Home Forums Horse and Musket General Horse and Musket Simplicity in Practice: A Neil Thomas' rules review

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    Here are some of my thoughts on Neil Thomas’ “Simplicity in Practice” Horse-and-Musket rules, published back in Battlegames 23 http://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/some-thoughts-on-neil-thomas-simplicity.html. It really does give a good game – although it is not without a couple of quirks – especially for someone looking for a quick, simple, easy-to-learn set of horse-and-musket rules. They are pretty old school in feel, but with modern slimmed-down mechanics.


    Ivan Sorensen

    Where does this sit compared to his 19th century rules?

    Nordic Weasel Games

    Anon User

    Hey Ivan,

    The SiP is much simpler than the 19th C. rules. As the design is a streamlined version of the entire Napoleonics, AMW and Intro books designs [hit, saves, damage] you can even see how the mechanic of converting Hits to damage comes around.

    More important than just the rules is the articles and design theories around them. They are useful for any game designer to read and attempt to thoroughly understand.




    That is a solid review.  It is a good game with good bones.  Statistically, however, 1 bonus gives the receiving unit a huge advantage over the other unit.  My own review from 2010.  Also some other stuff including notes on my own version.  Also some ideas for TYW and ECW.


    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln


    Sorry Ivan I totally missed your post first time around.  Yes, it is simpler than his C19 rules (and his other rules, for that matter).  The differences:

    A single die roll rather than buckets of dice for combat

    No two-stage hits and base losses.  “Hits” are converted into morale point damage on a die roll.  Morale points = strength points.

    Units don’t degrade in combat ability before they are destroyed.

    There are no formations at all.

    So it prefigures some of the directions he went in with One Hour Wargames too.


    The rules are very good – a “distilled essence” of old-school wargames rules.  The only real drama I have with them is the mis-calibration of effects for close combat, but that is easily tweakable (as has been done by both myself here http://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/further-thoughts-on-simplicity-in.html and John in slightly different ways).


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