The Square Brigadier is a set of horse-and-musket rules based on Bob Cordery’s Chess board game inspired by Joe Morschauser.
Here’s a Horse and Musket DBA Variant — primarily for Napoleonic and Seven Years War, but since the basic principles of war in that era covered a huge number of conflicts, you could adjust as needed.
Toy Soldiers is a set of free wargames rules for the Horse and Musket period. The author writes:
Abstracted rules for battalion combats in Horse and Musket period. A unit is a battalion. A single player might have 2-5 units under his command but only one commander. The intent of the rules is to allow players to bring a small command to the table of generic troops with no points system or national characteristics. The balance that I am aiming for is that a cavalry unit = an infantry unit = an artillery battery.
Infantry battalions are represented by 6 stands of several miniatures. In 15mm, 4 wide seems to work. Artillery batteries are represented by 3 stands. Limbers should also be included.
Units and commanders will always have at least a single D6 placed behind them. For units, this represents their disorder value (1 is well ordered, 6 being disordered). Commanders will have a Chaos dice which will always be at least 1 (well coordinated command) and may go as high as 6 (Ineffective command control). Often, units will also be marked by a single red die marking their stress. Stress goes from 0 to 6.
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.