So I really wanted to start my 18th century tricorn project, I had some good ideas that granted needed some serious fleshing out but I really wanted to get this thing going.
The biggest obstacle, for me, was actually deciding which rules to use, because rules define the forces, and the forces are which models I needed to buying. I like skirmish gaming, really with not more than ten or twenty models per side on the table, and occasionally five or under. The idea of those massive army battles, with regiments and battalions and the 8’ long table, while very attractive, also seem like an impossibly long time to prepare for, what with purchasing and painting the hundreds of models and creating enough scenery and finding the time to actually stage such a battle… no, it must be skirmishes for me, no doubt about it. And, of course, since I have already been a skirmish player for years, I had quite a few ideas about what might work.
My go-to rules set is Vor: The Maelstrom. Simple, with alternating activation, and some easy to use custom force rules that can be tweaked to do literally anything. I have used these rules for just about everything from modern to far future science fiction at one point or another. I know them inside and out, and are at the top of my list of Best Rules Ever. But after some serious thought, I realized they lack a certain feel for the black powder era, and I moved on.
I asked on The Miniatures Page about what might be some good skirmish rules for the tricorn era, and I got two good recommendations. The first was a game called Donnybrook, which I had never heard of. As it turns out, it hadn’t quite been released yet. After it was released, I read some reviews, and it didn’t seem to be quite what I was looking for. This was also true of the second recommendation, Sharpe Practice. Both looked like good games, and maybe I will get to try them some day. But not this time.
The third recommendation was Song of Drums and Shakos from Ganesha Games, which is really for Napoleonic wargaming but easily handles black powder warfare at a skirmish level from about 1700 to 1865. And, in the event that I wanted to add more fantastical elements to my games, the root game rules, Song of Blades and Heroes, is fully compatible; there would be no problem finding rules for Ottoman war elephants, if I so chose. Best of all, I already both owned both sets of rules as well as several expansions for them. And I have no idea why I didn’t think of these rules first off.
So, I finally had my rules, and it was time to start working on my initial forces. First off, I wanted to figure out what to field for El Principado de la Comadreja. And to do that, I would actually have to do a little research on the principles of warfare in 1725.