Now before I start, can I say I haven't completed reading the new set but John and I did fight our first game today using the new rule book so I can comment about how it went.
John based the inaugural game on one of the new scenarios in the book, The Battle of Elixheim from the War of Spanish Succession, except it was a much bigger battle. We dont do small.
So each side in the game had five foot brigades and three cavalry brigades using John's lovely 10mm Malburian armies.
I was in command of the French [naturally] John had an Austro-British army.
The battle itself was a tense affair with all of the foot initially not on the table and one needing to throw a dice to activate them.
To speed things along a bit, John had deployed blinds for his three cavalry brigades allowing me to put mine down where I felt they would be most effective.
The crafty beggar had put two brigades on his right wing facing just one of my cavalry brigades and the Austrian cuirassier brigade on his left wing facing another of my cavalry brigades. So my third cavalry brigade of Bavarian cuirassiers which I placed in the centre was facing nothing!
As for the five brigades, in the new book they mention a very simple but neat idea whereby tokens are used per brigadier. So in this battle, one of my brigades had 2 tokens, ie +2 to their command dice roll, then 3,4,4 and 5 tokens for each of the other brigadiers.
To activate the brigade and be able to bring it on you have to get under the command score, ie the brigadier with 5 tokens who would normally be an 8 is reduced to a command score of 3 or less! to activate the brigade. If you fail you remove one token which means next time you would need a throw of 4 or less to activate the commander. It means nothing is certain and it worked really well. Needless to say my brigades were tawdry getting into battle whereas John's did okay.
Having now played our first game I would recommend that any players using the new rules keep their original copy close by because of the errors that are evident in the new rules.
The new rule book looks lovely as is to be expected given who has produced it and contains the inevitable and wonderful eye candy we all enjoy.
Sadly I spotted the first error on page 19 which was an image of some nice Napoleonic Chasseur a Cheval but which were identified in the text as 'dashing French Napoleonic cuirassiers.'
Okay it doesnt affect the rules but sadly it was a sign of things to come.
They have changed that rule and introduced the use of ADC'S who act as a proxy C in C. One can ignore this and move the General into control distance of a brigade he wants to influence, but we used the idea of an ADC being sent to a Brigade to help the units move. Now only one brigade per move can be 'helped' and what it now entails is the ability to re roll a failed command by the Brigadier. Again I like the new rule although there is no actual movement rate provided for them which again made us use a house rule. [cavalry speed]
John and I are very experienced wargamers who have used Black Powder since they were originally released so we will know when the mistakes rear their heads. But God help a newcomer to these new rules.
Finally [thank God they say] another bugbear is there is no basic points system included in BP2, which suggests that there will be a rash of further books that will cover specific periods which is fine up to a certain extent but smacks of a little bit of greed and exploitation.
Surely the original points system could have been retained in this new book to allow opponents to have a balanced night game.
As for our game, I lost, but for all the right reasons and not because of some anomaly in the new rules.
So 6 out of 10. Must try harder in presentation and clarity.