Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Black Powder German Campaign 1813

This past Saturday, we played a game of Black Powder at the LGS. We have been running  a campaign recently revolving around Leipzig. Our hopes are to do the Battle of Nations itself in the future. For this battle for an un-named village, my Prussians allied with Chris' Russians against Casey's and CJ's French. We played a modified version of the Penisular mission from the Black Powder rulebook.

We found enough terrain and tables to put together an 8x8. There was a dearth of tables due to a 40k tournament at the store. We made due. 

The French's view of the field, right side

French left

The Town that the Allis entered

Allied left, a swampy, semi- forested bog

The French line was at these two farms. They had to egress from the field across the pontoon bridge in the foreground, or the ford, which lies just past the hillock.

The French lined up, preparing to hold back the Allied advance. They had to withdraw a set amount of battalions to gain a victory.
My Prussians enter the village

Chris and I decided to overload the left flank with cavalry in hopes of cutting them off at the bridge- head. The infantry would push the center and right in hopes of holding-up the French in combats and giving the cavalry time.
Uhlans and Leibhusaren charge!!

Chris' Russians were fielded in small battalions to represent the years of fighting they had endured pushing the Emperor back.

Cavalry reserve of Dragoons and more Hussars

A Crapaud pillaging the pig sty. I hope that's all he's doing.

A small Russian garrison was in the manor in the left background. They blocked the bridge so that the French army had at least a speed bump and could not just waltz off the board.
 The bog held up the cavalry, preventing us from getting to our objective for about two turns.

"Advancing" in the opposite direction

The afore- mentioned speed bump

Finally the Leibhusaren and Uhlans were able to free their mounts from the bog and made contact with the Fench line, who of course formed square.

However, the dice being fickle, the Prussians were held up in the center for 2-3 turns. We played that Ney had a command of 9, all other commanders only 8. That extra one command value makes a huge difference. But me rolling 3 10s in a row didn't help either. The only center unit that kept up their advance was Chris' artillery. They did their job well.

This squadron charged with their officer's ferocious hound

French Dragoons counter- charged my Uhlans. Perhaps foolishly, since lancers get a bonus against them. The dragoons took a heavy hit and broke like the cowards they are!! This left two French lines facing 5-6 squadrons of Allied cavalry, including the bloot thirsty Cossacks.

Meanwhile, on the Allied right, the Russians were able to push through the village and make contact with the French, and took a pounding. Their artillery could not get their limbers moving and the infantry was stuck, uncovered for a few turns. In retrospect, we should have send a squadron or two of cavalry their way.

We used a few house rules this game. Most notably, muskets ranges were reduced to 12", thus the close ranges below. Artillery over 6 pdr were granted extended ranges. We have been toying around with adding more, but we hadn't played in so long that we kept it simple.

Marshal Ney, the bravest of the brave, rode over to a battalion, grabbed the colonel by his collar and screamed "Follow Me!!" in an effort to get some of these battalions moving across the bridge and off the table.

Finally, the Prussian center moved. The above French line was lying in wait, released a volley on my skirmishing fusiliers. But the Prussians would not be stopped. They could smell blood. They wanted a repeat of the Katzbach. If Marschall von Blücher could push the center, he might just have the French swimming back to Paris!

The Prussians broke right as well, in hopes of supporting their Russian brethren in the impending melee. Also, the Russian artillery got unbogged and was able to rake the French lines.

Ney has his backside exposed on the bridge. The Prussian and Russian cavalry had over taken the farmstead. The battle was at its crisis. If the French could get this battalion off, it would be a victory for them. We had to act now. I mentioned to Chris that we should fire a few cannon balls at Ney's bald head. He counter suggested that we charge instead; make a mad dash for the bridge and at least hold up that battalion and, hopefully, destroy it.
 Unfortunately, our time was up. CJ had to call the game in order to attend to family business. We decided that the French did not get enough units off and the next turn would most likely have ended with 3-4 more dead battalions. Possibly even Ney himself!
These last few shots are glamor shots of my recently painted Perry battalion. The First Musketeer Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, 1st Silesian.

All around it was a great game. Win, lose or draw Black Powder is fun. Plus it is an impressive sight to have 600-700 fully painted figures on one table. Especially when in the other room were hundreds, if not thousands of 40k figures, with a sad percentage not painted. 

We also decided we should play more, maybe once a month. So stay tuned for more reports. Plus I will put up pictures of the last two battles in our campaign. 'Til then...


  1. Wonderful, have added your blog to my follow list! Thanks for the report!

  2. Really great AAR and visual on-table feast well done. Peter

  3. Wonderful looking game; terrain and troops top-notch!

  4. Excellent aar. Looks like it was a lot of fun. Hope we can pull something like this off with Lion Rampant. Keep up the postings. I will be a follower.