“Black Powder” wargame rules – Moving in towns/villages. Monday, Feb 14 2011 

Playing Black Powder the other night I left a town in the centre of our lines with no one in it: My brain said obsticle, though we had not designated it as such.  This was almost our undoing.  However built up areas – ven if just a collection of wattle and daub houses do obstruct an army.  What do people think of these compromise rules.  They are designed so you don’t have to represent individual houses and roads.

Represent the town with a template.  It can have buildings on but these are for show – move them around to allow the troops to move!  If a specific piece of open ground is desired  this can be marked – town rules do not apply for units on it.

Units can only enter a town/village in ‘Assault column’ (even if in a period where not normally used).  Rules for assault columns are used as normal.

No change to command rules except blunders happen on a 11 as well (in a village or town its easier to get disorientated, as you can’t see the rest of the battle field, so not appreicate that the road curves, or you take a wrong turning).

A unit can take up residence in buildings – place in a ‘square’ style formation to show this, the unit uses the rules in the book for buildings (not squares).

Maximum fire range in a town is 6″.

Units outside of buildings (ie in Column) do not get the benefit of cover if fired at by other units in the town.

A Line Infantry may deploy into line at the edge of a town.  It does NOT get cover unless the settlement has be designated as providing it on that edge before the game.  A unit may enter buildings at the edge of town, so it can fire out. Infantry in skirmish order DOES count cover.

Shooting into towns from outside has a maximum line of site of 3″ from the edge.  In this case columns DO get cover.

War of Spanish Succession for ‘Black Powder’ Tuesday, Feb 1 2011 

“… & Blenheim Palace” (Do you see what I did there?)

These are the playtested (and amended, and playtested again, and amended again) rules we use for War of Spanish Succession with Warlord’s “Black Powder” wargame rules.  These are independent of Warlord and the original writers.

Blenheim Palace v2.2  (PDF)

I know some will bring up specific situations where some of these will not be applicable, or counter to what happened at certain battles.  I think these sort of instances are better handled in scenario specific rules.

Please remember the aim of these are to add the flavour of the period, not an indepth study of early 18th century warfare, so while I’m happy to receive constructive comments, Black Powder remains at its heart a game for Gentlemen played with Toy Soldiers!  I wished to stop two identical armies being fielded, especially with the cavalry rules.  Here I wanted there to be an actual difference beween armies using the two doctrines.  More notes on page 8.

You actually only need pages 3-7.  The other pages are bells and whistles to make sure it prints correctly for double sided, as well as following the style of the ‘eye candy’ original rules.  Also 8 pages means it can be placed on A3 and make a booklet.

Click the Black Powder tag to the left for all BP related posts by me – there are a number, including a battle report, and my modification to the Broken Brigade rules. The tag at the top does all the BP entries across WordPress, so you’ll also find other people’s take on the rules (some contributed on my earlier WSS rules post – Thank you)

Play Nicely, and may all your dice be lucky.

Figure Storage Thursday, Jan 6 2011 

This is the plan for storing my War of Spanish Succession figures.  It is a 2 tray “Very Useful Box”. ‘P.Inf’ are Prussians, ‘A.Inf’ are Austrian, ‘1st’ will be 1st fire markers (to show units not yet fired this battle, so getting a bonus on 1st shot).  Completed so far are 10 infanty units, with wound markers, 2 artillery, 2 cavalry, 3 generals and the C in C.

The tray compartments are 6cm square, 5 x 3 to the tray.  Infantry bases are 2cm square, the Cavalry bases are actually 25mm, not 30 as shown, but even I am not nerdy enough to set up Exel (the original program) up to do this.

Box layout plan

I have a 2cm space – what to do with it?


My regular opponent said that his research shows a rough ration of 5:3 of Foot:Horse.  This means I need more Cavalry.  The next box size up is 4 trays, so I’ll have space left over.  So I worked out a force that brings this up to 4 trays worth (MGS means Minor German States)

Box layout plan 4 tray

Damn you Graham.

Adding flavour to ‘Black Powder’ orders. Tuesday, Dec 21 2010 

In ‘Black Powder’ you give the order for the unit before rolling the command dice.  The dice may give you 1, 2 or 3 moves.  If you don’t have enough moves to complete your order you must try to complete it, even if you don’t like where it leaves the unit. Giving an order is easy if there is a terrain feature – “The brigade will advance onto the hill and take a defensive position.”  but not so easy to define if moving across open ground, and you don’t want them to go all the way across.

My regular opponent and I have taken to referring to ‘paces’ where 1 unit of movement (UM for ease hereafter) is 10 paces (We use centimeters instead of inches, but the principle is the same).  Thus an order of “The battalion will move 150 paces forward” is a move of 15.

Given I reckon 1 UM is approx 10 yards this works well; strictly a pace is two and a half feet, so  1 UM is 12 paces, but it’s close enough.  A scale of 1 UM to 10 yards makes for easy conversion, but there is no reason why you couldn’t call it 8 yards.

First battle for my War of Spanish Succession troops. Friday, Dec 10 2010 

Last Tuesday Graham and I gave our newly painted War of Spanish Succession armies their first outing.  I used my Allied Imperial-Prussians (Austrians in grey in the diagrams, Prussians in blue), against his French (white).  The battlefield was fictional.  Rules are Black Powder, with modifications (as per other entries in the Barracks), figures are all Pendraken 10mm.

(Please- if you have any comments, please leave here, if you linked here from another thread not there.  I will be linking from a number of sites, and it would be nice if everyone could see all the comments, not just those from their boards)

INITIAL POSITION (Click to enlarge on new page)

The French drew up in two wings/brigades of 5 battalions, while I chose to have the two odd battalions as a reserve, under the direct command of the Commander in Chief, making each wing four.

Our first problem was who should move first.  Being Gentlemen of the Age of Reason, we both insisted we would be insulted if the other did not take this honour.  A duel (suggested by Graham’s wife) was impractical, so we agreed to settle as gentlemen in a fashionable club might, and rolled dice.  My 8, beating his 7, the Allied Armies moved first.  For convenience I will refer to the top as North, left of the table as West, an the end with the marsh as East.

(More after the break)


Usable army! Wednesday, Nov 17 2010 

Finally painted enough figures to have a gamable army for Black Powder “War of Spanish Succession”.  2 brigades of 4 infantry battalions, a couple of guns, and 2 regiments of donkey wallopers.

Click the photo to see the rest of the pictures


or here for the set

Update to Battle of Britain rules “Angels One Five” Saturday, Nov 6 2010 

Originals here


Files are updated to Ver 2.1: I have made some changes on the Combat Result Tables

  1. Miss now covers results down to -1.  You get the ‘Missed Target’ bonus, and a chance of getting a Critical. Anything -2 or below is now a complete miss, no Crit or bonus
  2. Control surface damage is for the next PHASE not turn.

The Rule file now reflects this

Black Powder – British 5th Division at Salamanca Thursday, Oct 28 2010 

I offered a  friend who is new to Black Powder a game with ‘all the options’, rather than the plain rules as he played on his first Napoleonic game.  Though the game will not be any specific battle, I am basing the forces on actual organisations.  I am publishing here for those who sometimes ask online what a good force for BP would look like to start with.

British 5th Div Salamanca

The Jagers are a company, hence Tiny.  I upped the stats slightly from the book to allow them to have an effect on the battlefield.  Feel free to drop ‘Shooting’ and ‘Stamina’ down to 1 if you feel they are overpowered.

Coin flipping game Tuesday, Oct 12 2010 

A little experiment.  Please don’t analyse the statistics, and if you know the stats go with what you would have put. 

Read the rules of the game, then make an instant decision on which seems best/gut instinct. Don’t try and outguess what I want please.

This is the game. It is played over 32 rounds, who wins the most rounds wins .

 We each toss some coins (assume they are perfectly fair 50/50 coins). Who ever flips the most heads wins the round. Draws draw the round – it still counts as a round.

Your choice is toss 3, and reflip 1 (UPDATE -if you wish to, you only have to reflip a tail),


 toss 4.

What ever you choose must be used for all 32 flips.

What ever you pick, I have to flip the opposite.

Which do you pick?

Prussians Wednesday, Sep 1 2010 

10mm Prussians for thw War of Spanish Succession.  Excellent figures from Pendraken, painting that lets them down – mine.

These, and a few more, in the more freindly format of Flickr HERE

Reasons to be Cheerful Monday, Jun 28 2010 

Despite this weekend…

I’m going on holiday .

The Argentinians look like they will beat the Germans

I still have the box of four different Wychwood beers.

And a Cumberland Lakeland IPA.

And you can get it in Morrisons

Even if Pendraken have to put up their prices they will still be good value

I’ve got a new car.

Spurs look good under ‘Arry.

My wife is determined to convert the garage into a wargame room for me.

The Austrians should be better to paint than the Prussians I’ve just finished.

CDS, the scenario book and 2 army packs still come to less than £60 GBP

I’ve almost finished the WW2 Brits.

I’ve got an absolutely cracking Arnhem scenario planned for September.

I’m going Quad biking next week.

I’ve still got beer left at my mate’s house for our next game. (I Think).

There is are loads of places on the internet where you can avoid today’s match

and some of them have naked ladies on.

I could finally shave, no longer having to ‘back the beard’

Floor Tiles- the wargamer’s friend Monday, May 31 2010 

Self adhesive vinyl floor tiles are becoming one of my gaming ‘swiss army knives’ – I’m finding so much you can do with them, and the cheap ones are £2.50 for 6 30cm square ones (QD had packs for £1.50- but I don’t know how good the glue is compared to B&Q budget ones).  Sometimes people throw them away- they only needed 38, but had to buy 42- so you can get them free.  The secret is to use the adhesive side.

The Prussians are coming, the Prussians are coming! Wednesday, May 19 2010 

Choice of a new wargame period should probably have a better reason that “I want something with Tricornes” – however because of this mandate I have started War of Spanish Succession.

My first battalion, based for the ‘Black Powder’ ruleset, are done.

To see these brave lads being recruited see my flickr stream

Project Xenocide – A XCOM style wargame campaign Sunday, Feb 28 2010 

Due to this thread on TMP:
I am putting the files to the Xcom inspired game I ran in the latter half of 2008. They use Two Hour Wargames “Chain Reaction” rules (the basic rules are FREE), with some modifications (the armour effect) from the supplement 5150. Scenario 3 is a fighter combat game- the simple rules are presented here. It was a intro to the actual game – scenario 4.

I also ran two others. Scenario 5 was an alien attack on a town, with civvies running about. This is where I used the chrysalids along side normal warriors. If they ‘killed’ a human hand to hand, the human became a zombie type, and if that was killed it hatched another chrysalid.

Scenario 6 was an attack on the Aliens base on earth, hidden in Aztec ruins. I used a model of a Games Workshop Dreadnaught during this.

There was also a flash back scenario after #2- early hours of 6 June 1944, where the human player was the Germans dealing with suspected paratroops.

I ran the game as more of a GM/Umpire rather than play the aliens competatively. This allowed me to adjust difficulty on the fly. Part of this I realised that aliens were too few in number to be able to give first aid, so I came up with blood borne nano-bots. These make a first aid roll as though the alien was healing himself- ie roll REP or under. See Chain Reaction for details

1- Players Brief

1- Umpires Brief

2- Players Brief

2- Umpires Brief

3- Players Brief

4- Players Brief

4- Umpires Brief


Fighter combat


Title page

Weapon stats

Franco Prussian War Scenario for Black Powder Friday, Feb 19 2010 

I’ve recently purchased ‘Black Powder’ from Warlord Games. I’ve had a trial game with my son, and my first game against a member of my wargame club is for the Franco Prussian War.

We will be using a scenario the club has played a number of times with a number of different rule sets- I thought this would be a good way to compare the rules.

I invite other Black Powder and/or FPW players to comment on my take on the roster and rules.

The original scenario:

Prussian Roster for Black Powder:
Black Powder Roster FPW PRUSSIAN

French Roster for Black Powder:
Black Powder Roster FPW FRENCH

Please feel free to comment on the rosters/scenario rules.

The QR sheets here.

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