David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Friday, 9 January 2015

The Dawn's Early Light

Or the Battle of Walton Hill. Jon and I managed, finally, to get ourselves into the same time slot and manage a game {no mean feat if you have been following the Blog in recent months!} I set up a small Black Powder AWI game in which Jon, as Lord Walton, found his force of Hessians, Light Dragoons and Tarleton's Legion cavalry surprised in camp by a dawn attack lead by that stalwart of the Revolution, old 'Independence or Death' Bykleigh!The Crown's force starts in camp, while the Americans are off the table in four Brigades, each attempting to enter the table from four possible entry points by a random dice throw in each turn. As there are only ten turns in the game the American player, yours truly, must press home the attack with vigour, rather than wait for the whole force to assemble ~ I had no choice really, as Brigades arrived over several turns, and from the two opposite sides of the table, meaning Jon faced a piecemeal attack, but on two fronts, from a superior number of troops. The American cause was further complicated by having a CinC who only entered the table with the final Brigade to arrive and had a Command rating of 7, while his Brigade commanders had a rating of 6! The game went to the wire, but Jon held three of the four objectives at the end of Turn 10 and so had a winning draw. A few pictures of the action as it unfolded will tell the story more fully ~
Two American Brigades, with Artillery support, attack
from the right Flank.

Two further Brigades, eventually, attack frontally.

The American's flank attack is a failure in the main.

Although one Regiment seizes Walton Hill and fights off a counter attack.

A desultory firefight fails to bring a result in the frontal attack.

The 3rd New York beat off the Hessian attack!

Lord Walton seems unworried by the din of battle!

His cavalry take position to sweep around the American flank.

A sad sight for old 'Independence or Death' Bykleigh...

Although my table in GHQ is only 6'6" x 4' we find Black Powder work quite well, mostly because the cavalry elements of both armies are quite small ~ in fact we often have games with none at all. We like the uncertain nature of command in the rules, it makes it a greater challenge I find to coordinate the attack or defence and try to win the game. The rules flow well and with a little preparation to troops can have their nature crafted to reflect their historical forebears. For those interested the figures are mostly Front Rank, from my collection, supplemented by some Perry Miniatures. The buildings and tents are from Architectural Heritage and were crafted by Dave Paddock originally. The vegetation is from The Last Valley. Phil and I made the fences around the fields in the days of yore! The camp extras are from Foundry and Irregular Miniatures.
So, no wins yet in 2015! On to Monday's FRW game with Phil! I can but hope...


  1. Grand little report and pics, I will endeavour to ensure that you maintain your record for 2015 on Monday.

    1. I don't think I will need much help on that score, Phil!

  2. Very nice looking set up. Will definitely be trying Black Powder rules this year in one form or the other.

    1. Thanks, Matt! BP has much to recommend it I still think.

  3. Very nice looking game! I really enjoy Black Powder, but we do play it with some tweeks, but the rules are ideal for creating house rules without falling apart.


    1. Thanks, Christopher! Black Powder was made to tweak, so flexible we find!