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Song of Powder and Pike (SPP) is the working title of the new rules I am writing for Ganesha Games as a follow on Flashing Steel. The original Flashing Steel was designed for single figure skirmish, providing swashbuckling action. Very cinematic, with lots of character and detail to breathe life into the individual models. SPP is being designed to take the action up to the next level, that of the squad acting as part of a company or task force. Just like Warhammer, you could choose to imagine that a group of 12 models is a regiment of 600 if you want. Personally, however, I am invisioning individual men engaged in small raiding actions.

These photos show some of the tests that Greg and I ran the other night.

A group is the functional unit of an army. A group is composed of a Leader and anything up to 15 other models. The group is a loose arrangement: it is identified by proximity to the Leader, and they can be broken and reformed easily. A single figure by himself is also a ‘group’ for these purposes.

Basic features of Flashing Steel (and Song of Blades and Heroes) are retained such as turn sequencing (really the core catch of any system – change this and you have an entirely new beast), and the simple DBA-style single d6 task resolution system.

For fans of 17th century warfare, there are a few things that really need to be reflected in the rules to carry that correct flavour. They are, in no particular order: forming up to give protection with pikes, pike fencing in general, the lethality of muskets at close range but rapid drop off in effectiveness, the incredibly slow reloading times of matchlock muskets, the fact that infantry caught in the open by cavalry are mincemeat, and then the differences between cavalry performing the caracole, trotting and firing at close range but prior to contact and the bare-arsed all-or-nothing charge of the earlier Gendarmes, Polish Winged Hussars and Pancerni, later Swedes and the Royalist English.

The figures used here are Renegade Miniatures for the infantry and Eureka Miniatures for the cavalry. I added musket stands to the Renegade musketeers as I prefer the earlier 30YW look to the later ECW firelock look.

More posts to come as work progresses.

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