Copyright © 2022, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2022, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Thursday 22 March 2012

Club Night - Black Powder Napoleonic battle between French and British

On Tuesday night Adie and myself played a game of Black Powder at Maelstrom Games, we had not played for in while and Adie had recently won the club in-house Black Powder event which I had not been able to attend.

We decided that we would use a 500pt list each. I made up the following French force:
  • Divisional Commander - CV7
  • Brigade Commander - CV8
  • 1 Line Infantry (elite 5+)
  • 4 Line Infantry
  • 1 Foot Battery
  • Brigade Commander - CV7
  • 3 Line Infantry
  • Brigade Commander - CV8
  • 1 Veteran Hussars (Reliable, +1 Attack)
  • 1 Dragoons
  • 1 Horse Battery
Adie used a British/Hanoverian list which was IIRC:

  • Divisional Commander - CV8
  • Brigade Commander - CV7
  • 2 Line Infantry
  • 1 small Rifles
  • 1 Foot Battery
  • Brigade Commander - CV7
  • 1 large Light Infantry
  • 1 small Infantry
  • Brigade Commander - CV7
  • 1 large Highlanders
  • 1 Highlanders
  • Brigade Commander - CV7
  • 2 Hanoverian Landwehr (Unreliable)
  • Brigade Commander - CV7
  • 2 Dragoons
I deployed from right to left: Horse Battery, cavalry, smaller infantry Brigade, Foot Artillery, larger infantry brigade with their flank secured against a field. Adie deployed left to right: Cavalry, Highlanders, Light infantry, Line infantry, Hanoverians.

Adie took the first move and attempted to play in character and immediately attempted to have his Dragoons into my horse, but they drew up short. The remainder of his troops did very little, maintaining their line.

I deployed both my Horse and Foot batteries against the exposed Dragoons causing two casualties on one regiment and one on the other and positioned my own horse in front of his. I tried to support my horse with the small infantry brigade but unfortunately failed the test to move.

As expected, Adie stayed in character and rather than withdrawing to rally and reform his Dragoons piled into my cavalry and after a brief fight both of my units and both of his were shattered and we both fell back. We were both a brigade down already.

As neither of our cavalry were disordered I immediately ordered my shattered cavalry to follow up his - meaning that in his turn his would have to withdraw due to the proximity rule, I used this to effect over several turns to force his horse off the table.

My infantry started their advance, but the responding British had some poor sets of orders given so I was able to close the ground. My smaller brigade shook and pushed back the first Highland regiment but got engaged in a fire-fight with the large one which was always going to go badly and I eventually had a unit shaken and was unable to rally as he disordered it in every subsequent turn. I was though able to keep up the fire on the large Highland unit until that was shaken and failed its break test.

On my left the large brigade first cleared out the Light infantry battalion shaking it  and then fell upon the line brigade.

After eight turns, my cavalry brigade was shaken and I had lost the horse battery and I had lost one battalion from the small infantry brigade and had one battalion shaken in the other brigade. Adie had had both units of cavalry retreat off table shaken, so they counted as lost, the large Highland unit and had had the small Highland unit shaken. He had also lost one unit of Line and had the other one shaken. A good victory for the French.

Some highlights from the game:

  1. The Hanoverian Landwehr never moved at all during the game, failing every command roll even when the British CinC went over to get them motivated.
  2. In four consecutive rounds of shooting, the large Highlander unit caused a disorder every time.
  3. Even though shaken, my cavalry brigade was able to push Adies shaken cavalry brigade entirely off the table. 

Here are some photo's from the action, unfortunately, I forgot to start snapping until very late in the game.

My large brigade engages the 'Rosbifs' at very close range

Despite flanking fire from the Rifles, the French overwhelm the Redcoats 

Nothing much stands between the French and the British baggage 

Vive l' France

Present..... Fire

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