Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Over the weekend the Hoosier crew gathered for a game of Black Powered. We put together a Napoleonic game that is loosely based on a slice of the 1809 a battle of Eckmhul between the French and Austrians.  The French of Davouts corps under the direct comand of St. Hillare (Allen) were tasked with taking the twin villages of Unterlatching and Oberlatching, as well as the high ground to the east of the villages.    

Oberlatchling can be seen in the foreground and Unterlatchling in the back ground.  To the east (left) of the villages the Austrian under the command of the less than stellar Dedovich (Lonnie and Pat) have taken up positions on the wooded hills that dominate the ground between the villages.

A view to the east shows the mass of Austrian infantry preparing a hot reception for the French.  Hidden behind the hill is a squadron of Austrian Chevauxlegre. 

Since we are playing a table a little narrower than normal the French marched on and into action very quickly.  In the south, the elite french battalions of the 57th and the 10th prepare to assault Unterlatchling.  
In the north the French advance was slower to develop thanks to confusing orders and poor dice rolling.

One of my major concerns was how such a "simple" and stream lined set of rules like Black Powder were going to represent combat in buildings. I am happy to say the the back and forth battles over the town sections provided some great nail biting moments for both sides.

The 57th and 3rd Line begin the assault on Unterlatchling.   

Each section was large enough to hold a full battalion.  The  Austrian battalions were considered large battalions but suffered from being unreliable due to their lower quality.  This is represented by any double roll on a command roll represents a failure.   The French on the other hand were of very high quality in general and 4 battalions of the 57th Line and 10th Legire being rated elite. 

The French elite battalions fail to carry the western sector of Unterlatchling on thier first attempt.  The rules allow for up to 2 dice to shoot from each face of a building sector up to the maximium shooting dice of the unit in the sector.  This seemed to me to be very low number but the +2 to their morale save against incoming fire made up for it.  The Austrians were to prove very formidable on the defensive.
In the north around Oberlatchling the French were able to forward and capture the western section and the church right under the Austrian's noses.   Thanks in large part to the lower quality and poor command rolls of the Austrians.  


Back in Unterlatchling the combined elite battalions are able to push the Austrian battalion out of the town but not with out significant cost.

As the French pushed into Unterlatchling the Austrian commander sensed an opportunity and advanced his secreted cavalry into the middle ground between the villages.

The Austrians blood was up
Their seemingly unnatural aggression was poised to be unleashed.  
It appeared the French had countered the aggressive Austrian cavalry by forming square with an infantry battalion. 

But bypassing the prepared infantry the Austrian cavalry found a jucy and unsuspecting target. By amazing command the Austrians were able to move across the front of the French army and hit the French artillery in the flank,

The artillery was rolled up in quick succession and only its disordered state kept the Austrians from continuing there headlong charge. 
In the north near Oberlatchling the Austrians begin to maneuver to cut off the french occupying the village from support
Taking heavy fire from the French battalion garrisoning the Oberlatchling church and heavy fire frontally from a second French battallion the pressure proves too much for the Austrians and they fall back in disorder.

In the south the French quickly consolidate their hold on the western section of Unterlatchling and begin to simultaneously press the eastern section of the town and redeploy to meet the threat of the rampaging Austrian cavalry.
As the threat from the Austrian horse was contained.  The French continued their assault on the final second of Underlatchling.  
Despite  fierce house to house fighting the Austrians  were able to hold on to the final section of Unterlatch.  Even with significant casualties (red markers) the stubborn Austrians held on.

As the fight for Unterlatchling continued in the North the Austrians sought to isolate the French that had occupied Oberlatchling's church and western sector.  This led to bloody fighting in the field to the south of the village.

It became apparent the French did not have the wherewith all to complete the occupation of the final portion of Oberlatchling.  The Austrians had drawn on their last immediate reserves and were able to win the struggle in the field to the south of the village but were unable to push the french out of the town. 

With the struggle in Oberlatchling a bloody stalemate the Austrians saw the opportunity to deny the French victory by holding the last of Unterlatchling.  The Austrians called on Erzog Karls Legion to backstop Unterlatchling

After being battered for 5 or more turns by 3 superior battalions of French the Austrian defenders of Unterlatchling could not hold any longer.

Frances battered regiments were able to take the village of Unterlatchling and most of the town of Oberlatchling but were unable to even attempt an assault on the hills that dominated the ground to the east of the latchlings.   

It was a very tough slug fest. I was surprised how tough the Austrians turned out to be.   They gave as good as they got in several fights where they were outnumbered by superior french troops. I also really dug the rules.  This is the second or third game of Black Powder we have played and each one has given us a great back and forth battle.   Thanks to Pat, Lonnie and Allen for a great game!

1 comment:

  1. Sweet write up brother! I had a great time pushing the French to failure. I didn't know that you had a blog....nice