Billy set up forces to accommodate 5-6 players but in the end just Billy, Shane and I controlled the hordes.
I took Jacobite force (5 Brigades of Foot and 4 Cavalry with 3 Gun Batteries) nominally defending a ridge line with the chaps controlling the Grand Alliance forces (6-8 Foot and 5-6 Mounted Brigades and 3 Cannon ?).
Lots to control but with Black Powder stable of rules highly doable.
Grand Alliance had poor Command Rolls and then hit a steel wall/storm of musketry and cannon fire (of which more later) which pretty much stopped any general advance with lots of units Disordered and several Shaken.
In P&S units with Pikes in Disorder can cause Disorder on units interpenetrating or interpenetrated, a nice simple rule although we got this slightly wrong as made it an auto cause instead of on a dice roll of 6 only.
The Pike Company rule is good (Cavalry lose all bonuses against Infantry units with a Pike component and such Infantry gains versus Mounted) meaning its a foolhardy Cavalry unit that would charge Pike assisted units in most circumstances.
On Allied right Billy charged from get go (its BP system !) hitting my own mounted and 2 units of Dismounted Dragoons (treated as small units of skirmishing Infantry).
One Dragoon Fired and Evaded the other failed to Evade but performed heroically (good dice rolls) halting the enemy Mounted unit.
My impacted Cavalry lost and retired and Billy used a Sweeping Advance to hit support which also Retired.
However his unit now isolated and vulnerable to my supports.
On my turn my supporting Cavalry Brigade duly charged into Billys defeating them and with supporting Musketry he soon had Shaken.
Meanwhile my dismounted Dragoons continued to hang on inflicting casualties on enemy horse and surviving 2 Break Tests which with my dice rolls is no mean feat !
Subsequently Billy Brigade broke (3 out of 5 units Shaken) and he had to commit a fresh Brigade which fared little better with several being Disordered from my shooting (several opportune 6's !!!).
On my right Shane and I exchanged volleys with Allies suffering slightly worse and both reticent to commit Mounted Brigades (after having seen the carnage elsewhere was probably prudent).
Only 1 Allied Foot Brigade even got close to my lines and its front ranks were Shaken and Disordered by Close Range Volleys.
We called it there as seemed Allies were never going to get in any sort of order or strength.
Spectacular looking game with lots and lots of units and indeed very fast playing.
BUT.........I do feel this period is ill served overall by BP/P&S (as written) rules as the musket volleys are equally as 'good' as those of SYW or Napoleonic period and with a massive 18" range ! (no doubt with 28mm it would not look just as 'bad').
This jarred for the period and meant at up to 18" with First Fire I could unload 4 dice per unit (more than Arty which only gets 2 dice) and even I when firing say 10 units (40 dice) will manage at least 1 or 2 sixes to Disorder the enemy with hits added bonus.
Cavalry all get 1 Dice to fire as well (up to a huge 12") which of course means on a 6 they can Disorder target, again this just does not gel with my feel of the period (Pistol armed types 'only' fire to 6" but as this is Close Range they hit on 3+ rather than default 4+ as we understood rules !?).
If I were to House Rule I would try reducing Muskets/Carbines/Pistols to half range (keeping moves and artillery as is) with no + at Close Range and -1 at 3-9".
I would be tempted to reduce these ranges further as in period, volleys were generally loosed off at well under 100yds indeed often at under 50yds due to training, accuracy (lack thereof) and doctrine, maybe 6" maximum.
Only if charged would I allow the +1 hit benefit, if only to discourage relentless charging.
Mounted I would only allow the 1 shot as Closing Fire and without any +1 benefit.
Only Shock Cavalry (essentially the French) would get +1 to hit benefit in Charge/Counter-charge situation Firearm types get the 1 dice shot.
I would consider this Mounted Shot as not being able to Disorder but that might be too severe.
For Foot I would not allow a Charge to Contact with enemy until after First Fire has been used.
I would also consider making it harder to get 2 or 3 moves with Foot (-3/4 = 2 moves -4 = 3 moves vis Command Roll ?) to reflect ponderous non-cadenced moves of the period as opposed to 'Exocet missile' mode they currently possess (an overall BP system 'problem/issue').
Not fully sure there would be no unintended consequences with these tweaks and could slow game slightly (maybe not so desirable for a big evening game ?) but do on face value seem at least in principle somewhat more akin to late 17th Century European Warfare as I understand it.
Otherwise its just another Lace War (or Blue Team vs Red Team) in different uniforms, only real difference being the Pike Companies (a nice rule that works and is easy).
Always a balancing act between game speed/playability and history I guess, but personally I much prefer more historically based substance to a simple 'moving diorama' and/or 'dice fest'.
All figures and terrain courtesy of Billy (his room is a treasure trove of figures in all scales and periods !).
The amount of troops and units present here certainly put 'Grand' into the War of Grand Alliance for an evening game.
His hospitality (and on this occasion dice rolling) much appreciated especially as mine was much better than usual.
Is this how the 'Dice Demon' gets to feel every game/roll !!!!!?????
Billy deploys his ill-fated Horse Brigades (note just some of his collection visible behind)
And left wing
Dragoon 'heroes' just about visible on extreme left
Green 'puff' indicates a Jacobite Brigade with Freshly Raised and Untested units