Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Black Powder 7YW

The rules as written are for 28mm figures but there is an appendix on using other scales.   As we were using 15mm troops we used half the listed move rates and ranges.  On a 8x6 table this gave us plenty of room for manoeuvre and the half distances worked just fine.

Leigh & Joe's army had a British infantry brigade with 4 line, 1 grenadier & 2 guns, a similar German infantry brigade and a cavalry brigade of 2 heavy dragoons, 4 dragoons & 2 hussars.
Steve had a French brigade of 4 line infantry, 2 cuirassiers, 2 hussar & 2 guns, a 2nd French brigade of 4 line inf, 2 small grenadier & 2 guns and a Bavarian brigade of 4 line inf.
Leigh put his Brits in the centre, Germans on his left & Joe's cavalry on the right.
Steve put the 1st French on the left, 2nd in the centre & the Bavarians on the right.

Leigh got 1st move and advanced on the whole front.  Steve advanced both flanks a little to better positions, but basically defended.

Joe's cavalry crossed the river and smashed through the French infantry in the cornfield.  The left flank French brigade became shaken & fell back.  Joe's cavalry wheeled left to roll up the French line, but Steve just managed do enough damage to it to cause it to become shaken also & the manoeuvre petered out.

On the other flank Steve counterattacked with the Bavarians but the Germans held firm and the Bavarians became shaken.    At the same time a French counterattack in the centre caused the British infantry brigade to become shaken.

At the end of that turn, both sides had 2 of 3 brigades shaken so the battle was declared a draw.

Pic 1 is early in the battle from behind the French right.
Pic 2 is the end from behind the Brit left.

Despite our lack of familiarity with the rules, the battle rattled along really well.  Generally everyone liked the system, though there were a few things we thought might do with a tweek. 

- The cavalry seemed to be too powerful - but we later realised that at the unit size we used, they should have been called "small" units and been less powerful.  Also we didn't realise that a morale test was required if shaken by defensive fire - so our fault, not the rules.

- The brigade morale test didn't feel right in this battle.  A brigade becomes shaken when half its units are destroyed or shaken & the brigade then has to break off.  It seemed to us it was too easy to get shaken as the Brit cavalry was on the brink of destroying the French army when slow attrition suddenly stopped it in its tracks even though it had been consistently winning.  Maybe Joe should have paused & rallied some units before pressing on.   Maybe a  FOW test where you ignore shaken (like bailed) & fail if more routed than left would be better.

But despite a few apparent glitches the game is easy & fun to play and the consensus was that they are definitely worth continuing with.  Maybe the perceived glitches are misunderstandings, but if not, there was nothing that couldn't be fixed with some minor house rules (which is quite in the spirit of the rules - they are not a competition set where they try to cover every contingency to counter tabletop lawyers).

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