I can hardly believe that it’s over ten years since my horse and musket rules were published in The Wargaming Compendium. Since then, the rules have been used not just by me and occasional chums visiting the Loftwaffe, but also for a number of gaming weekends held in Ayton, where variable numbers of imagi-nations enthusiasts gathered to pitch their gloriously varied armies across vast tabletops in massive games lasting entire weekends. Conversely, I—and, I gather, quite a few others—have used them for solo gaming projects on a much more modest scale.

Thus the time came to let them loose in the world in a more coherent form and Shot, Steel & Stone: the Bare Essentials was born and sent into the world at the end of 2023.

Why The Bare Essentials? because, in a somewhat old-fashioned manner, I decided to release the ruleset with a simple, black-and-white interior, unencumbered by much of the ‘fluff’ that has become de rigueur in modern rulebooks, meaning that it can be printed—and therefore priced—at much lower cost.

So, what you get is the ruleset, some army lists and links to some useful stuff that I’m uploading in various locations—including a series of videos that I’m making on YouTube (more about those later).

Doing it this way also means that I’m getting the opportunity to iron out any final kinks—there’s nothing quite like publishing a ruleset to find out all the little things that one could have tweaked or expressed differently or made clearer! Fortunately, self-publishing means that I’m able to re-upload the files to Amazon and have a corrected version on the presses for the very next customer, and of course the PDF versions being sold on my own Payhip site and on WargameVault can also be updated immediately. I’m also publishing errata and an updated set of playsheets right here in the Fridge section of the Shop.

So, for the sake of a tenner for the PDF version, or £12.50 for the paperback on Amazon, why not give the rules a go and become part of the growing community of players discovering that, blimey, the rules actually work and give a fun game, whether you’re commanding half a dozen units or a Grande Armée? And, as you’ll see on the videos, imagi-nations players will be particularly interested in how you can bring in those personality characteristics I keep banging on about in The Wargaming Compendium and Wargaming Campaigns.

Check the link for more details and more links!