Drums and Muskets

Introduction

Drums and Muskets have been designed to introduce new players into wargaming. These rules are designed for the following wars, although players could easily use them as a framework for other wars in the same period.

  • The Revolutionary Wars (1792-1802).

  • Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815).

  • The South American Wars of Liberation. (1808 – 1828).

  • The Crimean War (1853-1856).

The rules provide more experienced gamers a simple more relaxed way of enjoying the period without the complexities and depth of match play. These rules are not written to provide a purist simulation of the period, but a game with a flavor for the period. The rules are designed to use any scale models. To play the games all you need are Six-sided dice (D6), ideally 1D12 although you could use 2D6, your own models, terrain to represent the landscape of your battlefield and a ruler.

Game Scale

In wargaming there is usually a link between the real-world representation in ground scale and several men. Drums and Muskets uses 1 base width (BW) to equal 40 yds with 50 men deployed in two ranks or 75mm deployed three ranks. Several bases would make up a battalion unit depending on the battalion’s size. Base Widths (BW) are used also in the game for movement and range distances. For 15mm a base would be around 40mm wide and in 25/28mm a base width would be around 60mm wide. Where players wish to use figures instead of the bases. Then for distances use 4cm as a base width. Calculate dice on number of figures in the front rank or a single artillery model, instead of bases.

As a guide for using figures based for other game systems, players could consider the following:

  • Standard battalions would be about 4 bases, if using a square base system of about 4x 25mm figures then 6-8 bases would be a good guide.

  • Large battalions would be about 6 bases, if using a square base system of about 4x 25mm figures then 8-10 bases would be a good guide.

  • Most cavalry would be 4 bases, except units such as Austrians which would be 6 bases.

  • Artillery batteries would be 1 base unless specifically larger, then 2 bases are used.

  • It is also possible to use a system of single unit bases as shown below. If you use this method, then the base has strength of 6 from standard size or a strength of 8 for larger units.

Light companies thrown forward from a parent unit, are handled in these rules as a factor. Players can use a few figures to indicate that the army uses light companies deployed forward of a parent battalion for a nice cosmetic effect.

 

These rules are provided in PDF format and free to download and print.