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...



The Haggis said...

Hi Steve, I already put quite a bit into creating that campaign for a similar game Two For Tea, but have also switch to Black Powder. My scenarios would fit seamlessly into BP as they are based from the same system and one unit is one battalion in the rules. You can see them here
I'd love to see what you work out for Hanging Rock as I have been watching that blog as well.

Let me know what you think. I have others that I have not posted. Take care.

Paul Leach said...

Looking forward to seeing more on this topic. I have long been a fan of your work (esp the Age of Arthur) and hope to see more of it in print.


Steve said...

Hi Haggis!

The scenarios are hopefully for publication sometime, so I hope you'll understand if I don't post too many details.

As a broad idea, though, Hanging Rock is still very draft but I have divided the OOB into units of roughly company size. Small units represent 60-80 men, standard units 100. There are no large units.

Bryan therefore has three companies (standard sized) of loyalist militia, acting as a "brigade" in the rules. Carden has 3 companies of POWAR and in the centre is a mixed bag of units. The legion foot are represtned by two "small unit" companies etc.

The three american columns contain 3-4 units each, mostly "small" militia, but the right colum contains Davies horse and foot alongside two militia units.

Depending how it plays, the small units may be reclassified as standard and the standard units as large - this will give a longer game and unit will be less brittle. I kind of like brittle for this type of scenario :-)

But Bemis Heights comes first...