Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Second foray into Black Powder

Hello again.

We tried a more organised scenario this time. It was based on the battle of Charlotte, 1780. Forces were:

Major Hanger (command value 8. )
British legion cavalry, 2 units each of 9 figures (standard units) Marauders
British legion infantry, 2 units each of 12 figures (small units), skirmish
Light companies, 1 unit of 18 figures (standard unit), First fire, Elite 4+, skirmish

Colonel Davie (command value 8. CinC )
Davie's cavalry, 1 unit of 9 figures (standard unit) Marauders
Davidson's NC Rifles, 1 unit of 12 figures (small unit) Skirmishers, rifled muskets
Colonel Graham (command value 8. )
North Carolina Militia, 3 units of 18 figures (standard units), wavering

The game was played down the length of a 6×4 table. The second quarter of the table contained the town of Charlotte - 4 building block sarranged to form a crossroads. Towards the american baseline were some areas of swamp and woods.

The americans had to set-up in the central 1/3 of the table (i.e. in the town or just behind it). The american aim was to exit more figures off their base egde than the british could exit off the same edge (infantry count 1, cavalry count 2 and officers count as 6) [The values are arrived at because of my element basing of figures, and in practice I count "elements" exited].

The british start off table and arrive in march column in the centre of their base-edge. The americans cannot start to retreat with any units until at least one has taken a hit from shooting or hand-to-hand.

As the british start with a smaller force than the americans, they are forced to get stuck in, as otherwise all units will exit the table and the larger american force will win by default. In time, the victory conditions may get tweaked further to encourage the americans to actually defend as well as retreat.

Despite the small table, moves and ranges were straight from the rulebook, this caused no problems.

The scenario played well for a first attempt, although the small size (5 units per side) meant that my awful luck meant that the British didn't do very well! As BP has been developed mainly for large battles I think there is a need to think carefully when designing scenarios for smaller games. There are plenty of tools in the box to even out extremes of dice luck, and this seems preferrable to adding house rules. This probably means that small scenarios will have a different look/emphasis than those in the rulebook. For my next run through of the scenario I think I will rate the militia as unreliable and the legion cavalry as elite (perhaps 5+) or add an extra commander to the British. The elite characteristic suits my view of the AWI better than the crack/steady approach taken in the rulebook.



jmilesr said...

I have a copy of black powder and was thinking of trying to modify it for 6mm ACW - overall do you find it a fun set of rules to play?

Steve said...

Well, after 3 games of AWI in 28mm, yes I find it fun and fast.

Can't comment so much on 6mm ACW, but it is probably worth giving it a go :-)

Sire Godefroy said...

So there were no problems caused by the standard sized table in combination with sometimes excessive movement rates (in 28mm)?
As it is, although being tempted, uncertainess caused my reluctance to give BP a trial. I've very limited space, so there's no chance to expand in size forced by a particular rule set.


Steve said...

"no problems" is subjective, but it all seemed to work well. For the AWI I think there is always a need to use plenty of terrain, and this will slow things up.

While units do occasionally get triple moves, this is not consistent or guarunteed so you can;t build a plan around it.

What you do get, is a fast and free-flowing game. There is quite a large luck element to it, and the smaller youur scenario/forces, the more this shows. I don;t think this is a long-term problem though and I'm working out which of the special rules are best at evening out the probabilities for small forces.

Sire Godefroy said...

Steve, thanks for your answer. I hope you will share your further thoughts on the BP rules here as well. Makes deciding, if to take the step into new rules a lot easier for lazy people like me. ;-)


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