Sunday, 24 April 2011

"Has God forgotten all I have done for him?"

Myself, John and Rob B got together for a game of Black Powder using Johns rather splendid 15mm Marlburian’s.

John had written a quick scenario pitching the Sun Kings French against Bavarians.

I have commented before that these rules do lend themselves very well to scenario based games rather than straight up head-to-head matches and this game certainly boosted this opinion.

I was playing the French and I had 5 brigades.  3 of foot and 2 of Cavalry.  The 1st foot brigade started the game deployed anywhere on the table and chose to put these on the top of a small rise towards the centre of the table.  Both Rob (B) and I had rolled to see where and when our other brigades were to arrive.  My own from a possible 3 locations on my end of the table and Rob (B) likewise from his end.  Neither of us knew the strength the direction or the timing of the enemies arrival.

I deployed my 1st Brigade with two battalions of Guard flanked by two artillery batteries.  Two reserve battalions of Line infantry were deployed behind but I chose to keep these in Column of March in order to allow for swift movement if needed.

Rob (B) has his 1st Brigade come on wide to my left which meant he was outside the arc of my deployed Cannon.  This Brigade of Cavalry threatened to be able to flank charge my 1st Brigade.  However my reserve columns in the rear came good as they swiftly marched to meet this threat.  Bizarrely; thanks to some appalling command rolling for the next few turns I failed to deploy from Column to line and Rob (B) failed to execute a charge order.

My 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Brigades trundled on over the next 3 turns but again my command rolls kept failing which limited the Brigades movement to a single move per turn. (Units in Column can make one move even if orders have failed).

Rob B was having similar luck with his command rolls so the game slowed somewhat as both sides tried to get their Brigades in to position.

Rob B finally managed to charge one of my Line Battalions that had moved to the right of my Guard battalions on the hill.  They gave effective closing fire and then beat off the charging light horse with such affect that the unit routed.  First Blood to me.

The way both forces had come on to the field;  I was looking very strong on the right but my superiority in numbers would only count if I could now wheel my front line anti-clockwise to engage the enemy Brigades.

On my left things looked a bit shaky.  A brigade of cavalry repeatedly failed to follow orders and though I was hoping to get them in position to secure the French left flank to support the single battalion of French line infantry the cavalry remained too far from the action to have any effect.

Eventually Rob B brought an artillery battery in range and then charged home with two battalion of heavy cavalry which swept the battered French away.  The French left was now dangerously exposed. Although reinforcements were sweeping in from the rear. If I could not get these reinforcements deployed, Rob (B) was position to roll up my whole line.

In the end; though I probably outnumbered Rob (B) on the table, he was much better placed to secure a Bavarian Victory.

The most impressive thing about these Black Powder rules is how authentic the battles seem to look on the table top.  I hope from the photo’s above you will see how these Brigades are being fed in to the line and form in multiple lines in order to provide support.

The beautifully painted miniatures that John has have inspired me to crack on with my 15mm Great Northern War Russian.

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