Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Freeman's Farm Mark II

After the experiment with the "Black Powder" (BP) rules a few weeks ago, we decided to try the same scenario with the  'British Grenadier' (BG) rule set.  The troops were set up in the same way, three brigades per side and we used the same terrain.
When we started moving the units one advantage of BG became apparent, there was none of the rather eccentric moves which had occurred with BP.  The distance moved was not guaranteed, but at least units did move, even if they sometimes became entangled.  Units in line were twice as likely to pick up disorder markers  (by throwing a one), as those in column and militia units were twice as likely to pick up disruption markers (by throwing a one or two) as regular troops.  These markers could be removed by the unit remaining stationary; so immediately the commander has to make a decision whether to keep advancing or dress the line.  Brigades are allocated orders at the beginning of the game, but these can be changed in the light of events (if you throw high dice, that is).
Units only begin to suffer casualties once they have three disorder markers, so two regular units standing at long range exchanging volleys are unlikely to achieve a decisive result.

The rules reward properly planned co-ordinated attacks by several units and the maintenance of good order.  That being said the element of chance is always present.  Both sides committed themselves to a cavalry charge against an isolated infantry unit.  In one case the dice decided that the British infantry were so unnerved by the American horse that their volley was totally ineffective and the resulting melee ended with the British routing. When the British cavalry charged the American volley emptied 25% of the saddles and the shaken horse lost their impetus and the melee.  Just for good measure they were hit by another volley as they fell back.

In the post game discussion BG seemed to be the preferred set, though I think that a few more games will be needed to make sure that we grasp all the basics of the rules.

Painting figures has taken a back seat after the rush to get units ready for the Borodino game; but I have managed to finish these TAG Russian artillerymen I picked up at the Gauntlet show.

Over the weekend we visited a Heritage Open Day event and watched a living history demo by the Sealed Knot.  The 'Knot' did a superb job getting the youngsters interested in history.


  1. I like seeing AWI fig's in action. Interesting reading the views on BP V BG. I'm a great fan of BP and lean more to BG for a better game.