French Indian War Rules

French Indian War Rules


These rules are a variant of One Hour Wargames Horse and Musket rules.

The game is played using a 6 inch square grid to regulate movement and shooting ranges.

The facing of a unit is free form and not dictated by the square. 

In the rules the term "bound" is used for movement and shooting where one bound is a square.

The game uses both D6 and D3 dice.


The rules cater for the following units:

  • Regular/Line Infantry
  • Skirmisher/Irregulars/Light Infantry
  • Indians/Natives
  • Militia
  • Artillery
  • Grenadiers

Sequence of Play

The game is played in a series of turns. During a player’s turn they complete the following steps:

1) Movement
2) Combat
3) Unit Elimination
4) Check Army Resolve


For units to move they must first be activated. To activate a unit roll 1D6 on a score of 2+ a unit can move. Subtract from the score should the following conditions apply:

-1 Line Infantry or Grenadiers in woods or difficult terrain
-1 when a unit has accumulated 1 or more hits

A unit that failed a move activation may still engage in combat.

All activated units may move one bound.

Indian units may move two bounds until they accumulate a hit, after which they too only move 1 bound.

Artillery must cease movement after shooting, but can turn their facing.

Unit may turn as part of their movement.

Turning a unit to change it's facing still counts as movement.

Units may not move or shoot.

Units may not pass through other units.


Artillery may never enter woods. 

Infantry and grenadier units when rolling to activate for a move into woods -1 from their activation D6. 

Skirmishers can sustain 6 more hits when in woods. 

Infantry and grenadiers -1 from their shooting score when occupying woods.

Artillery may never enter towns.

Units occupying a town has a 360 degree field of fire

All units can sustain 6 more hits when in a town.

Marshland and Lakes
No units may enter.

These may only be crossed via bridges and fords.

Difficult Terrain/Streams
Artillery may never enter woods. 

Infantry and grenadier units when rolling to activate for a move into difficult terrain -1 from their activation D6. 

Skirmishers can sustain 6 more hits when in difficult terrain. 

All units can sustain 6 more hits when in a town.

Attacking units must be at short range to engage in combat.

Units may only shoot at units within 45 degrees of their frontal facing.

Units in towns and fortifications have a field of fire of 360 degrees.

Muskets have a range of two bounds (1 bound short range and 2 bounds long range).

Artillery have a range of 4 bounds (2 bounds short range and 4 bounds long range).

To determine casualties units roll a D3 and make the following adjustments:

* Grenadiers roll D3+1 short range and D3 long range
* Infantry roll D3 short range and long range
* Skirmishers/Indians/Irregulars roll D3-1 for both short and long range
* Militia roll D3-1 for both short and long range
* Artillery roll D3-1 for both short and long range

There is no adjustment for cover. This is factored in by most units being able to absorb more hits when in cover.

When attacking units in fortifications the attacking units may only engage at short range.

When defending a fortification units may re-roll their combat D3, but must accept the re-rolled score.

When infantry, grenadiers and Indians are attacking a unit in an adjacent square. If the unit is eliminated, then they automatically move and occupy the vacated square.

Unit Resolve and Elimination

Units are eliminated when they accumulated more hits than their resolve value.

All units have a base resolve value of 6 which can increase in the following circumstances:

* Skirmishers (not Indians) in cover increase their resolve by +6 hits.
* Infantry and Skirmishers in towns and fortifications increase their resolve by +6 hits.
* Infantry when in the open terrain, towns or fortifications and within 1 bound of their commander increase their resolve by +6 hits.
* Grenadiers and veteran units always have their resolve increased by 6 hits.


Each side fields one commander who is attached to a unit.

If the unit is eliminated the commander is removed as well.

Commanders raise the resolve level of all regalar infantry units within one bound.

Commanders can re-roll any failed move activations for units within one bound.

Trusted Officers

Each side can field one trusted officer. They are attached to a unit.

If the unit is eliminated the officer is removed as well.

Trusted officers can re-roll any failed move activations and re-roll any shooting dice, but must accept the second score rolled.

Army Resolve

At the beginning of the game determine an army's resolve which is equal to the number of units being fielded.

When a unit is eliminated roll a D3 with the following additions:

+1 if the unit eliminated is a grenadier, veteran or artillery unit.
+2 if the commander is lost

Accumulate these scores during the game and once an army’s resolve is exceeded, then the game ends and the army retires from the field of battle.

If you want to introduce a commander quality into the game. Add the score of a D3 if commanded by an above average commander, or subtract the score of a D3 for a below average commander.


  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?

  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.

  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.

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

  4. I use Games Workshop paints mainly because there is a shop available nearby for me. So this is not a recommendation. However, one consideration with painting soft plastic miniatures is the paint needs to be flexible, which the Games Workshop acrylic paint is.