Saturday 4 March 2017

28mm ACW Black Powder game

Bob came over for a ACW Black powder game the other week.

I set up a scenario whereby a Confederate Brigade was holding a farm on the main road. 

They were outnumbered by 3 Union brigades including a Zouave brigade. Waiting to come to their support was a large Confederate force which would even the forces.  The Union also had a small brigade off table. Bob rolled for when my reinforcement would arrive and I diced for his.  The result was that his came on in move 2 and mine in move 4. 

Bob's Union Forces.

My Confederate forces

Bob won the initiative.  We reduced movement from inches to centimetres to control some of the large moves that can happen.

The Zouaves  decided that it was too early and didn't move, but had a think about it!

On my far left Bob's brigade swept forward to the edge of the stream by the corn field. 

In the centre there was a slightly slower advance.  There wasn't much for me to do except open fire with my artillery which hit one of the Black Hat regiments forcing them into disorder and opened fire with my hidden skirmishers in the cornfield inflicting casualties and stopping one regiment.   I deployed these before Bob arrive, took a picture to show their location and then removed the figures, to ensure the surprise!

The next move saw the Zouaves on the move and brigade on the stream fail to move. In the centre Bob's remaining Black Hats closed for a fire fight.

Both sides inflicted casualties in the centre in an inconclusive exchange.  

On the left the weight of shot caused made me voluntarily withdraw my skirmishers before they could take too much punishment.

The next move saw Bob's reserves enter the table.  He chose to bring them on on his right, my left.  Fortunately for me they didn't seem that keen and inched (centimetred) forward.

At last the Zouaves were in the game and making an impact my right hand brigade was heavily outnumbered they held for two rounds before half the brigade was destroyed.

In the meantime my Louisiana Brigade moved onto the table. Their first move resulted in a double 6 Blunder Test!  Fortunately, it only resulted in one move to the front. The skirmishers rallied and moved forward.


Bob in turn was faced with a Blunder Test for his centre brigade.  This left one of his Black Hat regiments charging down the face of my artillery and into disaster. 

The fire fight and artillery fire tipped the balance and the Black Hat brigade lost 2 of it's four regiments and fell back.

The Zouave brigade swarmed across the river supported by an artillery battery and watched by their commander.

On my left flank it was turning into a stalemate with the reserves cancelling out one another.

But the Zouaves were making all the difference..  Having beaten back Bob's centre my right flank having collapsed all I had was my artillery battery.  They fired but failed to stopped the Zouaves who swarmed into the Farm before I could reorganise my forces.

All that was left was to concede defeat.  We had a really enjoyable game which lasted a lot of moves, but because it was touch and go for a while it didn't seem like it.

The Barn, and all the fences were scratch built by Jack (Jacklex) Alexander.  Most of the figures are Perry's with one Black Hat regiment from Old Glory, the other Black Hats being conversions made by Jack. The Zouave skirmishers are some conversions I did before Perry's bought out their plastic Zouaves. 


  1. I was done with Black Powder after my second game with them, being on the receiving end of a treble- or quadruple- move cavalry charge which couldn't possibly have actually happened. Maybe centimetres rather than inches would have made a difference, but it was a bad example of playing the rules not the game and left me with no interest in them

    1. I can see how that can happen with these rules. I guess Bob and I have been wargamming together for such a long time that it's more about enjoying the game than 'gamesmanship' which can leave a bad taste even if you are watching it happen in someone else's game let alone being on the receiving end. With even a triple move in centimetres Bob couldn't fly across the table as can happen, leaving you thinking 'this is mad they would have come under fire before now'. We tend to take a view about such circumstances based on what is happening on the table. If we can't agree or aren't completely sure we just do a 50/50 dice roll and abide by the outcome.

  2. Very enjoyable - thanks, I am going back into the post to read it again!

    What sized table are you using there?

    In the Glory Hallelujah supplement, they have a rule that a unit that makes one move can still fire, but anything that moves either twice or three times cannot, that seems to be a popular rule. I have never really had a problem with the big move (though use centimetres) as the dynamic is a good offset against the number of times that units totally fail orders, it certainly mixes things up and takes some control away from the players, which I think is a good thing overall.

    1. Hi Norm,

      Many thanks for taking the time to comment. I am glad you enjoyed the game. We played on my dinning room table which is 7' by just under 4'. The centimetre rather than inches move made it bigger if you get my point. I am with you I think it works better.
      I bought the pdf of Glory Hallelujah when if was on offer and gave up trying to find the changes after page 50! I know they are there. The two or three moves I have heard of before. I'll just have to go back and keep ploughing through to find the bits in Glory Hallelujah. Thanks for the tips.

  3. Thanks Jay, glad you like it and thanks also for taking the time to comment.