Thursday, 9 August 2018

Explotar el puente

We entered a new era of wargaming - or at least a new theatre - last night when James' long awaited (long, long, long awaited) Peninsular War forces took to the table for the first time. Peter and I had no advance warning of this nor, more pertinently, that we would be playing Black Powder. I'm pretty sure that it was the first time this year that we had played them, and a certain rustiness showed through. James had obviously studied the Napoleonic elements in particular (skirmishers, squares, columns of attack etc), but I think we realised fairly early on that he was in the same boat as us when he tried to slip in a rule that clearly came from Blitzkrieg Commander.

The figures are, naturally, wonderfully painted. They have appeared a number of times already on his blog and I believe that he is intending to put up some more photos following this game. Speaking of which, I think what happened last night best described as exploratory. The rather abstract way that skirmishers are dealt with is much to my taste, but took a bit of getting one's head around. I think we all agreed that riflemen were too much of a super unit (I took out a whole regiment of hussars from great distance with one small group of them) and the next step is to try to incorporate their effect into general skirmish fire rather than having them represented separately. All those years ago when I started wargaming I was at the hyper-realist, rivet counting end of the spectrum; now I lean to as abstract as possible while retaining an acceptable level of recognisable period flavour.

For the record the game, a version of that old favourite the blow the bridge scenario, was not going the way of the British when we called it a night, but I think we had all gained a better understanding of the appropriate Black Powder Napoleonic tactics, not to mention reminding ourselves how the core rules work in the first place.

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