Big Games Using Black Powder

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    We have been using BP for games which have used 100+ units of troops. We’ve found that this often becomes difficult to manage, whilst great to see. Has anyone made any rule adaptations for the larger games that enable the pace and flow of the game to be sustained?

    Karl Deppe

    We are usually have games with 2000 pts per side. As we are now playing BP for more than 10 years it works fine. But sometimes we have a 20 minute rule. That means, every player has just 20 minutes for his command phase. It not only speed up the game but it also reflects the stress and the insecurity in the battle. It is fun because it is a lot more action.



    Thanks Karl. That’s definitely worth a try. Is that the only ‘change’ you implement? Do you alter anything in terms of game processes?

    I was starting to think around how I could develop factors around brigades or half brigades. This would be more akin to moving blocks of troops rather than units. I was wondering if anyone else did something similar. What I want to avoid is a step towards Age of Eagles or some such similar set of rules. I want the feel of the large battle and sweeping troop movements with the BP mindset. It’s a work in progress.

    Phillip S Myers

    Perhaps you should be using lots of brigade orders rather than micromanaging battalions. That always slowed us down with Empire back in the day.

    I don’t see a way to calculate combat faster. That and picking up each unit to move is really where the time goes.



    Thanks Phillip. Much appreciated. I think I have the movement covered in that all units are on movement trays which works well for both identification and ease of play on the table. Combat wise it might be worth fighting as a brigade, rather than as individual units within the brigade. Having said that it seems using the stats for a line infantry unit for a whole brigade might be too ‘light’. I’m now thinking of importing some ‘Hail Caesar’ thinking into this. Really appreciate the comments so far as it has greatly helped me begin to outline an approach.

    Charge The Guns

    Possibly the largest wargame ever played was Waterloo last year at Glasgow University. Little Wars did a nice video about it.

    They used a modified version of BP to run their game which I think sassy a lot about its suitability for such a big game.  I think in essence, the speed things up, they left out as lot of special rules.  From our experience, the more things you have to faff about, the more it slows things down.

    I like the 20 minute idea!

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