Black Powder

Black Powder Skirmish Modifications

For small scale skirmishes with the Black Powder rules. Use all the normal rules except for these adjustments.


  • Each figure is a single man. A Unit is typically a squad of around 10 men and small and large units are available as normal.
  • Apart from commanders all actions (moves etc) are by units. There is no need to remove figures to show casualties.


  • Troops must be ordered to Shoot which takes an Action. It is possible to shoot more than once per turn.
  • Troops must be ordered to Reload which takes 1 Action for muskets, 2 Actions for rifles and artillery. Use smoke markers to show unloaded status.
  • Only Units in ‘Brigades’ can be given a Brigade order.
  • Command Distance Modifier is 6” (changed from 12”). Drummers, horns etc extend this to 12” if the musician is within 6” of the commander. Musicians can only be used to pass orders to Formations.
  • Also see the new Reform, Close Ranks and Fire by Platoon orders detailed below.

‘Brigades’ – Known as Formations in this skirmish scale

  • Individual units must join with at least one other unit to be considered as a Formation. Only Units in Formations can be given a Brigade order. For example you can’t use one order to advance two separate units: individual units always require individual orders.
  • Formations are created by announcing the formation type required and then using a move order for the units to form up.  Same thing required to change formation from Line to Column, etc. Units must be touching each other to be in Formation.
  • A ‘Fire By Platoon’ order can be given so each alternate unit in a Line fires while the other unit reloads, all as one order


  • Use half distances for all movement. It always takes one Action to change spacing (from close to skirmish etc).
  • There are no automatic changes of spacing when moving between terrain types.


  • Is caused as normal, but can be removed by a ‘Reform’ Order.
  • Disorder is per Unit and causes that unit to ‘drop out’ of the Formation until a successful reformed order.
  • Elite units can try to remove disorder in the usual way before rolling for Command.
  • Units can still Fire or Reload on Initiative if disordered and they prefer not to try to Reform.
Shooting & Hand To Hand Combat
  • Shooting still happens after Command so markers should be used to determine who can shoot and how many times. Use the reload smoke markers but placed behind the unit to show available fires.
  • Muskets (not Rifles) get -1 to hit at over half range.
  • All weapons get +1 to hit Column or Square.
  • All friendly units (not just supports) must test if within 6” of a unit that breaks for any reason.
  • Units in Formation can be issued a ‘Close Ranks’ order to pass on a second or subsequent casualty to another unit in the formation that has no casualties.
  • Vulnerability Of Commanders: The usual rules apply, but Commanders can also be targeted by the closest unit of skirmishers who either have him as the nearest target, or have been individually ordered to fire at him. Commanders count as a skirmish target and have a 3+ Moral save.

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