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Match Action Rules Summary- Bolt Action Variant

Thanks to all those who have shown such an interest in our Seventeenth century variant. For the most part, we have used the Bolt Action rules as they stand. As is usual with our Tercio, the rules are very much “under development”. My personal thanks to that period expert, Mr. James Churchill who is already busy working on a variant for La Ultima Cruzada ( the Spanish Civil War/ Crusade to rid Spain of Bolshevikism and Freemasonry). All thoughts and ideas gratefully received.

Rules Summary

Where noted these replace and or amend the published charts from the rulebook.

Orders– We replace the term “pin” with “disorder”. This is an entirely cosmetic change.

Officer bonuses

The English Civil war utilised a different hierarchy of ranks. Match Action replaces the rules’ more modern terms. Abilities and bonuses remain the same.

2nd Lieutenants become “ensigns” . First Lieutenants are termed ” Lieutenants”. Captains remain unaltered. Colonel replaces Major and covers those three ranks that could be in command of a Seventeenth century company; Sergeant Major, Lieutenant Colonel and the Colonel himself. Note that the first , second and third companies would historically have a captain too.


Add horse to chart; advance 9 inches. Run 18 inches. Cuirassier minus two inches.


Hit modifiers : The basic chance of hitting is now 4 plus ( i.e. Roll 4, 5 or 6). This goes in some way to characterise the weaponry of this period. However, because a contemporary musket ball did the same damage to human flesh, if not more due to the shape of the missile, we have kept the damage value table the same.

Fire on the move is now minus two.

Target is Down infantry/ artillery crew is just minus one.

Damage table- armour plus one to damage ( cuirass and tassets)

                                3/4 armour or cuirassier plus two to damage

Weapon chart 

Matchlock musket same as rifle on page 225

Firelock musket only plus one to move and give fire.

Carbine  range twelve inches

Pistol range six inches ( assault) 

Light gunne range 36 inches – three shots , minus two penetration

Field gunne range 72 inches- five shots, minus two penetration

Close Quarters Procedure

Change to procedure – musketeers that have been charged by horse can attempt to evade as usual. If they reach within one inch of a pike unit they can claim the benefit of hedgehog. Troops in hedgehog formation count as a defended obstacle so a unit of sheltering musketeers and the pike unit will fight simultaneously with the mounted attacker.

This is very much a first effort at amending the rules. Additional rules for medics, standard bearers, drummers and Scots lancers are already under discussion. Points cost and armylists may take a while. Look out for tomorrow’s after action report. Stay safe and let me know what you think?


  1. Note from J Churchill concerning armylists;Companies were administrative, in action they were broken up into divisions, of pike and musket only, each of approx 24 men, i.e. four files of six men each, with a sgt on the outside and the right hand file leader being a corporal. The divisions were then arranged into the fairly complex formations, Dutch, Swedish etc. See the Osprey book on Pike and Shot tactics.

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