Sunday, July 20, 2014

Black Powder Pike and Shotte Last Gasp of Summer Break Game

It's back to school for me. Our break from students started May 28. It ends tomorrow, July 21. I needed this break a little more this time than others. I'm just getting older I guess and the "bounce back" is taking longer than usual.  We played a Black Powder Pike and Shotte game.  I've got two full orders of battle-infantry, artillery and cavalry. One for each side.  We did what I call a "normal sized game".  Here's a little bit of an AAR. The photos tell the story much better than I.  

Bird's eye view of the center and a bit of the right
We played 6 units of infantry in two battalias, 6 regiments of horse on the wings, 2 arty batteries per battalia.  I wanted to see how some of the cooler stuff played so I brought in F'Lorn Hopes for each side (commanded shotte), clubmen (for the Royalists), a sharpshooter, and Firelock artillery guard elements for both sides.  That pretty much sums up my ECW collection.  12 regiments of foote, 12 regiments of horse, 2 Dragoons, 8 pieces of ordnance, clubmen, and associated cool stuff like the sheep and surgeon from Warlord.

The game went south for the Parliamentary side from the beginning.  My left wing of horse decided to not show up and retreated off table in a "blunder result.  That's fitting and rather fun.  One of the things I like about this game system.  My esteemed opponent took that opportunity to gain the high ground and waited for my Commander of the Horse to quit drinking and get to work.

The left flank horse eventually passed command test to come back on table.  My opponent launched his horse and stopped my advance around Smith's Mill.

The center was a hard fought area throughout the battle with clubmen actually able to stand to pike and shotte units for a bit.  I will need to paint some updated clubmen figures. My units are old Minifigs, Hinchcliffe and Old Glory figures I scrappled together from the "gonna' paint someday box.  I'm sure modern figures are probably cooler but there's just something about a load of older figures in mass.

The right flank was a bit easier for my right flank commander.  He picked up the rules quickly. Black Powder Pike and Shotte lends itself to this due to its flat learning curve and some basic gaming concepts that go "way back" and are common to most games.  The Royalist horse and foote were pushed back by a hard charging Scott Clinton.  I'm thinking he enjoyed the game. He sure did enjoy smacking down the Royalists!

Who 'dat?

I lost my flank in error because I didn't read the rules about "hedgehog" and fought it straight up against Royalist horse instead of doubling the dice. Dumbass move of the day! I just played on and my flank crumbled quickly as the rest of the infantry battalia melted away.

The center dissolved into a slugfest with the Parliamentary forces getting the worst of melee. Some days you win.  Some days you lose.   Most days, it's just best to drink MORE Guinness!

What did we learn from this game?
  1. Bring more Stout!
  2. Expand the table from 8x6 to 12x6 
  3. Reduce the amount of crowded terrain to facilitate play.  Sure, I could have reduced the amount of toys on the table but who the hell ever does THAT? 
  4. RTFM. We spent way too much time reading the rules for little things we should have remembered. Just need to play more.
  5. Black Powder Pike and Shotte is definitely unpredictable due to its die-ness.  That's a good thing for us.  Predictable outcomes are not what we want in a game. If we wanted that, we'd be at work.
  6. Time for the campaign! Everything's in place. 
Here's a small gallery:
Warlord Ordnance

Artillery Guard Firelocks

Right Flank horse
Royalist horse smacked down the Rebel Horse


The real reason this battle was fought....

Old Glory ECW Commander I painted several years ago
Notice the center has advanced toward Rusty. What happened to the left flank?

Horse finally get to the battle

Why I don't like bases for artillery!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I'd like to follow an ECW campaign . . . so please do so, sir.

    -- Jeff