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Quite by accident I learned of a tournament being organised quite near to me. It is planned to occur at the Croydon Realm of Legends. To cut a long story short, the event is a multi-player campaign in the English Civil War (not Warhammer or Warmachine) using modified Black Powder rules.

The test game we played last night was my first contact with these rules. The similarity to Warmaster put me at ease straight away, and the unit based resolution, reminiscent of Tactica, was a pleasant surprise as well.

I’m not sure that Black Powder is particulalry suited to the Pike & Shot era. The game we played felt more like Napoleonics. However, the system itself is simple, fast and gives decisive results. I like the rules and would happily play them again. The mechanism that you have to call out your orders before you roll to see if you can enact them, and that the words you say actually have meaning – no changing your mind – is a fun and practical insertion. This simple mechanism introduces some modest story-telling and roleplaying into an (arguably) straight historical set.

If you have several hundred figures lying around and are looking for an easy entry set of rules that are not regulation bound, then Black Powder may be for you. Me? I still do not want to have to paint 200+ figures before I can start playing, but I’m happy to use someone elses and play using this system.

The campaign itself will be run on Sunday 29 May at the Realm of Legends. Mike Parker (mike.parker@tpg.com.au) is running the event, which will run from 0900hrs to 1700hrs. The room will be arranged with tables set in a diamond pattern with London being at one apex and Oxford the other. Players will be designated either Royalist or Parliamentarian, issued a brigade of foot or cavalry (or a combined task force), and detailed to one of the boards. Artillery will be handled by high command, which is appropriate as this arm, at this time, was an independant professional body. As I understand it there will be an overall command structure directing the campaign in order to navigate the battlefields (boards) to assault the enemy base.

If you are doing nothing else that Sunday, and your significant other will let you off the leash for the day, I heartily recommend you contact Mike and join in. For an entry fee of only $10, you will recieve a fully painted force, easy instruction in the rules, and take part in a real wargame campaign.

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