Horse & Musket Periods
In his book Charge written in 1967, Brigadier Peter Young wrote that: "You may be tempted to build up wargame armies of several periods. This is enticing, but it's madness." Well, I sometimes wish I'd heeded the Brigadier's advice. Ah, to hell with it. Surely just a little "sample unit" or two can't hurt, can it? !
This is really my favourite era - the core of my wargaming collection. All of my "Horse & Musket" periods have their own charms - the regimented pace of a Seven Years War game is pleasingly different from an American War of Independence one. I've always been a sucker for a tricorne hat on a wargames figure, for Georgian or American Colonial architecture, and for the whole ethos of the "Age of Reason".
At the moment I've reduced my "Horse & Musket" collection down to just four periods. the War of the Grand Alliance doesn't count, as it just squeaks in before the start of the 18th century. Until fairly recently I had others including the American Civil War . To be honest, it never really enthused me but you can still visit the page by clicking on the link. Of the four, my main periods are the Seven Years War and the Napoleonic War. To me the Seven YEars War is the epitome of the "Age of Reason", with nice uniforms and flags, precise manoeuvres and aesthetic charm. s the ultimate in wargaming periods. Napoleonics (which should really be called "Bonapartics" as us British never called him by his Imperial name) is a also a big passion, and I play it a lot more than I did. A few years ago it played second fiddle to the mid-18th century, but now its a mainstay in its own right. An off-shoot of it is the French Revolutionary War. I really love all the flavour of this rarely-gamed war.
Finally there's the two American periods of mine. The American War of Independence (it was never a "revolution", my colonial friends) is another back-burner period, but I enjoy wargaming it, and now have quite a collection of kit. For me the new kid on the block is the French & Indian War, which unlike the others is something I wargame on the skirmish level, rather than with full-blown armies.
Whichever of these period grabs your attention, I hope that after surfing these pages you'll agree with me that of all wargaming eras the "Horse & Musket" is the most spectacular. That's why it really works best for me with 28mm figures and large units. Sure, you can use uninspiring and questionable rules systems like Napoleonic DBA or Warhammer ACW, or ones where a stand of four figures represents a Division, but then you'll miss out on some of the charm. Horse and Musket games should look good, feel good and be fun to play. If anyone tells you differently then they should probably stick with 15mm DBM!
The Seven Years War
The French & Indian War
The American War of Independence
The Age of Bonaparte
Pike & Shot Horse & Musket "Modern" Naval Home