Sunday, November 30, 2014

Black Powder AWI Game

The other day while the snowstorm raged outside, I played a nice game of AWI Black Powder using "half sized" AWI Battalions (all of my units are 6 stands and I split them to 3 stand Battalions).

The game was fun and a nice refresher for my Black Powder skills.  Additionally, there was some satisfying uncertainty "built in" due to the Black Powder command system that harks back to the days of Warmaster.  This ensured some of the units would not get to move during their turns.

The British started the game with 2 "Brigades" of Battalions.  1 main body infantry force commanded by the commanding general, with the other "advanced corps" of lights, some regular infantry, and the artillery.

 The American units started out with 4 Battalions organized into 2 Brigades, charged with defending.  The British needed to score a breakthrough to turn Mr Washington's line.

Mnifigs Continentals

My musket miniatures 11th Mass Troops from the Hubbardton Project!

My Musket Miniatures.  The 24th Foot and 55th Foot on the right.  Some Old Glory figs on the left.  The Commanding General is clearly visible on his white horse.

I think I like my 6 stand units better than the 3 stand units...

Converged Light Battalion.  Still based for other games...
 The British infantry advance got off to a very slow start however the advanced guard on the British right got off on schedule and made it almost up to the Marylander's muskets.

 The British infantry advance was slow and deliberate.  Their plan was to advance up to the wood in front of the American positions on the hilltop and envelop them from three sides.  On the British right, the plan was to advance up and assault the rail fence with 2 battalions, pushing the defenders back.  The advanced guard on the British left was more of a feint while the infantry force on the right was to do all the punching.

Marylanders at the rail fence!  The British battalions are crossing the road to assault them.

 The assault along the rail fence, although not impressive, achieved its aim of pinning down more American units while the infantry on their right advanced up to the hill
Disordered at the worst possible moment!

The Americans are surrounded on 3 sides.  It's not looking good!
 British shooting is deadly and disorders both American battalions atop the hill.  This would be an ugly turn and American shooting is now -1
Another Maryland force is brought up behind the unit at the rail fence.

British units from the infantry main-body assault the hilltop!
 This was a great game for practicing the melee rules.  There are a set number of things that have to happen and they can be a little confusing.  The last turn, the British assaults annihilated 3 American Battalions one after the other!
Lots of melee!

Assaulting British receive the rear support bonus!!
Played this game in centimeters instead of inches (unlike some of my 25mm Napoleonic Games which were played in inches).  That was a little nicer as it allowed for more maneuver than if using inches.

Also smaller units allows for a greater sized force on the table.  I think though I still like the look of my 6 stand units as it just looks right.

I always enjoy playing a game of Black Powder and think it's a great "one size fits all" horse and musket rules set.  You can add period flavor to your games using the unit characteristics.  The game has a nice, clean way of resolving fire, melee, disorder and some of the other important characteristics of this era.  I'm not sure it's my "go-to" rules set but it's definitely one of my favorites.


  1. Great report. My crowd used Black Powder for an ACW game on Saturday. (My next blog) I also like the "clean-ness" of the rules.

    1. Thanks, John. Black Powder rarely disappoints as far as I'm concerned.