Thursday, January 20, 2011

Black Powder #2

John popped by again last night to have another go at Black Powder

[New France, 1758]


British and French are still vying for supremacy in the new world…


Another simple meeting engagement…. Except with more stuff!

To play a bigger game I actually added in a unit of individually based figures - which, because it's Black Powder and basing doesn't really matter so much, I can do...



C-in-C General Angus Bottomwallow

1st Brigade
42nd Regt. of Foote (Royal Highland Regiment)
78th Regt. of Foote (Fraser’s Highlanders)
35th Regt. of Foote
1 Battery Light Artillery

2nd Brigade
48th Regt. of Foote.
Louisburg Grenadiers
Allied Indians (Small, Skirmish)
1 Battery Light Artillery


C-in-C Le Marquis d’Hiver

Premier Brigade
R. du Langedoc
R. de La Sarre
R, de La Reine
1 Battery Light Artillery

L-Autre Brigade
R. du Guyenne
Royal Roussilon
Corps de Cavalrie
1 Battery Light Artillery


We diced for who decided who set up on which side and who went first – in both cases me!

(Remember: Click on the pics to see a larger version!)

Overview of the battlefield. There was woods in both our deployment zones which caused us to start somewhat bunchedup, and not quite opposite each other. On the left are the French. At the right of the French line is Le Premier Brgade (in the foreground), and on the left (further away) is L’Autre Brigade. On the right of the pic is the British. The 2nd Brigade is on the left of the British line (closest) and the first is on the right (further).

As with last game, the first order I issued – a brigade order – full speed ahead – scoreed three moves and two of my regiments charged clear across the table – causing some distress for Jean and his Frenchmen!

At the end of my first move; the 48th Regt. of Foote and the Louisburg Grenadiers have advanced nearly clear across the table. The Indians have advanced to the front edge of the woods overlooking the open area that is presumably to be the field of battle. The Brigades guns have moved up but failed to deploy.

Further back the 78th Regt. of Foote (Fraser’s Highlanders) and the 35th Regt. of Foote have advanced in line to the hedge, the guns have moved up and deployed, but the 42nd Regt. of Foote (Royal Highland Regiment) – which was deployed in column and on the road (!?) – failed to move…!?

The 48th Regt. of Foote and the Louisburg Grenadiers causing much anxiety for Le Premier Brigade and Le Marquis d’Hiver (in his fancy purple coat).

The 1st Brigade plus the 2nd brigades light guns (in the bottom left) and General Angus Bottomwallow and his attendants.

I think the first brgades guns got off a long range shot at Royal Roussilon and caused them to be disordered (though they suffered no casualties).

General Angus Bottomwallow and his attendants. I’m not entirely sure why his server is turned away….? Perhaps he abhors bloodshed…?

The end of the French first move (much like our previous game), most of them having failed to act! R. du Guyenne did managed to pass by the wavering Royal Roussilon and timidly advance before the might of the British Army (which are actually mostly Scottish… but whatever…). The Corps de Cavalrie managed to advance in column of march, but failed to reform into line. The battalions light guns also moved forward and deployed.

Le Premier Brigades guns did manage to deploy but it took direct intervention by the Le Marquis d’Hiver, the commander in chief, to get it done.

The 48th Regt. of Foote takes fire from the French guns.

British guns take fire from their French opposites.

L’Autre Brigade – slightly out-of-focus, but managing better than Le Premier Brigade…

The British Indian allies and the Louisberg Grenadiers advance to protect the right of the British line, should the French Premier Brigade ever managed to advance out of their hiding place behind the woods.

The first British Brigade managed to form an nice big pretty line. Sadly there was no such pretty formations opposite them to exchange gentlemanly volleys of fire as the French clusterf@ck in the woods continued well into the third turn.

Another picture of the pretty line, executed by smart-looking precision drilled soldiers.

The British line again and the motley French shambling towards them.

The 48th by this point had advanced to within musketry range and was exchanging shots with R. Du Languedoc and takng fire from the French guns.

L’Autre Brigade attempting to advance toward their British betters.

More pics of the 48th exchanging fire with the French in their camp… R. de La Reine and R. de La Sarre apparently still in bed!?

The French Corps de Cavalrie stayed in column of march out in the open for a couple turns giving the British a couple opportunities to hammer on them – they had the most amazing luck, however. One turn I scored EIGHT hits and they saved seven of them…

Shocking the hell out of everyone present (including John who was commanding them!?)the French actually charged a not-disordered, not-shaken, supported battalion of Highlanders (yes, HIGHLANDERS!) to their front, unsupported… The Highlanders were apparently so shocked themselves they didn’t manage to score a single hit during closing fire!?

(I think the guns might have been able to get in on that closing fire… I’ll have to look into that)

Anyway, the jocks handed them their asses in close combat and sent the shattered remains of the French battalion scurrying back to their nurse maids.

So desperate was the Brigade commander to get his troops moving (or at least out of enfilading fire) he galloped over to the Corps de Cavalrie, shouted; “Follow me!” and led them off behind the hedge….

R. de La Reine and R. de La Sarre eventually got moving (around urn four or five) and formed a line and exchanged fire with the Indians and the Louisburg Grenadiers. La Reinne was disordered by the Grenadiers fire.

Then the Grenadiers were disordered….

The Brtish First Brigade firing on L’autre Brigades remaining battalion of Infantry and their light guns.

In something akin to military enthusiasm the French cavalry managed to charde the Grenadiers from behind (just like a Frenchmen…) and La Sarre managed to charge (the much smaller, skirmishing) unit of Indian allies. The Indian allies were driven off (put off by the smell of perfumes, mostly) and the French cavalry was driven back behind their safe little hedge.

(Hmmm… the Grenadiers probably could have had some traversing fire on La Sarre…)

Despite being in a nice orderly line the 1st brigade was feeling like they didn’t have much to shoot at (those unsporting Frenchmen all running away and hiding…) so the 78th Regt. of Foote (Fraser’s Highlanders) peeled off to go give some support to the 2nd Brigade as they looked like they might be in a bit of a spot of bother…

Shortly thereafter R. Du Guyenne, having suffered a number of turns of withering fire from the British 1st Brigade (and being disordered pretty much from the word go) finally gave up and retired from the field of battle thus breaking L’Autre Brigade.

Of course then we realized previous turn the British 2nd brigade, technically, should have been “broken” as well as the Indian allies had left (as if the British would have cared, those unreliable skirmishing fiends!) and the 35th started a turn shaken… ah well.

(mental note – rallying units that are shaken or close to… probably a good idea..!)

We called it a night and decided the British had delivered a morale-crushing defeat to the French… or did we call it a “minor victory”… Whatever….

The game moved quickly enough – despite pretty much doubling the forces used in out previous game. I’m not going to add any more stands of half stands to any of my Seven Years War units to make them be able to more easily make the various formations allowed in the game. Now that we’re getting the hang of it I could see getting into it and playing it a fair bit – with the right people. Maybe not a game I think I’d take to a convention and introduce to multiple new players… but maybe that’s just because I don’t’ really have a handle on all the rules – with a few more plays and reading the rules again I might be on top of it enough… we shall see..

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I could tell you, but then you’d know… and it’s a secret… (shhhhh! Don’t mention THE WAR!!)


  1. Great battle! But obviously the General and his attendants steal top-billing.
    Looking forward to whatever top-secret scheme you have in store for us next...

  2. Looks like it was fun!

  3. Thanks guys!

    I totally should have taken a picture of the French General and his staff (so I could mock them! They had pretty jackets in mauve and baby blue).

    It was totally fun. The second brigade added a whole new dimension and not having to look up QUITE as much stuff surely sped things up a bit. You should pop by and give it a go sometime!

  4. Beautiful battle. I'm not familiar with the rules so I have no idea what the hell was going on but it was fun looking at your great paint work.

  5. Thanks.

    It's Black Powder, which is very similar to Warmaster or Warmaster Ancients and somewhat like Blitzkrieg Commander/Cold War Commander/Future War Commander.

    Basically you have commanders that try and issue orders to troops. Sometimes they fail and your troops don't move. Sometimes they fail for multiple turns in a row (like a number of John's French regiments that were stuck in his deployment zone against the table edge for a number of turns - or the french cavalry that stood about in column of march taking enfilading fire...). Sometimes they succeed - and depending on how well they succeed they can take one to three moves (like two of my battalions did on the first turn marching them clear across the table!). Once units get close enough (12" or less) they can move on their own initiative (provided they're not disordered by fire).

    It's fun. Adds some randomness to the game.

  6. I am really enjoying your battle reports Tim. Keep them coming.

  7. Great battle report Tim. I'm having another crack at BLACK POWDER next week, so it was very interesting reading your report.

    We'll be using 15mm Naps, as they dont get to see the light of day much nowadays seems BLACK POWDER has given them new life.


  8. been playing SYW with the black powder rules myself over the last few weeks with my old man feel they give a good result.
    Very nice battle report cheers for taking the time to do it.
    Peace James