Into The Fray Core Rules

Into The Fray is a set of free wargames rules for fantasy skirmishes. The authors write:

Designed so that each player will field between 15 and 20 figures in a standard battle, a game of Into the Fray will last about 2 hours with experienced players. The game includes rules for the standard fare like movement, combat and morale, and also includes a system for magic and special abilities that will keep things interesting even for veteran players.

Available only in an electronic format, ITF is a print and play game. It keeps the initial cost down and allows you to make as many or as few miniatures as you need to form your army. With a few supplies (cardstock and glue sticks) and a few hobby tools (a hobby knife and a straightedge) you can build all of the cards, miniatures, counters and templates you need. Add in a handful of six siders and a tape measure and you will be ready to get Into the Fray!!

Shield Breaker Fantasy Rules

Shield Breaker is a set of free wargames rules for fantasy skirmish. The authors write:

Shield Breaker is a game about warbands battling it out in a world of legends. It is intended for use with about 6–20 miniatures in the most common 28mm scale. Buy, borrow or steal any fantasy miniatures, compose a warband and you are ready to play.

Wolsung Steampunk Skirmish Game Rules

Wolsung is a set of free wargames rules for steampunk skirmishes. The company also sells a variety of figures to go with the rules.

Bugle and Shako Quick Play Napoleonic Skirmish Rules

Bugle and Shako are a set of free wargames rules for quick playing Napoleonic askirmish games.

Two Page Skirmish Rules

Two Page Skirmish are a set of free wargames rules for skirmishes in a variety of periods. They look interesting to me because of two features that the author outlines:

The rules have two unusual features.

The first is the use of the action card. You’ll need an action card for each figure in the game. This is a simple, square piece of card; mine are 2 by 2 inches. The possible actions that a character can perform are on the card. At the start of each turn, players rotate the cards to show which action the figure is performing. You could just as effectively have a roster sheet and write the actions on it, or place chits on the table, but I really like the cards because they don’t clutter the table and they’re easy and fun to use. If you put an ID notation in the center of each card, players won’t get confused about which card goes with which figure. I have also experimented with using only one card per squad, on the idea that the card represents the leader’s order and everyone acts in unison on that order. It works OK for the British, less well for the natives. But these rules are flexible enough to accommodate a lot of that sort of modification.

The second unusual feature is the way close, hand-to-hand fighting works. In most games, figures are paired off one-on-one as much as possible and then they only fight each other, no matter how many other figures are battling around them. I wanted to create the feeling of a real, chaotic, swirling melee, where the unlucky get ganged up on and the unwary get speared in the back. So each figure rolls its die and compares it to every enemy figure within striking distance. Get a bad roll and you could be stabbed from two, three, or more directions at once. Get a good roll and you could cut down two or three enemies at once.