Saturday, January 18, 2014

Black Powder Solo Game-54mm AWI Actually Works!

I dug out my copy of Black Powder again after a several year hiatus. The game we played previously left my group and myself a little cold. After reading several posts from a group of guys in "Yankeeland", I thought another try was warranted since the rules were originally a sizable investment.  I put a small solo game together to work out some of the more clunky mechanics that made us turn up our noses at Black Powder.  Used the stats from the Freeman's Farm game.

The rules call for larger sized (in the number of  miniatures) units.  My collection has been constructed for All the King's Men by Ken Cliffe.  Figures are based individually and are magnetically attached to movement stands. I decided the following convention would be in place for my game....
Regular Line Infantry: "normal sized unit"
Grenadiers or Highlanders: "large sized unit"
Jagers, Regular Light Infantry: musket skirmishers, riflemen: "small sized unit"
Cavalry: "regular sized unit"
Artillery: Battalion Gun for the Patriots, Regular sized gun for the British
The rules call for a larger table size. My game house can handle up to a 16x6 but since this was a solo game, I wanted to be able to reach quickly and work the rules rather than work the table.

British OB:
CIC: General Lord Foppe:8

Kilroy's Bde:
1st Battalion of Foote
Light Infantry
Highlanders without Kilts
Royal Artillery

Von Miller's Germans
Knyphausen Fusliers
Von Rall's Grenadiers

Tarleton's Tories
Tarleton's Green Dragoons (unreliable)

Patriot OB:
CIC: General "Hard" Knox:8

Granny Smith's Brigade
2nd Mass. Continentals
1st Virginia Continentals
Men of Charleston (militia-unreliable)
South Carolina State Militia (unreliable)
Knox' Left Over Artillery-(batt. gun)

Lonesome Jones' Brigade
U.S. Continental Marines
Simpson's Militia (unreliable)
Lobsterhead Militia (unreliable)
Boone's Farm Rifles (small unit)

Harry Lee's Light Horse
Volunteer Light Dragoons (militia-unreliable)

Turn 1:
British win First Turn and brigade moved both infantry brigades one turn. Artillery caused 1 hit (saved).
Patriots move smartly to deny the Germans the sunken road. Marines and militia roll one move only. Boone's Farm Rifles move to occupy the Old Irish Church (ruins)
Simpson's militia causes one casualty to Jagers and disorders them. I'm not sure how to get the Jagers un-disordered other than to leave them where they are. They continue to take fire from the militia and stay disordered. That's a question for the Yahoo Group folks.  How to unscrew a unit once it is screwed.

Turn 2:
Insignificant fire, lots of saves, British move on the crossroads, Germans and USMC move to keep the sunken road from the other. Single moves for both sides. Patriot Light Horse moves to support the weak right flank of the Patriot line.  Anhalt infantry and Knyphausen Fusiliers open up on USMC. Three hits on USMC, becomes shaken.
Turn 3:Tarleton fails the order to support the wing of the British foot. British foot advance to clear the village of Fugpee. Knyphausen Fusiliers charge USMC with three moves. USMC shoots, no closing casualties to the Hessians. Melee results in the USMC retreating 1 move to the rear. Knyphausen stays in place.  I probably played this wrong as I considered the terrain a bit of sunken road and after reading the rules and a response on the BP Yahoo Group, I probably couldn't have seen the unit as they may have been obscured.  I'll remember next time but hey, it was a charge and melee on turn 3! That was cool!

Decided to stop at that point since I worked through the basic order, move, shooting, melee and morale phases.

I like the rules pretty well. I don't care for the point of having to keep numbers of hits and saves but that's a minor mechanics issue. It's not a game breaker for me. It just seems a bit familiar (LOL)

Next up is to play Black Powder Pike and Shotte solo and then host a game. Keep checking back.


  1. Steve,

    Disordered units remain disordered until the end of ens of its following turn. See page 48, 4th paragraph under Disorder.

    Sounds fun


  2. What was wrong with All The King's Men rules?

  3. @Ed...thanks for the clarification!
    @Mac...Not a thing wrong with ATKM....just had the BP rules laying around gathering dust and thought I might try them again since my AWI collection is relatively complete.