"It's a fine line between Groundbreaking and Idiotic"

Black Powder Rules Battle Report.

An incident filled game of  Black Powder Napoleonic’s involving Me (Rob S), and Derek against Nigel and Mick with John acting as Umpire and Bob M acting as tactical consultant,  studio audience and with his sore throat a kind of movie trailer voice over guy.

 The Scenario was French versus Austrian.  The French are outnumbered but have better quality troops.  It is a straight forward Attack against Defence with the French trying to delay the Austrian advance.  There is a thick fog which has hidden the French positions leaving the Austrians having to advance blind to contact.

 The French had 3 Brigades.  The 1st Brigade had 2 large regiments of Guard and one standard regiment of Line together with a battery of Artillery..  These were deployed at the start of the game by showing John where they were but not placing the miniatures on the table.  The 2nd Brigade (3 units of Line and a battery Artillery) and 3rd Brigade (2 regiments of Cuirassiers and a battery of horse artillery) Started the game “off table”

 The Austrians also had three brigades consisting of a Brigade of Line Infantry a mixed Brigade of Landwehr and Line Infantry and a Cavalry Brigade.

 The game began the Austrians marching on to the table in march columns,  evenly spaced across the table with their cavalry being on their left.  Upon spotting the French brigade on a ridge to their front they quickly deployed in to line in order to advance and engage.

 The French were fortunate as John rolled for each of the off table Brigades and they appeared immediately.  Derek had command of the 2nd Brigade and I had command of the 1st Brigade (in the centre) and the Cavalry Brigade on their right.  Derek immediately formed his infantry in to Attack Columns and advanced forward in the hope of out flanking the Austrians.  The French had deployed well and as long as their superior cavalry could keep the Austrian Horse at bay things were looking good……..Until that is I deployed my cavalry.

 On came the French Cuirassiers, the flower of European Cavalry in what after some discussion was labelled a Cavalry Attack Column…… despite the fact that they were immediately in the potential charge reach of the Austrians they did not deploy in to line and continued in this formation along side their horse artillery that remained limbered.

 This of course began the discussion as to whether I had intentionally created a new, novel and groundbreaking Cavalry formation or, that I was a complete idiot.  The following two turns would settle the debate emphatically.

 Of course the Austrians after a short pause to look at each other and smirk charged forward, passing their command roles easily and smashing in to French Horse and Artillery who, given that they were in column had  1 attack dice compared to the Austrians 7.  Needless to say that it was all over very quickly with the French either being completed destroyed or retiring off the table. 

 To compound matters; I also made what must be politely described as an “interesting” decision to march one of my guard infantry battalions out of the centre of my  line and off a hill to engage the Austrian Foot at close musket range.  Now obviously the plan was that the volley of close range musket from the French elite would be enough to break the Austrians lead regiment who were already suffering considerably from my guns on the hill.  What I forgot to consider (apart the battalion of unengaged Austrian Cavalry to my right) was that every time I try to be clever, bold or in fact take any kind of gamble; multiple “1”’s will be rolled.   Which of course they were and the Guard Battalion found itself faced with short range artillery to it’s left, Austrian foot to it’s front and the glistening sabres of Cavalry to it’s right.  The collective gulp of my troops echoed across the battlefield.

 Shortly after the complete destruction of this French Guard Battalion, Derek and I decided it was getting late and it was probably the time to call it a draw and pack up.

 One has to feel sorry for Derek who was doing relatively well on the French right but suddenly found that the entire French line was about to be rolled up thanks to my “creative” Generalship.

 The Black Powder rules do allow for rapid advances on the table top, especially with cavalry so the tip (which to be fair is given in the book) is deploy in line as march columns will be vulnerable on the tabletop as soon as they enter it.

 The game should not have been as one sided as it was and the simple and fun scenario by John was enjoyed by all.  Mick; has with these Black Powder Rules discovered his inner Cavalry General and thoroughly enjoyed  Huzzahing his way across table top sweeping all before him.

 I on the other hand need to have a word with myself.

Rob (S) 28/10/2010