Thursday, 14 December 2017

French Indian War games and rules

From playing the last few games of my French Indian War campaign. I have found my house rules may not differentiate sufficiently between how line infantry and skirmisher units operate. I mentioned this in my last post and a couple of helpful comments (thank you) were made. These comments got me thinking about things to change with the rules. But before making any changes. I am mindful that one rule change often leads to another rule change, and before you know it the rules have drifted from what you originally wanted or intended.

French Indian War - British attacking across the river
As I am prone to adjust and tweak rules. It was time for me get a tad more structured about the rules and avoid random acts of rule changes. After re-reading One Hour Wargaming and the chapter on horse and musket rules for inspiration. Where Neil Thomas describes the units involved before getting to the rules themselves. I thought I would try a similar approach and first describe (or in my case - list) how I want the units to operate within the game. By doing this and collecting all my thoughts before devising or changing any rule mechanisms. I will have a list of unit attributes I can use to check back on after test games to see if the rule changes meet what I intended.

British Light Infantry supported by Grenadiers

Here is my initial "what I am looking for" list...

Light infantry, Indians and skirmishers

  • Able to take advantage of cover
  • Traverse broken terrain (woods, rough ground, etc) and Indians easily so
  • Ability to operate independently


  • Drilled to operate with other line infantry rather than independently
  • Keeping order and moving across broken terrain is difficult
  • Ability to charge with bayonet
  • Use of volley fire

  • Elite troops and can operate independently
  • Can operate independently
  • Moving across broken terrain is difficult
  • Ability to charge with bayonet
  • Use of volley fire

  • Not very effective shooting in the broken terrain
  • Moving heavy artillery off road (tracks) is problematic
  • Light artillery can move in open terrain


  • Commanders help with directing/ordering units within their view
  • Captains act as trusted aide assigned to a unit to carry out a critical mission 


  • None.

Away from the tabletop I have now painted all my Napoleonic infantry units and only have remaining 4 cavalry and 6 artillery units to complete.

Last light infantry units are finished


  1. Replies
    1. I am hoping it will provide more structure to my thinking behind the house rules.

  2. Peter, you make good points about messing with rules and forming a solid framework from which to build.

    In addition to your list of troop attributes, for my own FIW rules, I give irregulars (natives especially) an increased effectiveness in close combat when fighting in broken terrain while decreasing the effectiveness of Formed Foot. Chance of being caught in ambush or surprise is increased in broken terrain especially when attacked by irregulars.

    1. Thanks. I will be adding the ambush attribute.