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This week, we’re taking a look at one of the defining moments in American history, a war that would change the face of the continent forever. If you’ve been itching to get into Black Powder, there are few better places to start than the American War of Independence!

In 1765, a massive gulf was growing between Great Britain and its American colonies. Punitive taxation and a series of bitter disputes over legislation escalated toward open revolt in 1773, following the destruction of a tea shipment in Boston Harbour. This was followed by a series of even more draconian measures including a blockade of Boston Harbour and punitive taxation.

As unrest began to ferment across the 13 colonies, the respective colonial governments formed a continental congress to coordinate the resistance to effectively seize power.

Political discontent blossomed into open warfare when a British attempt to disarm the Massachusets militia at Lexington and Concord erupted into a storm of musketry and the firing of the shot that would be heard around the world.

The revolution got off to a rocky start with a protracted siege around Boston and defeat at the battle of Bunker Hill. Despite the stalemate, freshly-minted General George Washington helped to drive the British from New England and back into their bases in Nova Scotia.

From his base in Halifax, Nova Scotia, General Howe gathered his army of British regulars and Hessian mercenaries and launched an offensive against New York and New Jersey, successfully capturing the city before suffering catastrophic defeats at Trenton and Princeton.

A separate British offensive was launched from Quebec under General Burgoyne, aiming to gain control of the Hudson River valley. Poor supply lines and stiff resistance led to a British defeat at Saratoga in October 1777.

The defeat at Saratoga had consequences that were felt across the world. The precarious position of the British in North America encouraged their old enemies in Europe to join the fight alongside the American rebels, with both the French and Spanish empires committing troops and naval vessels to the war.

In 1780, both the Kingdom of Mysore and the Dutch Netherlands would also declare war on Great Britain, spreading the conflict to the Indian sub-continent.

While war raged around the globe, in North America, the British had changed tack and launched an offensive into the heart of the deep south, capturing Savannah before advancing to the Carolinas. While on paper, the British won some decisive victories over the Franco-American forces, they were taking casualties at an unsustainable rate.

Defeats at King’s Mountain and Cowpens forced British General Cornwallis to retreat behind the fortifications at Yorktown, where another protracted siege began. Cut off by the French navy, and with no hope of escape, Cornwallis surrendered to the Comte de Rochambeau in October 1781, bringing the American War of Independence to a close.

The American War of Independence in Black Powder 2

If you’ve been inspired to pick up the stars and stripes and take on King George, the best place to start is with the fantastic Rebellion! supplement. Not only does it come with a free Continental officer model, but it contains a wealth of background information and picked scenarios for recreating the key battles of the war.


It’s also packed full of army lists, uniform painting guides and ancillary detail to bring the period to life. The book is an essential resource to anyone wanting to set games during the American War of Independence.


We have a spectacular range of figures for the American War of Independence, covering both sides of the conflict. Our plastic sets cover the British Regulars and their Hessian Allies, Continental Regulars and militia units for both sides, and war parties of native Americans to support both armies.

The British and Continental starter armies are a perfect starting point, with a good range of plastic infantry units and artillery support. The models are suitable for any and all periods of the war, and give you a wide range of options when assembling them.

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For those of you looking for something truly spectacular, consider picking up the Liberty or Death! battle set, which comes with a grand total of 282 infantry models, 3 mounted officers and 3 cannons. Split between two people, this gives you a large British and a large Continental army each.

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Get Black Powder 2!

Grab a copy of Block Powder from our webstore today, complete with a free Lucky Jack miniature!

Black Powder 2nd Edition and Lucky Jack miniature

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Tom Mecredy
Tom spends most of his time buying books and painting miniatures. He enjoys putting animals on the bases of his miniatures and half-finishing side projects. Some say that he lives in a tower on top of some windswept northern hill with his wife and cow-patterned cat, Spaghetti.