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"A old set of Pony Wars rules ?" Topic

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Paskal Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2019 6:46 a.m. PST

In the past, a certain Mr. Peter Gilder wrote a set of Pony Wars rules ?

Do you know his title ?

Where can we get it and what year is it?

Whirlwind12 Jan 2019 6:52 a.m. PST

No, by Ian Beck. Peter Gilder adapted them (for Sudan).
E-bay etc. only at the present, although there was a thread a couple of years back which says that there are some illegal downloads around. Baccus 6mm's Peter Berry says he is in the process of getting the rules re-published.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2019 6:59 a.m. PST

Ok, what was the title ?

And the name of the publisher ?

Thank you.

Whirlwind12 Jan 2019 7:05 a.m. PST

Pony Wars or "B Troop Ain't Coming Back…"

Published by Tabletop Games


You are very welcome.

Gone Fishing12 Jan 2019 8:44 a.m. PST

Surely one of the greatest sets of rules in the hobby. Though a few of the rules are a little clunky by today's standards (mainly those around the firing and melee resolution, both of which are easily tweaked), the spirit of the game is so contagiously enthusiastic, and the ideas therein so marvelous, that it makes great reading even after all these years. I've always thought it rather wonderful that such a loving tribute to the Old West was written by an Englishman.

Best of luck with your search, Paskal – it is well worth it!

Deleted by Moderator

Personal logo Baccus 6mm Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Jan 2019 10:11 a.m. PST

The graphic artist is just getting to grips with a suggested layout and logo for the reprint. I'll post updates when something more concrete is available, but this project is now actually underway…

Gone Fishing12 Jan 2019 10:19 a.m. PST

Will you be making figures for it, Peter? Wonderful news, by the way!!!


Paskal Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2019 10:42 a.m. PST

@ Whirlwind,

Thank you very much, Pony Wars or "B Troop Is not Coming Back …" it's alternate Names is Pony Wars or 'D' Troop Aint Coming Back ??? 'D' Troop ???

@ Gone Fishing,

If it's the rule illustrated on Whirlwind's link, I'm interested …You can contact me by mp?

@ Baccus 6mm,

So if I understand English well, it will be re-issued? But I will prefer the old edition, I have some rules of play for the Indian wars post 1850 and I would like that because it seems that its system is identical to the systems of the old rules published by ACTIVE SERVICE PRESS, that I love more that all !

But I do not believe it…


Whirlwind12 Jan 2019 11:06 a.m. PST


Yes. The 'B' Troop… bit is a subtitle

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2019 11:41 a.m. PST

Look forward to seeing the updated version

Bob Hume12 Jan 2019 4:02 p.m. PST

Please, Please, make 6mm figures for this. Your ACW infantry and cavalry in hats will already work. Just need natives, wagons and civilians. Of course a lone figure of Hondo, Shane and The Man With No Name, would be cool.

BillyNM12 Jan 2019 11:56 p.m. PST

Figures for Pony Wars are already available in several scales. Peter Gilder's Connoisseur Figures as used at his Wargames Holiday Centre ( are available from Bicorn Miniatures. The current WHC uses Foundry or similar 28mm ranges. In 15mm (the scale used by Steve Beck) suitable figures including bison, stage coaches, etc. are produced by Hovels, Battleline Miniatures, QRF and Miniature Figurines to name just a few of the earlier ranges which are now supplemented by other ranges and manufacturers. In 20mm Newline Miniatures is only range that I recall but I'm sure there will be others. Good luck.

BillyNM13 Jan 2019 12:04 a.m. PST

Of course Pony Wars can be used for other periods as Peter Gilder with the Sudan and now resurrected (with a published set of rules with pack of game cards) by Carlo Pagnani in New Zealand. See his blog for more, contact details, etc. (
I've typically used them for the Teutonic Order in the Baltic facing hordes of locals and have long thought the Boer War would be ideal if your don't want lots of figures. In this case the 'hostiles/Boers' would be fewer than the 'cavalry/Brits' and the homesteads would be cleared to deny support to the Commandos rather than to keep them safe – perhaps in dubious tastes?

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2019 1:02 a.m. PST

@ Whirlwind:
Yes but it is indicated on BoarGame Geek: "Alternate Names Pony Wars or 'D' Troop Aint Coming Back" …
What is the original edition of the 1980s and what does it mean with a yellow cover and others with a blue cover?
@Bob Hume and BillyNM:
I only play in 28/30 mm …
On the other hand I was told that the game mechanics of this rule was close to the old rules published by ACTIVE SERVICE PRESS, is it true?

BillyNM13 Jan 2019 2:20 a.m. PST

Paskal, sorry but I don't understand what you're asking about the game mechanics. My French is embarrassingly bad so I'm afraid you'll have to stick to English. If you're comparing Carlo's Sudan rules to the originals then the mechanics are very similar except that the shooting and combat was been swapped by Gilder (Carlo has tried to make it true to Gilder's original WHC rules) to something closer to his in the Grand Manner rules.
On scale, if you've got a big enough table then 25/28mm is best as it makes it easier to identify with individual characters in the game.
My edition has a blue (turquoise?) cover, I'd have to dig it out to see when, and by whom, it was published.

Whirlwind13 Jan 2019 3:03 a.m. PST

Yes but it is indicated on BoarGame Geek: "Alternate Names Pony Wars or 'D' Troop Aint Coming Back" …

Sorry, I am not quite sure what you are asking Paskal. It is definitely 'B' Troop – look at the picture of the cover. I don't know why it is important either way, mind.

Personal logo Baccus 6mm Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Jan 2019 6:01 a.m. PST

It is most definitely 'B' troop. It contained three of the team whose surnames happened to begin with the letter: Beck, Bussey and Berry. And no, that troop remained desperately ill-fated.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2019 6:35 a.m. PST

@ BillyNM:

The color of the cover was just to know which edition was the oldest and if they were identical?

I was told to get "Pony Wars Gold" B Troop Is not Coming Back … ", because the rules of the late 80's published by ACTIVE SERVICE PRESS have a copied game system" Pony Wars Gold "B Troop Is not Coming Back … "Do you know these old rules published in the late 80's by ACTIVE SERVICE PRESS? The game systems are identical to those of "Pony Wars or" B Troop Is not Coming Back … "?

@ Whirlwind:
Me neither, but I do not know what they call it an Alternate Name?

@ Baccus 6mm:
So it's even weirder …

BillyNM13 Jan 2019 7:31 a.m. PST

My copy is a Tabletop Games Product copyright 1980 so I guess it's the original release. The cover as I said before is blue/green – I can send you a picture I had your email. The title is:

'B' Troop ain't coming back

I have never seen another version of Pony Wars by Active Service Press or anyone else. Stick with it as these rules give some of the most enjoyable games I've ever played.

Gone Fishing13 Jan 2019 9:54 a.m. PST

So Baccus, the question remains: will you be making figures to go along with the rules?

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2019 11:18 a.m. PST


You did not understand me I say that I was told me by a friend that the system of game of the old rules published in the late 80's by ACTIVE SERVICE PRESS come from "PONY WARS or 'B' Troop is not coming back"…

Does anyone know if it's true?

Because that's what I'm looking for.

Personal logo Baccus 6mm Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Jan 2019 11:31 a.m. PST

Let's sort this out. Pony Wars was only ever published by TTG. ASP never had anything to do with the set.

Different coloured covers just signify a reprint, not a revision of the original set.

Yes. There will be a diminutive yet comprehensive Pony Wars range.

How's that?

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2019 11:44 a.m. PST

@Baccus 6mm:

A friend told me that the system of game of the old rules published in the late 80's by ACTIVE SERVICE PRESS come from "PONY WARS or 'B' Troop is not coming back"…

Does anyone know if it's true?

Because that's what I'm looking for.

Personal logo Baccus 6mm Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Jan 2019 1:18 p.m. PST

You cannot copyright a game mechanic or even an original game concept. Someone may well have 'taken inspiration' from Pony Wars and ASP may well have published it. I have no idea if this is true or not. It's the first time I've heard about it. Friends can be mistaken in their recollections, so I think you need to go back and check your sources.

Even if it is true I very much doubt that a derived set could match the exuberance and bravura of Ian's writing.

Gone Fishing13 Jan 2019 1:40 p.m. PST

Paskal, I must agree that only Tabletop Games published Pony Wars. Your friend's memory is fuzzy (or he's mixing it up with another set of rules?).

Baccus, that's great news about the new, diminutive range! Many people will be very pleased.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2019 11:58 p.m. PST

@ Baccus 6mm and Gone Fishing:

Well I believe you it was too beautiful, or as Baccus 6mm says "Someone may well have taken inspiration from Pony Wars and ASP may published it" …

In all I just bought it in its 1980 edition – which I wanted – and I will judge for myself …

By cons I find incredible enthusiasm for this rule – I know that reputation – on TMP!

Yet I was told that "the best", ie "the most realistic" was Yellow Ribbon "and that" PONY WARS or 'B' Troop is not coming back "was rather fun …

I would like that those who know her speak to me about her, thank you.

Bob Hume14 Jan 2019 8:33 a.m. PST

Thank you Baccus. I have a lot of your stuff already and am ready to buy this, right now.

Mick O14 Jan 2019 9:10 a.m. PST

Please forgive me if I come off as Disgruntled or Frustrated. For the past ten years I have repeatedly seen promises of the reprinting of Pony Wars.
I am getting old and may not be around for the next approved printing.
Considering the dating of this material and the superb, knowledge of the wargaming community, I just can't believe
that a group of like minded members ,enthusiast would not be able to develop a set of rules that would be superb to Pony Wars.
Thank you, Mike

Rdfraf Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2019 10:08 a.m. PST

I use the rule for my Boxer Rebellion games with players playing different countries out to rescue missionaries.

Considering how fun these rules were I'm surprised no one else has tried publishing a rule set with similar systems.

Personal logo Baccus 6mm Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Jan 2019 12:46 p.m. PST

Mike, it has taken a wee while to get to this stage, but believe me, it's not been for lack of application, nor has the project been floated as a possibility for the past decade!

Yes, someone could assuredly knock out a similar set of rules, but that would require 'someone' to put the effort in and produce and end result which does not simply rehash the original. What's more, they would not be Pony Wars and it is the original rules that are held in so much esteem and affection.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2019 12:55 p.m. PST

I found it miraculously and bought in its edition of 1980 because it is collector in this edition there …

I would like that those who know her speak to me about her,because I think I read articles about them in the past on the internet where we did not say good ..What would be funny but unrealistic ..?

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2019 1:07 a.m. PST

If it's a skirmish rules specialized over the period, I'm saved !

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2019 11:03 a.m. PST

I received this rule this morning, she is really simplistic …

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2019 9:33 p.m. PST

I understand why some would rather use small scales of figurines for 'Pony Wars or "B Troop Ain't Coming Back', indeed, it takes 1 million fgurines to play with …

But it is very easy to modify, to transform to improve it because the realistic side has been put next to…

JimDuncanUK28 Jan 2019 4:33 p.m. PST

I had an original copy of Pony Wars from way back when, probably blue cover.

I gave it away to a chap in Australia because he asked nicely and I didn't want them anymore.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2019 12:56 p.m. PST

I've been looking for a long time and when I finally found an exemplair (edition of 1980), what a disappointment … Finally it's for my collection …

But I suspected it before receiving it because there was some time I had read bad reviews on this rule on the Net.

Basha Felika29 Jan 2019 1:56 p.m. PST

My abiding memory of the big participation games being played using these rules and 15mm figures at UK conventions in the early 80's was the amount of laughter around the table, especially when Captain Kremmon appeared.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2019 12:57 a.m. PST

I only like the 25/28/30 mm figures and Pony Wars or "B Troop Ain't Coming Back…" is not made for that …

Whirlwind30 Jan 2019 3:21 a.m. PST

I only like the 25/28/30 mm figures and Pony Wars or "B Troop Ain't Coming Back…" is not made for that …

How come?

Basha Felika30 Jan 2019 12:32 p.m. PST

Whirlwind, the rules were written with large-scale participation games in mind, with hundreds of Indians, multiple companies of US cavalry and a large supporting cast.

You'd need a huge table for 28mm games ‘as written' , which is why Pete's plan to re-release them with a complimentary 6mm Range is very appealing.

You could adapt the mechanisms for smaller games than intended but they'd lose much of the cinematic appeal of the original and, frankly, there are much better alternatives (Yellow Ribbon or MWWBK with adaptions) readily available.

Says the man whose collection is entirely 28mm, is already far too large and who is trying to convince himself this is a period he really does not ‘need' to play in 2 different scales whatever Pete brings out.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2019 1:02 a.m. PST

I only have figures of 28 to 40 mm and they are not made for that.
Theses scales are not possible for everything and It does not matter,finally it's for my collection …

Whirlwind31 Jan 2019 7:24 a.m. PST

Peter Gilder used 25/28mm figures with an adapted Pony Wars ruleset for his Sudan set-up, like this: link

Basha Felika01 Feb 2019 12:58 p.m. PST

But Peter Gilder had a very big table :-)

It was pictures of his Sudan set-up that first inspired me to get into colonial gaming, and the Sudan remains one of my favourites to this day.

"Sands of Sudan" is the recent re-print of his rules for the period and well worth getting – work equally well for smaller scales and full of period feel.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2019 12:46 a.m. PST

In any case it is not only the number of necessary figurines that I do not like in this rule …

Jimbo9405 Mar 2019 3:14 a.m. PST

Cant wait for the new pony wars

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2019 12:10 a.m. PST

Not me …

I only like the first editions that are usually the best in all the rules …

Basha Felika14 Mar 2019 2:39 a.m. PST

That's an interesting concept, as subsequent editions are usually improvements on the original

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