Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany — Horse & Musket

A BATTLE, ON THE ICE (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, Horse & Musket

A BATTLE, ON THE ICE (by Tom Russell)

Every year we do a Horse & Musket Annual, a collection of twenty new scenarios drawn from the periods covered by the box games published up until that time. Last month, we just released the second, and earlier this month we put out the call for entries for next year's. The first time, series designer Sean Chick and developer Doug Miller asked me if I wanted in on the action, and I said I would try to come up with something, but I ultimately failed to do so. It was the same story for year two, and I was determined...


DESIGNING HORSE & MUSKET: CRUCIBLE OF WAR (by Sean Chick)

Mary Russell

Tags 18th century, Horse & Musket, Sean Chick, Seven Years War

DESIGNING HORSE & MUSKET: CRUCIBLE OF WAR (by Sean Chick)

When I started planning out the Horse & Musket series, Crucible of War (Volume III) was originally part of Sport of Kings (Volume II). The more research I did, the more I saw key differences between the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years’ War. The mass introduction of iron ramrods, cadence marching, light infantry, and canister were just a few innovations that explain the more rapid pace and bloodier battles of the Seven Years’ War, although overall tactics were about the same. Yet, as soon as the Seven Years’ War ended a wave of rebellions occurred, stretching...


SCENARIO DESIGN: KESSELSDORF (by Sean Chick)

SCENARIO DESIGN: KESSELSDORF (by Sean Chick)

  One of the joys and pains of scenario design in Horse & Musket is creating and learning about obscure battles. Sometimes maps and sources are so few that a scenario has to be abandoned, such as Villmanstrand (part of the Russo-Swedish War 1741-43). On the other end are battles for which maps and books in English are plentiful, such as Fontenoy and Culloden. Kesselsdorf lies between the obscure and the famous.  The first step is to read what I can on the battle. The number of books treating the topic in a super specific way is zero. There are...


DESIGNER'S NOTES: HORSE & MUSKET: SPORT OF KINGS (by Sean Chick)

DESIGNER'S NOTES: HORSE & MUSKET: SPORT OF KINGS (by Sean Chick)

The challenge in creating Volume II of Horse & Musket lay with picking a time frame. The War of the Spanish Succession set the overall parameters of musket combat, which did not greatly change until the American and particularly the French Revolution. Yet, there is a difference between the wars that were fought from 1721 to 1748 on the one hand, and the apocalyptic Seven Years’ War on the other. The difference was less in tactics and more in the armies. The main armies of Europe in the period were France, Britain, Prussia, and Austria. Each had very different experiences...


HORSE & MUSKET PART 3 (by Sean Chick)

HORSE & MUSKET PART 3 (by Sean Chick)

I wish to conclude this by discussing the long path taken to creating Horse & Musket. The origins of the game stem from my love for linear musket combat and my work on Hold the Line: Frederick’s War. That game came out from some simple fan made scenarios I crafted for Hold the Line based on the War of the Austrian Succession. The scenarios were popular enough to gain the attention of Worthington, who after much deliberation, decided to create both Frederick’s War and its expansion, Highland Charge. For a time Worthington was interested in creating a game based on...

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