[Archive] Rebuilding the Blunderbuss


Even with featured rules for the blunderbuss in Issue#3 of The Word of Hashut I’m still not happy with it.

So in that vien I propose a new look at what is one of our two signarature weapons.

Basically it’s like this; let’s start to brainstorm and come up with something that represents it’s fearsome nature, uniqueness but above all makes it playable.

Here are some of my random thoughts.

1) max range of 20

2) str4 up to 10, st 3 11-20"

3) all in two ranks can fire ( much like the old high elf rule in 5th)

4) can fire into combat, but not if chaos dwarfs or bull centaurs can be hit.

5) if firing into combat, victory points go to your opponent for blowing away your own troops (balances this somewhat)

6) -2 AS @ 1-10" / -1 AS @ 11-20"

7) multi wound creatures/constructs: as many within range can fire; example if a giant is bearing down on a BB unit of say 20 in two ranks… All 20 can fire and potentially hit the giant.

8) 4+ hits as the current rules.

I’m sure others will have ideas but the main thrust is to scrap what is out there now and is unweildy with something much easier.


I like parts 1-3 and 8. The firing into combat feels too complex to me, and the multi-wound thing feels like a band-aid to ‘fix’ a limitation of the weapon which I don’t think needs fixing.


As written a blunderbuss group of 1,000 chaos dwarfs can inflict…1 wound on said multi wound target. I’d say that needs to be fixed. :slight_smile:

Thommy H:

18" range. Strength 3, armour piercing. First rank fires as normal, with a +1 Strength bonus for each model directly behind them, up to a maximum of 5. No other ranks fire - they just contribute to the Strength of the shots from the front ranks. All to hit penalties are ignored.

That’s how I do them in my rules. It’s easier to use than it is to explain.


"As written a blunderbuss group of 1,000 chaos dwarfs can inflict…1 wound on said multi wound target. I’d say that needs to be fixed."

Not as I read the above rules above, they would not.

"1) max range of 20
2) str4 up to 10, st 3 11-20"
3) all in two ranks can fire ( much like the old high elf rule in 5th)"

I think you are referring to the current template rules, not the ones posted at the top of the thread, to which I was responding?

Currently, all models in any missile unit can fire at a large target. I see no reason why blunderbusses should treat Ogres, for instance, as large targets as well. That’s why I don’t think point 7 should be included.


I think that is one thing I want to shy away from, the rank thing while cool makes no sense, hence the reason for varying the strength by range which is how a shotgun spray really works.

It’s a interesting idea keep them coming, basically I’m looking at this as no stone unturned.


Heh Matt that is why the Internet is so much fun I was talking about how they work now in regards to that point.

My numbered items were just random thoughts not in any way organized rules.

Thommy H:

the rank thing while cool makes no sense
Depends on what you think is the main "gimmick" of blunderbusses. For me, the appeal has always been that they're the only shooting unit in the game that gets better en masse. With bows and everything else, you might as well split your units up as small as possible, because then you can select multiple targets (plus you maximise the number of Champions with higher BS). Two units of 10 are always better than one unit of 20 with most missile weapons.

Blunderbusses on the other hand get better the more models you have in your unit. The bigger the better - you want the maximum width so your template is huge, and you want deep formations to maximise the Strength of the shot. This is what I want to preserve - anything else and they're just a normal missile unit.


I’m mostly of the midset of making it a more usable item. The fact that it is different in it’s functionality is part of the problem IMO.


we’re having problems with new BB rules for the indy gt book as well, incidentally. One of the current proposed versions is similar to the above set of rules…


Yeah it’s a cool weapon but clunky on use, looking back at the rules presented in Issue #3 the best intent was there…

Thommy H:

Actually, firing in multiple ranks would be a really simple way to do it. 18", Strength 4, armour piercing, X ranks can fire (adjust X to taste - I’d make it three).


Only problem I have with Thommy’s version is that you can only kill a handful of enemies (likely 5-7 from the front rank’s shots) although the increased range is nice. I prefer the ‘Total Destruction in 12"’ RH outlook myself.

I say they should be allowed to fire into combat against enemies and any unit that is classed as ‘slaves’. Potential for abuse is hideous, but what’s the point of slaves if they don’t die horribly? :slight_smile:



Hmm there are some ideas that have merit there; great first post have some slaves!


You could always allow the entire unit to shoot against a large target (as they can all see it) but they lose any rank modifier to their strength). Cannons have the Grapeshot rule after all, so perhaps blunderbusses could have a Volley Shot rule versus large targets.


I think that is one thing I want to shy away from, the rank thing while cool makes no sense, hence the reason for varying the strength by range which is how a shotgun spray really works.

It's a interesting idea keep them coming, basically I'm looking at this as no stone unturned.

In the original rules it states that .....
"It is assumed that the models behind poke their weapons forward and add their fire to the volley"
This is the reason for the bonus for added ranks, same principle as spears , or any other weapon that can be used in multiple ranks.
As written a blunderbuss group of 1,000 chaos dwarfs can inflict....1 wound on said multi wound target. I'd say that needs to be fixed.

Use the original "concentrated fire" rules option.
Roll to hit once for each model in the front rank (extra rank str bonus still apply, always).Modify to hit for cover only.

Use this rule when shooting at characters, monsters, chariots, randomize hits for characters on mounts and chariots crew as normal shooting rules.
Use this rule always for "stand and shoot" (blunderbusses ignore -1 to hit for being charged).
I was the first player in my city to play chaos dwarfs, and never once have I had a problem explaining the rules. The blunderbusses are basically a template weapon that use ballistic skill to determine hits.

When I use my blunderbuss units I use a tape measure fixed at 12" and call hits on all enemy models within the length of the tape measure across the width of the front rank. I'm not allowed to shoot if friendly units are within the fire zone.

The only time I have had to explain in more detail is when the fire zone includes more than one enemy unit. This happens very rarely as 99% of the players I face are skilled enough not to allow this to happen.

Some want to simplify the rules so blunderbusses can only hit the closest unit, but I dont think a nerf like this should be used. The only reason for such a nerf is to help those that don't take the time to learn the rules or at least just ask someone familiar with the rules to explain.

When I explain how blunderbusses work I've referred to the rules for template weapons using the 12" tape measure as the template, and then add that a ballistic skill roll is made for each model under the template.

The only people that I have seen that misunderstand the rules have been those in discussions on internet forums about the fire zone, and those people never seem to have a rule book to explain blunderbusses.


I really like the current rules for them, the 12" and the +1 strength of each rank up to strength 5 this is one of the reasons that i chose to do CD’s well that and the big hats.

I do think that we need to be able to shoot in to combat like skaven can and I think even if other CD units might be hit, i can see a CD lord ordering this type of action, if by losing a few rank and file troops he can turn the tide of battle, so if a unit of Blunderbuss wanted to shoot in to combat with other cds in it they must first pass a leadership test to do so.

I think that if a unit of bull centaurs was in the fire arch then I think they would not fire for love nor money as they are the blessed of Hashut and higher than themselves in cd society than and would not risk the back lash.

So have a rule that says that models with a higher standing in society i.e. bull centaurs, heroes and lords that if they are in the fire template then the shoot can not be taken but any orc , goblin or standard CD is deemed expendable in the grand scheme of things.


S4 -1 AP x2 multiple shots.  Range 16".

Move or shoot.  No to hit modifiers (except possibly large target).  I’ll check when I get home.

Gets rid of the rank and fire zone issues and is quick to work out. :wink:

I was never keen on the idea that the CD are such bad shots that they can’t just aim for one unit.

My feeling is that they will change the blunderbuss significantly to be more like a regular missile weapon, with some benefit to compensate for the shorter range (compared to a dwarf handgun.)


I agree grim if we are ever redone bunderbusses will be the first thing to get revamped. It’s co that they work different, but the fact that they are so different is what will change them.