David Bickley's Wargames Blog

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

Thursday 7 December 2023

Back to Black

Things have been a bit slow on the hobby front here in GHQ since the last entry. Seasonal stuff, compounded by a back back strain, has left little enthusiasm for painting or gaming. Finally on Monday I felt I might manage the rigours of rolling dice and moving little chaps about in GHQ and Paul obliged by turning up for a rerun of our Peninsular War battle but using Black Powder as the rules. Moreover he took all the pictures which follow. I hope you enjoy our efforts ~

British Light Dragoons from my Foundry War of 1812-15 collection and Trent Miniatures from my FRW collection.
Paul's French Brigade of Front Rank, Victrix and Perry Miniatures screened by some Trent Miniatures FRW Light Infantry.
French Hussards and Dragoons from Trent Miniatures.
British Rifles from my War of 1812-15 screen the Line Infantry advancing to meet the Frenchies!
Trent Miniatures Napoleon and ADC acting as a Brigade Command stand.
French HQ & Baggage Train, various manufacturers but mostly Perry Miniatures.
Foundry British infantry brigade lead by Highlanders from my Pendawar collection.
Paul's French Chasseurs à Cheval clash with my Front Rank King's Dragoon Guards. Plastics v metal, no surprise then at the outcome...
Massed cavalry on the flank dominated much of the battle. The British Heavy Cavalry took the brunt of the early action leaving the Lights to rampage against the French centre.
And here it is, the French centre deploying into Line to bring firepower to bear in support of the Attack Columns out of shot.
The Chasseurs reform and clash with the Scots Greys. More metal v plaaastic...
While the second regiment of Chasseurs clash with the Dragoons!
In the centre the British infantry prepare to fire on the advancing French.
Undeterred by slight losses the French charge home against the British line!
The British break and flee for the rear pdq! 
The French triumph is halted as they form square in response to the threat from the British Light Cavalry. While the artillery in support teaters on the brink of breaking!
The French drive off the British Rifles and prepare to assault the Highlanders!
Masses of British infantry are so far uncommitted to action.
"Follow Me!" The Light Brigade Commander leads his men in a daring charge between the French squares to assault the French artillery on the high ground behind their centre. (We got the firing from the squares wrong with hindsight which might have altered the outcome of the melee!) The cavalry failed to charge home as a result of fire!
On the French right massed columns advanced on the British left. Was this too late to turn the battle for the French?
Back in the centre firefights between the opposing lines sees casualties and disorder mount steadily. Who will break first we wondered?
The British centre still looks secure despite the loss of two battalions. One more reverse though and it will be Broken...
And there it goes as another battalion breaks and flees past the C-in-C!
The Light Cavalry also breaks and it's commander pays the ultimate price, struck down by a French musket ball!
With three of it's five Brigades Broken the British army yields the field to it's French opponents. 
Brief Victory earlier in the conflict with the Scots Greys seeing of the French Chasseurs!
The Light Dragoons charged the Disordered French square! Appalling dice plus the +3 for the outcome of infantry in square v cavalry sees them driven off and broke the brigade!
General De Gornalé received the news of his victory!
The French advance to claim the field! Vivé L'Empereur!
All up for General Bykleigh in Turn 6! Early successes on the right fell away as the Dice Gods deserted to the French! I am inspired by these game to consider a small Spanish force next year, once the Crimean War figures are finished of course!


  1. It's good to hear you're feeling better.
    Another fantastic game,and very enjoyable write up.

  2. Good old Black Powder and well done Paul for capturing the action so precisely. Hope your back is quickly sorted.

    I have Warlord Games light infantry on the painting sticks, so I was looking at yours for some painting inspiration :-)

    Nice collection.

    1. Meant to say my Wargamers’ Annual 2024 landed yesterday, better than last years I thought.

    2. I'm on the mend Norm, slow but sure!

    3. My copy arrived Monday. At first glance not overly impressed.

  3. A grand looking game, etchings and finely painted toys on show there gentlemen.

  4. Happy to hear your getting back on track and as ever lovely looking gaming table!


  5. It was a fine clash, with plenty of fun and banter along the way... once again, it was a privlidge to be invited along to GHQ, and to take part in such a great game! Black powder rarely fails to provide drama, and this was no exception. Thorughly enjoyed, learned a lot, Great day!

    1. Kind sentiments much appreciated, looking forward to 'the Blue and the Gray' in January.

  6. A cracking looking game David…
    The Spanish would be a lovely colourful addition to your collection… They might even bring you lucky dice 😁

    All the best. Aly

  7. Splendid stuff David and an inspiring show of figures. I too have been thinking about Spanish but perhaps not for a while ?

  8. Many thanks for your stalwart support Matt, much appreciated. I must finish my Crimean War project first before I recruit Manuel & chums!

  9. A fine looking game David …
    A well earned second place… Maybe the dice gods will look more kindly upon some Spanish allies…

    All the best. Aly

    1. Second place? I like the positive spin! Spanish allies a good way off though, Crimean War figures still to tackle!

  10. What a splendid looking game, but those perfidious dice obviously deprived our brave boys victory! Glad to hear you're on the mend. The annual I 'won' at a show and whilst nice to read, I would not buy a copy, rather spending my hard earned shekels on some second hand books which I would appreciate more.