I took a lazy approach to last nights club night, I tend to do now and again as I work in the shop all day, drawing maps and then run about daft trying to sort everything out in half an hour. So I texted Andy and was told there was a Black Powder American War of Independence game on but Rob was not coming, I booked a couple of slots for Simon and I. When we turned up Rob was there and it was Stuart running a 'Land of the Free' game, not BP.
The game was a trial for the rules, published by Osprey, of course. It was probably a tad large for a first game but the troops looked nice, I especially liked Stuart's resplendent redcoats with their large yellow flags. I was not the British for a change in this game, I just happened to be sat where the 'enemy' was setting up, so I took two French 'groups', I was also given the job of CinC while harbouring thoughts of a poisoned chalice.
The game did not really get very far, new rules and one player had to leave half way through but there was enough action to get an overall feel of what the rules were aiming to achieve. Fast play for big battles I think is the idea, you get so many movement and combat actions to spend with each unit, once these are done you move on to the next one. If you time things correctly you can deliver a devastating blow to the enemy lines which the poor sods can do nothing about, so it is a brutal set of rules, the combat mechanics are very simple, perhaps too simple if you do not like your battles in broad strokes. We also have yet another initiative system, this time each side activates a group at a time until all the groups on both sides have had a turn, no big deal for me because everything gets a turn.
By the time we called a draw we were getting the hang of movement and firing, no doubt there is more to the rules, there has to be as the book is not the usual small Osprey offering but a large, hardback tome, complete with advanced rules and scenarios, it is also a decent price for these days. No, I won't be starting a new period.
I surprised Julian when he turned up and challenged him on his selling off of his Late Roman troops, the nucleus of an army, Julian is to wargaming what Del Boy is to Trotters Inc. He explained some complex wheeling and dealing which netted him a full cowboy town and the troops to start an Early Imperial Roman army with the cash he garnered from the sale, he can now sell some of his own cowboy town, no, I don't get it either.
Julian's trading acumen also benefitted Ryan who was spotted with a very large bag of Victrix Greek cavalry and a smaller one of archers. I am told the cavalry can be Macedonian, Successor or Greek, I have no idea of the differences but that must be an excellent selling point, I had a quick look inside the bag and the figures and horses especially looked excellent.
I wonder if metal figures will become a thing of the past, if plastic keeps targetting the main troop types i.e. hoplites, legionaries etc. will that mean the metal firms will not survive merely selling support troops while their core troops sit on the shelf made redundant by plastic. You cannot fault the excellence and price of most or all of the plastic figures, interesting times ahead. I wonder what the actual economics are for the manufacturers between metal and plastic.
Stuart, who ran the game last night, as well as buying everything connected with wargaming is the proud owner of a 3D printer. I noticed little white Y shapes on the table and wondered what they were for. As units got ready to move these little 45 degree thingys were popped on to the base, they show the angle clearly and immediately, what a superb idea with a myriad uses. Well done that man.