I played a superbly enjoyable Napoleonic wargame yesterday. It was a vaguely Peninsular War stoush, played at my friend Scott’s, and involving the two of us, plus Brett, a Hutt club member who has moved over our way.
We used the Black Powder rules, and they sure gave us everything we wanted in a game – fun, excitement, fingernail-biting moments, a narrative that worked and loads of action.
Some of the game highlights included:
- a French advance in column on a British line at the top of a hill (now, that seems a vaguely familiar scenario). Sadly, the French must’ve been commanded by a cadet, namely yours truly. They forgot to put out skirmishers, got flanked in the first move by enemy skirmishers in a wood, and in the end were thrown back in some dismay by a solid Spanish line – yes, Spanish!
- the French Old Guard battalion (I did say this was *vaguely* modelled on the Peninsula) that we were worried actually came from the Baby Guard, so badly did it handle itself compared to a lowly German militia battalion in the same brigade. However, it eventually redeemed itself by being the only French attack column to get into the British defences at the end of the game.
- a swirling melee of cavalry on the flank, that swung backwards and forwards all afternoon. It finally resulted in a ‘blunder’ (the one and only double six in the whole game) which hurled a French cavalry unit into the flank of an unsuspecting British infantry line – and yet the cavalry were still repelled!
Evening drew down upon us when the wargaming wives announced it was time for dinner (and, believe it or not, joined in for a post-mortem of the game!).
All in all, while the French possibly could be said to have got the better of the cavalry fights on the wing, the British horse were still in with a real chance to turn the result, especially once that infantry line chewed up the flanking cavalry attack. And in the centre, the British and Spanish infantry were mainly still in place on the ridge, apart from where the single Old Guard battalion had breached the line, but looked a bit forlorn and alone. So I think we can safely say victory went to Scott, which was only fair considering his hospitality in hosting!
Sorry, we didn’t have a camera, so no piccies!