Tuesday, December 30, 2014

More Black Powder

Our biggest Black Powder game yet on the 28th saw a combined Ottoman Turk / Polish army attacking Russians in a game set in about 1711.  This was a the first chance to get all of my 18th Century 6mm scale collection on the table at once and I'm quite pleased with how spectacular it looked.

The battlefield - along the river is the Russian army.  The Turks are in the
background whilst the Poles are clustered around the woods on
the extreme left of the picture. 
Jamie took on the role of Peter the Great, trapped in a bend of an impassible river (a situation reminiscent of that on the Pruth in 1711 but this wasn't a historical scenario).  Andy ran the large and unwieldy Turkish army, whilst George ran the small but powerful Polish brigade.

For speed I set the armies up in their starting positions but allowed the players to fill with the detail before we got started.  Both Russians and Turks had the classic two cavalry wings and an infantry centre with artillery.  The Poles formed a far right wing for the Turkish army whilst a couple of gunboats on the river formed their far left.

The whole front of the Turkish army was covered by clouds of musket-armed skirmishers.  These would prove very handy in using up the Russians' "First Fire" bonus.

The action opened with clashes between Turkish and Cossack light horse.  At the same time the Poles advanced rapidly on the right and the whole Turkish army moved forward at a somewhat more sedate pace.

In the centre the swarms of Ottoman skirmishers approached the Russian main infantry line.  The Russian infantry blazed away with muskets to little effect other than wasting their "First Fire".

Jamie decided to position a couple of his Russian artillery batteries in the
castle on the far side of the river.  This looked ace but did his
available firepower no good at all.
One the Russian right one and a half regiments of dragoons lined up to face the oncoming Sipahi.

But the climax of the battle came on the left.  A regiment of Polsh winged hussars charged into the dismounted Moskovski Dragoons, routing them completely.  The resulting sweeping advance saw them impact the (mounted) Viatski Dragoons who were also routed.  A poor roll on the break test for "friends routed" also saw an adjacent infantry battalion rout.  

In the background the winged hussars, with supporting Pancerny,
have just routed three units in one turn!
Not surprisingly, Jamie decided at this point that the battle was lost and offered his surrender to the Turks.  Thus the result, if not the events, of the Pruth action was repeated.

In general, Black Powder was well-received.  Andy enjoyed it despite the horrible command and control limitations of the Ottoman army and Jamie expressed himself happy to play again.  I always think that if you're happy to play a set of rules again when your first experience was of defeat, then they must be OK.

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