CWF Game Cast Episode 51 FIXED: Black Powder Explosion

FIXED version of Episode 51. iTunes only shows 1 second of audio. This new entry is the full Episode 51. If you previously downloaded Episode 51 you got the bad version. Please download this version. This only impacts those who download episodes via iTunes. We are very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused.

Co-hosts Jonathan J. Reinhart and Tom Barbalet record together for the first time since Jonathan was sick with the zombie flu (actually, a severe respiratory virus that grossly exacerbated his asthma).

As usual the week in wargaming is discussed. Most of it is focused on Black Powder, which the dynamic duo swiftly transition into. A lively debate is had concerning the minimum, or starting, army size for this rule set. Tom reiterates suggestions he previously gave to Jonathan. Jonathan explains how he is attempting Black Powder. He mentions stellar advice from Henry Hyde.

The two move on to the related issue of Osprey Publishing’s New Vanguard, Campaign, and Men-at-Arms series. Tom and Jonathan, briefly, delve into the history of Massachusetts, while discussing Jonathan’s schooling.

Jonathan mentions his wife and her latest painting project, a Thaniras Elves War Dragon for the Uncharted Seas game. Jonathan jokes that it looks more like a drake but perhaps he is splitting hairs. The painting discussion includes Tom mentioning painting greats Kevin Dallimore, and his fantastic Foundry Miniatures Painting & Modelling Guide, personal friend Golden Demon Winner and former ‘Eavy Metal painter Tammy Haye, and Golden Demon winner Kirill Kanaev.

Tom flexes his mathematical muscles reviewing two dice rolling apps for the iPhone. Simple Dice by Nora Krauss and dynamicDICE are both reviewed. Tom alludes to creating his own dice app. Jonathan interjects with his preference for Dicenomicon.

Jonathan discusses his appearance on Episode 1 of The Gate Stormers (be warned of explicit content) in that show). A whirlwind of topics spin about. Tom reminds listeners to participate in the Field of Chaos Political Compass Contest. An update is given on the Monty & the Fox’s Wargaming Show branding. The editing schedule is briefly mentioned before Tom does a killer Neil Shuck impersonation!

The conversation ends and paves the way for the debut appearance, on this show, of official gaming music from Bailey Records. “Enter Darkrider [Extended Remix]” from Stratos’ album Autumnal Slumber will please your ear drums for 3 minutes and 28 seconds.

As always we conclude with a message from our sponsor,, contest sponsor Battlegames Magazine, our Creative Commons license and contact information (find us on Facebook and Twitter).

We hope you enjoy this episode of the CWF Game Cast and are eager for your feedback (both positive remarks and constructive criticism). Send it all to cwfgamecast at wargamingforums dot com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, or Xbox Live with gamertag cwfgamecast.

The intro song is “Downtown” by Matthew Ebel. Please give his other music a listen at

11 Comments on “CWF Game Cast Episode 51 FIXED: Black Powder Explosion”

  1. Paul

    I just listened to the show. Tommo, you are wrong about Black Powder. Many of us are gaming with armies the size that Jono wants to achieve. And I know I am having fun.

    1. Jonathan J. Reinhart Post author

      Hi Paul.

      I think Black Powder certainly looks amazing, and perhaps looks the “best”, with gigantic armies. Tom would stop me at this point, and he did in a recent recording, to say that “gigantic” armies are not needed but “good-sized” ones are desired. He’s right in that most gamers, at least the ones I know, desire a large army of plastic and pewter. Who wouldn’t love to see thousands of models marching across a tabletop?

      At the same time, unless a person is extraordinarily wealthy I don’t see any practicality in the above statement happening. The only other possibility, that manifests itself to me, is if a gamer has been collecting for a very long time. The rulebook states that it is a compilation of “rules and conventions that we [the authors] happen to have arrived at over many years of warfare…” Naturally, the authors will own larger armies as a result of their lengthy time collecting these types of models and wargaming with them.

      A photo caption near the beginning of the book describes a gigantic gaming table in the gaming room of a Mr. Ernie Baker. The caption defines “good-sized table” as 6×10 or 6×14 for the authors, which necessitates, again, for the authors, the usage of “potentially rapid movement – often allowing units to bound across the table in a single move.”

      The description does make an allowance for those of us, like you, Paul, and me, who have smaller playing spaces and, perhaps, also smaller armies. “…the game can be played on a smaller area with an appropriate reduction in ranges and moves.” After reading through the rulebook, several times, it appears to me that a standard Warhammer Fantasy/40k size table (4×6 I believe) benefits from the rules, as written, in the book. The reduction cited is based on the enhanced movement the authors use in their own games played on much larger tables.

      One thing to note, it is clear that the Rick Priestley and Jervis Johnson, along with the guys they game with, prefer larger size games. The caption on page four, which I have reference several times does explicitly say “However, whenever possible we’d like to emphasize that the game works best on large tables and using relatively large forces…” For me, the key words in that sentence are “whenever possible.”

      Most gamers cannot and do not have a gaming table at least 6×10 nor do they have thousands of miniature soldiers. The Black Powder rulebook stresses having fun with your mates. It highlights an “ideal accompaniment” to the game as “good brandy, fine cigars, and the companionship of like-minded enthusiasts.” Excluding the cigars, I am asthmatic after all, they are right on the money with the final sentence in the Foreward.

  2. Adrian

    There’s nothing to worry about. We push 2 tables together and we have a 4′ x 12′ table. It would definitely be better if it was wider but that’s not bad. The problem with the small table of course is unit density. Even if you reduce the movement and shooting ranges by half say, the table will still feel packed.

    That said, I don’t think unit density will be an issue at first! We both have a lot of work to do… I ordered my first batch of Hessians. They should be here this week.

    1. Jonathan J. Reinhart Post author

      @Adrian For a 1v1 game will a 4×6 table really pose issues regarding unit density, movement, and shooting? Wouldn’t it be akin to a 40k/WFB game?

      @Everyone I keep referencing these two because they’re 28mm full army games. Mentioning Warmahordes is the same scale but being a skirmish game it doesn’t pose as a good analog. FoW, while a full army game, has issues due to its scale.

      @Adrian I agree that a “good-sized table” as used by the rules authors isn’t an issue for us. Same with the # of models they field in a game. The possibility exists that by the time we build up forces of more than what I’ve been discussing (3 infantry regiments, 1 cavalry regiment, and 1 battery of 1 artillery piece plus a brigade leader i.e. general) that a new rules system may come along that we prefer using. Or, that we may want to collect a different force. Instead of Hessians maybe you’d like French? Instead of Americans maybe I’d want Indians..I mean Native Americans etc.

  3. Adrian


    On the smaller size table the game would play exactly like 40k, and that’s the problem. Let’s face it, 40k plays as follows:
    1.) Build your force
    2.) Set your forces up on the table
    3.) Start rolling dice
    4.) Remove units

    What’s missing? Any meaningful maneuvering…

    I’m sure it can be made to work, esp for 1 on 1, I just don’t think it’d be ideal.

  4. Paul

    Don’t discount 15mm for Black Powder. Half the price of 28mm. You can put a massive army on a 4×6 table. These days 15mm looks just as good as 28mm. Have a look at the Peter Pig AWI figures for example. They are featured in this youtube video for a different ruleset.

    We have been playing Black Powder in 15mm from day one with Napoleonic and ACW. We convert the inches to centimeters. Love it.


    1. Adrian

      I’ve thought about 15mm for Black Powder actually, and I have some 15mm figures I want to assemble for Shako 2 in fact, so I have the beginnings of an army. It’s definitely something to consider; I doubt I can get Jonathan to commit to painting a 15mm army though.

      But painting 15mm…. I’ve been doing a lot of it for Flames of War. I think painting the 28mm figs will be like a vacation.

      1. Jonathan J. Reinhart Post author

        @Adrian 15mm does have a lot going for it. I love how, as Paul says, you can fit a gigantic army onto a smaller space and I also enjoy how doing so costs less than doing it in a larger scale than 15mm.

        Painting the tanks for FoW hasn’t been bad. Part of that could be my determination to paint my Panzers in a field grey, regardless of which theatre or year my force is portraying. The field grey is simply easier to paint.

        Two miniatures games is about all I can handle at this point. But, Adrian if you are willing to collect two opposing 15mm forces, then I’m willing to play against you if I’m able to use one of them when we play.

        @Paul I’ve heard a lot of good about Peter Pig. My initial research on Warlord Games’ Black Powder rules had me curious about 15mm. I don’t mind that scale and, perhaps, in some ways it is easier to paint. A dab of paint here and there and the figure is complete. Whereas 28mm requires, from me anyway, more work to paint to a standard I’m content with.

        The issue of terrain for Black Powder is one that concerns me. Tonight Tom and I will record a new episode of the podcast. Scale and terrain as they relate to the Black Powder rules are on my agenda for discussion.

  5. Henry Hyde

    Good discussion, guys, and I’m delighted to have been of service to you Jonathan.

    With a wide selection of smaller scales available (20mm, 15mm, 10mm, 6mm and — wait for it — even 3mm now coming from Odzial Ozmy), it’s possible to play Black Powder on any size table using as many or as few miniatures as you like.

    The fact is that in general, horse and musket era battles did involve densely-packed troops on the battlefield, and so the most attractive visual representation of them tends to involve large numbers of miniatures.

    But, back in the day, I started wargaming with just a couple of boxes of Airfix miniatures (still available of course, along with others of that type from Esci, Italeri, Zvezda, Revell, HäT and so on). They were — and still are — cheap, but actually lovely sculpts, and it’s easy to build up armies for not a lot of money.

    But also bear in mind that starting small is (a) a good way to learn the rules and (b) perfect your painting techniques for troops of this era. Mind you, you’ve gone for the Rolls Royce of miniatures with the Perry twins, so they’re bound to look good!

    Incidentally, a bit of guidance about military organisation terminology. You were using the word “battalion” when you meant “brigade”.

    In very simple terms, the levels go squad –> platoon (or troop for cavalry or artillery) –> company (or squadron for cavalry or battery for artillery) –> battalion –> regiment –> brigade –> division –> corps –> army. (Above that in modern war, you sometimes get Army Group which is, as you might guess, a group of armies.)

    To confuse the issue, the words “battalion” and “regiment” are sometimes interchangeable, because many regiments in reality consist of only a single battalion, but in theory, most are supposed to have at least two, one in the field and one back home recruiting.

    In terms of numbers, a battalion ranges anything from 500-1,000 men, depending on losses, desertion, and so on. Also a unit will often have a ‘war’ strength which is higher than its peacetime strength.

    Here you go, good ol’ Wikipedia…

    1. Jonathan J. Reinhart Post author

      @Henry thanks for catching my error. We’ll need to have you on the show. You can help us out real time (so to speak). You have a wealth of information and your feedback enriches the show.

      I’m completely enthralled with the Perry Bros’ work ever since I began with GW game systems. A primary conundrum I am now facing is what figs to use for my commands. I need regimental commands plus a brigade (see, I’m catching on) commander…probably some type of brigadier general.

      I have the Southern Militia Command, which is perfect. But, am lacking for the regular Militia plus the Cavalry (that I will eventually get) and of course the brigade commander. The command for the Continental Infantry regiment will be easy enough. I’ll probably use or for that.

      I’m on the fence about for my brigade commander. It’d be nice to see other options. Perhaps Foundry?

      My cavalry will probably have to be (mounted riflemen) unless I can find something else elsewhere. I’m torn between (R.I. artillery), (continental artillery firing), and (howitzer with short sleeved loaders).

      For a couple weeks I looked up early American flags to see what direction to go. I’ve recently fallen in love with the GMB flags shown in some of the Perry’s pictures. It’d be nice to see all of GMB’s AWI flag offerings instead of a list of them. And, also to find out if they need to be painted or come pre-painted etc. The ones in look stunning. I think Triangle Miniatures is the US provider for them.

      It is really a shame that FLGS don’t or can’t carry more of this stuff. I’d prefer to support my FLGS but they, sadly, don’t carry any/most of this stuff. At least I can buy my GW bases and my paints from them.

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