Saturday 1 December 2018

Another GNW Black Powder

For tonight's game we decided to use Steve's amended rules with some minor tightening up. I would be allied rather than Swedish for the first time in a while to get a different perspective on how they worked.

It was also to be a very big game for an evening.

The Allies were:

21 Battalions of Foot, 4 were designated Guard in three brigades of six and a brigade of 3
4 guns one with each Brigade
8 Regiments of Horse one brigade of five and one brigade of three

The large Brigades were meant to make them less manoeuvrable but actually made them less prone to Brigade break tests so may not do this again.

The Generals were all Average apart from my Saxon General who was Poor (and it showed)

The Danish Guard had an extra dice in Melee and first fire to make them a bit stronger.

The Saxon Guard had an extra melee dice too but had the "Platoon Fire" rule (made up) which is a re-roll of a missed firing die.
The Swedish forces were:

14 battalions of foot in 2 brigades of 3 and two brigades of 4
3 guns, one in each brigades apart from the guards
10 regiments of horse in 2 brigades of 3 and one brigade of 4

The Swedish Generals were all good apart form one which was average.

All the Swedes had ferocious Charge allowing the re-roll of missed melee dice when charging.

The Guards brigade all had a plus one on morale saves and the Grenadier Guards were all musket.
We have now got to the point where the rules have altered significantly from the originals, changes are as follow:

Fire before moving

Brigade break test when at half strength rather than automatic break.

We used Steve's amended orders roll chart, please see earlier AAR for details.

Only specified infantry can charge enemy formed infantry unless shaken or dis-ordered. Swedes are one of these troop types.

Commanders can remove casualties on the roll of a 6 for all units.

Casualty removal is after declared charges to prevent shaken units rallying and charging immediately

Swedes had 3 firing dice and Allies 4.

A charge order must be given before commencing firing.

All moving and firing distances reduced by one third (so foot march 8 inches not 12 per move)

These were most of those we apply, will mention any others I think of as we go along.

As usual a unit of Biscuits were provided, these saw more action on the allied side of the table and were virtually destroyed by the time of this picture which was only five minutes in.
Move one and the Swedish cavalry facing the Saxons on the Allied left got three moves, 36 inches of movement and they are right on my doorstep, in the basic rules they would already have over run the Saxons.

With their better commanders the Swedes move an average of two moves right along the table.

The Allies manage one or two moves per brigade and are left with their guns all still limbered as they trundle forward.

My Saxon horse decide to force conclusions with the Swedes and charge. They are quickly smashed by the Swedes who then have  a sweeping advance into the supports behind the Saxons. However as its not considered a charge the Swedes don't get their re-rolls and some good dice from the second line of Saxon horse sees the Swedes sent reeling back in dis-order behind their supports.
Next move and the Swedes press forward and both cavalry wings are now in action.  We finish moving with all guns unlimbered.

The Swedes charge again on my wing and take out a second unit of Saxons, a second sweeping advance sees the Swedes pushed back dis-ordered again. We forgot to do the brigade break test for the last Saxon horse but it wasn't to make much difference.

On the opposite wing Mark has some great dice to loose only one of his five Danish horse with another finishing the move in a draw.
See what I mean? Excellent dice from the Saxons
Next move and I have moved my supporting battalions to refuse the flank of my brigade, to my right the Swedish Guards now charge the first Danish brigade. The first melee sees a Danish battalion break but the second against the Swedish Grenadiers ends in a draw.

On the other wing a second unit of Danish horse is broken and the Swedes charge the village pushing the Danes out of it dis-ordered. The centre brigade with two Danish Guards battalions pours a devastating volley into the Swedes but not enough to stop them closing. The first Danish Guards are forced back dis-ordered but the second defeat their Swedish opponents sending them back to their own lines shaken.
Now the forces on both sides are well and truly committed. The Swedish horse pull back on the Saxon flank and begin to reform, half the guards brigade doing the same, the Grenadiers begin their second round of melee, a narrow win forces a Danish morale test which they pass. The battalion behind them wheels to charge the gun of the next brigade in flank but doesn't quite reach it, a volley form the supporting Danish battalion dis-orders the Swedish guard ensuring they cant charge home next go either.
Mark decides to be bold at this point (mad I think I called it) and charges with his Danish Guard the Swedes he had pushed back last go. The Swedes don't get their re-rolls as not charging and are only hitting on threes as they are dis-ordered, the Danes are charging so hitting on threes. Some good dice from Mark and a lack of saving throws from Andy and the first Swedish battalion is broken.

A further Danish horse unit is broken on the far flank but Mark manages to survive the Brigade break test and Andy's horse pull back to reform.,
Another move and the Grenadier Guards are fighting a third round of melee, they don't have their ferocious charge but do have an extra dice in melee and a saving throw on a 3 plus. Despite everything the Danes manage a draw again. Behind them the disordered Swedish guards fire a volley into the Danish gun and is-order it preventing it from being manhandled around to blast them at short range, however the Danish foot volley dis-orders them a second time preventing them from charging the gun next turn again. Further along Andy is re-order his forces to kick off another group of charges into the Danes but a devastating volley breaks a second battalion forcing a break tests which takes the last battalion in the brigade with it.

We are nearing the end of the night and the Grenadier Guards continue their uneven fight with the Danes, this time Steve throws a fistful of sixes which I am unable to save. However his own saving throws are also terrible and we are both forced to take a break test.
 A pair of terrible throws later and both the Grenadier Guards and the Danish opposition break and leave the table.

Its now ten pm and time to pack up. The Allies have lost six units of horse and three of foot, whilst the Swedes have lost four foot. The superiority of the Swedish horse will force the Allies to retire even if they could hold the Swedish foot in the centre which is very much in the balance.

There is still lots to play for with both sides, the Swedes have been badly mauled but still have tend intact foot battalions to carry on the fight and almost untouched 10 horse regiments.
The game has been a real success, the Swedes were able to take the fight to the Allies despite being outnumbered but the Allies till got a good game from it and stood a chance of winning right u to the end. The balance is almost there.

We discussed a couple of things we can tweak. Change firing back to two Swedish dice and three Allied.  Consider what firing dice the smaller Russian battalions get that are also 20% pike. Perhaps Jason's rule that they get two dice but a re-roll of a miss would do it.  We also discussed including the elite rule to Swedes allowing them to attempt to rally from dis-order at the beginning of a move. Both Steve and Andy felt the Swedish Stamina needed to be slightly more robust, the suggestion of crack and steady rules would resolve this, both used by Jason in his amends and in the AWI supplements for British regulars in America. I will give it some thought, we still need the allies to be able to get a game and stand a chance of beating the Swedes.

So overall a good result and I went home feeling relatively chuffed with how it came out.

Thanks to Steve for hosting and Mark and Andy putting up with my obsession around getting the rules where I want them. Nearly there gents.

I have another game with chum Chris Charlton at the East Leeds club on Sunday. We are using Black Powder with our Carlist Wars collections, probably slightly more traditional than the amends for Great Northern War but looking forward to getting those lovely Perry Miniatures on table.

So See you again soon.


  1. Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks Neil, just been and re-written the 80% of this I managed to delete so should make a bit more sense now!

  2. Looks very nice, beautiful units!


  3. Wonderful sight. These rules seem to fit better in the 18th century.

  4. Inspiring stuff. Glad you're getting to a balance, it's such an awesome period to game.

  5. Very good AAR, and yes, its seems quite close now.

    Regarding the horse, the Daneis cavalry fought well at Helsingborg (by far the most even cavalry combat of the war.
    Granted they were fighting a lesser Swedish army.
    But you might want to try and give Danish cavalry some advantage over the Saxon cavalry(which never did much good against the Swedes.) This might make the Danish a little better at fighting the Swedes in mounted combat.

    1. Cheers Truls, Tough fighters might work, a re-roll of a missed combat dice. Will add something in for the next game.

  6. Great and truly inspiring game, Roger!