Herbert Wong written “March to the Sound of the Guns,” a Napoleonic wargame that is a variant of Games Workshop’s Warmaster miniatures rules. Warmaster is a generally good set of rules that borrows heavily from Fire and Fury and some other historical sets. Of course, Games Workshop would never admit that. Heck, they don’t even admit that there is a miniature wargaming hobby outside of the “Games Workshop Hobby.”
The Jackson Gamers have these free wargames rules for Napoleonic skirmishes. The best part: the rules are just one page long.
From Matt Fritz comes this set of rules for using wargame miniatures to replay the fight for Hougoumont from the Battle of Waterloo.
Black Powder is a set of free wargames rules by Wes Rogers for skirmish warfare in the period 1600 – 1870.
King George Commands and We Obey is a set of free wargames rules for American War of Independence, Napoleonic Peninsular and the American War of 1812. The author writes:
My key requirements are:
I spend a large amount of time and money collecting units. I decided I wanted them to stay on the table long enough for people to see, therefore no casualty removal.
I hate the “my turn/your turn” approach. With that in mind I use a card based turn system. I first used this in my Dad’s army game. Depending upon the level of game you are playing, a playing card is allocated to each unit or in larger games brigade commanders and above. This also means turns are not all the same as an end of turn card can come up at any time.
They have to be easy to learn. The common approach should assist with this and it is then just about the era specifics.
As little paperwork as possible. Most units have a small tab on a base. This contains all the information you need so no other paperwork, in most cases. This could of course be kept separately rather than attached but I think in a demo game it also allows visitors to see which units are representing which.
Enjoyable. I am not too serious and enjoy a light hearted approach at times to rules. Have a look at my rocket rules. While they may be a little slow to enact, imagine the gasps as rockets snake across the field. You never really know where they will end up!