Saturday, 27 March 2010

Still here, still writing!

Gearing up for a refight of Weitzel's Mill at the club in early April.
Considering whether to start a new army for Black Powder or to stick to 28mm AWI.


Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Bemis Heights - first playtest

Well, first two playtests actually! The least said about the first, the better. Suffice to say that the advance of Poor's brigade against Fraser resembled the British attack on the 1st day of the Somme, with troops being mown down thanks to my awfu dice rolling resulting in virtually no saves. After 3 turns we decided to rewind and start again.

The sceond platest was much smoother for the Americans. Fraser put up stiff resistance but eventually the brigade broke and fell back. Morgan then turned up behind the British right flank to threaten one of the redoubts and to compound British misery, Learned's brigade came up in short order to add to the pressure. This still left the Americans with the task of defeating the Hessians lurking in the woods before considering the capture of the redoubts tha forms the victory conditions for the game.

We playedon for a few more turns, with the British and Hessians falling back from the woods to forms a defensive line based on their to redoubts and artillery. Time was getting on so we paused with the Americans emerging from the woods.

I'll pick up the situation for a solo game sometime in the next few weeks.

Overall the scenario worked well, but a few tweaks might be needed....

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

AWI and Black Powder

Hello all, no painting to show off as I have been stuck into the books while I write a pile of AWI scenarios for the Black Powder rules. Tomorrow I'm taking enough stuff to the club to have a bash at Bemis Heights (Second Saratoga), so we'll see how that goes.

Black Powder is a set of rules that really rewards the effort put into designing scenarios. Playing basic encounter battles is fine and fun, but doesn't (I feel) get the best out of the rules.

By varying the unit scale it is possible to recreate small and large battles. Usually 1 unit is a battalion, but I have been experimenting with 1 unit = a company for battles such as Hanging Rock and I might even have a go at the larger battles such as Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth using 1 unit = 1 brigade. I doubt I'd play these battles at a battalion level very often.

In most games "standard" sized units are 18-24 figures (or 9-12 cavalry) with a 6-7 inch frontage. This enables most battles to fit onto a 4x6 or 8x6 table. Dense terrain is the wargamer's friend here as movement and ranges are reduced. Woods and other cover also increase the "survivability" of units, which balances out the random nature of the die rolls in the game.

All in all, AWI and BP are a good combination so far!

All of this has inspired me to paint up some more 28mm AWI in the near future and I already have a shopping list in mind, featuring lots of British in cut-down coats. Now I know that units of 18 figures can work well in the rules this makes creating new units less daunting than my previous 30s and 36s. The pile of unpainted lead in the garage should also furnish me with plenty of extra American and loyalist units.

I'll report back on how Bemis Heights works out...


Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Guilford Courthouse II

Slight tweak to the scenario and another outing this evening resulted in a close American victory. Leslie's brigade broke followed by the Guards as the American 3rd line advanced to support the 2nd, rather than waiting on the ridge.