[Archive] A slightly different take on Blunderbusses


A slightly different take on Blunderbusses. I’m not sure if anyone else has proposed something similar before but I haven’t copied it as far as I know. I tried to keep the rules as close to real life as possible while still making the weapon both usuable and unique. While writing the fluff I came up the the idea for the battery.

==Blunderbuss Rules==


The blunderbuss is used a little differently to most missile weapons. There is very little aiming required, mostly just pointing it roughly in the direction of the enemy. A blunderbuss fires a scatter of shot which spreads out making it very likely you’ll hit something, although the range is very short. It usually has a funnel shaped barrel to make it easy to load powder and shot. This means that a bunderbuss can be reloaded quickly in all kinds of circumstances, such as while moving, unlike most other black powder weapons. The funnel does not help to scatter the shot, a blunderbuss without the funnel will scatter the shot just as widely. Some Chaos Dwarfs carry blunderbusses with removable funnels so they can adapt it between quick reloading or easy to carry and handle, others choose to do without the funnel altogether.

It has been known for engineers and war machine crew to set up several preloaded blunderbusses, pulling all the triggers at the same time with a rod or some rope, thereby firing them all simultaneously at a charging unit. The resultant shots can reduce the enemy numbers considerably without anyone needing to aim the weapons and only using equipment they would normally have anyway. They can be a little unreliable, some triggers may slip or the blunderbusses fall over, and some armies don’t have the luxury (or have not suffered enough casualties in their blunderbuss units) to have spare blunderbusses for such activities.


When firing a blunderbuss, roll to hit with each member of the front rank as you do with other missile weapons, like bows. Do not apply any modifiers to the to hit roll. Each hit is base strength 5. Apply the following modifiers to the base strength of the hit:

+1 Large Target

-1 Long range

-1 Skirmishers, single infantry characters

A blunderbuss is a move-and-fire weapon. It has a range of 12".

Summary: Strength 5, Range 12", move and fire, +1S Large Target, -1S Long range, -1S Skirmishers.

[Designer Notes:
Not sure about +1S for Large Targets. Bigger things will take more of the shot but a strength modifier has more effect than a BS modifier. Maybe I should keep that as the only BS modifier.
Most shots will be at long range, so S4, but chargers who aren’t skirmishers will always be hit at full strength.
Should they also have the Penetrating (extra -1AS) modifier?

War Machine Upgrade:

Blunderbuss Battery (+15pts)

One Use Only. A war machine may be armed with a Blunderbuss Battery. May be used in the shooting phase or as a shooting response to a declared charge. D6 Blunderbusses are fired with BS3, roll to hit and to wound as normal.

Magic Items:

[Designer Note: Should these be magic weapons or enchanted items? They work a bit like magic arrows for WE which are enchanted items. Don’t want to remove the possibility that a character can’t have a magic weapon and a blunderbuss, maybe we should though.

Uberbuss (+15pts)

One Use Only. Works like an ordinary blunderbuss with the following exceptions: Strength 6, Range 16", a hit on unit with US5 or more becomes D3 hits.

Flamberbuss (+25pts)

Works like an ordinary blunderbuss with the following exceptions: Flaming attacks, +1 to hit, causes D3 hits if it hits a unit with US5 or more.


i think just making it strength 5 instead of the ranks determining strength takes away some of the fun. I think it will just become the same as any other missile unit in the way it deploys. Its not a bad idea but it means they wont be used in blocks anymore but rather firing lines, and basic str5 might be just a little too high.

Your flamberbuss has given me the though though, why havent the fire dwarfs themselves invented some sort of flame thrower. Imagine a magic item blunderbuss, uses the flame template, and has the same strength modifiers you have on your blundebuss variant.

Ghrask Dragh:

I like the Flamerbuss idea! It doesn’t make sense we have no ‘fire’ power given our native lands, maybe we just have better uses for it?,��I would like to see some evil looking flamethrowers added to our ranks!!


If you are worried about a gunline being formed, don’t be. These have a short range so they won’t be hitting much in the first turn.

Any half decent player is going to be able to get at least two rounds of shooting in before you have fired once, or charged the unit and you’ve only been able to fire once as a charge rection.

The range is short so the normal gunline tactic of using multiple units to concentrate fire on a single enemy is much harder to do. Large units won’t have luxury of the turn to reform into a ranked unit for close combat like Dwarfs or Dark Elves because the turn before combat is the first chance they get at shooting!

So having a gunline of these blunderbusses isn’t going to be quite as effective as you might initially think. They are a support unit, just like in the current rules.

Although, now that I think about it, I’m not sure if people would ever use them in big block like they do now. Instead it might be much more common to have small almost sacrificial units which really doesn’t fit with how CDs should behave.


I think you should be able to give blunderbusses some speed increase, either through demonic enhancement or mechanical. Their movement is currently just too low to allow them to effectively get in place for a good shot or two.

Btw, love the flamethrower idea, could make it an upgrade in a CD warrior unit or something :slight_smile: