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Black Powder Napoleonics

Today I am showing the 15/18mm British army I am making for Black Powder games.

Due to lack of space and money I have done something close to heresy for some wargamers - one base represents the whole unit, not a number of bases representing the unit.

An infantry corp with support. Four infantry bases represent a brigade.

One base of infantry (three figures) represents a whole Battalion, a base of cavalry (two figures) represents a whole regiment and one gun and crew is a battery.

 At the moment the majority of my figures are Eureka Miniatures, with some AB and CGM thrown in to fill the gaps in the Eureka range. I am also trying to get some Battle Honors British generals so that I can complete my command bases.

 By painting some extra units I can swap out a few units to totally reconfigure my army to represent an different Corp.

 For my Brigade command bases I am using Colonel figures with a standard. I know Brigades didn't have standards, but I wanted to add them as a bit of pomp and pageantry.

 I had to make some changes to the rules to accommodate my thinking - counters are placed next to a unit to indicate formations, and I need to use a record sheet to record morale and casualties, but this works ok.

 I still need to finish off my command, artillery and cavalry units, but I am able to field an army a lot cheaper than I could if I used the basing conventions in the Black Powder rule book, especially if I made my army in 28mm!

My Friend and I have played a number of Black Powder games, including this minimalistic approach and it works great. Being able to field a force larger than a brigade allows for tactics, defense in depth and even a reserve force is a vast improvement on Brigade level games, and we can field the armies in a smaller area.

 For the cost involved it is also feasible to build a number of armies cheaply. I am contemplating making a Bavarian and a Russian army, and I think I will put together a French army so that I always have the forces at hand to play a game.


Keith Flint said...

Interesting idea for creating an army with a restricted budget and space. I'm sure the authors would applaud you for using your initiative and creating something different.

Shelldrake said...

Thanks Keith - having a restricted budget and space really affects what I can and can't do with wargaming.

I am not sure every wargamer would agree with my use of only three figures to represent a battalion, but hey, I am able to play games of Black Powder, so I am happy :-D

cmnash said...

I prefer using smaller figures for larger games ... if that makes sense! 2 or 3 28mm figs, while looking nice, just doesn't convey the right impression to me - 8 10mm or 12 6mm gives a much better impression of numbers for 'bigger' games IMO ofc!

Shelldrake said...

It makes sense to me.

I just went with the 3 x 15/18mm figures due to a serious lack of funds and painting ability.

The good thing about what I have done is that I can add bases to each unit to increase the number of figures in each unit at a later date.

Alan Charlesworth said...

Very nice to see a bit of original thinking. Its your game and I applaud your intention to do it your own way.

I have been experimenting with 42mm figures on "15mm frontages" and distances. Units are 10/12 (2 ranks) infantry and 6 cavalry ( single rank).

Shelldrake said...

Thanks Alan.

I have become a follower of your blog in the hope you will post some photos of your 42mm figures, as your experiments sound interesting.