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"Rules for the Indian wars 1850-1890..." Topic

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Paskal Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse24 Jan 2019 1:05 a.m. PST

I have some rules on the Indian wars 1850-1890 and I can not find one that would treat the battles of these wars with a traditional game system like for the Napoleonic wars in Europe or the war of Independence of the South in North America…

Someone may have ideas ..?

Skeets Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2019 7:27 a.m. PST

What rules do you have?

Rich Bliss Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2019 8:24 a.m. PST

They weren't traditional battles. I wouldn't want them treated the same.

mghFond24 Jan 2019 10:25 a.m. PST

The Plains Wars are hard to game as the Indians do not fight like white forces. So the games will hardly be traditional. Over the years I've tried quite a few and still not really happy with any. Probably I'm looking for the Holy Grail which isn't out there though.

BillyNM24 Jan 2019 10:34 a.m. PST

Have you tried 'A Good day to Die' see link:


Combined with Chris Peer's modifications to those rules for inter-tribal conflict? See link:


Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Jan 2019 12:29 p.m. PST

The "Holy Grail" of rules that presents the Plains Indians as the warriors they were has been around for many years--"Yellow Ribbon."

The rules are still available from RAFM for only $7.00 USD via this link .

More info here from earlier posts on TMP: link

Detailed review from Boardgamegeek here: link

Truly, no other set of rules comes close.


rmaker24 Jan 2019 1:38 p.m. PST

Yellow Ribbon is indeed the gold standard.

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2019 1:53 p.m. PST

Here is a link to a thread I started a couple years ago, lots of good info on rules and figures.

TMP link

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Jan 2019 3:07 p.m. PST

You might consider "Western" by Peter Pig/RFCM. Specifically written for western battles as opposed to skirmishes. The bases act as groups (about 15 figures per group). In the real battles the casualty rate might often be brutal or very light.
Western includes a scenario generator and starter details for 40+ real battles.
Western is more than the standard Indians v cavalry actions, fun as they are.

The Indians didn't spend the day just counting coup, they got on with the brutal stuff. Indians often fought very tough battles with each other. See Shoshone and Cheyenne massacres.

Custer would have been chuffed if the Indians spent the day counting coup by riding up and trying to inflict a wound! i suspect the Indians used guns at LBH???

Here is a link to show you exactly how the rules work. There is probably similar detail available for other sets? read them all and see how it goes.


Good luck with your quest.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse24 Jan 2019 11:47 p.m. PST

Hello and thank you all,

For the moment I own :

"Pony Wars: B Troop Is Not Coming Back" rules by Ian S. Beck, (perfect for laughing, but that's not what I'm looking for …) but almost unusable with 28/30 mm less than rent a football field or parking, or so I'll have to change a lot of things in there, because there are good ideas in it …

"Yellow Ribbons" rules by greg Novak, the system of shooting for the whites is good, the system for the Indians is too simple, well armed or poorly armed according to their morale, it does not stand up, he would have had to use it that of the whites by adding the bow and the weapons of jets …

In "Yellow Ribbons" the melee is too simplistic and it is always too much in the rules that deal with modern times …

"Yellow hair" by Carl Smith, I have not tried yet, just looked a little, someone played with and can describe it?

" WARPAINT the cavalry and indian wars in the american west" rules by Stephen Harper, too simplistic, I love the Old Glory figures, but not their rules …

"TOO FEW TO FIGHT, TO MANY TO DIE" rules by Peer Chrees, multi-based figures, I hate it …

"SEBASTOPOL, SEDOWA AND SEDAN" 19th. Century Warfare ules by T.J.Halsall, J.G.Kew & A.M.Roth, it is this kind of system that I like, on the other hand the lists of armies are too strict, too full of errors or too simplified …

You know other rules about the Indian wars? Because alas I have the intention to collect them…

parrskool25 Jan 2019 3:49 a.m. PST

….. is there a board game on this theme anywhere?

coopman25 Jan 2019 5:41 a.m. PST

Upcoming boardgame from Worthington Publishing:

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Jan 2019 8:18 a.m. PST

That looks very interesting. Maybe someone can play and review it please?

coopman25 Jan 2019 4:16 p.m. PST

Eventually. It is not released yet.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse26 Jan 2019 12:46 a.m. PST

@ parrskool A board game?

The question is: If there are wargame rules (with figurines, do you know?) That would treat the battles of the Indian wars 1850-1890 with a traditional gaming system like the Napoleonic wars in Europe or the Southern War of Independence in North America…

Can someone have ideas ..?

The only one I know with this kind of system is:

"SEBASTOPOL, SEDOWA AND SEDAN" 19th. Century Warfare rules by T.J.Halsall, J.G.Kew & A.M.Roth …

Unfortunately, impossible to find players for her, players of our time are unable to play with such a rule if he did not know …

They make a stroke directly when they start reading it …

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Jan 2019 2:36 a.m. PST

Maybe approach it from the other direction?


Find those who want to play this period/game with you.
Then "barn storm"/discuss the options and find common ground.

Do post what your solution is. Maybe give some reasons too?

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse26 Jan 2019 6:50 a.m. PST

It is not a question of period this rule goes from the beginning of the Napoleonic wars to the beginning of the war of 14-18 …

The truth is that this rule is not simplistic and that the players of now are no longer the caliber of yesteryear, that's all …

Basha Felika27 Jan 2019 3:40 p.m. PST

Errrr, I think Trevor and Jim (I don't remember Mr Roth) would admit that ‘SS&S' were very much a product of their time and that far more sophisticated rule mechanisms have evolved in the 30-odd years since their release.

The US-Indian Plains Wars need their own rules just because they're so different from 19th century European Warfare – not only different tactics but a wholly different attitude towards warfare by both protagonists, all of which needs to be represented in an ‘historically accurate' game (if such a thing exists when pushing little toy soldiers around a table).

"Yellow Ribbon" is probably one of the best rulesets in replicating the tactics and command/control challenges for both sides. We've moved on to ‘Men Who Would Be Kings' with a lot of house rules (uploaded to the MWWBK Facebook page) to add more period feel to our games and, well, they work for us.

Other than writing your own rules, if none of the above feel ‘right' to you for whatever reason, the only other set of ‘traditional' rules I can think of that has lists for the Plains Wars is ‘Principles of War', if you can find a copy as it's been OOP for some time.

Hope this helps?

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse28 Jan 2019 12:21 a.m. PST

Thank you.

This rule served at national wargaming competitions in the UK in the 80s and few people have heard of them ???

So no one among you has played with the "SEBASTOPOL, SEDOWA AND SEDAN" 19th. Century Warfare rules ?

It's a super sophisticated rule!

Basha Felika28 Jan 2019 4:45 p.m. PST

We can all think of rules that were considered ‘the best' in the 1980's that have been ‘overtaken' by new thinking in the 30-odd years since then.

It's like saying Betamax is still the best way of recording and watching favourite films in 2019.

I was a member of the Newbury Wargames Club in the late 70's/early 80's, Trevor and Jim got me interested in Napoleonic and 19th century Wargames (for which I owe them several pints), I loved some of the other rule sets that they published, and bought loads of Donnington Miniatures when Graham (another club member) owned it, but would I use any of the Newbury Rules of that era? Absolutely not.

Basha Felika28 Jan 2019 4:51 p.m. PST

OK, I might make an exception for their reprint of the original Skirmish Wargames "Old West Gunfight" rules by ‘Botch' Blake, "Long Hair" Steve Curtis and "Kid" Caldwell (IIRC – correct me if I'm wrong, gents of a certain age), and the ‘Diek Plus' galley rules by Geoff Curran (if only because I went to school with him, and was dead impressed that he was a published author at 18, as I saw it!)

But the other Newbury "fast play" and other rules? Errr…no….life is too short.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse29 Jan 2019 12:42 p.m. PST

Each his tastes, nevertheless it was and it is always a sacred good rule …

I do not want to provide a critique of "SEBASTOPOL, SEDOWA AND SEDAN" of the 19th. Century Warfare rules , but talk about these rules with those who knew and loved them …

Basha Felika29 Jan 2019 1:52 p.m. PST

I still don't quite understand why you want to use 40-year old game mechanics for 19th century European Warfare to refight the Plains Wars?

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse30 Jan 2019 12:48 a.m. PST

I have not found something that suits me so much ..?

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse31 Jan 2019 12:55 a.m. PST

Given the mass of player that had at one time, it's odd that there are none who are members of TMP …

Basha Felika01 Feb 2019 4:41 a.m. PST

I doubt there were ever very many players, even when it was used in those 1980's national tournaments you mention.

From memory, those Nationals at that time were organised by the Newbury Club, who actively promoted the use of their own rules at the event (with the exception of the Ancients competition, where WRG 6th was dominant) and there were rarely more than 10 competitors in any of the different categories other than Ancients and Napoleonics.

Don't forget they're also a set of UK published rules, most of the TMP membership is from the USA and it was a lot more difficult to buy things from across the Pond compared to today.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse02 Feb 2019 12:41 a.m. PST

It's the same everywhere, it's always the same periods that are estimated by the players …

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