Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Battle of Sample Hollow: A Black Powder Playtest

I have read through the Black Powder rules thoroughly, and I can definitely affirm that they are the most readable set of wargame rules I have encountered in a long time.  There is a wide range of wargamers, from the hardcore simulators to the chess players to the doofus hobbyists.  I happily place myself in the latter category.  I'm a professional historian.  I wargame to have fun with my passion.  Black Powder hits my sweet spot.  Priestly and Johnson actually have the nerve to have a sense of humor about their gaming.  How refreshing!

Anyhow, before I delved too deeply into my Union and Confederate armies (each side has 11 infantry regiments, 2 cavalry regiments, and four artillery batteries painted), I thought I would give the rules a test drive on a small (2' x 4') board with a small solo game.  I got my new roads from Foxhole Terrain down, my scratchbuilt fields, trees, hills, and fences.  One thing is clear: if I'm gonna game the ACW, I'm gonna need a heckofa lot more trees.  My forest looks thin, and I'm using a board that is just 1/3 the size of my usual one.

At the south end of the board, a small Union brigade of three brigades and two guns protect a crossroads.  For this game, fences will provide cover, but hedges will not.  That means that the unit holding the Union right is hanging out there.  

Opposing them is a four-regiment Confederate brigade, three units emerging from the treeline and a fourth in reserve.  A single gun section lumbers up the road.

Here is a view from the south end of the battlefield.


And a better look at the Union position.


The Confederates begin their attack!  More to come after I play this scenario out.



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