Unbalanced Equality Wargames Rules

From the Godfather of wargaming, Jack Scruby, comes the Unbalanced Equality wargame. It first appeared in the November 1965 TableTop Talk magazine. Scruby writes:

An “unbalanced equality” war game is one in which the opposing forces are unequal in numbers and types of troops, but are equal in “combat ability”. In the 25mm Colonial armies we use for example (which is basically Natives versus trained regulars), we spent many hours work�ing up the “equality” of combat values, which had to be based not only on manpower, but on rifle-fire, melee and morale values, and artillery fire power. In the end, we arrived at a British force valued at 2900 points and a Native force (with a sprinkling of native regular infantry as the hard core) valued at 4400 points. Normally this would seem to give the Natives overwhelming strength, but in actuality considering the range of rifle fire and the firepower of the British infantry, it worked out very evenly.

The interesting part of the “unbalanced equality” war game is that each “general” in command must use different tactics for his force. The tac�tics used by the British commander cannot be used by the Native comman�der, and vise-versa. And if these tactics become too well known by each commander over a series of war games, one can always trade sides, or split up the forces to a half native-half regular army for each player for a few games.

Jack Scruby’s African Colonial Wargames Rules

Here’s a set of African Colonial wargames rules from the Godfather of American Wargaming, Jack Scruby.

Warhammer 40K Darkest Africa Variant

Even if you don’t like the science fiction game, Warhammer turns out to be a pretty flexible system for playing other periods. Plus, it has the advantage of familiar mechanics and a built-in player base. So given that, its not surprising that it’s been extended to practically every period you can think of. Here’s a variant of Warhmamer 40K for colonial games in darkest Africa.

Sahibs and Sepoys Indian Mutiny Rules

Sahibs and Sepoys is a set of free miniatures rules for the Indian Mutiny of 1857 – 1858. Author Alan Hamilton writes:

These skirmish rules are intended for the small actions which were typical of the Indian Mutiny. Thus individual characteristics are very important. The basic Unit is that commanded by a named character who is usually of Lieutenant, Captain or equivalent rank.

The suggested figure scale for rank and file is about 1:6 to 1:10 with 1:8 a good average. This scale is not used for named characters who are 1:1. This is justified in the attitude of the period. They are, therefore, cast in a heroic mould. The unit strength was calculated inbayonets or sabres the officers, sergeants, drummers and so on being extra to this establishment. Thus a company at its full strength of 100 bayonets would be an Officer, drummer, sergeant or strong man (optional) and 8 to 18 rank and file; cavalry squadrons similarly have an Officer, bugler and 4 to 9 rank and file. The Rank and File can include a proportion of Corporals, Naiks etc.

List of Arabic Names

For colonial games fans, here’s a gamers’ list of Arabic names.