- The long reload time of muzzle loading weapons needs to be represented.
- Rifled weapons should be more accurate than smoothbore.
- In Bolt Action, the roll to cause damage is based on the training level of the target, which I don't think makes sense for Horse and Musket periods. Aside from being behind cover, which is already represented by cover modifiers, I don't think soldiers were trained to avoid being shot.
- I want to be able to represent some troop types being slightly better or worse at shooting, or slightly better or worse in assault. In Bolt Action, most individuals are pretty much equal in offensive ability, but I want Grenadiers to be better in an assault than Militia, for example.
- Assaults should probably be less instantly decisive. With the need to reload most weapons after one shot, there wouldn't be as much shooting at point blank range to end things quickly. Having to beat each other with rifle butts might cause an assault to drag on longer.
- There needs to be some detailed rules for cavalry. I don't think cavalry is addressed in the Bolt Action rules, though there may be rules for it in one of the army book supplements. Even if there are some cavalry rules, they probably aren't to the level of detail that would be desired in a game where cavalry would be more important and prevalent.
- When a unit fires, mark the unit with a smoke marker or other token to indicate that it has fired. Any weapons that require reloading (indicated in the weapon stats table) cannot be fired again while the unit has the smoke marker. After the unit successfully carries out another Fire order (now basically a Reload order), the smoke marker is removed so that those models may fire again in the following turn. This takes care of the first point above.
- Models will have a "Shooting" stat to indicate their target number on a D10 when rolling to hit with a shooting attack. They will also have an "Assault" stat to indicate their target roll on a D10 to cause damage in an assault. The base damage roll for shooting attacks against all targets is 6+ on a D10. The change to a D10 for rolling to hit and damage allows a greater range of ability for the units and more modifiers in order to do things like making rifles more accurate than smoothbore muskets. Also, I have added Shooting and Assault stats to differentiate different units. So this covers the second, third, and fourth points above.
- Some models have Assault Weapons (Bayonet, sword, loaded pistol, revolver, tomahawk, knife, etc.). A model without such a weapon has a -1 penalty to their damage rolls in an assault. A model with two such weapons receives a +1 bonus to damage rolls in an assault.
- After an assault, the loser takes a morale test. If they fail, the unit is removed. If they pass, the assault continues. Fight another round of assault, with both sides striking simultaneously, at the beginning of each turn until one unit is wiped out or fails the morale test and is removed. Whenever this happens, the winning unit may consolidate as normal, and their order die is put back in the pool. This covers point 5.
That pretty much covers the rules changes, except for cavalry rules. Below are my ideas for Hit Modifiers and Damage Modifiers, as well as a few examples of weapon and unit stats. Let me know what you think of the idea, especially if there are any other things in the Bolt Action rules that you think would need to change, or if you have other suggestions for what to add to the list of weapons and units. Once the stats are all fleshed out, I'll need to add some detailed cavalry rules and get their stats figured out. Then it would just need scenarios and army lists, and then skirmish level games could be played for a variety of historical periods using the Bolt Action rules as a base.
|-1||Per pin marker on the firer|
|-1||Long range (over half)|
|-1||Fire on the move (Advance order)|
|+1||Point blank range (less than 6")|
Damage Modifiers (shooting)
|-1||Target is 'down' infantry|
|-1||Target is a small unit (2 models or fewer)|
|-1||Target is in soft cover|
|-2||Target is in hard cover|
Damage Modifiers (Assault)
|-1||Assault against mounted cavalry (unless using a bayonet or pike)|
|Double Barreled Shotgun||12||2||Yes|
|Breach Loading Carbine||30||1||No|
|Muzzle Loading Rifle||36||1||Yes|
|Breach Loading Rifle||36||1||No|
UPDATE: There is a new version of Horse and Musket Bolt Action that includes cavalry rules. It can be found here.