Friday, 25 January 2013

My First Game Of Black Powder

I played Black Powder for the first time tonight and I have to say I enjoyed it. The game rattled along at a nice pace and was fairly easy to pick up, even if we did make a couple of mistakes with regard to skirmishers.

Ralph set up a Napoleonics scenario with a British rearguard on a ridge facing a couple of French brigades. Here the French are marching down the road towards Ralph, who was commanding the British:

The French swung into action, staying in march column until the last minute, but concentrating their force on a small portion of the British line. Owing to a commander blunder on the first turn our skirmishers charged their British counterparts. However this is what we were trying to order them to do anyway.

Interlude - Dave and John played HOTT, using John's Hoth armies (on a non-snow board):

In a fairly quick game the Empire were triumphant:

Meanwhile we also had a game of DBMM on the go, with Peter playing my dad, as my parents are currently visiting us from the UK so he can play at CanCon this weekend. This was a practice game of sorts:

Peter was using Romans of some kind:

My dad was using Early Japanese:

I don't know who won (forgot to ask), but here's Peter moving some troops:

Look! We almost look like a real wargames club!

Back to Black Powder. The French massed up their columns and pushed up the ridge into the British line, with heaps of success:

We did cock up our artillery deployment a bit, getting it wiped out by the British light cavalry. However our gallant infantry formed a line in front of them and blew them away in revenge. All the Maurice finally paid off ...

Lots of French against a thin red line which kept getting thinner:

The ridge was ours, and Ralph conceded:

It was great to play a game that rattled along at such a quick pace and which was relatively easy to remember. By halfway Caesar and I were pretty much resolving close combat without the sheet and had sussed out the intricacies of support (the key to our victory).

I shall get a copy of Black Powder now, and see what delights I can use it for. It might be interesting to use it for some of my South American games; the action we fought last night was of a similar size to most battles of the Wars of Liberation.


  1. It does that seem that about half the command blunders in BP result in exactly what you wanted to happen in the first place!

    We did play one game (ACW) where my Confederate opponent blundered with 2 of his 3 commands in the same early turn with both blunders coming out as charges, so the whole evenings entertainment degenerated into one headlong charge into Union guns, an orgy of dice rolling and the remnants of the Rebs retiring by the next turn. I think we were finished by 9 after an 8 o clock start...

  2. A great evening's gaming. Ralph was trialling a couple of period rules from the "Albion Triumphant" BP Peninsular War expansion including the British infantry ability when being charged to shoot early and counter charge. I'm not sure it did much good as our glorious imperial eagles kept pouring over the hill. Despite keeping the cavalry brigade in "safe hands" (i.e. not Alan's), they didn't do much good except take casualties from battery fire as I cunningly manoeuvred them across the front of Ralph's guns and parked them a while there as I failed command rolls. Alan’s devil-may-care approach seems to be better suited to commanding French infantry columns with a very successful frontal assault and Black Powder gives one the delightful pleasure of very easily shoving large quantities of troops around like cannon fodder.

  3. Yes I thrilled you guys enjoyed them so much - I wish I could say I lost on purpose to entice you in but alas no - I was completely overwhelmed and a tragic example of the adage 'He who defends everything defends nothing'!

    A pleasure to meet 'Allan's Dad' too!

  4. Sadly for me the Late Imperial Romans lost to the hail Bow(S), those bronze age Japs are tough.


  5. Black Powder is a right laugh. Its good for ACW as there aren't loads of stats and numbers to remember so you can get to grips with stuff in a turn or two. The simplicity of the rules also mean you play the game rather than play the rules. I have some 10mm Brits and Zulus in the painting queue for use with Black Powder. I've also got Hail Caesar and Pike and Shotte. The latter has made me interested in a period that no other set of wargames rules has done before.


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