Friday 20 August 2021

My Goodness, An Actual Game!

Ok, so actually it's my second game since we got the all clear from lockdown. Herself and I are still masking up for shops, and essentially not going out with the exception of my sister's birthday. But Martin and I got in a game on Tuesday. 

So we rotate between my place and Martin's. And of course, home turf, and home player selection of rules. Martin quite enjoys Black Powder, and I have no objections. It's quick to play, and so far, nothing has happened in our games that has made my eyebrows go up. (Plus; Martin's figures and layout are rather nice.) So I invested in a copy for myself and I'm gradually coming to grips with the rules. While still preferring Sharp Practice for large scale skirmish, Black Powder makes sense for me as a big battle set that doesn't need constant play to keep front of brain. (I still play General D' Armee and Horse, Foot and Guns  as well.)  

This week we played out a scenario from the 'Rebellion' Black Powder book. Breed's Hill or Bunker Hill as it is better known. As the new boy, I took the Treasonous Rebels (Yay!), while Martin played the staunch sons of Britannia. (I wouldn't mind swapping sides and playing again.)  Naturally, I forgot to take pictures till halfway through the game.

The first assault has come in and a British Brigade on the far side has been driven back and broken by fire from the redoubt.

'Tiny' American units have been driven back on the American right flank, but with the rest of their brigade retiring from the field, these Highlanders will follow suit. 

The 'red' (ok - pink) markers show 'wounds' on the brigade, this elite British battalion has been shaken by the colonials in the redoubt, the fleche, and the American artillery. 

Another small British brigade comes in at the angle of the redoubt, but the timely arrival of two additional American companies manages to hold the barricades against British bayonets. They roll many fewer dice than the British (2 to 6) but the barricades mean they save hits on 3+ and the first round of combat when the British charged in, the gallant Colonial company managed to save all of the hits, a critical point or the fortifications would have been breached.

Another forlorn British battalion approaches the fortifications, advancing at a stately pace into effective fire from the militia.

Seizing the opportunity at a critical moment as an elite British battalion started to waver under fire, one unit of courageous militia left their entrenchments and laid down a murderous enfilade on the redcoats. Who simply evaporated under the dual onslaught.

It's all coming to a close now, the battered militia, shaken and disordered are just hanging on as the British pull back.

Heroes to a man. The scenario rules are designed to ensure poor British command means their troops advance slowly but inexorably. Martin suffered terribly from poor command dice meaning his artillery didn't even deploy for a large part of the game. When they eventually did, it was clear they could have made a big difference had they come into action sooner. 

I think the key points in this game were the artillery delay, that the militia managed to disorder the advancing British, disrupting the assault, and where the British came to bayonet point, they were unlucky not to carry a key salient with a critical set of dice going my way - just!

On the side of the treasonous rebel dogs, there were three key things. Managing to get the additional company into the line. Pulling off a good dice roll to redeploy two rebel units after another broke, and finally the move to enfilade the British elites. Big risk, but after they were gone, the British lacked the troops to force the redoubts and it was game over.

Finally, some figures arrived from who are selling Ratnik's 18th century civilians:

These are just lovely! and there are a couple of sets available. Just the thing to populate the streets of Penicuik.

All the best

Monday 2 August 2021

Never mind the b*llocks, here's the.... More 1745 painting

Only lightly censored, I've added another group (12 figures) of rebellious Scots - ready too be crushed by the forces of the Crown. 

For a bit of fun, I threw in the 2 'Naughty Highlanders' figures from the Flags of War range, (censored here - just lightly), and I believe the only non Flags of War figure in the collection so far, a piper from Alternative Armies, picked up when I purchased their Highland civilian women. To my eye, the Alternative Army figures are not as crisply sculpted or aesthetically pleasing as the FoW ones, but are pretty compatible in height and bulk. I also drafted in a standard bearer, as I didn't have enough of the Highland ones. It will pass.

And with that, I am now over 50% of the Jacobite Groups. And only another 24 Highlanders to do. The Lowlanders will need some care and attention soon, but next up, I think a few Government infantry units for balance, another two or three of those will give me enough for a first 1745 Sharp Practice game.  It's been a long road since 2018, but it feels like real progress.