Monday, 27 May 2013

Messing around with Black Powder 2.

Another game using a variation on the system used in the ACW game. This time its one dice per brigade for each side plus the CinC dice. The CinC gets to choose which brigade to activate when any of his dice come out but can hold his personal dice in reserve.


The French are retreating through a village that has been destroyed to prevent its use by the Allies. The final 2 brigades have remained on the wrong side of the river and are now ready to extricate themselves before the Allies can cut them off. They must get 7 of their 10 units across the only escape route, the bridge in the centre of the village. The Allies must stop them from escaping. The terrain to either side of the table edges is impassable to all but terrified Frenchmen trying to escape.

Some pics of the start of the game with the 2 French brigades.
The 3 Allied brigades start off table and for their first move onto the table can only make 1 move regardless of their dice score.

Allied c-in-c comes out first and is held in reserve.

Next an Allied dice is drawn and Carl throws 8 to bring them on 1 move. Their skirmishers open fire and immediately inflict 2 hits on the French skirmishers.

Next dice is also Allied and the British 1st brigade enters the table but fail to hit anything when they open fire.

A French dice comes out next and the brigade in column is ordered to move through the village and over the bridge. They reach the bridge with 2 moves.

The last dice for each side resulted in failed command rolls so the position at the end of the first turn was as follows.


British out first and the 1st brigade is ordered the charge the French lines to their front, closing fire halting the 1st but the 9th charged home, their supports, however, failed to move up. The desperate French succeeded in forcing back the 9th.

The French came out next and the escaping brigade was again ordered off the table but failed the command roll. This was to limit the other brigade who were next to be activated. They were only able to move 9 inches while the foot artillery were left limbered in their original position.

The Portuguese were next up and ordered to charge the enemy in front of them which they did. The French 1/122nd held their ground while the 2nd /122nd were broken and dispersed. The 2/3rd Portuguese reformed in line where they stood.

The British 2nd brigade successfully entered the fray coming on to support the Portuguese so the end of the second move looked like this-

Turn 3

French out first and the brigade in the village was again ordered to retreat but only managed 1 move which did little to relieve the congestion building up behind them.

The French again came out of the cup, the 1/122nd continuing their fight with the Portuguese but were forced to retire. The 2/120th wheeled to threaten the flank of the 2/3rd Portuguese while the brigade skirmishers were ordered to move to the front of the same unit but blundered andretired a move instead.

As the French could not mve anything aelse the allies completed the rest of their turns. The Portuguese were ordered to charge but threw a 10 while the British 1st brigade failed the same order. The 2nd British brigade was also give charge order which would require 3 moves to succeed. They got 1! The end of turn 3 looks like this-

Turn 4

The Allies got first go and the Portuguese were again ordered to charge with supports, the 2/3rd but were stopped in their tracks by closing fire. The 1/15th were more successful and forced the French back. They elected to make a sweeping advance and destroyed the French. They then reformed where they stood.

The French c-in-c came out next. Fearing another Allied dice coming out next i used it to order
 a flank attack on the stranded Portuguese 1/15th by the 120th. It all went disastrously wrong
here when i threw 12! I had to retire 1 move as a result. Anyway i fired anything i could  forcing a couple of tests for exceeding stamina values but all were passed.

The Allies then to their remaining turns.The first brigade threw 9 and failed. The 2nd brigade ordered the 2/30th to charge the 2/120th who lost the ensuing melee but managed to hold their ground.

Some brigades on both sides were now on the verge of breaking point but the situation at the end of this move was as follows. The French really need to come out first next turn!

Turn 5

French first!  The 1/120th were successfully ordered to attack the flank of the exposed Portuguese who were forced to retire 2 moves to avoid finishing in the midst of one of their own units. The French elect to reform where they stand in line.

The 2/120th were easily defeated when their melee with the 30th foot continued and retired with the 30th following up to finish them off. Sensing fresh targets the British reform in attack column facing the 1/120th.

French artillery force a Portuguese unit to retire while another was destroyed by musketry.

British 2nd brigade is now ordered to attack the 2 French units near the church with the 2 battalions of the 4th Foot. The line in front of the church failed to stop them and were pushed back with the British following up. The French were required to retire but with nowhere to to dispersed. Having exceeded their stamina value the British fared little better and broke. The other French unit held the British.

Another Allied dice and the Portuguese rally a point off one of their units.

The British 1st brigade then advances towards the burnt out farm.

Next the French first brigade is again ordered off the table but again fail to move presumably due to increasing congestion. This pretty much seals the fate of the French. The rearmost unit continued the inconclusive melee from the previous move again defying the odds and holding the enemy off.

Situation at the end of move 5.

Move 6

The Allies went first this turn activating the 2nd Brigade with the 4th finally destroying the column at the rear of the French 1st brigade. The 2/30th lost their melee with the French 120th and broke meaning this brigade was also broken.

Both French brigades were now broken with one British, the Portuguese brigade nearing exhaustion only the 2nd British brigade remained as an effective force. The French having less than 7 units left couldn't possibly win so this ended as an Allied victory. The panic at the bridge pretty much sealed the fate of the French.

The British 2nd brigade.

And their very smug looking victorious commander!

I still think this approach has merit but it really needs a bigger table than the one we used today. I'll persevere with it for the time being.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Messing about with Black Powder

McPherson's Ridge- Gettysburg
We had this game at the club on Wednesday and its a scenario taken from the last WSS magazine. After reading a thread on the Black Powder forum regarding a different command mechanism i decided to give this a run out here. The way we did it was to allocate each commander a different coloured dice which would be drawn out of a cup Bolt Action style. The c-in-c die when drawn could be held back and played at the end of any further command move or used immediately
.  The idea of this being to give the c-in-c opportunities to intervene if an opportunity presented itself.
Tom and Carl took the Rebs and Pete and Darren took the Yankees with me as umpire.
The start with the Rebs on the left and the Union on the right.

The Union right flank facing a weak Confederate Brigade.

The Union right defending the ridge with four large battalions.

Close up of one of the large Reb units (Renegade) on their right wing ready to get stuck in.

A base of Dixons Rebs.

Pete moved first and made an adjustment to his right flank unit hiding in the woods.

Ineffective fire from the Union. This was followed by a failed command roll by the Confederates opposite.

The Union left was up next and swung the right hand unit to join up with the end of the other brigade. The Confederates opposite failed to move.

Next go and its Pete again firing at the Rebs inflicting one casualty.

The second union Brigade got the next go and shuffled to the right text book style!
His artillery fired at long range causing a casualty.

Toms weak Rebel Brigade moved out of the woods and let fly at the unit opposite causing a casualty.

Carl went next and moved 2 of his units to threaten the flank of Petes' Brigade.

The other 2 units advanced towards the corn field.

First casualties on Darrens brigade from Carls' musketry.

The c-in-c then ordered one of Petes' units to reinforce the flank.

Things begin to hot up on the Union right flank with the Confederates getting to go first this time and electing to charge. So 2 tiny units and 1 small units getting stuck into two large units of the Iron Brigade! Hard as nails these lads! Closing fire failed to stop the Rebs despite fire causing casualties so in they went.

The melee proved inconclusive.

Some close ups of the opposing forces.

Darren advances towards a possible weak point in the centre of Carls' Brigade, his artillery causing further casualties.

Carl went next and charged 2 of Petes' left hand units.
Again closing fire failed to stop the assault.

The small unit was destroyed and removed from the game while the other combat was inconclusive.

Pete went next and continued the fun by swinging another unit into the flank of the Confederates. Once again all units held their ground.

The key moment of the game arrived when the Confederates threw in their c-in-c (his die had actually come out first this turn) ordering one of Carl units to attack the flank of the Union unit in melee.

 This unit broke and fled when Pete threw a 3. This Brigade was now broken and would be required to fall back in subsequent move.

This is the scene at the end when it was agreed that the Union forces would be unable to hold the ridge.

I intend to give this another go as i think it looks promising, probably with Napoleonics, but will tweak it as follows-

One dice for each brigade per side but same colour, the c-in-c to decide which brigade goes first.
A different coloured dice for each c-in-c. This can be held in reserve and used when required.

Thanks for looking.