Black Powder, but with little differences. We played this AWI game as a kind of skirmish game with 8 figure units. None of us have enough figures to do a game like this with 24 figure battalions, so I suggested a skirmish type game as I thought all the mechanics would still work. And they did. We had a great game on a 6 x 4 table.
The other thing I suggested using was the Quick Start rules from the Waterloo boxed set. This is a simple 7 page easy intro to the game and was perfect for what I wanted to do. We were all rusty on the rule mechanisms as we'd not played BP for a long time.
The scenario we chose was Freeman's Farm from the BP rulebook. Here are the British on the road. In the distance are the British skirmishers being surprised by the Americans emerging from the woods. And, to my eye, this looks fine as a game of BP.
And here are the first American die rolls, needing 4+ to hit. Hilarious.
The British advance over the river. The British advancing along the road have hits and are disordered. The Americans in front have hits. The British are about to take their break test.
And some time later the British advance over the river in the opposite direction. The British attempt to move around the left of the wood may show some success.
Same view from a different angle. Near the back of the table are Americans who showed an amazing ability to fail their command rolls.
On the British left flank, three American units are advancing while the Hessians on the road stand and watch.
At the end of the night is was looking like an American victory. It was a great game, and to the chaps who played, the game played well and looked well.
We'll return to this simple version of BP again and probably with the same size units. Though next time we may try the full BP rules.
The other thing that's come out of the game, is my decision to keep my 28mm plastic Italians and Waterloo box set and my own AWI/imagin-nations stuff.
The reason behind this is a couple of weeks back I had a game of Sharp Practice 2. I've never really taken to SP and while the game was OK, I just got fed up of the writing style and trying to find stuff in the rules. And to me, the SP rules are not well written. I seemed to spend more time figuring out how many actions this officer or unit could perform and checking charts and tables than I did playing the game. I came away from the game somewhat down-hearted and thought about selling off my 28mm stuff.
But then my mind turned to Black Powder and what I regard as the elegant simplicity of it's mechanisms. There seemed to be no reason not to play this as a skirmish style game with smaller units. And it worked. Particularly with the Quick Start rules. And so I'm happy and looking forward to another game, and I'm going to keep my 28mm figures.
As a final note to fellow gamers, if you have or can get the BP Quick Start rules, try to have a game as a skirmish. It's great fun, and the rules need minimal tweaks.
And a note to Warlord Games; please consider doing a skirmish version (or supplement) of Black Powder using the Quick Start rules as the basis. It may not sell a lot of figures, but as an intro to BP for those without huge armies, it would be great.