Thursday, April 23, 2015

Muskets and Mayhem

Here is the latest version of MUSKETS & MAYHEM for your reading enjoyment.  There are a few changes centered around how units stand fire, and what they do when they take casualties.  Enjoy!  Helpful criticism and comments always welcome. 

Muskets & Mayhem: 

Simple Rules for Horse & Musket Battles Fought with Toy Soldiers

  1. Initiative (both sides roll D6 with higher roll choosing to go first/second)
  2. Movement (alternate formations EG I move a unit, you move a unit, units charging conduct their pre-charge morale check now.  If failed, they remain at a halt. Targets of charge make their morale checks now.  If passed they may fire on charging unit instead of in fire phase)
  3. Artillery Fire (apply casualties at end of artillery phase)
  4. Stationary Fire (apply casualties at end of Stationary Fire Phase)
  5. Moving Fire (apply casualties at end of Moving Fire Phase)
  6. Morale (conduct all morale checks as a result of  stand loss through fire combat)
  7. Melee Combat (units in contact resolve melees at this time – initiative player determines who goes first)

Line units move and not fire 12 units of measurement. Line units who will fire and move 8.  Attack columns move 12. Artillery may move 6, foot limbered may move 12.  All cavalry move 20.  Commanders move 30. Squares may not move.
Units inter-penetrating other units as a result of a melee loss (if melee push back option used) take 1 additional hit.
Units of Measurement
Inches for troops larger than 15mm.  Centimeters for 15mm and below.  If you're using blocks of 10mm or 6mm troops, consider making hits by base instead of by figure.  (Just say each base fires with 2 D6 and takes 4 hits.)

Unit Composition
  • Line unit sizes are 16 troops, including figures representing officers, musicians, etc (unit represents  most likely an 18th or early 19th century battalion or ACW sized Regiment).
  • Light Infantry Battalions are composed of 8 total troops individually based or based 2 to a base, with each base receiving 1 fire die. 
  • Cavalry Squadrons are 8 to 10 mounts including officer and color bearer.
  • Artillery Batteries are 1 gun model with up to 4 gunners

Shoot groups of 2 figures.  So a full strength line battalion gets 8D6 (8 six sided dice).  Game uses opposed shooting rolls.  So firer shoots his fire dice.  For every hit, the unit being fired upon rolls its TROOP QUALITY dice to see how it stands the fire.  Artillery batteries fire based on number of gunners with cannon.  (4 gunners = 4 fire dice – casualties are removed for unsaved hits).

EG: Austrian foot at normal morale (4 stands of 4 troops each) rolls 8 dice.  Normal morale hits on 4+.  He rolls 1,1,2,3,4,4,5,6.  Every die that is "4" or higher scores a hit.  The Austrian unit scores 4 hits.  The Prussian unit he fires at is currently also rated as veteran (needing a 4 or better).  He rolls 4 dice (1 for each hit) and rolls 2,3,4,5, canceling out 2 hits from the Austrian player.  The Prussian player takes 2 total hits to his battalion.  The Prussian player places a small die with the "2" showing behind the left-most stand.

Skirmisher / Light Infantry Battalions are units of 8

To Hit Numbers are based on current morale status.  (Normal 4+, Disorganized 5+, Shaken 6)

Shooting is based on current morale level of unit:
Normal hits on 4+
Disorganized hits on 5+
Shaken hits on 6

Shooting Ranges
Musket and Close Artillery Close range  / Long Range:
6 Musket Range Close Artillery
20 Artillery Long Range

Morale is the current status of the unit, and is not to be confused with Troop Quality.  Troops quality is a reflection of training and discipline and is the troops' willingness to remain under fire.

Morale Levels are Normal, Disorganized, Shaken.   Every 4 hits, a unit takes a Morale Check.  If it loses it reduces its morale level by 1.  (Normal becomes Disorganized).

A unit takes a morale check by rolling its troops quality number or higher.

Morale Status Levels:

Elite: 3+
Veteran 4+
Regular 5+
Second Rate/Conscript 6

MORALE SAVES: Roll as saves when a unit is fired at and firer scores a hit.  Elite units should be used sparingly.

Attached Commanders / Officers
If attached to a unit, a commander can remove a single hit.

Prepared Defenses
Units in defenses: +1 for units rolling morale and saves, and a +2 to their morale roll when charged in defenses.

Line up Battalions and roll as per shooting.  Winner must beat loser by 2 casualties.  (Prussian scores 4 hits, Austrian scores 2 - Prussian is the winner.)

Melee Sequence

1. Moving player announces Charge and makes pre charge Troop Quality Check during movement phase Moving player moves unit in.  
2. Player to receive charge makes Troop Quality check.  Must pass or retreat full move distance.
3. If Troop Quality Check passed, player receiving charge may fire immediately (if infantry) or counter-charge immediately (if cavalry) after charging player finishes charging unit’s movement.  Both charging cavalry units would then meet in the middle.
4. Join units.  Resolve melee combat dice rolls during Melee Phase.
5. Melee Phase roll 1D6 for every figure in unit, striving to meet or exceed the Shooting/Morale number.  (Normal Morale 4+, Disorganized Morale 5+, Shaken Morale 6).  Both sides make Troop Quality save throws for each hit.
7. Remove Casualties or use marker dice if troops are on bases.
8. Winner is the side who scored 2 more hits than opponent.
9. [Optional Melee Results] 

Option A: Losing side retreats 1 full move facing enemy and makes a troop quality check if a stand is lost
Option B: Losing side is removed from play (makes for a quicker game)

Combat Dice Additions
Cavalry charging infantry in line receive double dice.
Infantry or cavalry charging artillery - artillery receives double dice if artillery battery passes its pre charge quality check.


  1. I like the look of these rules, Steven.

    1. John,
      They were much fun but still need some things ironed out. You're more than welcome to playtest and let us know how it goes!

  2. Great Steven. Will test latest version at the weekend. A small American Civil War fight...:)

    1. I am looking forward to it. I'm hoping that the "Troop Quality" checks fix some of the things from our last set of AARs. Once you complete your game, I'll play a short SYW game to see how things go.