Updating Artillery for 3.X

When the artillery rules were first written, it was for Brandywine. In the wilderness of the American frontier, the huge artillery batteries of the European continent were unknown.

Since then, the battles have gotten much bigger, and the 3.0 rules have upped the difficulty of recovering from spent, by requiring an unpacked Baggage Train within command range. This has left artillery feeling a little weak. In some scenarios, I find it to be almost more trouble than it’s worth.

To tilt the scale back a bit, I am looking at allowing artillery to bombard even if spent. After all, every other combat unit can attack just as well even if spent, they are just more brittle. This falls into my rules philosophy of only including rules that make the game less complex, and/or play smoother.

This is a short post. It is a simple, yet subtle change. Try it, and let me know what you think.


This time the French went all in and brought everybody. Unfortunately, the Austrians discovered this as soon as the fog cleared, and went on the defensive immediately. A good example of how tough this can make it for the French!

I don’t call attention to it, but I’m experimenting with allowing bombardment even if the artillery block is spent. I will post on that soon. It is under consideration, not yet an official rule.



New Pub Battles: Marengo vid! This one is a little longer, with a little different style. I drop the pure narrative and talk a little more about game mechanics. Also, an example of the Infantry Ranged Fire rule (experimental replacement for Field of Fire) at 5:10

Also, stay tuned for the final text-only wrap at the end where I explain who actually won, and why!


Germantown as a Brandywine redux? Let’s see how that works! One of Pub Battles greatest strengths is how the fast, yet authentic, play lends itself to trying out all kinds of different strategies. Returning to my tried and true video style. Still less than six and a half minutes.


A Pub Battles: Brandywine “flashfire” video. Working on an more-action, less talk, video style. I want to perfect my technique with these smaller battles. I need to add a little more narrative, methinks. What do you think?

Field of Fire Revision

I have never been a fan of the Field of Fire rules (FoF). I get why people want them, but they seemed arbitrary. “You can’t end your movement in a FoF without moving to contact, if you do not have enough movement, you have to back up 1/3 move away. I get it, sort of, but I always have these humorous pictures of these charging troops who get 50 yards away when a bell rings (signifying end of turn), and they shrug their shoulders and turn around marching back to a dotted line. Again, I get what’s really going on, it just feels funny, and worse, seems arbitrary.

Pub Battles always prides itself on letting players do whatever they want, and letting the natural results of their actions be the limiting factors. However, like with pre 3.0 Baggage Trains, there just never seemed to be a way to make FoF work cleanly (without seeming artificial and arbitrary).

This came to a head when working with the Fredericksburg scenario. The enemy troops were engaging each other across the river. This can’t be done with regular Pub Battles rules. The idea had been to allow infantry to bombard like artillery, but with only two dice, except in the combat phase. While this sounds great, in actual play it got messy, and seriously dragged the game out.

But what if we let infantry bombard just like artillery, if they don’t move they can fire instead, out to 1/3 foot move. Now a unit can move within range of an enemy without making contact… If they don’t mind the risk of getting shot at, and becoming spent and/or retreating. Now you need to consider whether or not your enemy has been activated yet this turn!

It also makes it risky to approach, but not contact, an enemy in cover. It also makes it interesting if an enemy isn’t in cover, but you move into some. You have to take a volley under cover, but if you survive, now your enemy must continue the firefight at a disadvantage, or retreat. NOT because some arbitrary rule makes you do it; you get to weigh the risk/reward and make the decision yourself!

At this point, this is not an official rule, it is only a thought experiment. I intend to start using it in my next video. Usually, if something isn’t going to work for some reason, it becomes pretty obvious immediately.

Brandywine campaign10

First video featuring the Pub Battles Brandywine Campaign game. This links the three battles (Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth) into a connected campaign, where results from one affect the next. In this case, Monmouth never happened because of a stunning upset at Germantown. All in exactly 8 minutes!