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"Free playtest hex based horse & musket rules at Crusader" Topic

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Crusaderminis26 Sep 2011 11:46 a.m. PST

I've been toying with the idea of combining boardgame and wargame game mechanics for quite a while and have finally put all my notes togther into a (mostly) understandable format.

The playtest rules are available as a free PDF from the downloads page of the Crusader Publishing site here. (top of the page)


There are 20 pages of rules (plus some sample army lists) which includes a lot of examples and the fast play sheet could be squeezed into half a page of A4 (though I've added helpful notes) so they are easy to learn!

The rules are designed to use infantry battalions, cavalry regiments or artillery batteries but to have lots of these on the table. The scale of the game is pretty big with a 6 foot by 4 foot table representing something like 4 miles by 3 miles.

I still have stuff to do on the rules but the majority of the work is done and they are a 'playable' set for anyone that has an interest in hex based gaming.

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART26 Sep 2011 7:50 p.m. PST

Thanks…Downloaded for later perusal.

Son of Liberty26 Sep 2011 10:11 p.m. PST

Hi, Mark.

I just took a quick skim through the rules and I didn't see any suggested basing sizes. I see that you're using 2-inch hexes but nothing about how big the bases should be within the hex. What size bases are you using?

Crusaderminis27 Sep 2011 2:40 a.m. PST

The basing of the figures doesnt really matter so long as it fits. Each hex contains a single unit, how that is based or the size of the figures isn't important so long as you can easily determine its facing for melee, movement, firing, flanks and rear.

I currently use 15mm figures based on 40mm frontage with inf and cav 30mm deep, artillery 40mm deep. I think this is pretty standard and is the same as March Attack, Lasalle and FoG Napoleonic.

TKindred Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2011 11:07 a.m. PST

I gave them a quick purview and will read them at length in the near future. Overall, I found the presentation to be excellent, well laid out and easy to follow. Read well, too, though i was skipping through the sections to get a feel for the writing style and language use.

For me, I'm interested to see about scaling up to 4"-6" hexes and using 120mm bases with 28mm minis. I have a large enough area to play, so size of table isn't a problem.

Looks good, though and I'll review them after some reading and playtesting.

Spreewaldgurken27 Sep 2011 11:34 a.m. PST

Are there any hex-based games that enable multiple units per hex? I'm always frustrated by the "One Unit Per Hex" limitation. It just doesn't look or feel right for combined arms, especially for artillery.

Crusaderminis27 Sep 2011 11:56 a.m. PST

I'm sure someone could come up with a workable system for 'stacking' units in hexes without too much trouble, even if its only to borrow some ideas from board wargames that effectively do that anyway.

A while ago I tried a system that used 4" hexes with multiple units per hex. The multiple stands per hex can work quite well but I ended up discarding the 4" hexes in preference for 2" and one unit per hex. My main reason being the scale of the battles that I wanted to play and the space I actually have available.

Part of the problem for me isn't so much the width of the games – its the depth. 28mm figures and 4" hexes would look great but for me to play a game of the scale I am after I'd have to knock through to next door ;-) I have a realistic limit of something like 12 feet by 6 feet and at 4" a hex that doesn't give the depth of hexes required for troops to deploy far enough apart.

Spreewaldgurken27 Sep 2011 12:57 p.m. PST

"Part of the problem for me isn't so much the width of the games its the depth. 28mm figures and 4" hexes would look great but for me to play a game of the scale I am after I'd have to knock through to next door ;-) I have a realistic limit of something like 12 feet by 6 feet and at 4" a hex that doesn't give the depth of hexes required for troops to deploy far enough apart."

Yeah, I agree. I've always loved the idea of hex-based minis, but in practice I find all sorts of unsettling issues with spacing and fitting the bases. A single base of figures – assuming the base is square – can look awfully lonely in that hex. I miss the serried ranks of horse-n-musket armies, when they're divided up by hexes.

Like the rules… have a problem with "the look."

Crusaderminis28 Sep 2011 2:05 a.m. PST

Can't argue with that – no matter how hard you try there are always going to be hexes all over the table!

I would like to think (hope) that a game with 100-150 units a side will be a 'spectale' in itself. I've started on some of my own terrain but, like the rules, it has a way to go yet.


Allan Mountford28 Sep 2011 5:22 a.m. PST


On p8 you describe 'Passage of lines'. It is clear that a friendly unit cannot be passed through if that unit is in an enemy ZOC. Is the operative word: 'through'? Reason for the query is that, given the ground scale, a friendly unit in an enemy ZOC may wish to retire and exchange positions with a supporting unit to its rear via passage of lines. Pretty common, but I am not sure whether your draft rules allow it.

- Allan

Crusaderminis28 Sep 2011 5:49 a.m. PST

The rules are pretty literal I've tried to make them as 'black and white' as possible. With that in mind yes, you could do what you mention, though perhaps not in exactly the way I think you may mean.

Hard to explain what I mean without a diagram but I'm always happy to answer any rules questions more fully over on the Crusader forum.


mass mosc02 Oct 2011 11:44 a.m. PST

There is rule system for ancients based on hexagons with 10cm sides, using a lot of 10mm miniatures. Each hexagon can contain 12 foot or 6 mounted bases. It is called "Anticaemente". Since two years here in Italy we are playing a national tournament with these rules. The first year I won the championship…

If you want to read the free rules: link

If you want to see my last games:

TKindred Supporting Member of TMP02 Oct 2011 11:53 a.m. PST


Interesting using the rectangular basing for your minis. How do you think it would play with hexagonal bases? Seems to me that that would be the way to go with this game at that scale.

Crusaderminis02 Oct 2011 1:51 p.m. PST

I'm hedging my bets. If I rebase to hexes I can really only use the figures for hex games, if I keep everything on rectangular bases I can use them for hex games or non hex games as I like.

Le Marechal de Fer05 Oct 2011 9:56 a.m. PST

I remember Frappe way back when, which was hex-based,on a 1:10 ratio as I recall, as was Napoleonique on a bigger scale- both used a lot of 25mm figures-and the look was pretty good, if there was plenty of lead. I have a hard time with range vs fig size if an inch represents more than 100 yards at 6mm, and shrinks as the figs get bigger. Always had to play on a minimum of 6'x 12' to feel like a Napoleonic Miniatures game….thats just me.
It seems like the drawback is just that one creates a relief map boardgame, with figures as counters, as opposed to what I'm used to, which i suppose could be described as an "Empire" game type "look".

KimRYoung Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2011 10:54 a.m. PST

Le Marechal,

The difference was that unlike the new Crusader rules, Frappe and Napoleonique DID NOT require units to occupy a single (or even mutiple) hexes. The hexes were there just for the purpose of movement and range measurement. The actual units and their formations worked just the same as games with no hexes. Units could be formed in line, column, square and skirmish and occupy what ever frontage or space was needed, regardless of hexes.


Le Marechal de Fer05 Oct 2011 12:55 p.m. PST

Of course, you are right, Mr. Young-now that i think about it, that was the only purpose of the hexes- The formations were, I think, company/battalion level, in a fashion that would have them generally resemble the historical formations as seen 'from the air'.
Probably why I remember they had a traditional look- more like the visual impression I have a personal preference for in napoeonic wargaming…I suppose this could be nicely achieved by basing 6mm figures in formation on hex shaped stands also..although I do not prefer larger formations and terrain having to conform to a hex grid on my own table, it might look pretty good 'en masse' as it were.

Crusaderminis07 Oct 2011 3:37 a.m. PST

Just updated the rules to the 7th October version if anyone is interested. Same link as on the original post.

pfmodel17 Jul 2021 11:49 p.m. PST

Looks like the link is no longer available. I have also been thinking along these lines, but wish to replace the hex with rules mechanics. The historical period is Napoleonic, but this Video describes how I am approaching this. I have selected a simple SPI game system and am converting them into a figure-gaming formation. The video contains links to the original SPI boardgame, as well as my conversion attempts.

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