FAQ

Why doesn’t Powder and Sword use a budget system to establish an army list ?

Simplification. We feel that for players to have two  equivalent opposing armies, they should have the same number of units of the same Experience level. That is easy to establish and requires little time. In order to make the game more challenging though, players are free to increase the number of units on one side while increasing the Experience level of some units on the other for example….

Why don’t the rules impose mandatory targets for artillery and infantry fire ?

To avoid players using “sacrificial” units placed in front to “protect” units situated behind them.

Why are the results of infantry fire so important in line ?

Several accounts such as the battle of Maida (4th July 1806) or Barrosa (5th March 1811) clearly indicate the devasting results of the British line on attacking French columns after two to three volleys ; a lapse of time corresponding to one game turn in the rules. We felt that to assure “historicity”, we had to reflect this.

Why can’t a unit change formation in Rough Terrain ?

To avoid sneaky players quickly moving their units through rough terrain in an unrealistic manner : a unit in column parallel to a wood, changes to a line formation whichs completely overlaps the wood in one turn. On the following turn, it reforms to column on the other side of the wood. It has thus crossed the wood in two turns instead of 3 or 4 turns…!

Why permit tactical movement ?

Some generals had that “something extra” and could ask more of their men than other commanders in the form of forced marches to a tactical part of the battlefield. This is employed mostly at the start of a game and adds suspense. Units however must maintain themselves out of the charge zone of all enemy units during such movements.

Why do the slowest units move first during the movement phase ?

This permits the faster units to have a wider range of movement possibilities compared to the slower units. It prevents non historical situations such as a cavalry unit moving close to an enemy infantry unit it wants to attack during the next charge phase and then having the infantry unit change to line in order to fire and destroy its opponent before it has the chance of carrying out its attack.

Why are games ended once a player reaches the quadruple of victory points compared to that of his opponent ?

To prevent games that are clearly lost for one side to drag on indefinitely with the losing side running around the table avoiding all combats. It also forces players to temporarily change their original plans to adapt themselves to unfavorable circumstances during the course of the game.

Why permit changes of formation to occur at any time during the movement phase ?

To be closer to reality.

Why can generals move twice per turn ?

To bring uncertainty as to the true intentions of the generals being moved: is he with a unit to provide his bonus for an upcoming attack or only there to rally it ?

What is the best option to take in the creation of reconnaissance units  in the strategic game?

They are made up of light cavalry units available in your army. Either you create a few strong units which are capable of imposing themselves in cavalry skirmishes but which don’t really “cover the land” or you constitute many small units which retreat when attacked but being more widely spread out, are able to gather more information on the enemy.

In the optional strategic rules, why do units become “disorganized” if they are unsupplied ; couldn’t their number simply be reduced 5% each day they remain unsupplied ?

It is difficult to keep count of the percentage of men a unit looses each day it remains unsupplied. It is much easier for it to be disorganized and remain so for the duration of an upcoming battle. Players have a tendency of being much more careful of maintaining their lines of communications with such a rule…!