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Well to prove Connard right I will disagree with him on almost every point. Well, not about the Front Rank, they are gorgeous figures, especially the new ‘Reinforcements’ range!

To be honest I haven’t played Lasalle, I was put off just by reading the rules. And thats not to say I’m not a Sam Mustafa groupie, I love his Maurice and Longstreet rules and am quietly confident that his Blucher Napoleonic Operational rules will be the industry standard for strategic games. But I didn’t think Lasalle brought anything new to the evolution of rules, apart perhaps from some elegant artillery effects.

Whereas Black Powder somehow manages to combine fast play, and the management of large battles that this allows, with delivering an authentic feel of the horse and musket period, whilst allowing the play to concentrate on tactics and battle management during the game.

Thats not to say there is a lot of work involved before the game, in setting troop stats, selecting scenario specific rules, and so on – there is! But because its all done before the game – or taken from one of the various supplements, once you step up to the plate its all plain sailing, so that the only frustration comes from the action and your troops’ reactions – which is how it should be!

So what is revolutionary about Black Powder – there are several things: a simple and effective ‘friction of war’ mechanism that allows your troops to either thumb their nose at your orders, or go off on a mad cap charge you didn’t order, coupled with slightly more complex mechanism to model commander characteristics if you choose; the ability to close to engagement range very fast, which allows large scale battalion level games such as Borodino (at a 50% Orbat ratio) to be completed in a day; and the selection of add-on special rules to allow you to put together a very period, army and campaign specific set of rules for your given battle.

As an example, I have been wargaming for over 30 years, and have read about how the superior Grande Armee of the glory years 1805-1807 was able to run rings around larger but slower thinking and moving coalition armies simply because of its elan and superior leadership and centralised command. No rules until Black Powder have allowed me to replicate that on the table top without crude ‘Plus 1 for being French’ biases. Whereas Black Powder allows you to reflect the OODA loop reaction times and qualatative leadership differences without necessarily reducing the quality of the fine Prussian, Austrian and Russian Regiments who were so poorly led.

  • This reply was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by Sparker.

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