Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

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Sunday, 9 July 2017

War of the Spanish Succession using Black Powder

Thursday evening we convened another meeting of the Madison Sunday Tea and Crumpets gaming club - we'll likely be meeting mid-week evenings more often for a while as the weekend weather is just too nice to play indoors.

This time we broke out the War of the Spanish Succession collection for a try with Black Powder. As there is only me with any stuff painted so far, we are still very light on French and their allies so you'll see a few odd units (like Scots) filling in on their side!

To add a bit of period flavour, any unit that was not in a grey coat became Elite 5+, all the French horse had Tough Fighters and all the Dutch foot had First Fire.

To add a little more period flavour to these very generic rules we added a house rule that any movement not directly straight forwards was at half rate and that guns could never be moved. 

Bruce and I took the Dutch, Drew was the French. Left to right, the Dutch force was: one division of eight horse, three each of divisions of six foot, one division of eight horse. Opposite the French line from right to left was: one division of eight horse, one division of nine foot, one division of seven foot, one division of four horse and three dragoons.

The outcome of the game was decided very early on, the Dutch horse on the left pushed forwards and were charged by their French opposite numbers. The Dutch counter-charged and at the first three points of contacts each French squadron pushed their Dutch opposite number to their shattered level, forcing them back and doing the same to the supporting unit. Six out of the eight Dutch squadrons in the division were shattered and the division broken. The French did this for the loss of only one of their squadrons!

Refusing their flank slightly the Dutch foot pressed on and got the upper hand in the fire-fight, but the game was up due to the exposed left flank, in one swirling cavalry melee the French had carried the day for the Sun King!

So what did I think of our War of the Spanish Succession game using Black Powder? Every time I play them I come away thinking what a terrible set of rules they are, they try to cover 200+ years of warfare and no matter what genre from that period I play them with I think they are lacking.

I could try adding more period fluff, like we did when playing Napoleonics or American Civil War, but even after persevering with that there always seemed to be a better set to play.

I'm not sure about Chosen Men Well Disposed, they seem rather boring and nothing decisive seems to happen in our games so far, maybe they deserve another chance. I've also got Maurice and the old Piquet rules, maybe they should get a run out.

More photos from the game, the figures are all from Baccus 6mm, painted by myself.

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