Through the power of the internet,I met and invited Mark Dudley from Leeds up for a SYW game. Mark had never used Blackpowder and was interested to try them.
Anyway on Sunday Mark arrived in company with Tim [ more about Tim later] for a battle.
I had invited over Paul Stevenson to balance the game, and John very kindly offered to come up,to umpire [read interfere ] and provide a scenario.
Paul was C in C of the Austro French armies. Tim was C in C of the Hanoverian Hessian armies.
Now Tim reckoned that he was an unlucky wargamer and never seemed to be able to throw the right dice at the relevant times. I should have known he was a ringer,but I digress.
Due to John's scenario, lots were drawn out of the hat to give the commanders of each side various extra characteristics. Paul very kindly landed the French with one hesitant commander and one timid commander!
The Austrians were endowed with heroic status,and launched themselves at Tim's, Hessians.
Mark,true to Black powder form couldnt really get his command to move as he wished,well not to start with.
Me, true to French ethos, dug in around the outskirts of a village,hoping to shoot Mark's command to bits,which to be fair is not my usual game,but I was playing host as well.Everything was running well for the Austrian attack,the cavalry advanced at will,and the infantry rolled forward.
Tim managed to throw sixes at will causing the Austrian centre to slow down into a slogging match.The Hessian cavalry,although made up only of dragoons and hussars,not only hung on,but broke the Austrian cuirassier command. In an effort to help I issued follow me orders,and sent my cuirassiers across to finally tip the balance.Wrong. What happened was that Tim's dragoon command forced them to retire,leaving the wing in stalemate.
Realising that I needed to force the issue,the French infantry were ordered to advance and keep the Hanoverians engaged.Well that's what was intended,what happened was that the best French infantry sat about as the Hanoverian cavalry swept around into the centre of the table,to confront my by now battered French line.
[In an effort to halt the Hanoverian advance,my Arquebussier du Grassin, waved a flag furiously,before being ridden over]
Once the line had routed, Mark very kindly followed with the rest of his cavalry command,no half measures there then. All I could do,was offer to make the tea,in an effort to slow down proceedings until night time.
All Paul and I could do was gracefully accept defeat,and allow the Hessian/Hanoverian army gloating rights. Sometimes nothing goes right,and becomes enjoyable in a sadistic sort of way.
As a game I thought it was great, I hope Mark, Tim and Paul,enjoyed it. Black powder again showed itself to be a fun set of rules. I voted Tim man of the match,but will check his dice next time.
Thanks to John for the scenario, and kindly dumping me with two surrender loving French commanders.
To cheer myself up after such a defeat,I think its only fair to display my latest re painted French unit,which luckily I didnt include in the defeat.
[ Maker still unknown.]
''Vive la France''