Monday, May 27, 2013

Black Powder ACW 5/26/13 Part 1

 Yesterday, several friends and I met at Crusader's Retreat for a big American Civil War game using Black Powder.  We have been planning this game for several weeks.  We wanted to step this up from our last game in December.  More players, more table, more figures, more everything.  I think we pulled it off.

Part one is about the table.  We used a 12'x6' table for this game.  There was a river cutting diagonally across about a third of the table.  Roughly in the center of the table was a road with a Y intersection.  At the intersection was a small village.  The arms of the Y encircled a large hill.  There was also a second road that branched off the main road.

Each end of the table had woods and hills.  Scattered across the table were fields and fences.  I really think the table looked great and was a step up from our first game.  Take a look at the pictures below.

One thing I have heard players (or potential players) express is a concern about the potentially rapid movement in the game.  I believe this is a legitimate concern but it is an issue that is easy to manage in the game.  First of all, use a big table if you can.  This alone will fix most movement issues.  Second, use lots of terrain and make movement penalties for much of it.  In this game we allowed formed units in the woods but only at half move and only one move.  This meant that an unit in the woods would be severely impacted on movement.  We basically used the same rules for the river.  The bridge was treated as road and only units in march column could use it.  The ford was considered open ground but, again, only march columns could use it.  The large number of fences and walls also slowed movement considerably. 

Stay tuned for part 2 where we will discuss the forces.


John Lambshead said...

Ace game. I use cm rather than inches for my games of BP as I'm on a small table. You are playing it as the designer intended.

Jerry said...

Great looking table!

Tom O said...

Good pictures Robert; I'll be posting mine shortly.

Tom O

Dagreenskins said...

That was a fun table to play on, even thou I didn't move that much.

Scottswargaming said...

Looks good. I do like big tables full of terrain, and agree, BP plays better on such large tables...

Bart Vetters said...

Looks great! We also struggled with the big movement distances and unpredictability of movement in BP. These are our solutions:

- Use a big table (ours is 8x6, which for BP barely classifies as big)
- Even for the big table, use reduced distances - we play with 2/3rds of the distances as written
- We modify the command rules: no triple moves allowed, except for a Follow Me! order. Any command roll 2 or more below the needed number gives you two moves, not three

We find that those three together give a game that has enough of the sweeping maneuvring to give a good game, yet also enough predictability to not leave players frustrated. YMMV of course :)