So all my efforts with scissors and glue have finally resulted in a game! My Paper Soldiers had their first run out in a proper game this week after a lot of cutting and sticking.
Although the book comes with a set of rules by Andy Callan, I decided to stick to something I know...Black Powder, using some of the amendments in the Glory of Kings 18th Century supplement. The main changes are that troops can't make multiple moves and fire in the same turn and some restrictions to deploying out of column into line...neither of which had any bearing on our game.
I'd decided to go for a historical scenario and picked the Battle of Falkirk Muir. It was a Jacobite victory but didn't feel as one sided as either Prestonpans or Culloden. My opponent Anthony kindly hosted and took on the Government forces. Both sides started deployed facing each other: I had considered having the Government arrive in column but skipped this phase and went straight for the opening of the battle as a starting point. The Government's artillery begins the game bogged down in a marsh and needs to roll each turn to free itself. In the event we forgot about it after a couple of turns as events had overtaken us by that point.
|The Government army|
|...and the view from the Jacobite lines|
I decided to head straight for the enemy lines, not wanting to get drawn into a firefight against better troops. Despite the popular image the Jacobites weren't averse to using their muskets effectively but their strength lies in the charge so this seemed the best tactic. In typical Black Powder fashion the command dice caught me out...in this case my entire army steamed straight into the enemy lines in one turn! Good for the Jacobites but it did catch me a little by surprise: I'd kind of hoped to have a little time to manoeuvre.
At this point Anthony and I both had visions of the game being over in about 30 minutes. My left flank hit the Government lines and went into melee. On my right the 'Terrifying Charge' bonus for the Highlanders meant that the opposing infantry didn't stay around to fight and pulled back in disorder
|The Jacobites charge home|
|This clan's days are numbered...|
In a couple of turns the battle had turned and the Jacobites broke. In the photo below the black counters mark Shaken units...as you can see there are quite a lot of them!
|...and it's all over|
So, despite re-writing history and losing the Battle of Falkirk Muir the game was great fun. I hadn't taken account of the speed of movement in Black Powder and really the Jacobites shouldn't have been able to contact the enemy in a single turn but luckily my inept dice throwing and some skilful flanking moves on Anthony's part meant the game definitely wasn't one sided. On a normal 6' x 4' table I'd maybe do something with the movements rates to slow things down a little.
The Paper Soldiers themselves looked great en masse. I still have some more to make up and add some extras to existing units to build the armies up. It's been an interesting project...I've enjoyed making the paper soldiers but for other periods I'd probably stick with actual figures. The Jacobite period was one I'd always wanted to do and the Paper Soldier concept made it very do-able and has certainly let me scratch that itch. As a way of fairly quickly putting together armies it's been very cost effective and looks great,