Monday, 7 April 2014

Black Powder 123

As part of the Waterloo 200 Project, we have been concentrating on increasing our knowledge of the Black Powder ruleset. Whilst we feel its imaginative mechanisms are the only ones to allow us to realistically be able to wargame this epic battle in a couple of days at our scale of orbat, it has to be said that some of the rules are subject to sub clauses found else where in the book, or are open to interpretation!
'Black Powder 123's are my mate Philip's idea, and encourage the playing of small, yet interesting scenarios consisting of only, wait for it, only 1, 2 or 3 units of any one Arm of Service. Typically, 3 Infantry, 2 Cav and 1 Arty, but different scenarioes that he has come up with will have different permutations. Now I must admit I am a 'Big Game' addict, always tempted to cramp as many models as will fit onto the table into my scenarioes! So I was initially a bit sceptical, and prepared to look upon these as simply some 'training pain' that would pay of in terms of better understanding of rules. But I've played these twice now, and actually they can be quite challenging and engrossing, quite apart from having the time to look up a rules question properly....

So for example this particular 'Ambush' scenario consists of 3 units of line infantry, a skirmish unit escorted by 2 units of cavalry being ambushed by the 321 units of Infantry, Cav and Arty, with the actual ambush being sprung by a small skirmish unit in the woods. The actual objective in the middle of the road could be the baggage wagons, say...

Austin and I spend the Sunday morning at our local convention, 'GongCon', playing through 3 of Philip's 4 scenarioes he has designed so far. As I lost 3 out of 3 games I don't propose to go through the games in detail, but I will say that it was an enjoyable as well as educational experience!

And it does force you to play with those arms that you perhaps, in a multi player large game situation, sometimes avoid - in my case, cavalry!


  1. Beautiful units, and great looking voltigeurs!

  2. This sounds like a great idea! I would love to see more details as they get worked out.

  3. Sounds really interesting Sparker, look forward to more on this.

  4. This is great exposure to the Black Powder rules by managing so many games in a short timespan. Those unknowns, which are considered an inconvenience in larger games and generally overlooked or house-ruled on the day, can really be nutted out in these 1-2-3 games. I like the concept and you've managed to put on an impressive little battle judging by the photos.

  5. great table and the units are amazing

  6. Hi I would like to know where we can get those scenarios, we are trying to use the 1,2,3 concept as well. Regards