What both have in common is the obvious influence of Warmaster, probably one of the best sets of wargames rules ever written and sadly allowed to sit in a dusty corner by Games Workshop who continue to champion mechanisms in their core games that went out with the Ark.
However, Warmaster's influence is such that it transcends this mistreatment and also periods, Blitzkrieg Commander et al all have it at heart, Black Powder unsurprisingly does (as it was written by Rick Priestly) but so does Martian Empires.
Black Powder is the latest in the search for the holy grail of
a playable set of Napoleonic wargames rules and something I can use with the ACW stuff I bought from Perry's. I haven't had a chance to read them yet (I keep getting distracted by the pretty pictures), but so far so good and the mechanisms I am familiar with from Warmaster are here so they should not be too hard to pick up...
Martian Empires was an impulse buy as I have no real wish to do 15/18mm VSF but I read an interesting report on the Warlords of Mars blog that that resulted in me sending off an order to Black Hat who currently have them at a reduced price. The rules show definite Warmaster influences in the issuing of orders etc but this is what attracted me to them. Production is good, full colour but copied rather than printed by the look of it. The photos are nicely inspiring, I don't like the idea of VSF hover tanks (and have discounted the models to date) but a bit of conversion could add some wheels or tracks underneath... I did start a small 10mm VSF force for Land Ironclads on Mars and as the base sizes are the same (Warmaster size!!) I might use the figures for both. My only bug bear is the inclusion of the Prussian army in 1880 in the game, surely they should be called Germans by then!