12 September 2010

War of 1812 (Black Powder)

I played my first game of Black Powder. A friend put together a small battle from the War of 1812, an American incursion into Canada after the Battle of Lake Erie.

As the British, we were outnumbered and on the defensive, but with a slight advantage in quality.

In the photo below, the Americans are on the left, British on the right. I was in command of the British left & center. My partner had the British right and some ambushing Native Americans in the woods on the flank.

Middle of the game, you can see how bad things were, in terms of numbers. Still, my meager line regiment and skirmishers managed to hold off the superior numbers for most of the game.

I have read the rules a few times, but this was my first game. My impressions?

First, it's an easy game to learn, and plays out quickly. I generally don't like games that are too simple, but I think that Black Powder (like various flavors of Warmaster, etc.) capture all the important points of a large game without getting bogged down in details.

I also think it would make a good game for convention events, for this reason.

I do have a few minor criticisms. As with the assorted Warmaster based games, movement seems a little too easy and simple sometimes.

The counterpoint to that, which, as the GM pointed out, balances the movement issue a bit is that it's way too easy to become disordered. Becoming disordered can really lock down parts of the battle.

Personally, I'd prefer if both ease of movement and becoming disordered were toned down a bit, so instead of a balance of extremes it was a balance of moderation. But the game is still very enjoyable and I'm hoping to play some more.


  1. I did a little write up on my weekend,and I linked your blog on TMP,I hope that is ok(may I please,sir?) :)


  2. Try reducing the movement distances and consider the reliable rule. Use the elite rule to help reduce the impact of disorder. With small battles I find plain BP has too wide a range of dice-dependence, so you need to utilise speciual rules to limit this a bit.

  3. Thanks. Will look into the special rules a bit more.

  4. One simple device I am considering is disorder occuring with 2 or more sixes,instead of one.

  5. I was thinking it might be worth trying discarding the disorder result on the 6 if you make your morale save.