French Indian War Rules

French Indian War Wargaming Rules

These house rules are influenced by the Lion Rampant ruleset by Daniel Mersey and One Hour Wargames by Neil Thomas.

They are for designed for play on a 6” gridded tabletop. If you prefer free movement convert each bound to a 6” distance for measuring.

A game setup and ready to play

Equipment Required

A good number of standard dice (D6) to track unit hits and use during the game.

A 4x4 foot or 4x6 foot wargaming table marked into a 6” square grid and terrain. The larger table is better suited when the number of units per side exceed 8.

Units

Miniatures can be individually based or mounted on single of multiple bases. So long as they all fit nicely into a tabletop square and are recognisable. Each unit represents 30 to 50 men.
A typical force of 3 x line infantry units, 3 x Indian units, 2 x Skirmisher units,  1 x captain and 1 x commander.
Units are classified as regular and irregular. The classification can influence their rallying ability in certain circumstances.

A Commanders and captain can be individually based figures or represented by a token placed with the unit they are attached to.

All unit are eliminated once they have sustained more than 6 hits.

Units have to roll D6 in order to perform actions, such as moving, shooting and charging. The higher the score the more difficult it is for that particular type of unit to perform.

Line Infantry (Regular unit)
Move 1 square in the open on a 2+
Move 1 square into difficult terrain on a 3+
Shoot on a 2+
Volley fire on a 3+
Charge/close with enemy unit on a 4+

Grenadiers (Regular unit)
Move 1 square in the open on a 2+
Move 1 square into difficult terrain on a 3+
Shoot on a 2+
Volley fire on a 3+
Charge/close with enemy unit on a 3+

Skirmishers and Light Infantry (Irregular unit)
Move 2 square in the open on a 2+
Move 1 square into difficult terrain on a 2+
Shoot on a 2+
Charge/close with enemy unit on a 5+

Indians (Irregular unit)
Move 2 square in the open on a 2+
Move 2 square into difficult terrain on a 2+
Shoot on a 3+
Skirmish by moving 1 square and shoot on a 4+
Cannot charge/close with enemy units

Light Artillery (Regular unit)
Move 1 square in the open on a 4+
Shoot on a 3+

Medium Artillery (Regular unit)
Cannot move once it has opened fire.
Move 1 square in the open on a 4+
Shoot on a 4+

Commander
Attached to a unit and must remain with that unit for the remainder of the game. Remove from play if the unit is eliminated. Limited to one per force.

Captain
Attached to a unit and must remain with that unit for the remainder of the game. Remove from play if the unit is eliminated. Limited to one per force and useful to assign to a unit operating on the flank or taking a key objective.

Sequence of play

Each complete turn comprises two player turns. Each player follows the sequence listed below in their turn:

  1. Rally disorganised unit
  2. Activations
  3. Check army resolve

Rally Units

Roll 1D6 and add to the score:

+1 if a regular (line infantry or artillery) unit is adjacent to another regular unit
+1 if an irregular unit (Indian, light infantry or Skirmisher) is in cover

If the score is 3+ the unit passes and stops being disorganised, or avoids being disorganised if rallying after taking casualties.

If the unit is accompanied by a captain, or is in an adjacent square to the commander, they may re-roll any failed results and apply the second score.

Activations

A player may keep on activating their units until they fail an activation or have activated all their units. When this occurs the opposing player can start their turn.

Units may only be activated once per player turn.

The activity must be declared by the player before rolling for the activation. For example, once volley fire is declared a player cannot switch and choose shooting if a 2 is rolled.

A player may not activate a unit that has been successfully rallied.

If the unit is accompanied by a captain, or in an adjacent square to the commander, they may re-roll an unsuccessful activation and apply the second score.

Once a unit is successfully activated the action must be carried out immediately.

Depending upon the activation the other player’s units maybe able to return fire and disruption tests are required for any unit that takes hits.

Movement

Units may move in any direction including diagonally.

Units that move 2 squares may move through other friendly units (providing an enemy unit is not adjacent).

All units must always stop movement when entering a square adjacent to an enemy unit.

When in a square adjacent to an enemy unit, they may only exit that square if moving to a square that is both vacant and not adjacent to any enemy unit.

Units do not have to face a particular direct to move or shoot.

Felt can be used to represent wooded squares and difficult terrain.

Terrain

Terrain effects units in the following way:

  • Woods - threat as difficult terrain for activation and all units get cover unless charged
  • Buildings - treat as open terrain and all units get cover (including when charged)
  • Marsh/Lakes - impassable for all units
  • Streams - treat as difficult terrain
  • Rivers - impassable except at bridges and fords
  • Bridges and Fords - treat as open terrain.
  • Roads - add +1 to the activation score when artillery move along a road
  • Hills - Artillery can re-roll shooting D6, but must accept second rolled score.
  • Rough Terrain - treat as difficult terrain
  • Fields and Fences - threat as difficult terrain for activation and all units get cover
  • Entrenchments - treat as cover and all shooting can only occur when a unit is in an adjacent square. Artillery can only shoot at walls. After 6 hits the wall is treated as cover and artillery can shoot at units in cover.
Units within the fort are treated as being entrenched.

Shooting

All musket shooting has a range of 2 squares. 1 square is short range and 2 squares is long range. Hits are calculated by rolling 1D6 and subtracting 2 (1D6-2). There are additional subtractions for:

-1 if the target is at long range
-1 if the target is in cover

Mark the hits against the unit using D6 placed behind the unit. If any hits were taken by a unit a disruption test must be taken.

The unit being shot at is allowed to return fire if it has not been disrupted by the shooting and has not returned fire already in the turn.

Units shooting must select a target which is at the closes range.

Using cotton wool or stuffing for soft toys help track units which have fired and adds to the visual effects.

Disruption Test

Any unit taking hits must attempt a rally. If the rally fails the unit becomes disorganised. Disorganised units cannot perform any actions or return fire when shot at.

Return Fire

When a unit is shot at, it can return fire providing it has not been disrupted and has not already returned fire this turn. Use the same process for shooting including any tests for disruption. However, the original attacking unit is not going to return fire.

Volley fire can never be used to return fire.

Skirmisher return fire. Green dice are used here to record unit hits.

Volley Fire

All volley shooting has a range of 1 square. Hits are calculated by rolling 1D6. Then subtract for the following condition:

-1 if the target is in cover

Mark the hits against the unit using D6 placed behind the unit. If any hits were taken by a unit a disruption test must be taken.

The unit being shot at is allowed to return fire if it has not been disrupted by the shooting and has not returned fire already in the turn.

Where there are adjacent enemy units to the shooting unit, then the shooting unit must select one of these adjacent units as the target.

Artillery Fire

All artillery shooting has a range of 4 squares. 2 squares is short range and anything greater is long range.

Roll 1D6-2 for light artillery and 1D6 for medium artillery. Hits are calculated by rolling 1D6-2. Then subtract for the following condition:

-1 if the target is at long range
-1 if the target is in cover

Mark the hits against the unit using D6 placed behind the unit. If any hits were taken by a unit a disruption test must be taken.

The unit being shot at is allowed to return fire if it has not been disrupted by the shooting, has not returned fire already in the turn, and is within range.

Artillery can select any target providing there is not a unit in an adjacent square.

Artillery can be useful in larger games by providing supporting fire

Charges

To charge a unit must begin its action in an adjacent square to the unit being charged. Upon a successful charge/close activation move the unit into the same square as the target.

Hits are determined simultaneously. For irregular units Roll 1D6-2 and regular units roll 1D6+2. From the attackers score subtract:

-1 if the target is in buildings or fortifications

Mark the hits against the unit using D6 placed behind the unit.

The unit with the fewest hits remains in the square while the other unit must retire 1 square and test for being disrupted.

Where a charge is against a unit in a fortification, the defending unit can request a successful activation be re-rolled once during a turn. If the second roll is unsuccessful the charge fails.

Commander

Units that are adjacent to a Commander, or have a Commander attached, may re-roll any failed activation D6 and rally D6.

Captain

A unit with a Captain may re-roll any failed activation D6 and rally D6. In addition the unit they are attached to can re-roll any shooting or charging D6, but must accept the re-rolled score.

Eliminating Units

A hit represents a combination of casualties, exhaustion and disorder caused to a unit by combat. Units are eliminated when they exceed 6 hits.

Army Resolve

Whenever a force loses its commander or 50 percent of its units. Then all units which fail a rally test   rout (instead of being disrupted) and are removed from play.


4 comments:

  1. Very interesting rules. Thanks for posting. Might it be better to not allow a 2nd activation of a unit until all units have tried to activate? Otherwise, battles will be mainly fought with just a few of the best units, with the others standing by doing nothing?

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  2. The activation mechanism does mean a player prioritises the activations by likelihood first, often leaving artillery unit last. Also careful placement of commanders with their re-roll of failed activations can help.
    One optional idea to counter this unpredictablity is to allow a player two activation failures before control switches player. This could then be used to represent the quality of the force.

    Thank you for your question and interest in the rules. I will be adding the activation option to the rules and also have a section on commanders as the re-roll option is rather hidden in the activation section.

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  3. Thanks for the reply and clarification, Peter. I think you have a great mechanism to encourage units to act on their particular strengths. I will be trying it out with 15mm AWI once I have enough figs painted. Will let you know how it goes. And looking forward to any further refinements or AAR s from you side.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, there will be some AAR later. Good luck with finishing your painting.

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