General Staff: Black Powder editors available on Steam

Grogs can’t play Ezra Sidran’s bright-as-a-button black powder-era wargame yet. However, those who own Crusader Kings 3 and are willing to shell out £42 can create battlefields, armies, and scenarios for it. Undoubtedly unintentional, the CK3 stipulation may well be gone by the time you read this and hasn’t stopped me giving the cartographic tool a quick roadtest over breakfast.

Said editor seems relatively friendly and powerful. Within half an hour I’d imported a background, planted my first spinney, constructed my first road, and raised my first ridge. Less encouragingly, the tail end of my recon session was spent scouring the UI and wiki in search of map zoom and point-to-point drawing functionality. Right now there seems to be no way to alter map magnification and plot things like roads and forest edges with a series of mouse clicks. Shaky hands? Your brooks and lanes may wiggle more than intended.

While it’s exciting to finally get my hands on a piece of General Staff, I do wonder how many people will be willing to purchase a set of pricey tools for an unreleased and unproven game. Instead of encouraging the curious to cartograph and battle build ahead of GSBP’s launch, this initiative ensures pre-release clash creation will be the exclusive preserve of the well-heeled and the optimistic.


  1. I’m not sure this is the wisest of moves. Isn’t it commonly accepted that modders do tremendous work to attract and retain an audience? Specially for games with niche appeal? (I’m looking at you Falcon and Train Sim Classic)

    Charging people almost triple A game price for something that will ultimately help you seems rather out of touch. I understand the tools took time and effort to create so I’m not opposed to devs receiving compensation but $50 is way too high.

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