Last Tuesday we played a Great Northern War game, this time using the Black Powder ruleset with a number of modifications to adapt it to that period, theatre and set of opponents.
The scenario was the battle of Ingenstansby, a fictional battle which I’ve played three times now using two different rulesets (Beneath the Lily Banners and now Black Powder), adapting it to lessons learned each time so it’s close to getting well balanced and playable :):
|Battle of Ingenstansby (504Kb)|
The game went pretty well, for a first game of a new ruleset. Eddy, as Swedish player, chose to attack the Russians behind the stream immediately while advancing on his left flank in the hope of drawing out some Russian troops there. Phil, as tsar Peter, defended the stream and Ingenstansby with his best infantry brigade and advanced on both flanks with the cavalry.
One of the nice things about Black Powder is that is meant to give a good game in a single wargame evening, which in this game meant that units were in contact at the end of turn one. Unfortunately for the Swedes, their attack in the center faltered when it met the concentrated fire of Golitsyn’s brigade and two field guns - one regiment broke and streamed away to the rear, while two other were stopped in their advance by the murderous fire.
On the flanks it went a bit better for the Swedish player. On his right, the cavalry managed to chase of an attack by Russian dragoons and horse grenadiers, while on the left a hastily formed infantry line bounced another cavalry attack. However, in a brilliant move by Phil, one squadron of Russian dragoons managed to outflank this line and wreak havoc in the Swedish rear, overrunning two struggling battalion guns and forcing the king to seek refuge among the right flank cavalry for fear of being overrun.
All in all a good game, of which more pictures can be seen in this set.
I did however have the feeling that the players had little tactical decisions to make, largely because of the move distances of the units in Black Powder. After a turn, and at the latest two, the major lines of the battle had been set and it became essentially a dice rolling exercise with little maneuver left. The battle was set in concrete after two turns. Next time, I think we’ll reduce the move distances by a third - my table is 6x8 while most of the games by the author’s group is on a 6x12 table. The excellent summary sheets here make this conversion easy :).
Apart from the movement distances, I’ll make some adjustments to our Black Powder adjustments :), mostly in the unit stats. I’m thinking of giving the Swedish infantry ‘Elite’ to make it more likely they will continue to advance through enemy fire, and upping both sides’ cavalry HtH scores. But that will be the subject of another post.