Sunday, April 29, 2012

Black Powder - Battle Report - SYW 'refresher'

Good pal Roly and I managed a refresher game of Black Powder tonight.

We are both big fans of the game though don't get to play too many games, (mostly because I don't have any complete armies for it as yet) and we have a 4 player multi-header planned for next weekend so thought we'd better get in a quick refresher game to re-acquaint ourselves with the rules.

We played a SYW period game utilising some of the concepts from Last Argument of Kings -  a BP Age of Reason supplement.

We kept it fairly simple, each with identical forces:
  • A brigade of two regiments of cavalry - one light and one heavy.
  • A brigade of 3 battalions of standard infantry
  • A brigade of 3 battalions of standard infantry plus a battalion gun.
  • An artillery piece.
We played over a modest set up comprising a small village and fields, with a couple of woods and hills and a small marshy area.

Here's pics from the game:

Initial deployments, I'm holding the side with the village, with Roly advancing toward me.

Rolys opening moves, cavalry advance and flank infantry brigade advances, but centre stalls.

I advanced to meet him, but my artillery blundered and headed off past the village...

I fill the gap between woods and village protecting my flanks

Roly is in range but only with his battalion gun.

Rolys centre finally advances, whilst the opposing cavalry eyeball each other.

I adjust my infantry and refuse a flank. Cavalry fight behind woods.

Roly pauses his advance, we are both waiting to see what will happen on the cavalry flank...

Cavalry mix it up.

I lose a unit that withdraws, but Roly is also shaken and stuck in front on my cavalry that are shaken from prior action!

I manage to recover from shaken and charge back in.

 Scattering Rolys cavalry in turn...

While the cavalry kill each other inconclusively the infantry recommence their closure

 Having shaken two of my leading infantry battalions Rolys risks a charge order but only makes it part way with central unit.

I swing refused flank battalion round into enfilade fire position.

 Roly has taken the fire but 'dodges a bullet' from the enfilade fire... with some good saves.

 But the advance unit is shot to pieces and flees the field.

But Roly's return fire now scatters my two shaken units, breaking my brigade...

Who are forced to retire towards the village.

I finally break the end of Rolys line routing his unit to sustained fire.

Roly's cavalry finally break my last cavalry unit. This breaks a second brigade of mine, and effective breaks my army ending the game.

The final positions. Roly holds the field as my forces are forced to withdraw and abandon the village and crossroads.

My mascot "Tidy" failed to help my dice luck!

A great game as always with Roly, and I love this set of rules.

I claim no honour in presenting these figures to you, they are all Roly's splendid work. They are a mixture of Front Rank and Minden figures.

Oh another little note, we decided to sue pebbles from the garden to record casualties, as we didn't have dead figures, and dice often get knocked away or picked up by mistake.

Looking forward to next weeks game.


  1. That's a fab looking game, Scott. Wow - what you call a simple set up is to me a great one! The figures are beauties too; If that is the same Roly I'm thinking of, all of his work is fantastic. Best, Dean

  2. Looking good on the table. Also nice kitten in the background there :)

  3. Thanks for the game, Scott. A pleasure to play against you, as always.

    It was interesting to see how hard it is to remember rules when you leave so many months between each game! But once we got back into the swing of things, the game moved along quickly. And we even got to a proper resolution in an evening, including time for a lovely Sri Lankan meal (thanks Tracey!) and admiring the amazing contents of your army display cases!

    For those who are confused by the pics, we should say that most of the forces on BOTH sides are French! There was an occasional British and Prussian unit mixed in, but to have an army each, we had to break my old Front Rank army into two. I'm sure we could come up with some sort of back-story if we really had to!!!

    @DeanM - if I am the same Roly you're thinking of, many thanks for the compliment!

  4. Excellent report Scott. Lovely photos too.

  5. Great to see Roly dusting off his French SYW army. His units were an inspiration for my SYW project....I just wish I had as many regiments painted up as he has. Scott, it sounds like it was a well balanced game and that it was fairly bloody. I'm looking forward to more such reports.

    1. Yeah Roly is 'home-alone' at the mo' so had some free gaming time :-) Glad you enjoyed the report. I do enjoy this game so much, I like the way the shaken rule works and the stamina factor that goes hand in hand with it.
      I do find the effects of broken brigades, ang thus broken army, a bit harsh, yet it does mean you get a game played, in an evenings play, with a definite result!
      With other rule sets we tried in the past, you'd spend all evening setting up, get half way to the centre of the table and run out of time and have to pack up... ending in an unsatisfactory draw.

      Black Powder simply works - a fun game with a definite result in an evenings play.

      Roly and I even discussed the idea of doing it at the new local club, and showing them some 28mm fully painted Horse and Musket stuff...

  6. Lovely looking game. BP is a great set of rules and often seem to give a good game. Those Mindin minis look fab.
    - Curt


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