Black Powder, Gaming & Collecting, Getting Started, Napoleonic Wars 1789-1815

Four Marshals: Taking the King’s Shilling

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We’re kicking off a brand new series, chronicling the journey of four new Black Powder players as they take up their marshals batons!

The King’s Shilling

Warlord HQ is always a hive of hobby-related activity. This week, we’ve corralled four staff members together to take the King’s Shilling and start a new Black Powder army together. We’ll be following their hobby journey, illustrating how easy it is to start your own Napoleonic army!

During the 18th and 19th centuries, soldiers of the British Army were paid a small advance by recruiters to incentivise them into volunteering. This advance was usually one shilling – a full day’s wages for a private soldier.

Upon swearing an oath before a judge, a much more substantial bounty – amounting to half a year’s wages for an unskilled worker would be paid. This was enough to encourage some to repeatedly desert then re-enlist to claim multiple bounties. One man was executed after repeating the process 47 times!

Each week, our marshals will draft some fresh recruits from the barracks to supplement their ranks. We’ve given them a target of six units plus command elements, which will be organised into two or three brigades.

These small forces are perfect for getting to grips with the intricacies of commanding men in Black Powder and have plenty of expansion potential.

The Four Marshals


Marcus has started work on converting up these French lancers into Prussian ones!

I’m Marcus, from Customer Service. I’m fairly new to Warlord, but not to tabletop wargaming. I’ve never done any Napoleonic before, so I’m really excited to crack on with a new challenge. The painting is a little daunting (since I’m quite possibly the slowest painter in the world!), but I’m looking forward to pushing myself and seeing how the force comes together at the end of the campaign.

I’ve gone for Prussians for my force, which is hopefully something a little different from the norm – plus, they turned up late to Waterloo, which gives me an excuse for my slow painting!  For my first unit, I’ve chosen Uhlans, who I’ll be representing with Polish Lancers. I like the idea of a unit that can punch above its weight when charging – hopefully, this means I can smash an enemy unit or two with a single decisive blow, although no doubt the dice gods will have other ideas…

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My names Kalon (I run the Store’s Facebook page and work in the shop during the week), I got into the wargaming hobby years ago and have never looked back.

Kalon’s put his new airbrush to good use and made a start on his fearsome Highlanders. You can just see the beginnings of the infamous tartan kilts!

I’ve decided to collect the British for the Four Marshals and I’m looking forward to getting hold of some of the hardy Household Brigade to help crush my enemies flanks while the trusty British redcoat holds them at bay with steady musket fire.

For week 1 I’ve decided to start with some Highlanders, their mix of strong rules and the added painting challenge really attracted me to giving them a go, I can’t wait to see how I get on with painting Tartan (here’s hoping it comes out well).

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Tom’s been busy painting some lancers for his cavalry wing, and the dashing Marshal Ney – his overall commander. We’ll see more of him next week…

I’m Tom, I’m relatively new to Warlord’s casting team. I’ve had a passion for wargaming since I was very small, and I’ve played every single game I can get my hands on!

However, Napoleonic’s has been a most heartfelt passion for me for many years now,the history and heroics of the time period are absolutely fascinating.

I’ll be collecting French for this campaign, Mainly a focus around the diverse cavalry units the Grand Armée had to offer in this time period, along with their reliable infantry and big cannons.

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Tobias is always dashing off to shows across the UK & Europe, but he’s found a few minutes to get some of his Poles on bases.

My love for small nations and minor factions runs deep. so much so that for this mighty tale I have chosen the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. My first unit will be the Polish Vistula Legion, chosen for their glorious czapkas and the fact they are a solid infantry unit in black powder, comparable to the young guard for the French.

As the Polish were usually part of a much larger French force, I have decided that my plucky chaps will be led by a couple of cheeky French colonels. I have chosen to use our French starter paint set.

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Next Week…

We’ll have a look at command and control in Black Powder, and focus on the commanders of four armies.

Tom Mecredy
Tom spends most of his time buying books and painting miniatures. He enjoys putting animals on the bases of his miniatures and half-finishing side projects. Some say that he lives in a tower on top of some windswept northern hill with his wife and cow-patterned cat, Spaghetti.