Showing posts with label black powder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label black powder. Show all posts

Friday, 14 September 2018

Black Powder 123

We had an evening of Black Powder Napoleonics yesterday, playing the simple six-unit 123 scenarios our group enjoys. The aim was to play a couple of games during the evening, but really I was only up for just one game - I'm still shattered from our long, long weekend away.

Caesar and I played a scenario which concerned controlling a house in the centre of the board. Our forces were nominally French (Caesar) and Russian (me), but the troop stats were identical and fairly generic. Oddly enough, however, the units seemed to mostly perform according to the figures used to depict them, which was lucky.

Caesar made the opening moves, and quickly seized the house.


I didn't mess around, and threw my three infantry units at the objective. Caesar was covering his occupying force with a second infantry unit, but they were forced into square by my lurking cavalry.


I attacked Caesar's square, hoping to remove the garrison's only current support before the main attack. Amazingly, and frustratingly, the square held on for turn after turn. However Caesar failed command rolls in order to bring up the rest of his troops, leaving his garrison isolated.


I attacked the house, making use of my unengaged units to provide as much support as possible. The French garrison found itself in a desperate, losing struggle.


Caesar finally got his cavalry into action, driving off the Russian supports, but then falling back from some infantry behind them.


Caesar's infantry square finally broke, allowing all of my infantry to assault the house. This saw the end of the French garrison as well.


Caesar now only had one unit left capable of assaulting the house, and there was a Russian line between it and the garrison. With time running out (there's a turn-limit) he conceded.


Caesar failed to get enough units around the garrison to prevent the Russians from massing their forces against it. The units that were there, and which bore the brunt of the attack, were the same ones he would have had to use to retake the objective, so when that 'opportunity' presented itself they were no longer present.

Thanks to Ralph for organising the evening and to Bryan for adjudicating our game. It's a while since I've played Black Powder, but a surprising amount of it came back to me as I played.

Friday, 22 June 2018

More HOTT

On a cold winter's night there's nothing better than a couple of games of HOTT. So it's a good job I had a couple last night. I played Geoff, and he used my boring  bog-standard High Elves. I used The Spawn of Tiamat.

Here's the first game. I defended and did a weighted attack on Geoff's left.


It was a fairly quick game. Geoff's line of shooters and spears was a tough nut to crack, but a couple of lucky combats destroyed his archers, and then a second charge by the various elements I had classified as knights destroyed his spear general to win the game.


Geoff defended in the second game, and chose to run his mounted as riders rather than knights. I attacked his left again, and despite their position on the hill got an advantage over the Elven cavalry.


Meanwhile my chaotic beasts worked their way around his other flank, hiding in the woods to avoid the accurate Elven archery.


Unfortunately from that point onwards it all fell apart. Geoff had his Elf Prince hero in reserve, and took out my hero (Tiamat's consort, Qingu), before destroying my right flank.


His spear-line pushed forward, engaging Tiamat herself.


My beasts put up a valiant fight on my left, and Tiamat managed to ensorcell the enemy hero as well. Both armies were hovering on the verge of breaking, when Geoff lined up a fantastic set of combats and destroyed 7AP of my army in one turn, including Tiamat herself. With an undeployed dragon in my army, the 18AP I lost meant I had a single beast on the board. I think this is possibly the largest defeat I've eve had in a game of HOTT, although the 18-10 scoreline testified to a bloody game.


So, one game each. Not a bad evening.

Meanwhile others were playing Black Powder in 15mm, in preparation for a Waterloo game on Sunday.


And Gary and Caesar played Maurice -- Austrians and Ottomans.


Gary was trying out an experimental activation mechanism, using sub-commanders, which allowed multiple groups to activate during a turn. It looks like it was mostly successful, although the size of the game meant that they didn't finish the battle by the end of the evening.




Saturday, 7 April 2018

Black Powder 3-2-1

Caesar got two games on Thursday evening. As well as the Maipo refight, he played Black Powder with Ralph, whilst I watched and took pictures.

This was a Black Powder 3-2-1 game, where both players have six units with fairly generic Napoleonic capabilities - three infantry, two cavalry and one artillery (hence 3-2-1) - on a small table with a simple objective. In this case it was to hold the walled enclosure in the centre of the table at the end of six turns. The enclosure could only be entered by infantry.

Here, Ralph explains to Caesar that, because he's using French, he will win very easily, n'est pas?


So, anyway, I flitted around taking pictures. I've just done a basic photography course, so I'm now trying to use my camera with all of the settings on manual. Please excuse any dubious pictures that resulted because of this.

To be honest I hadn't planned to write a blow-by-blow account of the action. It was Black Powder. Units whizzed around all over the place (well, the cavalry did). It was a wild adventure. But, basically, Caesar got some troops into the enclosure, who held it for most of the game whilst everything else went pear-shaped around them. They were routed out by artillery fire on the penultimate turn, but he managed to get one of his surviving infantry units into the enclosure to replace them, and Ralph completely failed to mount a last turn attack to oust them

So, simply enjoy these photos of two Black Powder players at the top of their game, and some beautiful 25mm figures.


















Friday, 20 October 2017

Baroque

Fired up by the small skirmishes of The Pikeman's Lament, our group have been looking at a set of rules for larger 17th century battles. To this end we decided to give Baroque a go last night. It's an extension of the Impetus system, which a couple of members are familiar with; the rest of us would learn as we went along.

Gary put together a couple of armies from his collection; a lot of the figures were not correct in any way at all, but he managed Swedes (in the foreground) against Poles (background).


There was a lot of variety in the troops available; this Swedish cavalry command contained dragoons, a combined horse and shot unit and caracolling pistol-armed reiters. The opposing Poles were equally diverse.


Dave observed, pointing dramatically. On this flank, Swedish trotters faced Polish hussars.


The infantry in the centre was much as you'd expect; pike and shot units, with some integral light guns (in the Swedish case) or supporting medium guns (for the Poles).


The first combats were on the Swedish right. The dragoons seized the woods to threaten the Polish flank, whilst the lighter missile-armed Polish cavalry rushed forward to engage.


Some nifty firing followed by opportunistic charges saw the Poles disordered and routed. We quickly discovered that this was a system where, if you seized the moment, you could cause things to turn very bad for your opponent very quickly.


The Poles lost two units in one turn. Some Swedish reiters who'd pushed forward very aggressively were also caught and routed.


On the other flank JohnP launched a sudden, risky, attack on the Polish hussars with one of his units of trotters. Again, the cascade of responses, counter-charges ad pursuits took hold; the hussars failed to counter-charge, and were caught at the halt, which completely negated most of their advantages. They fell back and the Swedish pursuit took them into the second unit, which also retreated. Another pursuit saw both units routed. The Poles best cavalry were gone in virtually no time at all. Their loss collapsed that flank, and put the army's morale in jeopardy.




On the other flank a swirling continued melee was won for the Swedes when the dragoons rushed out of the woods to join the fray with clubbed muskets. The ensuing rout saw the Polish flank commander captured, and their whole army breaking.


In the centre the infantry had barely advanced into artillery range, and now the battle was over. However we decided to spend the remaining time playing their action out as a separate game in its own right, just to get a feel for the way infantry combat worked, and to better understand the game's general mechanisms.


We soon learned that having the initiative is very important, and that because you resolve the actions of each unit in turn, the timing of your shooting and attacks is critical. Even deciding when to react to enemy actions is important.


The Swedes initially had the upper hand in the infantry fight, mauling a couple of Polish infantry units as they advanced. But a sudden shift of initiative saw the Poles able to exploit an advantage they'd gained, and roll up the Swedish infantry line. The important thing was that we got to try and understand more mechanisms.


Overall we were impressed by Baroque. It has a lot of risk and reward; you can push units and risk disorder, or failure to act, but if it comes off you can make attacks that can collapse the enemy fairly quickly. I suspect that use of reserves to counter this is a key tactic. There's quite a few markers involved, mostly to keep track of casualties and disorder, but you have to remember which units have reacted, which commands have moved and even which special abilities have been used. This isn't too hard, but is worth noting for people who like a clean table. The rules seemed fiddly in places, but I suspect with further play things become more obvious. We had a fun evening, and I think that's as good a plus for a set of rules as you can ask for.

On the other table, Ralph and Daniel played Black Powder - something Napoleonic by the looks of it.




In addition Gary presented Peter with a trophy to mark his victory in our Maurice campaign. He felt it was worth marking the fact that we'd finished a club campaign; something we've never done before.



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