The Hot Lead and Steel Sinews Yahoo group focuses on pulp-era gaming. There are also a set of playtest rules for the period, called “Noir.” Unlike other adventure-miniatures games, this set of free wargames rules is specifically focuses on the period, featuring such things as “hero points” to capture the flavor of the pulp novels.
Jon Clarke has writtenUrban Myth , a set of free wargames rules set in a kind of a near future cyberpunk setting. What makes these rules stand out is in the basic die mechanism. It uses a d100 system (rolling two ten-sided dice), but you read the dice differently depending upon the difficulty level of the task:
All rolls are on d100 needing to get equal to or less than the Attribute being tested against.
How the dice are read depends on the difficulty of the test. If the action is easier it may be reduced one step or more, if harder increased one step or more.
There are three levels of difficulty for any task:
Easy: roll d100, read the dice the worst way in relation to the task (generally speaking you read the dice to fail, but if they succeed either way place the lowest dice as tens)
Normal: roll d100, identify one dice as tens & one as units before rolling.
Hard: roll d100, read the dice however you like.
Rex Hurley has written a set of free wargames rules for playing Last of the Mohicans with 25mm – 28mm wargames miniatures. The rules are relatively simple, and include statistics for all of the main characters, such as Hawkeye, Uncas, Chingachgook, Magua, et. al.
There’s also a page of pictures for inspiration.
Years ago, I played in a play-by-mail game called “Its a Crime.” In that game, you were in charge of a street gang and tried to wrest control of city blocks from the other gang leaders (players). These free wargames rules from the Lincoln Miniature Warfare Society allow you to do the same thing on the miniatures gaming tabletop.
Rugged Adventures, by Kurt Hummitzsch & Robert Murch is a set of free wargames rules written to support Murch’s line of Pulp Figures. These rules have a strong cinematic element, and players are expected to “contribute to the story development.”