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Wargaming => Age of Gunpowder => Topic started by: bob48 on October 21, 2021, 03:56:11 PM

Title: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on October 21, 2021, 03:56:11 PM
Horse and Musket. (H&M)

The very popular game series designed by Sean Chick and published by Hollandspiel.

So far in the series, we have;

Vol I – Dawn of an Era 1683 – 1719
Vol II – Sport of Kings 1722 – 1747
Vol III – Crucible of War 1755 – 1762
Vol IV – Tides of revolution 1768 – 1796

In addition, there are now three scenario books, one covering Vol's I, II and II, and a scecond one with more scenarios for Vol's I, II and IV, whilst the new third one has twenty scenarios from 1639-1796. I also just noticed on BGG a call by the designer asking for submissions for the next scenario book.



For completeness, we'll include 'Horse and Matchlock – Prelude to an Era' 1620 – 1677.
So, lots of gaming scope here, and a system which seems to lend itself quite well to using minatures, especially when used with hex terrain, such as the Kallistra system.

I should also add that the base game and expansions are now in the process of being reissued to incorporate rules revisions and some changes to counter graphics; these games are identified as being the REDUX versions.

As usual, we ask; 'Who has it, who's played it, what do we like/dislike about the system, etc'
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bbmike on October 21, 2021, 04:25:03 PM
(https://www.aarcentral.com/emoti/love2.gif)
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bayonetbrant on October 21, 2021, 04:30:39 PM
in the interest of completeness on the H&M series, we've have Hollandspiele folks on the podcast a few times talking about this series (among their other fine games)


https://www.armchairdragoons.com/podcast/mentioned-in-dispatches-season-5-episode-7-horse-musket-hollandspiele/

https://www.armchairdragoons.com/podcast/mentioned-in-dispatches-s4e7-hollandspiele/

https://www.armchairdragoons.com/podcast/mentioned-in-dispatches-s4e1-the-horse-musket-series-with-a-side-of-irrational-nostalgia/

Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bbmike on October 21, 2021, 06:01:47 PM
Plus, My Own Worst Enemy has a couple of gameplay videos:




Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on October 21, 2021, 06:05:56 PM
 :bigthumb:
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on October 24, 2021, 06:03:39 AM
I'm totally underwhelmed. I really thought that this was a really popular games system. >:(
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: Hethwill on October 24, 2021, 08:59:56 PM
I'm totally underwhelmed. I really thought that this was a really popular games system. >:(

Maybe potential customers look at it and see another C&C with way lesser visuals ? Just a thought.

On the other hand is interesting that other Blue Panther 'partners' - White Dog Games and High Flying Dice - do have distribution in continental EU directly. Hollandspiel doesn't, only through UK Second Chance games. I have zero clue about business other than my own wallet though there's interest in the continent but not enough interest to pay the extra import fees, so we stick with what exists.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on October 25, 2021, 07:13:36 AM
You could be right.

The game also is a development of the earlier 'Hold the Line' I think, which was also designed by Mr.Chick and published by Worthington.

As far as I'm aware, Second Chance games is the sole stockist of Hollandspiele games in the UK.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bbmike on October 25, 2021, 08:28:07 AM
Not sure about 'way lesser visuals' other than not having blocks or cards. And that, IMO, is one of the better things about the Horse and Musket series.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: Hethwill on October 25, 2021, 10:53:03 AM
Not sure about 'way lesser visuals' other than not having blocks or cards. And that, IMO, is one of the better things about the Horse and Musket series.

I will agree. Still "bang for buck" the bling wins. Hopefully some stores might order it here, but I totally doubt it. Even Agorajeux which is one of the stockists of everything blue panther doesn't even has H. in their lists.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bbmike on October 25, 2021, 11:17:11 AM
Unfortunate that it's not available over there. It is worth noting that you can purchase the Print 'n Play versions (except, for now I guess, H&M Volume IV) at Wargame Vault (https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/10383/Hollandspiele). In fact, a lot of Hollandspiele's catalog is available there. Probably not the best solution but better than nothing.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on October 25, 2021, 11:27:49 AM
I only have Vol I, and that as a PnP. Not ideal, and there is a bit of work involved to create it all, especially the counters, but good enough to be able to play it. Plus there is a pretty good Vassal mod available which is a viable alternative once you have the rules and scenario book.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: Hethwill on October 25, 2021, 06:39:06 PM
I will keep my eyes open for a physical. I check every month in the continent stores, sometimes there's stock in the "used games".

Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bbmike on October 26, 2021, 10:31:16 AM
So what do people think of the Horse & Musket series compared to the Command and Colors series? The biggest difference in the two gamewise are the cards. I like the cards in C&C but I feel like a have more control over my forces in H&M. Also, it makes it easier to play H&M solo.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: Hethwill on October 26, 2021, 03:09:08 PM
So what do people think of the Horse & Musket series compared to the Command and Colors series? The biggest difference in the two gamewise are the cards. I like the cards in C&C but I feel like a have more control over my forces in H&M. Also, it makes it easier to play H&M solo.

That is actually a great discussion to hear.

"Similar but nothing related Games!"
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: LetsPlayHistory on October 26, 2021, 06:21:35 PM
If any of you is wondering which scenarios are covered so far (and which might be in the future), I have a list (https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2337771/overview-published-and-announced-modules) sorted by volumes and sorted by year/conflicts for your convenience.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: Hethwill on October 27, 2021, 06:13:26 AM
If any of you is wondering which scenarios are covered so far (and which might be in the future), I have a list (https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2337771/overview-published-and-announced-modules) sorted by volumes and sorted by year/conflicts for your convenience.

That's a great list Jan.
From where did you buy your copies ?! ( if you own any physical )
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on October 27, 2021, 10:37:42 AM
I really can't make a comparison with C&C for the simple reason that I've never played it. However, these are, for what its worth, some of my thoughts on the H&M system in general.

I only have Volume I, and so only have access to the rules for that, although I have played a number of scenarios from Vol II and III on Vassal with someone who is very knowledgeable about the rules and has all the material published for those and later expansions.

Therefore, I was only aware of any additional rules that applied to those later games as they were conveyed to me by my opponent.. I really am not sure if any /all of these additional rules can be applied retrospectively to the earlier games.

While the base rules are pretty easy to learn, there are a lot of 'optional' and 'recommended' rules that add a significant amount of detail (and thus complexity) to the game.

One one hand, the system is quite clever in that it employs one of three combat tables depending on the size of the battle depicted in the scenario. This obviously enables the system to simulate a lot of scenarios over quite a long historical period when used in conjunction with any relevant special scenario rules provided.

However, in order to do all this, certain sacrifices and abstractions are required. For example, ground scale and unit size are not detailed which does at times make the battles feel a bit generic,. Thus, a unit may represent anything from a few battalions to a few regiments and is just a mass of troops. I'm not inferring that this doesn't work, but to me, it does feel a bit too vague.

Now, I'm no expert on any of the periods covered by the games but have read a few books and played a few games that fit into the time period, so I do have at least an inking of the tactics of those times, and one of the things about the games that had bothered me is 'recommended' rules for formation and facing.

These additional rules obviously add much to the authenticity of the games but a at a cost of slowing things down a little. It also introduces the use of a new chart that influences the combat calculations by making a comparison of the attacking units formation in relation to the defending units formation.
My argument is that where the unit is a large body, as maybe depicted in one of the 'large' battle scenarios, then would all the sub units in that body be in the same formation and with the same facing? For example, some flank battalions (or whatever) may be in a refused flank. This is easy enough to depict with smaller scale games but has to be assumed to be the case where the unit represents a large body of troops.

Anyway, my point is that I do wonder at the validity of the formation and facing rules. I stress that this is just my take on it and I'm quite happy if someone want to try and educate me.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: LetsPlayHistory on October 28, 2021, 01:28:23 PM
From where did you buy your copies ?! ( if you own any physical )

I only have the PnP files from WargameVault so far.
I plan using my 3mm armies for the game, maybe with C&C board or so (the hexes might be a bit too small, though).
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on February 20, 2022, 02:02:24 PM
I've recently found myself drawn back into playing H&M (Vol I), taking the opportunity to visit some of the scenarios that I had previously not bothered much with. I'm using just the basic rules at present in order to get back up to speed with it, and it all flows along very nicely with out much recourse of having to consult the rules.

The system is actually quite clever in the way that it can encompass battles of many sizes using only one map plus the overlays through the use of slightly different CRT's and movement rates, etc. Thus we have 'small, normal and grand' battles. Obviously, we do accept some abstractions here, so don't look for ground scales of detailed unit sizes. We can assume that unit represent bodies of troop that range from a few battalions to a few regiments. In any case, unit size is represented by a morale number rather that a number which represents the number of troops, and this works well within the game context.

The first of the many optional rules are those for formation and facing, and whilst these do add some 'realism' into the game without much additional complexity, they do add a little to playing time.  When combat occurs, we cross reference the stance of the attacking unit with that of the defender to yield a possible DRM.
there isn't a handy PAC to cover this, you must instead glean what you want from the rules, although strangely, there is one with the Vassal mod. I therefore decided a while ago to produce one, which I did, and made it available on the games BBG page, and to prove it, here is the link;

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/191669/formation-modifiers

Now, this got me thinking about how relevant this is given what the unit counters represent. I did consider if that within such an obviously large body of troop, they (the sub-units) would not all be assuming the same frontage or formation. I'm thinking of things such as refused flanks, and reserves in column and so on.

OK, they are after all just optional rules, the whole point being that you use them or not at your discretion, but I thought it would be interesting to see what other players think.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on February 23, 2022, 05:46:43 AM
Well, that went down like a cast-iron Zeppelin.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: mcguire on February 23, 2022, 04:41:49 PM
I haven't played Horse & Musket enough to get good feel for it, but I expect the formation rules are just making the simplistic assumption that everything in the unit is in the same formation, although (given that formations are an optional rule) it could be that it means most of the sub-units are in the given formation. I think (did I mention that I haven't played it enough to decide?) that in the former case, being in the wrong formation or orientation would be catastrophic while in the latter it would only be pretty bad.

I would like to note that Phil Sabin, in his simplified conversion (https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/225055/horse-foot-simplified-rules-system) explicitly got rid of the formations optional rule.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on February 23, 2022, 05:10:06 PM
I have played it quite a bit using the formation & facing rules and I really can't decide if they have a sufficient impact on the battle outcome to justify the extra effort involved.

My feeling really is that its not relevant for such large scale battles, and where the size of the body of  troops is pretty vague, but there again, this may just be me making excuses for being lazy.

I have in the past played a number of Vassal games with Doug, and he, as developer and scenario designer for some of the game modules, will only play with just about all of the optional rules plugged in.

This is why I was hoping for a bit more feedback on the subject, but I am grateful for your thoughts on the subject.  :bigthumb:
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: mcguire on February 24, 2022, 02:52:36 PM
You don't need excuses for being lazy. Lazy is a virtue unto itself.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on February 24, 2022, 03:16:59 PM
^ I suspected it was thus, but its nice to have it confirmed :-)
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on March 04, 2022, 04:47:55 PM
For those interested; the new edition, well, September 2021 anyway, of the core rule book is available to download on BGG.

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/145951/horse-musket-rulebook

Its much clearer and well worth getting if you play the game.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bbmike on March 31, 2022, 08:58:42 AM
Just arrived. I place the blame squarely on Bob.

(https://www.aarcentral.com/pics3/5200.jpg)
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on March 31, 2022, 09:32:05 AM
Wonderful - brimming with gaming goodness :-)
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on April 08, 2022, 07:03:06 AM
I just noticed that the Vassal mod for the 'Fleurus' scenario is missing some terrain items - there are only 2 hills shown instead of 5. I have no idea how to edit a Vassal map.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: Barthheart on April 08, 2022, 07:36:20 AM
Are the hills in the physical game tiles that are added as needed? If so then the module creator should have made them that way as well.
If so you should be able to find them as markers or pieces in the module’s menus and just place them onto the map like units.

If not, let me know and I can take a look at it for you.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on April 08, 2022, 07:51:11 AM
Vance, they are in scenario book, but missing from the Vassal map. I have tried to find out how to edit the map, but can't see how it opens despite having looked at some tutorials.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: Barthheart on April 08, 2022, 07:53:33 AM
Send me the name of the module and a pic of the correct map and I’ll see what I can do.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on April 08, 2022, 07:59:01 AM
OK, thanks.

Its the 'Fleurus' Scenario (obviously from Vol I - 'Dawn of an Era') and the hills are missing from the following hex numbers.

H3, F6, H6
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: Barthheart on April 08, 2022, 10:00:22 AM
I just loaded up ver. 1.3 of the module.

If you click the Counters menu, then select the Terrain tab you will see hills. (see attached pic below)

You can drag these to any hex on the map. Because they are terrain they will not be picked up by a normal left click when on the map. You will need to hold down the Shift key and left click the hill to select it.

Hope that helps.

Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on April 08, 2022, 10:11:27 AM
OK, did that, so thanks, Vance. Is there any way I can edit the module to make the change permanent, or is that something that only the mod creator can do?

Obviously, I could add the terrain and then save the game itself, I guess.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: Barthheart on April 08, 2022, 10:14:39 AM
You would have to go in and make the change to the setup for that scenario. I've not done setups but let me poke around and see what I can do.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on April 08, 2022, 10:16:20 AM
You're a star!

Gives you something constructive to do now that yer retired, eh.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: Barthheart on April 08, 2022, 10:46:58 AM
Email coming. New mod. Email should have Google drive link.

The attached pic is from the VASSAL manual on pre-defined setups. Pretty simple actually, once you find it in the manual  :nerd:.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: Doctor Quest on April 08, 2022, 10:54:25 AM
Pretty simple actually, once you find it in the manual

The story of my life, right there.
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on April 08, 2022, 10:57:20 AM
Vance is THE Vassal guru :-))

Working now - thanks Vance  :bigthumb:
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: Barthheart on April 08, 2022, 12:51:20 PM
Vance is THE Vassal guru :-))

Working now - thanks Vance  :bigthumb:

I'm just a hack compared to some out there.
Glad it works for you.
 :)
Title: Re: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)
Post by: bob48 on April 08, 2022, 01:31:26 PM
You're too modest by far.  ;)