The Perfect Captain offers the second edition of John Bull / Patriots, their rules set for game of the American Revolution and War of 1812. These are the most visually striking rules sets available today — either commercially or free. And these are FREE!
The Perfect Captain produces some of the most amazing free wargames rules out there. Cousin Jonathan is the Captain’s set of miniatures rules for the War of 1812. The Captain writes:
What are these rules like? Well, I’ll tell you. This system is based on morale as most of our rules are for other periods. We have tried to faithfully reproduce the qualities of every unit that fought along the Canadian border. Not just one morale number is given- the units react to each type of situation differently, depending on the circumstances.
Some troops are afraid of Indians, others, artillery. Some take being flanked worse than others. On top of all this, units have a motivation value that drops as things start to go bad. Fighting qualities vary also, from some units being better shots to others being demons with a bayonet! Included in the rules are blockhouses, entrenchments and boat assaults to test your men in any action of the war.
We’ve tried to include every leader of significance in the game, and made them an important element. Each leader has NINE characteristics that affect play. Some are so timid that they are best left guarding the baggage. Some are desperate for glory and interpret caution as cowardice. Some so self willed that they won’t obey orders and cause other commanders on the tabletop to suffer also.
Perhaps the best part of the game is its ease of play. Charts are easy to read and there is one for every situation, so no reading through lists of modifiers that don’t apply. Every phase of the game is made to be understood at a glance, speeding up play significantly, while giving you the feel of the details of the period. The rules themselves are made to form into a professional quality booklet that lasts.
This Yahoo group has free wargames rules for recreating battles of the Indian Wars in the Old Northwest: the French and Indian War through the Blackhawk War.
King George Commands and We Obey is a set of free wargames rules for American War of Independence, Napoleonic Peninsular and the American War of 1812. The author writes:
My key requirements are:
I spend a large amount of time and money collecting units. I decided I wanted them to stay on the table long enough for people to see, therefore no casualty removal.
I hate the “my turn/your turn” approach. With that in mind I use a card based turn system. I first used this in my Dad’s army game. Depending upon the level of game you are playing, a playing card is allocated to each unit or in larger games brigade commanders and above. This also means turns are not all the same as an end of turn card can come up at any time.
They have to be easy to learn. The common approach should assist with this and it is then just about the era specifics.
As little paperwork as possible. Most units have a small tab on a base. This contains all the information you need so no other paperwork, in most cases. This could of course be kept separately rather than attached but I think in a demo game it also allows visitors to see which units are representing which.
Enjoyable. I am not too serious and enjoy a light hearted approach at times to rules. Have a look at my rocket rules. While they may be a little slow to enact, imagine the gasps as rockets snake across the field. You never really know where they will end up!
La Petit Guerre is a set of free wargames rules for small scale actions in North America in the 17th – 19th century.