Semi-skirmish rules for British colonial wars of the late 1800s.
These rules were made to give players a simple set of rules where historical accuracy is not needed and were the standard European unit is about 10-12 men and the standard native unit is about 20 men or 10 native rifles.
1 figure=1 man 1 inch=2 yards
Tape measure or ruler with inches. Lots of 6-sided dice (d6). An army of 25mm painted European colonial troops or natives.
1. All units that wish to shoot may shoot.
2. Units that did not shoot may move.
3. Units that moved into or were already in a melee may fight in close combat.
4. Units that lost 25%+ casualties this turn must take a morale test.
To shoot roll a d6 for each figure in that unit that is in the front rank. To hit an enemy you must roll equal to or higher then the base number. The base number is 3, this can be modified by the list below, however the minimum is 2:
Firing into flank or rear -1
Shot range -1
Long range +1
Target in cover +1
Natives shooting +1
Throwing spear +1
To wound roll all the dice that hit and if you get 4 or more then the target is dead.
Rifle. Short range:0-10 medium range:11-20 long rang:21-30
Pistol. Short range:0-3 medium range:4-8 long range:9-14
Musket. Short range 0-8 medium range 9-15 long range:16-24
6pnd Cannon (ball). Short range:0-20 medium range:21-32 long range:33-48 Guess Range Weapon
6pnd Cannon (grapeshot) short range: 0-6 medium range 7-12 long range: --
Gattling gun. Short range: 0-14 medium range: 15-23 long range: 24-32
Spear. Short range:0-3 medium range: 4-6 long range:--
Cannon (ball). This is a guess range weapon (see below). Any models within 2 of were the ball landed is hit, partly hit models are hit on a d6 roll of 4+, then roll to wound those figures that are hit as normal.
Cannon (grapeshot). Roll 6d6 to hit and for wounds.
Gattling gun. Roll 8d6 to hit, wounding is normal.
Cannons (both ball and grapeshot), and gattling guns need 3s to wound not 4s Spears can be thrown once per game.
6pnd cannons can be horse artillery so as to benefit from the faster movement.
Guess range weapons: do not measure the range with this weapon, instead guess the range of this weapon up to its maximum range, then roll a d6 and add that many inches onto what you guessed then measure the full distance of what you guessed (plus the d6) and that is were it lands, then work out wounds normally.
Any unit that did not shoot may move.
Infantry in line 4"
Infantry in column 6"
Infantry in square 2"
Cavalry in line 8
Cavalry in column 10
Hoarse artillery (limbered) 8
Artillery (with crew pushing it) 3
These can be modified by the chart below:
Difficult terrain -2
Up hill -2
Native infantry only suffer 1 instead of 2
Down hill +2
Cannons can not go up hill or through difficult terrain.
Instead of moving, a unit may change formation. (E.g. column to line or vise versa)
Instead of moving a unit may perform one of the following actions and still shoot:
Fix bayonets or draw sword
Go to ground
If a unit wishes to charge into a melee that unit and the unit they are charging must pass a morale test to see if their nerve holds. But if the charging unit fails, instead of running they go to ground and can not do anything else this turn, if the charging unit is European then they fall back d3 inches, facing the enemy, and can not do anything else this turn, but next turn they may act as normal. If the unit that is being charged fails they count as failing morale check, but if the unit being charged passed they take the charge and may fight in the melee. If they passed by double or more of the number needed to pass they may make a free shooting action. (E.g. if a unit needs a 3 to pass then they would need a 6 to get a free shooting action.)
A melee is formed when a unit moves into an enemy unit. Fighting a melee is a lot like shooting. To hit roll a d6 for each figure in base-to-base contact, you must roll equal to or higher then the base number. The base number is 3, this can be modified by the chart below, but can not go below 2 or higher then 6.
Spear or bayonet fixed or sword drawn or lance -1
If unit charged this turn -1
If cavalry charging infantry this turn -1
Charging into flank or rear -1
Charging down hill -1
Infantry in square fighting cavalry -1
If unit is novice +1
If your unit was charged this turn +1
If your infantry is fighting cavalry +1
Charging into difficult terrain or up hill +1
Cavalry fighting infantry in square +1
Wounding is like shooting, roll each d6 that hit and if you get 4 or more you kill an enemy.
If a unit has lost 25% casualties or more this turn it must take a morale test to see if that unit keeps on fighting or runs away. To make a morale test roll a d6 for the unit and if you roll equal to or higher then the base number that unit stays but if you roll under the base number that unit flees. The base number is 3, the chart below can modify this:
If C-in-C is within 6 -1
No friendly units within 12 +1
Friendly unit fleeing within 12 +1
When a unit flees roll 2d6, that is how many inches that unit flees. Units flee in the opposite direction they are facing. If a unit flees off the table edge it is gone for the rest of the game.
To rally fleeing troops simply keep doing morale tests until you get equal to or over the modified base number and if you fail they run another 2d6. When a unit rallys turn the models around. That unit can not do anything until your next turn. In that time if an enemy unit charges that unit it will automatically flee.
GOING TO GROUND
A unit that has gone to ground is removed from the table until they come back up, mark were the unit is on a piece of paper that unit may still move, but they are at a 2 penalty to their movement rate. A unit that has gone to ground can not shoot or fight in a melee until they stand. Once a unit that has gone to ground gets within 6 of an enemy unit they must stand up.
UNIT EXPERIENCE TABLE
For one off games here is a random unit experience table. Simply roll a d6 for each unit and single character in your army before the game and right down what their experience level is.
If you have any questions or comments e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Taylor Age 11