Friday, 11 February 2011

First Look: Warlord Games Black Powder

So after a about a months worth of grind I had enough French painted to play a small game of black powder and it was going to be the English up against the French,

I fielded everything that I'd managed to paint to date:

1 Division Commander

1 Brigade Commander
3 Units of French Line infantry 32 men to a unit but I counted these as normal size

1 Brigade Commander
1 Unit of French Heavy Cav 14 men
1 Cannon

Lee's stuff consisted of:

1 Brigade Commander
3 Units of Line infantry one being black watch, all with about 26/28 men so counted at large units
3 Cannons

so as this was going to be our first game we decided to go for it no real "scenario" after losing the initiative for set up the board looked like..

so a fairly simple plan with the infantry on the centre and right with the cav and the cannon on the left, as we were playing on a 6x4 we decided to half the movement and ranges,

Close up of the French

and the English.

So after a bit of flicking through the book we'd sussed out the orders phase no problem we decided to ignore the command distance modifier for this game as Lee only had one guy to shout orders out,

so after a couple of turns it looked like....

I was having terrible rolls for my orders the cav kept failing and the infantry unit on the fair right had a massive blunder and took a sidestep right hiding behind the ruined tower, The centre infantry unit continued moving forwards and the left unit decided to stop and make a cuppa!

a turn or two later, the far right unit went mental with a triple move and was in the faces of the English, the centre and left units weren't far off either the heavy cav still wasn't going any where and that was starting to do my sweed in!

So at this point it all went wrong the right infantry unit took enough damage from shoot in make it retire backwards, then after a couple of round of combat eventually I rolled a 4 or less and was outta there,

the middle and far right units suffered from multiple disorders stalling the advance in the centre, and after a couple of round of shooting then a charge both broke.

Added to the fact the the cav continued to be a pain in the ass with regards to getting them to move and when they did get going the stopped short of the guns who then turned and let rip causing the disorder and the next round of shooting finished them off,

so in a nutshell I lost my whole army on break tests in two turns!

but apart from the kicking that I got, how did the rules play?

I liked them to be honest, nice and simple I'm sure there was some things that we were doing wrong but with some more reading and a mooch about the warlord games forums I'm sure we'll have it nailed down,

Orders phase:

Is a nice twist and if we'd been using the command distance modifiers then I'm sure most of my stuff would have been standing around alot more!

Movement phase:
Is dead simple none of this wheeling and all that kinda stuff so that was fairly easy,

Shooting phase:
Was a bit of a werid one for me, I couldn't get my head round that you get three dice per unit... and if your in attack column you get one, the "saving throw" aka moral is good and again really quick and simple, I liked the disordered factor but might be a bit over powered or Lee was just rolling alot of sixes!

Hand to Hand phase:
Nice and easy simple to work out who'd won etc.. and the choice of charge reactions was easy to pick up.

So overall really easy to pick up and we were flying through the turns and having no problem doing the basic stuff the odd question came up but I'm gonna hit the forums and see what the guys say on a couple of points.

Personal thoughts on the game..

The "famous" french attack column did bugger all and I'm at loss to what I should have done differently? but maybe the cav going after the guns wasn't the best plan for them?

Cannons are shite! the range that I was shooting at I was rolling once dice needing a 5+ to hit so not good, god knows how the "grand battery" was so effective??

I need bigger units or more cav, maybe some skirmish units? time to experiment with some troop types me thinks.