Greg came up with an interesting scenario for us to play, using the Black Powder rules:
“It is 1809 and the War of the Fifth Coalition. The Austrians are on the move against the French, but Napoleon and his Marshals are rallying their forces to seize the initiative. We’ll play “Black Powder” with a scenario featuring a rear-guard confrontation near Landshut in Bavaria. Austrian General Hiller is falling back, but turns to defend against Marshal Lannes’ pursuit. Will he hold the French back?”
As much as I was looking forward to pushing around some great-looking 15mm Napoleonics, I was also eager to start amortizing some new terrain. With encouragement from Conscript Curt, I ordered a warmat from Curt's pal Alf at Barrage Miniatures in Madrid, Spain. I'll be posting a review on the blog later, but suffice to say that Barrage was great to deal with and kept me well updated on progress (the mats are apparently quite labour-intensive to produce). The mat was certainly expensive but it's very high quality and as you can see from the photos, it looks great and elicited lots of comments from the guys.
Thoughts... Black Powder is good fun and the battle rattled right along. However, the elastic time scale of battle, with the potential for multiple actions by one unit in a turn, had a real effect on the game. The French heavy cavalry brigade got some good command checks and was all the way around the flank and in the Austrian rear in about three turns. Although some minor rules snafus evened things up a bit, that really put paid to the game for the sausage-eaters as the French vise grip tightened. Even with that, though, the game was great fun and looked fantastic with the new warmat and Greg's exquisite figures.