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"Historical 'Lacepunk' weapons (EotD / IHMN in the 18th C.?)" Topic

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abdul666lw Inactive Member09 Jan 2014 5:09 a.m. PST

Some of them actually built in the early 19th C., but nothing in their design and realization involves a technological innovation, a musket manufacturer with a little more imagination / creativity could have 'invented' them late in the 17th C. Of course there were probably good reasons why they did not became widespread in our 'real' History, but Fantasy-Horror / Sci-Fi gaming requires a 'willing suspension of disbelief': none of these weapon is as…. weird as, say, VSF bipedal war walkers!

The best known is probably the Puckle 'machine gun' (1718) :


very 'advanced' with its pre-loaded cartridges and its removable cylinder (à la 1858 Remington -memories of 'Pale Rider') allowing a sustained high rate of fire: the cylinder swap takes barely 10 seconds. Possible improvements: a rifled barrel (with a breech-loader the gain in accuracy and range is not 'paid' by a slower reloading); also maybe a better mechanism to distribute priming powder as in later revolvers link. A cylinder weighting much less than several barrels the Puckle was indeed more 'advanced' than the Billinghurst Requa link and Ripley link (nicknamed Elen?) of the ACW.
The Puckle was too bulky and heavy to be an individual weapon (though, since VSF miniature soldiers can merrily carry a Gatling and ignore its recoil…). A lighter 'handgun' version of the Puckle would look quite like a Remington, but heavier and more cumbersome link. Thus the hand crank of the 'machine gun' would be replaced with a lever under the barrel for additional grip (as in many SMG); the rotation of the cylinder, as with the lighter 'revolvers' below, coupled Colt-fashion with the cocking action. It would be the Lace Wars equivalent of the Thompson, while historical early revolvers such as the Stopler (built in 1597 link) and the Collier link, their barrels rifled, would be the Uzi of the time.



Muskets / rifles are between MG and SMG. A breech-loading musket using pre-loaded cartridges was built for Philip V of Spain in the early 18th C.:


such ammunition potentially leads to a rifle with a higher rate of fire than the Ferguson rifle link.

Less efficient maybe, but costing less 'points' when arming a game character, the Ferguson itself and the breech-loading musket designed by Maurice de Saxe link could be the weapons of the 'basic Lacepunk grunt'.


Practically silent, producing neither flame nor smoke, the (repeating link!) Girandoni air rifle link


is the ideal ambushers / assassins weapon -and it can, well, not 'fire' but shoot 20+ times in quick succession without reloading, so can provide a continuous covering 'fire' from a hidden position.


For support weapons, History offers us the 7-barrelled Nock gun


and the grenade-throwing blunderbuss / hand mortar link


And in a Lacepunk universe the secret of Greek Fire link would not be forgotten, appearing in hand-held siphons or incendiary grenades.



And -now without historical precedent, but…- what about 'pneumatic' link Leyden jars-throwers TMP link?

With such weapons your Lace Wars characters can well enter an Empire of the Dead / In Her Majesty Name (or Chaos in Carpathia or Strange Aeons) campaign. There is no lack of possibilities for factions link / companies link. These rules being 'Victorian' the only difficulty would be to balance the lower average rate of fire with regard to hand-to-hand combat: dropping drastically the 'point cost' of gunpowder weapons in order to field more miniatures to face those cultists (1) / drug-crazed fanatical ninja monks link , Deep Ones, ghouls, vampires, werewolves and zombies?



1: The Gypsies came from India; in their tongue their Patron Saint Saint Sarah 'the Black' is called Sara e Kali link : what about a secret Assassin / Thugee cult among them?

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2014 7:52 a.m. PST

I know pepperboxes could discharge in an uncontrollable manner, oft all barrels at once, but sometimes in a staggered fashion, that almost acted like an auto-weapon.

I seem to recall some early revolvers acting similarly.


mrinku Inactive Member10 Jan 2014 4:07 a.m. PST

All revolvers prior to the self contained metallic cartridge could chain fire, though this was less a problem with caplocks.

There are good reasons these never really took off, though you can get away with a lot in a Baroque Science Fiction context ;)

abdul666lw Inactive Member10 Jan 2014 8:55 a.m. PST

Indeed, though pre-loaded cartriges limited the hazard: this is not mentioned with regard to the Puckle. Can't find on the web when 2-barreled *breech-loader* fowling pieces appeared?

Indeed again: think that to-day even with our most advanced cybernetics and nanotechnologies we are unable to build a bipedal war walker, yet they routinely feature in VSF games: to have relatively 'safe' revolvers before the invention of the percussion cap is far less… optimistic.

A fascinating shoulder weapon is Joseph Belton of Philadelphia's "new improved gun", a flintlock promised to be able to "deliver 20 shots in under 5 seconds… by once pulling tricker, or at two or three different times, by little more than cocking & priming the same lock two or three different times."; it used cartridges. link link. Unfortunately neither detailed description nor material relic survived. Was it more 'real' than the mysterious Oruktor Amphibolos? A very 'Lacepunk' contraption, this one link!


To limit the total weight the barrels of pepperbox / duck's foot pistols were short and generally of smaller gauge -as a 6.35mm 'lady's pistol' compared to a Colt M1911. And being mouth loaders they required a hell of time to reload. Yet better than ordinary pistols on the short run in adequate circumstances, and a colorful piece of equipment for Lacepunk 'hired hands'.

mrinku Inactive Member10 Jan 2014 2:21 p.m. PST

pre-percussion cap cartridges still had to have loose powder in the pan. In order to prime the cartridges, you need to pierce them, too.

Firing rate of the Puckle gun was about three times faster than a musketeer, but the way. But it cost far more than three musketeers (or three swivel guns, for that matter), which is why it never took off.

The practical multi-shot flintlock weapons are the double barrelled ones (pistol, shotgun, musket etc). Two complete firing mechanisms (and more importantly, two separate pan covers…) with two barrels between them give enough safety and a fairly quick second shot.

Colt produced a revolving rifle in the percussion era that was reasonably successful.

freecloud10 Jan 2014 3:57 p.m. PST

I use a GW Steamtank and multi barrel gun with my Lace Wars troops to fight my sons High Elves. With tricorned gunners and commanders it looks very believable.

Lion in the Stars10 Jan 2014 4:09 p.m. PST

The Girandoni Air Rifle is definitely in there. I'm amazed at the capacity of the air reservoir. Most modern air rifles can handle maybe 5 shots before the pressure drops too much for accuracy, and modern guns use much higher internal pressures (~3200psi vs 800psi)

There's also the Ballard Rifle design. Breech loading with a metallic cartridge, but there's a hole in the back of the case that the primer fires through to touch off the main load. They're break-actions, kinda like a H&R singleshot shotgun, but the bottom of the case is VERY thick. Unloaded, there's a good 1/16" gap between the breechface and the action. No real reason they couldn't have been made before the 1860s, and they're very accurate. Preferred weapon of target shooters in the 1880s, in fact.

Musketier Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2014 7:08 a.m. PST

"pre-percussion cap cartridges still had to have loose powder in the pan. In order to prime the cartridges, you need to pierce them, too."

From the picture above, for Philip V's rifle that would seem to have been solved by making each steel cartridge with its own pan, presumably primed from the main charge when the pan cover was raised? Less a cartridge than a breech insert in fact. Ingenious, but probably rather awkward to carry around in numbers. Fit for a King though, who would have ghillies (or rather, their Castilian equivalent) for that sort of thing.

abdul666lw Inactive Member16 Jan 2014 10:51 a.m. PST

As for body armor worn with civilian clothes or military uniforms, it was not unknown in the 18th C., even for men on foot.

In 1733 the 'French' candidate to the Polish throne, Stanisław Leszczyński link, crossed secretly (mostly hostile) Germany and reached safely Warsaw masquerading as an inoffensive merchant's employee, while a look-alike tried openly to reach Dantzig by sea (and was prevented from landing by the Russian Navy). A nice manoeuvre / trick of the French not yet even officiously created Secret du Roi link, but the point relevant here is that the look-alike, fearing assassins, constantly wore a kind of brigandine / armored doublet under his clothes.


During sieges military miners wore a full cuirass and helmet – in France as late as 1870 link (the 'cuirasse et pot-en-tête is still the badge of French military engineers link).
18th C. types were quite elaborated:


and offered a better protection of the groin than the German WWI experimental armor:

Some VSF miniatures wear such armor, but it could as well be given to 18th C. 'Lacepulp / Lacepunk' link / link characters.

abdul666lw Inactive Member16 Jan 2014 1:12 p.m. PST

@ freecloud

I use a GW Steamtank and multi barrel gun with my Lace Wars troops to fight my sons High Elves. With tricorned gunners and commanders it looks very believable.

Pics, pics, pics?

abdul666lw Inactive Member19 Jan 2014 1:22 p.m. PST

About the controversial word 'Lacepunk':

Craig Cartmell Inactive Member20 Jan 2014 12:42 p.m. PST

I think that you would find adapting IHMN to Lacepunk pretty simple really. You would need to 'update' the armour and weapons tables, then pretty much everything else would work fine.

For example:
Flintlock Smoothbore Musket
Flintlock Rifled Musket
Flintlock Smoothbore Pistol
- Single barrelled
- Double barrelled
Horse Pistol
Blessed Weapons


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