I went down to club this past weekend for an epic game of Black Powder, recreating the battle of Fort Donelson, which took place in February 1862 and turned out to be one of the more important battles of the American Civil War.
The game was set up by club chairman Jesper, who owns an impressive collection of 28 mm ACW miniatures and also sports an knowledge of the conflict that is second to none. As I myself am woefully ignorant both about the period and this particular conflict, it’s always a pleasure to be able to participate in this type of event – you come away feeling both entertained, inspired and educated. Not bad for a Saturday afternoon!
For this game we were five players (Jesper umpired the whole thing), using no less than three 6×4 tables to create a massive battlefield, which not only included the fort and the surrounding countryside but also trenches, a river and an Ironclad. Using both Jesper’s own and Sören‘s excellent miniatures, the battle was recreated through a fairly in-depth scenario, with 16 rounds and a small number of special rules amendments that served to capture the flavor of the battle.
As Jesper will probably post a more detailed AAR on his own blog, and also because I’m admittedly a bit lost when it comes to the names of the commanders and regiments involved, I won’t do a “real” AAR here, but just post some of the highlights of the day.
Great fun overall, even if the side I played on happened to lose. As I said, I’ve not generally been into this period, but a great game is a great game.
Also, I was reminded of how good a system Black Powder actually is – due to the heavy focus on shooting and artillery, everything flows fast and easy and there are no long, grinding melee combats. This particular game, with five players and a lot of models on the table, was finished in just over two hours.
I had so much fun that I’m actually thinking about starting an ACW project, but in 6mm obviously. Because even if 28mm armies look good and all, 6mm is undeniably better for truly epic battles with thousands of miniatures on the table – in short, the kind of battles that a game like Black Powder was written for.
I’ll probably succumb to this temptation some time in the future, after I’ve finished my current 6mm ancients projects. And I won’t even have to feel particularly guilty about giving in; one of the great things about 6mm is that new projects can be started on a whim without breaking the bank, or having you tied up with one single painting project for a year or so.
We’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, stay tuned for some more project logs coming up!