TITLE: Mitre, Mustache & Musket: A Study in 18th Century Warfare (Second Ed.)
AUTHOR: Ben King
PUBLICATION DATE: 1977
WEB SITE/SUPPORT FORUM: None
PRICE (with date): $5.00 (in 1977)
REVIEWED BY: Mark “Extra Crispy” Severin
PERIOD COVERED: The Seven Years War and the 18th Century
Musket, Mitre & ustache (MM&M) is a booklet 30 pages in length. It has a card stock cover and two player aid cards. The interior is black and white with a few simple line diagrams.
SCOPE: MM&M is a tactical game of 18th century linear warfare.
ARMY SIZE: At 1:50 units will be on the small size, ranging from 10-24 figures or so.
BASE UNIT: Units are infantry battalions, cavalry regiments and artillery batteries.
- Ground Scale: 1” = 25 Yards
- Time scale 1 turn = 20 minutes
- Figure/Base Ratio 1:50
- Recommended Figure Size: 20 - 30 mm but conversion for 5 mm, 54 mm and other scales is covered.
- Table Size: None stated.
- Game Length: not stated, but intended to be a fast game.
Basing for MM&M is as follows:
- Line Infantry: 5/8 by 1”
- Light Infantry: 7/8 by 1”
- Cavalry: 7/8 by 1 3/4”
- Artillery Crews: 7/8 by 1”
- Limbered Guns: 2 by 4”
- Unlimbered Guns: 3 by 3”
- The Movement Phase: Both players simultaneously move their units. When necessary, opposing units may be moved in increments. Morale is checked at the end of movement when necessary.
- The Firing Phase: Firing is calculated and losses taken simultaneously.
- The Melee Phase: All close combat is now resolved.
The Orders System: Prior to battle each side must draw or write out a battle plan. Changes may be made but new orders must be delivered by messenger. Acceptance is automatic. Tactical orders will be written prior to each turn. Players have just 5 minutes to write their orders. They must include formation changes (firing does not require orders).
Movement in MM&M is timed. Players have a limited amount of time (for example, one minute for infantry battalions) to move their troops. Units have both a base move and a run speed. Units in column may use roads to get a movement bonus. There are detailed rules for terrain, including forests, hills, obstacles, rivers, etc. In lieu of movement units may undertake actions such as digging trenches, making abatis etc. Each of these takes a certain amount of time. in some cases it can be sped up if sappers assist in the activity.
There are movement penalties, naturally, for changing formation or face, moving backward etc. Units may also perform a passage of lines.
To fire, a player adds up the number of figures firing. He rolls two dice taking the difference (re-roll double) and consult the Casualty Tables. These have three columns. Which column is used depends on the situation. Normal musketry uses Column I, while firing at units lying down uses column 3. Cross reference the number of figures firing with the dice and the result is the number of casualties inflicted.
Artillery fire in the exact same way with each gun counting as a number of figures (guns are rated for both ball and shot). Players must estimate the range of the target within 6” or the shot misses.
Melee has two phases, I and II. Phase I is 3 rounds, and only front ranks fight. Each side calculates their strength. Each figure is worth points - Hussars are 2.5 points, infantry 1.5 for example - and adds up their total. Two dice are thrown and the lower is subtracted from the higher (re-roll doubles). Consult the Casualty Tables, cross referencing the difference with the total points in the melee. The result is a number. If that number is higher than the point value of the opponent, a casualty has been scored.
In phase II all ranks participate in the melee.
Units at a disadvantage will not fight back in one or more rounds. For example, a unit attacked in the rear will not fight back during the first two rounds of combat.
To check morale, two dice are thrown and modified. The result is cross referenced with the troop type to obtain a result of A (Normal), B (Broken) or C (Routed). Each unit has a loss level depending on size. Beyond this it must check morale at the end of each move. A 12 figure unit, for example, has a Maximum Allowable Loss of 2. Losses beyond 3 cause it to check morale. The dice are modified for losses beyond Maximum Allowable, loss of leader, etc.
Units that are Broken retreat three moves backs to the enemy. It must then spend a half move to reorganize. It’s Maximum Allowable Loss level is now reset to its current size. For example, if it had been 12 figures strong with a MAL of 2 and now reorganized 6 figures strong with a MAL of 1.
Units that rout leave the table on the run. If cut off they surrender.
The book includes a chapter providing a general guide to organization of units for France, Prussia, Austria, Britain, Russia, America and American Indians. This guide describes unit organization in general terms as a guide for building armies.