Monday, 30 January 2012

Firelock & Matchlock

Types of musket & other Small arms
During the period we are considering we have several sorts of small arm in use.

Muskets which could be either Firelocks (flintlocks) or Matchlocks (lighter versions of the weapons used in the Thirty years war &  English Civil War ) at first flintlocks where the preserve of specialist troops mostly used to guard the artillery train where all those slow matches would be quite a hazard but as time went on they spread to the generality of infantry & dragoons & eventuality totally displaced firelocks.

Carbines which like muskets could be either Firelocks or Matchlocks but which where used by cavalry and where short enough to be fired mounted & most importantly loaded mounted. They had a lesser range than a Musket but longer than a horse pistol. They are notable as use of Cavalry in the shot role was quite common in this period. Much more so than it latter became.

Horse pistols Large heavy pistols carried in pairs & used by some nations cavalry on the charge as well as in the classic & increasingly obsolete cavalry rotational fire drills.

Because Pistols are at least viable ranged weapons at this period I have to give them enough range to be useful. However if we consider those listed in Sharp form muskets and carbines  you will see there is a problem they are too sort to include a pistol with any sort of range. After some though on this I found I was going to have to change the ground scale and casting about for something suitable & not too huge came to the conclusion that a 1:1 ground scale for 15mm would work rather as it does for TW&T & M&B other Lardie rules sets. Which I am familiar with & I may well visit on the Discersions Page. The Scale is 1" = 4yards

The  up shot of this is assuming that a Musket has an effective range of 80 yards that the table form Sharpe looks like  (note all shot are assumed to be line troops) all other ranges are based on that of the musket.

              0-5   6-10   11-20    21-30
Musket  5&6       6         6           7
Carbine   6          6         7            -
Pistol       6          7         -

Note a seven on a d6 sounds impossible but its got by rolling a 6 followed by a 4+

I am not planing on changing movement distances though I am aware that extending the range of fire arms will alter the dynamics of the game I just want to play test it to discover quite how.


  1. Another option is to use pistols as a melee weapon, that is, a plus for charging or receviving a charge.

    1. Hi Everybody,

      I think that, in this period, use of pistol as melee weapon is quite rare.
      Probabily more developed few dozen of Years before, with massive use of reiter cavalry.


  2. Now that I look again at the table, I think that 5 or 6 for musket at short range is too much. A feel that is easiest to shot with a pistol at short rnage than with a musket. A musket is too long to train on a target that is too close.