I've played Black Powder at the Gong Garage Gamers for many years, on and off (although mostly off more recently), but in those games I'd always had people who knew the game to run it, and I could just get on and play without worrying too much about the rules. So whilst I owned the rules, I hadn't read them in detail, and neither had I attempted to play them for myself.
But yesterday I felt nostalgic for a game so decided to set one up at home and see if I could puzzle the whole thing out.
I used my GNW figures, obviously, on 3" frontages, and worked out that reducing all distances to 1/3 would give me a game that was scaled right, making my 3' x 2-and-a-bit' table the equivalent of 8' x 7'. Still not Perry-sized, but adequate for my purposes. I used the basic infantry and cavalry profiles, but assumed that everything would operate either in line or march column, to keep things simple. For anyone who can't be bothered doing the arithmetic, this meant an infantry move of 4", cavalry of 6" and musketry range of 6"
I used the same forces as for my Simplicity in Practice game the other day - four foot, three horse and a gun on each side. I divided them into two brigades, one with the foot and the gun and the other with the horse. Each side had two brigadiers and a CinC. All commanders were rated at 7. I set up a simple terrain with a long ridge in the centre. This was flanked on one side by a marsh which slowed infantry and which was impassable to cavalry.
The objective was to control the hill.
Here's the Swedish foot brigade formed up.
Another Swedish infantry unit routed, this time from casualties inflicted in the firefight.
At the top of the picture the Swedish cavalry, having got their act together, charged the Russian foot. The Russians retired into the marsh where the cavalry couldn't follow.
The command mechanism was the high-point of the game - being a solo venture it created all of the unpredictability I needed, and messed up the plans for both sides.