Sunday, April 17, 2011

Napoleonic Wargaming with Black Powder

Today I hosted a game of Napoleonic war-gaming using the Black Powder rules by Rick Priestley.

I must first admit that when I say hosted, that really I just provided the room, table and terrain, as my quantity of owned and painted ready troops is rather small compared to the awesome quantity and quality of figures shown on these pictures, as provided my gaming partners:

Reg Newell travelled over from Upper Hutt, Brian Smaller and his son Alex, came down from Wanganui, Brett Mudgeway from Te Horo, Terry Swain from Wellington and myself and Roly Hermans from Paraparaumu.

The battlefield as seen from the British left flank, with from L to R : Terry, Alex and Brian

We played the game on my 12' x 6' table and deployed each side 18" in.

We had a large French force from Terry and Brian, assisted by Italian allies from Brett, facing off against Russians from Reg, and British with allied Spanish and Portugese from Roly and in a very small way, myself.

The British cavalry on the left flank charge towards the Italian infantry who had the temerity to form squares!

On the French side, Brett with his Italians was on their right flank, Terry their centre and Brian on their left flank.

On the 'good guys' side ;-), Reg and his Russians were on our right flank, with Roly commanding the centre with a mixture of British, Portuguese and Spanish, and myself on our left flank.

The Allied centre trying to hold off the French columns

It has to be said that a couple of newbies to the rules plus a couple of not very experienced and a couple of 'rusties' meant that initially play was not too quick, with much flicking back and forth through the rules, but we got there in the end, and were making reasonably rapid progress towards the end of play. Its a fairly straight forward and easy to play rule-set, but as with anything if you are new to it, or haven't played for a while, and have become confused with rules from other rules sets, things can get a little muddled.

But I think on the whole we did admirably.

Russian hordes advance on the French in their field enclosures

Brian and Reg soon squared off and their cavalry were rampaging back and forth across their flank. Brett and I squared off, and his dang Italians managed to steal the village and its public house from under my nose, and proceded to be just about impossible to dig out! Lets just say I think the Italians like their vino too much to give up the pub without a damn good fight.

Meanwhile my cavalry managed to advance into the face of infantry forming squares and cannon fire, which eventually caught them with nowhere to go and they eventually retired the field after suffering sufficient casualties. The village remained in Italian hands.

A view from the Allied right, showing hordes of Russian cavalry and infantry

The French columns ground forward in centre in the face of cannon fire and British rocketry. Although suffering a few set backs, their pressure began to tell and the British and their Hispanic allies began to fall back.

The French Centre advances

The Russian hordes piled on the pressure, but the French infantry managed to hold on in their field enclosures...

British cannons and rockets try to stall the French advance

All in all, I think by the time we called it a day, the tide was definitely in the French favour, and another turn or two would have seen it become decisive

The French hold off the Russians

A great game with an enjoyable rule-set, and wonderful compatriots to enjoy the game with.

The British try to hold off the French
Looking forward to the next game..

Russian and French cavalry clash

I must start painting up more Napoleonic troops!

A view from the Allied left flank looking down the battle line
A successful showing from the Kapiti Fusiliers.

and another


  1. Great photos and report, Scott. Many thanks for hosting, and also to Tracey for the nibbles.

  2. You are more than welcome Roly

  3. Excellant report and pictures. I always enjoy photos with heaps of Napoleonic figures getting about.

  4. That is a great table and Terrain, Scott.

    And I concur with comments above, I always enjoy looking at reports like this.

  5. Thanks guys, glad you all enjoyed the report

  6. Wonderful Batrep - great figs and terrain!


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