Commercially Available Rules for Colonial Miniatures Games

The Sword and the Flame
by Larry Brom

This is by far my favourite set of rules for the colonial period. Really it is designed for skirmish to mid size games but it is fast and fun. It uses random dice for movement and an innovative card system that is good at randomizing movement and firing. If you want to play a Hollywood blockbuster film version of a historical game then this is the set for you. It is set in the 19th Century, but there are lots of supporting variants available for other eras or theatres - some are produced online by fans of the rules sets and others commercially from the publisher.

Eight Hundred Fighting Englishmen
by Larry Brom

This is another set from Larry Brom but at a battalion level game so it is for larger battles than the TSATF mentioned above. It still uses cards and a 20 sided dice but in a different way from TSATF.

Black Powder
by Rick Priestley

Set during the horse & musket period of 1700-1900, Black Powder is very much a game for gentlemen gamers. Gamers who cherish the finer things in life such as wonderfully painted armies, fighting over luxurious terrain, and doing so in the company of friends. In essence it's a very relaxing game that can produce stunning conflicts - conflicts that can see one side appear doomed only for them to pull victory from the icy grasp of Mistress Defeat!

Death in the Dark Continent
by Chris Peers

A new set from Ruga Ruga publishing. They are rules for Sub-Saharan combat from 1870 to 1899. They are essentially for skirmish games but on the larger end of the scale for skirmish games. The website has a number of army lists to be downloaded.

Reckless Daring
by Manny Granillo

Brigade level miniatures rules between 1870 to 1910. It is also known as Remember Gordon and it was originally published by Hoplite Games. They cover the Sudan, Zulu Wars, Ashanti Wars, Northwest Frontier, and the Boer War.

The Gatling's Jammed
by Stephen Danes

Designed for huge battles this set is based on the General de Brigade Napoleonic system. Firing is done by using a 1d6 for each stand in the unit that can fire, modifiers are applied and the number of successful die rolls is the number of hits inflicted.

There are your Guns
by Dennis Williams

It has the subtitle: Warfare in the Age of Steam 1816 - 1897. It is another set based on the General de Brigade system but at a smaller unit size than the Gatling's Jammed set above.

19th Century Principles of War
by T.M. Penn

This is actually for European or Colonial wars and uses the same mechanisms for both. You would have to buy a separate rules set for the colonial armies, but the rules are all encased in this book. It represents medium to large size battles between 1820 and 1914.

Soldiers of the Queen
by D. Elks and J. G. Stanyon

This is a fairly straightforward set of rules - not a huge investment in figures required but still feels complex enough.

Patrols in the Sudan
by Peter Pig

Peter Pig's offering of rules for the late Victorian period.

Science versus Pluck
by Howard Whitehouse

(or too much for the Mahdi). This set of rules brings a role playing feel to the heroic aspects of colonial warfare.

by Chris Leach

Players command units of British regulars and trained colonial recruits, or fight against these invaders with Dervishes, Zulus, Pathans, or Boers. It has variable basing and easy to learn rules. In incorporates an integrated movement and morale system which makes ambitious plans difficult to coordinate in the flow of battle.

Chosen Men
by Steve Winter

Suitable for skirmishing in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century.

Piquet: Din of Battle
by Bob Jones

This is a master set of wargames rules that has the Din of Battle supplement for 19th Century Colonial games and Cartouche for 18th Century ones. It centers around a Sequence Deck and the use of Impulse Pips to try to recreate the flow of a complicated battle.

by Christopher Palmer and John Surdu

These rules have the flavour of Victorian Science fiction writers such as, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and H. Ryder Haggard in mind with a touch of 'B' movie thrown in. They are designed to incorporate Victorian science fiction elements such as steam conveyences, fantastic weapons and strange creatures. But they can be used for basic, purely historical Colonial wargames, too.

Space 1889
by Frank Chadwick

This is the miniatures rules for the Space 1889 Role Playing Game. It is a steampunk genre where the Victorians perfected space travel with the use of Steam! This brings in a hole cast of new enemies for the soldiers of the Queen.

This Very Ground
by Keith Stone

This set of rules recreates small-unit skirmishes set in North America from 1753-1764 (but can also be used to recreate virtually any skirmish in the Horse & Musket Era)

Field of Battle
by Brent Oman

Field of Battle features easily mastered game mechanics, minimal rules and table references during play, and an emphasis on the fog of war. Sequence cards establish the capabilities and sequence of actions of each army.

Wilderness Wars
by James Harris and Philip Bock

Wilderness Wars simulates company and battalion-sized conflicts in the eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century.

Colonial Adventures
by Dev Sodagar

By the 2 hours wargames group that allows you to fight colonial games from 1850 - 1914. Colonial Lemuria is a VSF sourcebook that is also available.

Advanced Poll
What is your favourite set of Colonial Rules?
The Sword and the Flame/800 FE
Death in the Dark Continent
Principles of War
Science versus Pluck
There are your Guns
Battles for Empire
Black Powder
Reckless Daring

View results
Version 2.09

Free Rules for Colonial Miniatures Games

by The Antwerp Fusiliers

The Antwerp site has quite a few supporting event cards for the free game.

African Colonial War Game Rules 1880-1910
by Jack Scruby

A basic set of rules based on 20mm figures. They have a generic set of rules which is then modified for the various eras and periods.

All the King's Men
by Ken Cliffe

Fast-play wars designed specifically for the Zulu Wars.

Battle of Isandlwana (1879 AD)
by Matt Fritz

These were designed as fast play rules for students.

Colonial Rules
by Pete Jones

15mm rules from Wrexham & District Wargamers

Colonial Wargames Rules
by Tyneside Wargames club

These are rules for smaller scale skirmish games

'Damned Wobbly Gentlemen' or Zulu War Lite
by Empress Miniatures

Fast-play wars designed specifically for the Zulu Wars.

Edwardian Splendour
by Arofan Gregory

Rules for 40mm and 54mm figures

Ere's to you Fuzzy Wuzzy and others
by Bob Cordery

Quite a few rules and variants available on this page

Fast Play Indian Mutiny Rules
by Bob Bergman

Designed so that all the players are on the same side.

Fire & Sword in the Sudan
by Steve Winter

A fully fledged campaign system based on TSATF

Fire in the Fern
by Peter Clarke

Rules for the Maori Wars

Front Rank Fire!
by Jim Wallman

These rules are intended for small unit actions, involving a handful of British and a larger force of Zulu.

John Bull v Patriots
by The perfect Captain

This is a very impressively designed system for smaller scale 1812 and American War of Independence games. It actually has a sister game Cousin Jonathan for battlion/regiment size battles.

Lawks Drift
by Battlegames

This was a free insert with high production values.

Little Colonial Rules
by Jesus Serrano Mateo

Quite a serious set with lots of detail.

Pith Helmet 2
by Donald Bailey

These are an innovative set of rules that are condensed onto a single Quick Reference Card to play with. Mr Bailey has kindly made his system available for download on this site. The link has an archive or resources and the QRF and rules and much more.

Redcoats and Natives
by Robert Cordery

When Empires Clash is also hosted on this site. You do need to pay attention to the password keys on the page. You will need them.

Rules Britannia
Alan Welch

A simplified but fully functional variant of the popular Sword and the Flame rules.

Sahibs and Sepoys
by Alan Hamilton

Skirmish Wargame and RPG Rules for the Indian Mutiny 1857 - 1858.

Science versus Pluck
by Howard Whitehouse

or 'Too much for the Mahdi' A very comprehensive game with plenty of supporting material. It is an earlier version of the commercially available game.

'Splorers, Savages, Soldiers and Slavers
by Alan Hamilton

A Darkest Africa skirmish set with hints of RPG elements.

Stand to
by Steve Winter

Being a Set of Rules for the Recreation in Miniature of Small Battles from the Colonial Age.

Taking the Bull by the Horns
by Jim Wallman

Designed for use with 6mm figures, but in a one to one capacity so that you could recreate battles at their actual size. Quite an intriguing idea! It also has two scenarios Myers Drift and Stalwart Foes

The Natives are Restless Tonight

A set of rules based on the Boxer Rebellion but could be used for any siege in the colonial period.

by Tod P. Zechiel

A very full set of rules for the Boxer Rebellion.

Why Must We Fight Tribe Against Tribe?
by Trevor Brabyn

Miniature Rules for Maori Intertribal Wars c. AD 1600-1872 and Eastern North American Indian Intertribal Wars c. AD 1400-1816

by Will McNally

A very nice set of rules for the iconic battles of this war.

Advanced Poll
What is most important to you in choosing a rules set?
Fun 31.5%
Balanced between complexity and realism 28.8%
Simple 13.5%
Historically accurate 9.9%
Free 5.4%
Ongoing support and development 4.5%
Complexity and realism 2.7%
Good value 2.7%
Glossy with high production values 0.9%

Total votes: 111

Version 2.09

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