Warlord Games presents Rebellion!, a Black Powder supplement, now in PDF format
Rebellion!, chronicles the American War of Independence 1775-1783, and here author Steve Jones explains how he approached this project…
Steve: I was approached by John and Paul of Warlord Games (apparently they don’t yet have a George or Ringo…) at the first Black Powder open day back in November 2009 and asked if I would be willing to pen a supplement for the rules on the subject of the American Rebellion; this naming being insisted upon by John who has clearly spent more time in the US than me. I assume the chaps had seen some of my demonstration games at shows or read my blog rather than just plucking the first wargamer out of the crowd and it probably helped that I had co-authored ‘The Age of Arthur’, a supplement for Warhammer Ancient Battles a few years before.
Having agreed, perhaps a little too incautiously, I planned out what I thought should feature in the supplement, there being no particular detail to the brief and soon decided that I didn’t want to produce an inevitably dogmatic set of army lists but wanted to use a series of scenarios to showcase a number of things.
First was to illustrate the nature and development of the armies through the war, such as the increasing tactical flexibility of the British and the growing competence and confidence of the Continental army. At heart I believe these to be genuinely interesting armies, with troops ranging widely in ability and appearance. To the collector and painter of miniature armies this offers a chance to build forces where every unit has its own character and unique appearance, more often in “campaign dress” than “parade ground”.
Secondly I wanted to show the variety of battles fought in terms both of size and terrain as well as their eminent suitability for the wargamer. The rebellion was fought from the frozen Canadian wasteland to the dense forests of New York to the swamps of Florida and everywhere in between. Battle may have less than two thousand men per side or as many as fifteen thousand. These numbers are far less daunting than those of the larger European battles of the era and yet could carry huge significance for the fate of the colonies.
Lastly was to demonstrate imaginative ways of utilising the Black Powder rules “toolkit” to recreate very different kinds of battle, without needing to make significant changes. When the rules were first published there was a general perception that because they were developed with large collections of miniatures and large wargames tables that this was the only way they could be used. Now, this is a very fine way to play a game of Black Powder but I don’t believe it to be essential and hopefully the smaller scenarios in the “Rebellion!” supplement will show this to be the case.
When designing the scenarios my aim was to ensure that they were all playable with a moderately large figure collection and on a table no larger than 8 feet by 6 feet; indeed many will fit onto 6 feet by 4 feet using 28mm figures. It was very tempting to write larger, more ambitious scenarios but I felt this was not what I wanted in a supplement designed to introduce the period. If, like me, you eventually put together more ambitious figure collections and have access to a larger table then Black Powder will allow you to play the very largest battles of the rebellion with several thousand miniatures. I reason however that if you have the resources to do this, then you probably don’t need me to design your scenario for you, and possibly don’t want me to either! There’s plenty of ideas in the supplement to get you started on designing your own scenarios if this is the route you take.
As well as the scenarios I also wanted to include enough information for the supplement to act as an inspiring introduction to the period. A piece on the narrative history of the conflict seemed essential to give a feel for the flow of events, how the battles came about and what consequence their outcomes entailed. History can be a little dry and I hope that the approach I have taken with this section sweeps the reader along, or at least is more interesting than a mere regurgitation of facts in chronological order. Chapters describing the organisation and appearance of the armies have been included to help those embarking on assembling a miniatures collection. These cannot be fully comprehensive but I feel they provide a good starting point and provide sufficient detail to begin to build a miniature army without having to immediately dash off and invest in further resources, but hopefully encouraging the reader to do so if they decide to embrace the period more fully. I must confess that I shied away from trying to cover flags in any great detail. Information on those of the European forces can be tracked down quite easily but far less is known about many flags used by loyalists and rebel regiments. Rather than offering a lot of speculation it seemed best not to over-reach myself.
Between all of this information and the scenarios lies a section describing the tactics employed by the armies and how the “useful rules” from Black Powder can be applied to the American Rebellion.
Rebellion! is available now in both PDF and soft cover versions:
This glorious 148-page, full-colour, soft cover book, written by Steve Jones, comes with a FREE Continental Army officer figure sculpted by Alan Perry when you buy the book directly from Warlord Games! Who else would you ask to design a figure for an American War of Independence book?
Special Liberty Deals available until Thursday 7th July 2016
As a special for this years 4th of July celebrations and to celebrate 2 years of the Rebellion books release we’ve put together some fantastic deals for you to take advantage of – so whether it’s a book and a cannon or a complete club starter, take a look and start your rebellion for liberty today!