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Jun 20 10 7:32 AM

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The monthly Sutcliffe:Etchells Sutcliffe Home Fixture

Having used Black Powder previously only for SYW and AWI, I was interested to know whether a game would feel different for effectively the other end of the time stream they are supposed to cover.

We used 10mm figures (so we were reading inches as cm) and using troop type stats from army lists I'd found on the Black Powder Yahoo Group.

Working to approximately 1100 pts, the game saw three French infantry commands of four standard units + skirmishers + two batteries + 1 MG battery and a command of two heavy cavalry take on two Prussian commands of four large infantry units + skirmishers + 3 batteries and a third command of three infantry and two batteries.

The troop definitions/distinctions provided by the lists seemed reasonable exceopt for the Prussian artillery which being classes as "sharpshhoters" made them, perhaps a tad too powerful (although historically it was a major factor for the Prussians.

The games (we managed two) did feel different from the those played for earlier periods although in each I was cursed by paralised commands reluctant to commit themselves.

Pictures follow, with the rider that I have yet to master getting good pictures with my DSLR

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(There's always the tumbled over stand you didn't notice when you press the shutter!)

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#1 [url]

Jun 20 10 8:12 AM

Interesting!

You were playing the French, Jeremy?

Sharpshooting artillery!!
I suppose it's one way of factoring in increased rate of fire and rifling of guns!!

Drusus: you are a clever man!!

Cheers

Romain

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Jeremy Sutcliffe

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#2 [url]

Jun 20 10 9:06 AM

QUOTE (Drusus G. Rat Esq. @ June 20, 2010 08:12 am)
You were playing the French, Jeremy?

Both. We swapped sides after the first game. (I often do that. Gives Ian a chance to show me what I should have done!)

What we are touching on is one of the problems with Black Powder.

Apart from the scenarios in the book there is little to guide you to appropriate classifications for troop types either in where you might reasonably vary from the recommended troop type norms or which special rules distinctions might be appropriate for one army/troop type vis a vis another in any different period.

Ian sums them up as a "set of game mechanics" rather than a "set of rules"

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#3 [url]

Jun 20 10 9:15 AM

QUOTE (Jeremy Sutcliffe @ June 20, 2010 09:06 am)
What we are touching on is one of the problems with Black Powder.

Apart from the scenarios in the book there is little to guide you to appropriate classifications for troop types either in where you might reasonably vary from the recommended troop type norms or which special rules distinctions might be appropriate for one army/troop type vis a vis another in any different period.

Ah!

You'll be waiting for scenario supplements then with appropriate stats for the various historical units and armies then!

Drusus: you are a clever man!!

Cheers

Romain

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Jeremy Sutcliffe

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Jun 20 10 9:22 AM

QUOTE (Drusus G. Rat Esq. @ June 20, 2010 09:15 am)
You'll be waiting for scenario supplements then with appropriate stats for the various historical units and armies then!

Not necessarily.

In a way that would run counter to the "tool kit" approach to the rules that I'm fairly sure Priestly intended.

The issued could, perhaps, be addressed best by use of the Warlord BP Forum or the independent BP Yahoo Group if posters were encouraged to submit stats etc they had chosen to use for any given period/theatre of conflict

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Big Martin

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Jun 21 10 12:06 PM

QUOTE (Jeremy Sutcliffe @ June 20, 2010 09:06 am)
What we are touching on is one of the problems with Black Powder.

Apart from the scenarios in the book there is little to guide you to appropriate classifications for troop types either in where you might reasonably vary from the recommended troop type norms or which special rules distinctions might be appropriate for one army/troop type vis a vis another in any different period.

Ian sums them up as a "set of game mechanics" rather than a "set of rules"

Have run up against the same problem with my (as yet unplayed) New Bern ACW game.
I'm trying to give the Confederate players a bit of hope of not folding immediately despite being outnumbered 2 to 1 in infantry. They do have some breastworks covering most of their front and a 2 to 1 superiority in artillery but it's balancing other factors to try to give them a fighting chance.
Burnside was at the top of his game in this particular campaign whilst Branch was still learning the ropes, however, I think I'm going to have to adjust the Confederate command figure up by one as in my try out they consistently failed any attempts to rally units.
The Rebs were largely musket armed as opposed to the rifle armed Union infantry. However, I'm going to give one more Reb unit rifles as in my try out 1 Union brigade could just sit outside musket range from the breastworks and whittle the Rebs down.
I think I'm going to have to make the 1 exposed Confederate unit a higher Morale factor to make it perform like the orginal in holding out.
In the end of my try out it was (as in the original battle) the breaking of the inexperienced and poorly armed militia battalion and subsequent rout of an adjoining unit that saw the Rebs beaten but I 'm trying not to make it too easy for the Union players.

Tutenes! Atque cujus exercitus?

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#7 [url]

Jun 21 10 2:26 PM

In playing the game we did get a differing feel. I had used the rules for AWI, 7YW, malburian and great northern war. In most instances you need to tinker.
In the second game with jerry we invented rules for prone infantry.

Strangely using the stats for both french and prussian units they do not get first fire, in theory meaning a blast of breech loaders at close range is less effective than say an AWI brit unit. Still tinkering.

The sharpshooter artillery is very effective as reroling 1 miss at long range efeectivly doubles your chance of a hit but it also means you have a 33% chance of disordering a unit with one battery. As disorder is a beg penalty under these rules that is a very strong advantage.

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#8 [url]

Jun 22 10 5:15 PM

QUOTE (etchelli @ June 21, 2010 02:26 pm)
Strangely using the stats for both french and prussian units they do not get first fire, in theory meaning a blast of breech loaders at close range is less effective than say an AWI brit unit. Still tinkering.

I guess what youcould look at here is a disconnection between periods in terms of mechanisms - you're not going to have AWI troops fighting breech loading rifles so it doesn't matter in game terms if the mechanisms suggest otherwise; it's the breakdown inter-period that matters.

I can still see generally that this could provoke some headscratching however!!

Drusus: you are a clever man!!

Cheers

Romain

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#9 [url]

Jun 28 10 4:52 PM

Hi Jeremy,
I posted the FP stuff on the Yahoo group, I hope you enjoyed them.

The Sharpshooter rule was to make the Prussian artillery very effective, this hopefully covers the better shells and training of the Prussian artillery.

They need something to counter the Chassepot

The reason for no "First Fire" was that we felt that there was no real volley fire in the FPW, it was more progressive move and fire.


Hopefully in the next few days I will post the ACW stats our club has been working on

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#10 [url]

Jul 9 10 8:16 AM

QUOTE (Frantic @ June 28, 2010 04:52 pm)
The reason for no "First Fire" was that we felt that there was no real volley fire in the FPW, it was more progressive move and fire.

Makes sense, but still looks a bit strange when you compare it to the other periods as opposed to looking at it in FPW period isolation!

Drusus: you are a clever man!!

Cheers

Romain

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