This another part in the free wargames rules "recommended" project.
I think every wargamer has tinkered with their own ruleset, and increasing amounts of them are freely available on the web. But are they good? There's so much out there, and most aren't worth the download.
We're collecting rules recommended by other gamers. If you've played some free rules that you enjoyed (or had interesting mechanics/ideas) put a comment in this post (no sign-in required).
Age of Blood
.....fun Viking battle and campaign system. LOTS of flavour
incorporating RPG style elects in war band management, which takes up
most of the rules. I had a very enjoyable campaign with these free
rules (lots of posts on my blog if you are interested) - Paul O'Grady
I downloaded these ages ago and was quite impressed by them. Shares many similarities with LOTR - heroes have a kind of limited-resource "fate" re-roll, there's a similar activation and morale system. In fact the main difference is the use of opposed d10 rolls. A pretty thorough campaign/advancement system with ability to add mythic creatures.
.....The rules are a bit slow regarding
movement of units but it has got interesting concepts in morale,
motivation and melee. It is worth a read at least. -blacksmith
This is another viking skirmish game for 10-30 minis a side. Definitely interesting "motivation" rules - a soldier, depending on circumstances, may charge uncontrollably at the enemy, follow orders, fall back or even flee. This is a real central mechanic to the game. It's really interesting but quite daunting. (There's a few charts which can scare people off)
rules with a cool army builder a little reminiscient of a song of blades
and heroes builder but you cant buy as many special rules so less
complex -James Toney
.....a streamlined version of SoBH, which is pretty streamlined to begin with. ....the army builder on that website is pretty darn sweet. - Warren Abrox
Basically like the recommendations say - simple SoBH-style combat resolution, but without the risk-reward activation system and the plethora of special rules. A bit too bland for me personally, but as they say, it has a nifty unit builder.
Maurice(18th Century) and Longstreet (ACW)
Adam Carriere gave a pretty thorough breakdown:
Sam Mustafa offers the "lite" version
of his Maurice(18th Century) and Longstreet(ACW) rules they aren't
actually lite they are in fact the full table top game missing only the
Both use Cards (printable version are
available free) for command and control as well as to provide bonuses to
your troops or penalties to your enemy. The Card play also break up
the traditional IGO UGO game as the inactive player can interrupt the
active players actions.
The cards add a layer of depth and are the real heart of the system. Cards have a range from the army commander they can be used i.e. a card with a range of 4 could only be used 4 away, while a unit with a range of 11 can be used 11 away. Cards can also be used to modify actions - and if you are the non-active player, you can use them to interrupt an opponent's turn. A pretty slick set of rules.
Victory Without Quarter
Its an interesting set of rules and uses a fun card mechanic with
integrated 'special events'.
- Paul O'Grady
These English Civil War rules have the usual "stands"of infantry. You'll need to make your own cards (spraypainting old playing cards is my method). I'm not a mass battle game expert (DBA is about my limit) but to give you an idea, activation is card-based (random, but extra cards for officers who can activate units in range); units absorb hits with casualty markers, each stand rolling to hit on 5+ on a 2-3d6 (shooting); or 4+ on 2-4d6 (melee.) The card draw system can trigger a roll on the event table, adding a bit of flavour.
Again, thanks to the energetic readers of this blog. This article is courtesy of Paul O'Grady, Adam Carriere, James Toney and blacksmith.