The Battle of Königsseig
& a couple of black powder House Rules
One of the (many) key events in the background for Castle Falkenstein is the Bavarian. Austro-Hungarian & other German allied states victory over the Prussians at the Battle of
If you were ever wondering what the Battle looked like before the arrival of the Prussian Landfortresses and their consequent destruction by the Bavarian Aerocorvettes., take a look at this great video clip:
This video clip of the 150th anniversary reenactment comes from the Königgrätz 1866 Facebook page
Of course, in our world the Prussians won and that weakened the Austro-Hungarian Empire still further and led to the unification of Germany under Prussian leadership.
As most of my players are Victorian period re-enactors (We started playing live action Falkenstein in 1996 and then began historical Victorian events as a spinoff from that in 2000), a few things we know from using actual period firearms have made their way into our House Rules.
The first thing is that all 1870s firearms still make use of black powder i.e. gunpowder. We have allowed smokeless powder for special circumstances (e.g. snipers) but this is treated as a new Chemical Formulation. What difference does this make?
The standard British Army rifle from 1866 to 1875 was the Snider-Enfield conversion. A muzzle-loading rifle retro-fitted with a side-hinged breechblock breech-loading system.
The standard British Army rifle from 1875 to 1889 was the Martini-Henry. Still using black powder in brass cartridges.
As can be seen in the above video, when large volleys or cannons fire, there is a considerable reduction in visibility due to smoke. This is especially noticeable when using breech-loading rifles as unlike the old muzzle loaders which only fired 2-3 times a minute, breech-loaders can easily fire 10-12 rounds in the same time producing far more smoke. Obviously the length the smoke cloud lasts depends on weather factors such as wind and rain.
Whilst most Falkenstein Adventure Entertainments do not involve large battles, even pistols produce puffs of smoke.
With an ordinary pistol, this is not a great problem but a black powder firing reciprocator pistol fired indoors will mask the target and firer from each other. In game terms, this will make shooting or spotting through the smoke one level more difficult.
Black powder weapons always make smoke, so a shooter’s position can be spotted after they have fired and even if there is a slight wind, and experienced soldier will be able to deduce the firers location by watching the smoke. Also black powder guns give off far more flash that smokeless powder weapons, making them easier to spot in low light or darkness. So our House Rules make spotting a shooter on level easier.