The Satsuma Rebellion of Japan of 1877 was the inspiration for the Tom Cruise movie The Last Samurai. Warpspawn has a two player card game set in the period. Like all Warpspawn games, you need to create your own cards and pieces to play. Satsuma Rebellion game.
Maxims and Mausers is a set of free wargames rules for European Wars from the 1870s. From the website:
Maxims and Mausers covers European Wars at the moment. Inclusion of Colonial Conflicts is planned. These are very simple rules. That may be played either as a board game on a hex map or as a miniatures game on large hexagons decorated as terrain.
Fred Diamond offers a free and simple set of miniatures rules for playing pony wars — US Cavalry vs Indians.
These rules are just what they say they are: Simple Rules for Musket Era Battles. John Michael Fisher writes:
Years ago in England, men such as H. G. Wells and Don Featherstone wrote rules for fast-moving, fun wargames with toy soldiers (military miniatures). They were eventually eclipsed by players who wanted more sophistication and realism in their games. Unfortunately this led to tedious gaming sessions that were as enjoyable as calculating one’s income taxes. The rules here are a return to the simple game, using playing cards instead of dice, a new way of resolving combat, and individual figures rather than groups of men on stands. They work for any number of toy soldiers and are fine for solitaire games.
I agree with his sentiments exactly, and as I get older, my tastes move away from simulations and more to games with the right “feel.”
Fire and Discipline was originally published (in 1988) to cover tactical warfare from 1740-1850. It is now in two versions, one focusing on firepower, the other on discipline. Both versions use the same basing and organization structure. The rules are lengthy because many simple questions are answered with the clarification examples. Optional rules are included to allow for more realistic and slower play for those who prefer it. After learning the rules most players will be able to play a friendly game by using only the pullout charts.