Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Black Powder- damp squib.

The weekend before Derby a few TWATS got together for an AWI game at our usual pub. Now I was in the chair as I planned to use British Grenadier however I didn't have a copy- I'd sold out so I thought I'd try Black Powder. Now mu=y earlier musing upon this ruleset in another place- wherein now I do not go- were mixed to say the least. This small game did nothing to change those views except perhaps for the worst. The Britsh force had 2 "brigades" with unit sizes rangeing from large to tiny 40 figs for a guards battalion and 5 for a light company of the 17th foot while the rebels had 3 brigades - 2 of militia and 1 of continentalsand out mumberd the brits about 3 to 2 . Add to that the defemsive position and the brits were on a sticky wicket but not by any means impossible. So to the game. We managed 3 turns - the turn and turn about system doubles the length if the game, the proprtions between the various ranges and movement are just twaddle the spatial relationships are just wrong for the AWI but far far far worse than all of the above is the simple fact that you can't find anything in the damned book.. There is no index. The contents page is only of marginal help and flicking hither and yon though all the " pretty little rich boys eye candy" to find a given page became a real chore. The patronizing tone was also a pain in the **** even when you found the bits you were looking for . It became obvious that BP is simply a pretty book for sale to the sycophants or the suckers with a few nice ideas hidden between the rich boys showing off pages. I do like the way you can personalise the units but set that agaist the set unit sizes - which I'd hate in any ruleset-and I like the idea of the order system- despoite its "poseurs charter" - which could be fun once or twice but could end up being deeply annoying at least to permanent TWATS. As an AWI set well no. But I still think they might work well 100 years later as a colonial set . I will have another go at 'em but not without a bit of serious butchering
The above pic shows a general view of the battlefield - British in the Foreground.
American Militia defend the bridge.
this pic shows the 1st foot.- Old Glory Second edition figures. The rest of the armies were a misture Old Glory - both standard and Second Edition ranges rubbed shoulders with Staddenand a very few Hincliffe X ranger- the Hezzlewood figs a lot like RSM. Its just a pity that the rules just didn't function. I've lent my copy to Andrew the Tekkie basically to see if its just me who thinks they are twaddle I await his " not quite a wargamer's " verdict. It will be interesting to see how he fairs finding his way around the tome. It drove him nuts on the day.

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