Black Powder is a game system produced by Warlord Games and written by Rick Priestley and Jervis Johnson. As the introduction to the rules says:
Black Powder is a game for militarily inclined gentlemen with straight backs, bristling beards and rheumy eyes that have seen a thing or two. If tales of battle and glory in days-gone-by stir nothing in your breast, if the roar of cannon does not quicken the pulse and set a fire in the belly, then stop reading forthwith. Ours is not an adventure to be embarked upon by the faint hearted. Put down this book and be glad that you have spared yourself the discomforting spectacle of grown men attempting to relive the great conflicts of history with armies of toy soldiers.
So heft your muskets and prepare for battle. The library or billiard room will serve as our battlefield, or else some similarly spacious and secluded refuge. Ensure that children are put to bed and lie safely beyond earshot. Secure the doors against the intrusion of womenfolk as yet unfamiliar with the conventions of war. Ready your armies for the long march to glory.
And finally, let us remember that the ideal accompaniment to the journey may be found in good brandy, fine cigars, and the companionship of like-minded enthusiasts.
Black Powder 2nd Edition (2019)
Black Powder covers the Horse and Musket period from 1701 (War of the Spanish Succession) to 1898 (Second Sudan War). Most commonly you’ll find players use the system to refight engagements from the Napoleonic Wars or the American Civil War.
I personally believe that Horse & Musket games come in one of two formats. Either simulation, where the rules will try and accurately represent a battle of that period in minutiae. Or in a more ‘Arcade’ format, where an approximation of the overall battle is given.
The game itself can be played at most miniature scales, with the smaller scales adding to the big battle feel of the game you’re playing.
Black Powder doesn’t have miniature removal and instead uses markers to show the status of units. Units are usually made up of 4 stands and these will be arranged to shoe what formation a unit is in. Units are usually at a battalion/squadron level, but you can use Units to represent larger formations such as Brigades.
So if this time period interests you and you have a specific war in mind, Black Powder may be the system for you.
To give you more of a taster, we’ve put together a number of articles covering the basics of a turn in Black Powder which, should give you a feel of how the game plays.
WoePoints are intended to be a fun and free point system to keep track of you backlog and to stop it getting out of control.
Scoring is carried out similar to Golf, with a lower score being better.
You lose points for each model you paint or sell, and gain them for purchasing more.
How is it Tracked?
You can either keep score yourself or join our friendly Discord server and use our WoeBot to keep track.
Special thanks to Ben Bailey from Dice and Ducks for building WoeBot! Check out Dice and Ducks when you next can, they bring you live battle reports on YouTube from wargaming events around the UK.
What are the Points?
Below is a list of all the Points you can earn. There are no prizes for this, and it is purely intended to be just a fun new feature for anyone who paints miniatures.
Points are stackable.
i.e. I paint 10 Intercessors and get -10 for painting 10 models then -2 for painting 2 units. I then sell them on ebay and get an additional -10 points. Bringing the total points for those Intercessors to -22 Points.
They’ll be more functionality added to WoeBot in the coming months including:
Searching our website for faction/subfaction lists and returning you a list of articles they appear in.
I hear the cry of male hobbyists the world over – ‘I’m disappointed in the size of my tower’, well, if your erections just aren’t quite piercing the clouds, fear not as I have a product review for you.
I recently picked up the Fortified Tower from Croatia based Tabletop World and tried it out, so you can see if it meets your needs.
This is a five piece resin kit (three of the pieces being the flag, pole and base). The main tower consists of just two pieces, with a little bit of internal detail which might be nice for D&D etc but not enough to do too much with as you only have that level plus the roof.
This kit can also be incorporated into Tabletop Worlds Town Walls kits, these look pretty interesting but for my purposes I only wanted the singular tower.
Tabletop World states that the resin comes pre-cleaned but I didn’t want to risk it and gave the beast a good wash and brush up with some washing up liquid. I was pleased and surprised to find no bubbles or problems with the product to repair, given the material (!), I don’t know if this is their usual quality but I was very pleased. The irregular stone effect of the sculpt looks great and I think you could really put as much or as little effort as you wanted into painting this and it will reward you.
I #slapchopped up the tower very simply and it took the paint very well. I then added some spots of Dirty Down moss on the odd ledge here and there.
The kit is a bit pricey at €65, or £54.90 from Element Games. This beast is absolutely rock solid though and feels like it will last as long as if it really were made of stone. Terrain always is a bit of an investment and I can use this for the Warhammer Fantasy Watchtower scenario objective, in Age of Sigmar or even in 40k for a feudal world.
I’ve added a few pics, with a little green friend, so you can see the scale and how mine turned out
All in all, I’m a fan and might pick some more up…. I’ll let you know!
Back in the mid 90’s when I was first getting into Warhammer and wargaming in a big way there used to be an article called ‘A Tale of Wargamers’ in the White Dwarf. The premise was simple, each person had a budget of £25 and spent that each month on expanding their army.
I thought it would be great to try and do this again in the current day and age. But also, we’re making it even harder for ourselves! What if we approached this as though we had never bought any models, paints or brushes before?! As in, what should a complete beginner look at purchasing and where from?!
So, if you’re a beginner to Warhammer or in fact any wargaming system (not just Games Workshop), then you may find this series interesting and useful. For those a bit more long in the tooth, you may just find this plain entertaining!
As there are a few members of the team taking part in the Tale of Wargamers from all corners of the globe we first had to agree the limits.
UK based members have £25 GBP
US based members have $35 USD
Australian based members have $65 AUD
Rest of Europe have €30
You can use independent retailers, Amazon (I wouldn’t, but you could….) or Games Workshop for your supplies of tools, paints and models. Preferably eBay should be avoided as prices can be difficult to replicate.
Anything that isn’t spent in one month can be carried over to the next. You CANNOT spend more than the budget allows.
Finally, purchasing 3D miniature prints from a vendor on Etsy or similar is fine, however, we are banned from using our own printers for his purpose.
Warhammer Fantasy and Oldhammer Players
If you’ve already got a large collection of miniatures but want to take part, then use the budget as normal and consider each set of 10 models/artillery or similar to cost £25 and a hero/character to cost £15. Then purchase the paints etc as normal. I.e. you have a set of 10 Trollslayers in your pile of shame. Deduct £25 from your budget and paint them up.
I’m not going to lie, we think it’s going to be tough, but it is doable! And don’t worry, none of us will be resorting to using PVA glue to stick our models together!
Want to keep up to date on everyone’s progress? Why not join our Discord, on there you’ll fine the Tale of Wargamers channel where we post our thoughts and musings throughout the month.
Clubhammer is a new series of articles which focus on finding local gaming clubs where you may be able to play your favourite wargames! We’re aiming to achieve a large database where you can search for clubs near to you!
Thurso Sea Cadet Hall Sir Archibald Road Thurso KW14 8HN
Declan ‘The Best Big Waagh Player In The World’ Waters is often credited (by me) as the player who put Big Waagh on the map in 3rd Edition, but he’s not exactly bad with his other armies either. So we decided to squeeze some insights on 20 years of competitive play, the future of the game, and his own personal philosophy on having a good time!
Danny:The big recent news is you’ve made it into the Tsports Champs event [since time of asking, Declan finished 14th, going 2-3 – with all three losses to Seraphon, the poor bastard] – have you decided what to run, and what are you hoping to get out of the event personally?
Declan Waters: I’ve been playing tournaments for 20 years and always brought slightly suboptimal armies trying to get those 3-2s. Most people in the hobby knew I could play but that I wouldn’t bring the latest filth! At one tournament a top player turned to me on day 1 after I went 3-0 with Goblins and said ‘what are you doing up here’ 🤣
With the Covid break we had some players leaving and some new join the scene and my preferred army (Gitz) had gone so far behind I was losing to new players with Seraphon and Daughters, despite [me] knowing the game better. In fact, I helped teach some of them the core rules knowing my poor Goblins couldn’t compete!
So I made the decision that I should probably show the new players that I could play… I took Ironjawz with some success but then tried Big Waaagh and went 4-1 then 5-0.
But to qualify is amazing – I’d love to bring the Gitz but it seems unfair to the Big Waaagh who got me this far so I’ll probably allow them out to play.
I can imagine you saying “i’ve forgotten more AoS rules than you’ll ever know…”20 years is a lot of experience – in high level terms, how have you seen the game and the community evolve in that time?
The game has gone from rare releases (you could easily wait 10 years for a new army book) to rapid fire (3 LRL books in no time is crazy!!) This means that keeping up with what’s new is difficult, so I think barriers to entry are increasing.
For AoS I remember v1 ‘the wild west’ where Mo saved us all with a point scheme because games workshop only did wounds! So a 14 wound Gigantic Spider cost the same as 14 Goblins! And armour value was ‘free’. It really was strange and a lot of good friends went to 9th age. I dabbled a bit in it as well, but there were as many rules changes there as AoS and my beloved Goblins got hammered again and again! So I switched to just AoS.
For the community it’s been a quantum leap forward, with the ease of communication from the Internet, YouTube channels and podcasts. In 2002 when I played at the Bristol Big Uns there were 4 tournaments – 2 in Bristol and 2 in Nottingham ran by WPS (Warhamer Player’s Society) – now there can be 4 a weekend!
Young whippersnappers don’t know how good they’ve got it!So can we double down on this thought process? As a great player who deliberately avoids ‘the latest filth’ – what’s your advice for people who may want to run fluffier stuff but that might still end up playing 6 dragons and long strikes etc?Or in other words, how do you avoid being frustrated with people who do lean hard as possible into non interactive games?
It’s very difficult and I think it’s definitely something that tournament organisers could help with by giving an indication of what they might expect. We had dragons at a local 1 dayer recently which was completely inappropriate but having said all that, at a big enough tourney you won’t actually fight much filth… that’s the joy of Swiss [pairings]. I’m a fan of comp though like ‘Timmy comp’ when organisers would just say no to lists that were un-interactive! But that doesn’t happen in AoS.
What I do is make myself little objectives either narratively or (in a 20-0 system or tiebreak) to try to get as many points as I can. For example, I had great fun at BoBo last year despite playing with Gitz because it was 20-0, so even if I was losing I could play for tournament points and get higher up the table. I got quite a few 7-13!
But the key is… know what to expect. Have a look at The Honest Wargamer stats for your army. If a 1-4 is good aim for 1-1-3 not 5-0. And don’t blame your opponents for your poor army (it’s difficult!) I find talking about ‘GW design’ means I can laugh with my opponents about some of the poor things jn the army (Gitz).
That said, Big Waagh are good, and I’ve only played Gitz in 2, 5-game tournaments in AoS 3 because of the book.
For new players I would say have a look at which armies are doing well and pick something in the top third. It is much more fun to have an army that can compete rather than playing with one hand behind your back!
Awesome advice. That was a slightly selfish question too.
People (including our own website) often talk about specific rules/units – which is essential, of course, but what do you think are some of the most fundamentally important aspects to playing Warhammer? For instance – is it in probabilistic thinking? Having a plan and sticking to it? Staying calm?
Scenario! Always play the scenario. Read it, check both players understand it and remember it! There’s no point killing Archaeon if the Varanguard are holding the key objectives. Along the same vein, build your list to get battle tactics. I’ve won loads of games because people have tried to kill the Maw Krusha because its big rather than the warchanter on an objective!
Age of Sigmar isn’t about killing things (unless you take Dragons and Raptors) it’s about movement and placement.
With Thondia, we’re seeing the introduction of narrative Seasons for AoS – but models like the Incarnate bleed into mainstream matched play and unless i’m misremembering, we’re looking at 2 GHBs a year now.
I have a couple of questions about that – the first one is simply how do you feel about it?
It’s not good in my opinion.
GW have always said they are a miniature company who make rules but it’s getting expensive for the rules with a main system reboot every 3 years, army books and 2 GHBs. It seems a change aimed at the small number of people who play lots. In a normal year I play at 4 tournaments and 2 GHBs makes those tournaments a lot more expensive.
There also seems to be a refusal to have narrative only models which would give more design space. I like Gotrek as a model for example but making matched play rules that match the novels is very difficult.
It would be better if he were narrative only and then you could send an army of Gitz at him (for example) and they could still make him even better than now.
I get you. So some models are hampered by having to ‘make sense’ in matched play, stopping them from actually ‘making sense’ narratively?It feels in general like 3e is doing a much better job at making good rules that also feel fluffy though
Obviously the nightmare scenario is anything resembling the state 40k is in right now. So my next question – do you think more ‘matched play or death!’ players should try narrative?
I don’t think there are many matched play or death players… but narrative is something you have to want to play! There are some great events which are narrative or semi narrative where scoring encourages non standard or ‘weak’ armies but if that’s not your idea of fun I would definitely not want to force anyone! That said if you’re bringing the top tournament army to a small one dayer at your local club… then maybe a quick rethink… or try out some other toys!
Last question – James Workshop tells you he’ll grant you one AoS wish. What do you wish for?
Gitz to be playable as Gitz, Troggs, Squigs, Spider or soup! Remove the keyword bingo!! 🤣🤞
Here at Woehammer, we know that Warhammer fans never complain about anything. But – sometimes it can be healthy to get something off your chest. This is a game of two halves, and one of those halves is always wrong, or too strong – right? But, great sports as we all are, we bottle those feelings up. But feelings ferment (it’s the salt!) and left too long, can turn sour, and blow the bottle of your unconscious into shards of misery that dig deep into your most squishy, inner parts – and no-one wants that.
Least of all your new, resident Agony Aunt, The Slaughter Queen known as ‘Kreelith Tongue-Tearer’. She drove a hard bargain – most of the Woehammer team are still recuperating from the blood-letting – but eventually the Cauldron was full, and she pledged her services to us in perpetuity, or until we all became exsanguinate husks in service of her God-Mother – whichever comes first.
Now, after such an ordeal, we’re sincerely hoping some of you have some gripes you can send in for Kreelith to help you with, in her infinite, bloodthirsty wisdom. Want to complain about a certain faction? Let it all out (so long as it’s not Daughters of Khaine…). Have a secret shame or confession you need to get off your chest? Let Kreelith rip your heart out – figuratively speaking. Just want to moan about something preventing you from Warhammering as much as you’d like to? Bare all to your new master! Master of comforting understanding, that is.
Since its beginnings as the BattleTech boardgame, the BattleTech/MechWarrior universe has captivated millions of fans worldwide. For almost three decades, the collision of interstellar politics and war has rewarded fans with amazingly detailed fiction, captivating characters and fantastic adventure. These dynamics have spawned a host games, novels, toys and more.
Choose your pill and spiral down through the links above to endless action!
Snalespune on Youtube has a great introductory video to Battletech, which explains the basics of the game.
If you’re interested in getting into Battletech, then I recommend you look at Battletech for more information. They have all the models and rules you need.