Sunday, October 16, 2011

Black Powder - First Game - 10/16/11

Thanks to my gaming buddies, Scott A., Adrian and James, an enjoyable intro to Black Powder was gamed today. Although it was the first time with the rules, all of us had a great time and the rules were really easy to understand and get through; we even used Congreve Rockets. The scenario we used was a scaled down version of the "El Perez" game illustrated in the rule book. The three British brigades needed to get at least half of their forces over a river via the one bridge. Two French brigades were to come on the table opposite the bridge to stop them. A small French garrison was on the other side of the river to make things interesting. Most of the units, both cavalry and infantry were Regular sized; only the units of British Rifles, Spanish Guerrillas and the French garrison were classed as Small. Here are a few photos I managed to take during the heat of battle.
The British went first, with some of their forces making for the bridge while others remained in place to hold off the advancing French. In fact, half the French failed their initial movement commands and remained off the board until their next turn.
Here are the stoic British rearguard.
The French right had a brigade including Hussars, infantry and artillery facing off a British brigade of 42nd Highlanders and 95th Rifles. The Hussars losing their round of close-combat ended up having to leave the table after a Break Test.
A fair portion of British managed to reach the bridge but were held off by the small French garrison who took up positions in a church. I failed to caption the photo - but the unit in the rear of the column are British Marines that my buddy Scott brought to the game.
Soon after the French Hussars left the field, a unit of French infantry closed in for combat with the Highlanders. NOTE: upon reviewing the Black Powder Forum, it appears the French infantry shouldn't have been in Attack Column within the town street - they should have had to reform (another Command/Movement) upon exiting the town into an Attack Column.
French heavy cavalry on their left flank. The supporting infantry having left the table due to results of a Blunder of rolling two 6's.
Here's a photo I lifted off my buddy's Face Book. In the true spirit of the rules, I ensured my gamers had ample sandwiches and brew.

After enough French units left the table due to Break Test and Blunder results, we called the game an eventual British victory. Although, I have to admit that small unit of French Voltigeurs in the church were still holding off large numbers of British bottle-necked at the bridge. All in all, we really enjoyed the rules and are committed to building up more forces for a rematch using another scenario - probably a more linear battlefield. A meeting engagement may work for this. I highly recommend Black Powder to anyone who likes simple and fast-play rules, while still maintaining a semblance of historical accuracy. One feature of the rules that I initially had some reservations with, the Command portion, actually ended up one of my favorites. I liked how the commander had to make his intentions known prior to his die rolls, and having to deal with the consequences should the roll end in a failed command or even worse, a Blunder!


  1. Lovely figures and terrain, Dean. How did the Congreve rockets go?

    BTW, I don't see the connection with the Black Panthers (tee hee! Sorry, couldn't resist being a smart arse!)

  2. Great looking game and super report!


  3. Great report and the figures look really good too.

  4. Love it... Some great figures.

    One thing... The typo in your title does make it look like you may have played a game with Malcolm X. Just FYI. :)

  5. Great looking figures (as usual for you!)

    I really like both Black Powder and Hail Caesar and think the command system is the heart of the game. The key with Black powder is a large playing space that gives one a bit of "open room" on the flanks and allows the armies to start 3-4 moves apart. BP works great in 6mm using cenitmeters rather than inches.

    I look forward to the next report

  6. Have heard good things about these rules but no one at the club uses them yet, good batrep and figures, I especially like the writing on the pictures.

  7. Looks excellnt Dean,
    Love the pic of the Brits coming over the bridge.

  8. Thanks, Gents! LOL! Power to the People! Man, that's what I get for starting on a bottle of wine as I was writing the post.

    Rosbif: The Congreves were run well, and I believe added to the tension on that side of the battlefield. Although, I must say the Highlanders did a great job holding off the French advance overall. The French never made it past them.

    Best, Dean

  9. A very enjoyable report, Dean.

    Rifles can be a real pain dans les derrières for the French, but it sounds like the voltigeurs were giving as good as they got!

    Great set of rules. It's a simple system, yet very flexible. We've been having lots of fun with our Black Powder games, although we haven't tried this scenario yet.

    Looking forward to more!


  10. Robert:

    The Voltigeurs did well enough, but during the game I failed to use their re-roll option for failed hits - being rated as Sharpshooters. Need to remember that next time. Best, Dean

  11. Nice battle report, not to mention your awesome figures and buildings! I've been hearing great things about BP & HC.

  12. Folks are welcome to join us at the New England Black powder group if youd like more info on the peroid or have questions on the rule set fun bunch of folks

  13. Great game and table...pretty elegant rules, hard to put the book down.

  14. Thanks again, Gents.

    Adlernest - I just joined your group - I see this post already there! Thanks, Dean

  15. Just saw this. Looks like you enjoy these rules too, quriky as they may be. Mt. Bock or a subtle advertisement? :-)