For a number of years now, I’ve wanted to take part in a firing line of muskets, whether it be the American Civil War as one of Joshua Chamberlain’s 20th Maine, or in the Napoleonic Wars under the command of Wellington.
Mostly this dream has remained unfulfilled.
Glimmers of hope surface now and then, with the likes of Darkest of Days. But ultimately, the games are always spiced up with time travel or space goo guns. Something that utterly destroys any semblance of historical experience.
Well today I went back to TaleWorlds’ Mount and Blade: Warband, a game I’ve always kept an eye on, because I enjoyed the originals mounted action along with the ability to draw a bow whilst riding. It’s quirky single player RPG drew my attention initially, but my interest waned a long time ago. Even after the Warband expansion.
However, today of all days, I stumble upon the Mount and Musket Mod for Warband.
Oh. My. Word.
I’ve been in musket smoke and bayonet blood for the past few hours and I’ve loved every minute of it. A Dream has truly come true.
If you can get on a decent enough mod server, you’ll find players who will follow orders (generally) and you’ll get musket lines form up behind horse-piercing barricades. You’ll almost smell the gun-smoke as you all let off a volley of shot.
Reloading through the muzzle can take quite a bit of time, so you had better make sure someone is covering you as the enemy try to bayonet and sabre charge your lines.
Even with the odd swirling and stabbing dance that seems to happen during the melee combat, the pleasure of firing a shot through a cloud of smoke and a cover of artillery is just sublime, that I’m prepared to forgive the game its stabbing and slashing idiosyncrasies.
The regiments and uniforms are beautifully modelled, the smoke effects are suitably obscuring and certainly give away your position to the enemy. The cavalry charges can be devastating, but bayoneting a sabre wielding horseman off his horse and to the ground can be very satisfying if you can time it well.
This is a third person shooter, that has to take planning and positioning to be effective. Timing is everything, get caught in the reload and you’ll be skewered before you know it. With the addition of some half decent group tactics, it can be exhilarating.
As much as I couldn’t bring myself to go in for Re-enactment and all the costs and travelling effort that it takes. I could very easily get wrapped up in a regimental setup in a game and mod like this. Start off a drummer boy to some serious musket gamers, learn to be the flautist or the flag carrier and then rank up to proper musketry. Yes Sah!
Anyway, don’t take my word for it, take a look at the trailer for the mod.
A lot of Mount and Musket information can be found at the TaleWorlds forum.
Now all I want is for them to adapt it to the American Civil War, or perhaps the Anglo-Zulu Wars… *drool*