Langedoc battled it out. I think the combat was a draw but the highlanders had to make a break test because they were shaken…
Hmmmm I think the 48th made it into combat and also fought the French to a draw…
The Highalnders, I belive failed their break test and fled the field, the 48th stuck around to fight another turn.
I think on the following turn the 48th lost the combat or had taken enough casualties to take a break test and they, too, departed the field of battle.
AT this point I think the British Brigade should have broken… but I hadn’t actually read that far in the rules so we played on a bit further…
La Regt. du Guyenne had made it across the river… in marching column… on the second turn… but they failed to do anything the third turn giving my battery of light guns two turns of firing at them. I think I only caused two casualties. On the fourth turn they did manage to form into line and charge the guns (with another “Follow Me!” order). Unfortunately the closing fire was devastating and La Regt. du Guyenne was obliged to make a break test and fled the field – along with Le Marquis d’Hiver…
After the 78th and 48th had departed, the 35th and Regt. du Langedoc exchanged fire with little effect. The 35th probably should have retired across the river (brigade breaking and all…)
The other battery of light artillery and the Rangers and Indians in the woods brought down enough fire on Le Regt de La Sarre that they were obliged to retire from the field as well…
It was fun enough. I’d definitely play it again.
I have to say I was totally happy with the DBA Extension for 1500 – 1900AD. I also hate reading rules. I find them dreadfully boring. As rules go, black powder is well written enough and for the first dozen or so pages was quite entertaining… by the time I’d reached page 50 and still hadn’t finished the rules for shooting – let alone close combat or morale or anything… it was getting a bit tiring… By the time I was at page 63 and still didn’t know how close combat or morale worked down right tedious (again, my preference – DBA – four pages…). The fact that I’d have to rebase my units (not going to happen) or add additional stands (see previous post) to my units to be able to make the requisite formations did not further ingratiate me to these rules… By the time John showed up Thursday evening I’d only gotten to page 70… hadn’t finished reading about morale, hadn’t gotten to any of the advanced rules or anything about stats for troops or how games even ended… and by that point I’d forgotten most of what I’d read about the command phase… but I decided to wing it – it’s similar enough to Warmaster (which I’d read before, but never played) and Cold War Commander (which I’ve played extensively, but not in the last two years… or so…).
In the rules there is a lot of commentary about “being a gentlemen gamer”. In an Interview with Rick Priestley, Priestley actually refers to it as “a book about gaming presented as a set of wargaming rules”. This was all fun for the first bit… and I was thinking some of the chaps I’ve played with could really do with reading these, if only for the commentary about being a gentlemen (good sport). But as the rules wore on I came to realize that all this talk was really pointing out how loose the rules are (and thus potentially open to abuse and/or disagreement) and while it would be nice if everyone playing the game actually read these bits (and actually took them to heart) I had a feeling that in our circle, as in many, I’ll be the only one to actually read the rules and will have to teach them to everyone else and they will gain none of the benefit of reading the commentary and in the end it only added pages to what I had to read through…
Anyway… I’ll have to finish reading it at some point… and they likely read through the whole mess again…
The other bonus to the DBA-x is that there is a fairly simple campaign system that I had imagined we’d be able to use at some point to play a 18th Century horse and musket imagination campaign with at some point…
Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:
Hard to say… probably a painting update with some newly painted figures of some sort…