A few weeks ago we played our first game of Black Powder by Warlord Games. We had so much fun with Hail Caesar the week before we decided to give BP a shot the next weekend.
Lonnie and Ethan took on the role of the Poor Benighted Heathen. Dave and I played the forces of the Queen.
We played the scenario out of the BP core rules which covers the Battle of El Teb. The Brits have 8 turns to cross the length of the table and occupy the town of El Teb. A wadi or dry river bed is the main terrain feature with hills between the wadi and town. The Fuzzys win if they deny the British the town.
8 turns may seem like a very short time frame to cover that distance but in BP if you roll a good command roll you can move up to 3 times in one turn. Which would be a total of 36" for foot troops.
To complicate matters the Fuzzys were able to deploy up to half their army in hidden positions
The Fuzzys didn't wait long to spring their ambush. Rising from their hiding place on the British left flank the Beja begin to boil out of a palm grove and the wadi behind. (bad scouting on the british behalf)
As things look bleak for the unprepared British left the right has advanced to the wadi and found it empty.
As the British left appears to be in great peril the fun but frustrating command activation rides in to save the day. The Beja spring their ambush and stand perfectly still as their commander dithers about unsure of what to do. (Ethan failed his command roll) This gives the Brits the breathing room to unlimber and redeploy to meet the threat to the flank.
The British left ineptly led by yours truly suffered from numerous command issues including blowing my roll to redeploy my units to face the threat to the flank. Thankfully the authors of the rules had me in mind when they gave troops with in 12" of the enemy the ability to make one move without rolling.
With the British left redeployed and the cannon unlimbered the initial Beja charge was stopped cold by combined artillery and rifle fire. The unit of Beja facing the artillery charged but failed to close. While its partner unit closed against fully supported Yorks and Lancs regiment.
Since time was of the essence and the left flank appeared to be holding firm, the British commander decided to deny the Beja and push on to El Teb.
On the right the British Naval brigade with support from 2 Garder guns gave good fire to the Ansar holding the hills overlooking the wadi.
In this next photo our war corespondent risked life and limb as he ventured to the Fuzzy side of the table for a view from their angle.
Recovering from their initial shock at the fire power of the British left flank the Fuzzy's renewed their assault. With a little encouragement from Beja spears, the already shaky Yorks and Lancs were quick to retire without orders, taking the artillery with them. The hole left could only be describe as gaping. This quick turn of events left the British reeling with only the Kings Rifles and a battalion of 2nd rate Egyptians standing between the Beja and the British rear.
You will note the offending dice in the foreground. Who knew a 5 was so bad for a morale test?
While the left was in trouble the the cavalry on the right went head to heat with Ansar camels in an effort to push through to El Teb.
With some amazing command and control Dave was able to redeploy part of the attack force from the right flank to the left in an attempt to stem the tide of the dervish.
Your war correspondent fleeing for his life missed the demise of the Egyprtian unit on the left, suffice it to say it was not a gallant stand.
The Egyptian cavalry victorious against the Ansar camels rides on to attack the last unit of Ansar horse between them and the village of El Teb.
The weight of numbers and the low morale in whats left of the brigade holding the left force the gray jackets of the Kings rifles to fall back leaving the releaving forces form the Right flank exposed.
The remaing troops of the right flank fight valantly but the writting is on the wall. Its a bad day for the forces of the empire.
Besides having a terrible dice rolling day I really enjoyed the game. Lots of ebb and flow. Even thought I was rolled over it always felt like there was a chance. The other thing I loved is that its not a wog stomp game. I think it does a great job of reflecting the technology of the Europeans (i love th way they do Gardner gun) but at the same time the ferocity of the natives.
Great game, great day.. Great group of guys.. Dave I am sorry you were saddled with me. Lonnie and Ethan congrats on well executed plan.