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"Civilians, Irregulars, and Discipline" Topic

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FilsduPoitou11 Jun 2022 4:30 p.m. PST

On a slow day at work I was musing about how civilian models are used in wargaming and I get the impression that they are primarily used in two ways: as either window dressing or as some kind of objective for opposing armies. After looking at the recently released FIW natives from Ratnik, with some of them looking as they just pilfered a tavern, it made me think. History is full of stories of low discipline forces preferring to loot and pillage over fighting. Routiers in HYW era France. Bashi-Bazouks in Greece and the Balkans. Bushwhackers during the ACW. And so forth.

Therefore, I am curious if any ruleset exists out there that uses civilians/homes as a board hazard. For example, lets say I have a unit with low morale/discipline or designated as irregular try to take a shortcut through a hamlet to get to the enemy faster. Getting within range of the settlement and failing a diceroll results in losing temporary control of a unit as they engage in looting. Some other debuffs as well perhaps.

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2022 8:03 p.m. PST

For ideas, might I suggest the rules set "Gunfighter's Ball" and the companion sourcebook "Cowtown Creator" (if you can find a copy). This rules set treats town's folk not only with reasons for being there, but also provides ideas on how to integrate them within the game. Now mind you that the game is a bit of miniature role playing so 1 figure is that guy or gal, but still useful in giving ideas how to use civilians in other wargames. Example, negative points for killing or injuring them- double if it was intentional, etc. I have enjoyed painting civilians for several periods and often pondered the same question.

doc mcb12 Jun 2022 7:03 a.m. PST

I play with civilians all the time, in western gunfights and Sleepy Hollow gothic and FIW log cabin games. When kids are playing, they can be counted on to do civilianny things without prompting.

advocate12 Jun 2022 10:40 a.m. PST

"By Fire and Sword" has a "Robbers" characteristic for some units. If you have them in your army, they may suffer pre-game losses or be difficult to command early in the game.

Stryderg12 Jun 2022 10:44 a.m. PST

Some of the TwoHourWargames titles have rules for civilians. One of them was that once gun-play commenced, civilians would bunch up into small mobs and run in slightly random directions away from the last gunfire. Which could cause them to get between combatants, or overrun them. The other rule allowed civilians to loot downed minis and possibly become combatants (so that roadway that you thought was clear, now isn't).

Zephyr112 Jun 2022 2:33 p.m. PST

"The other rule allowed civilians to loot downed minis "

Yes, that's a good rule. Given the chance (above all, of not getting caught), most people would tend to do that… ;-)

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2022 1:21 a.m. PST

I came up with a scenario specific rule for Oriskany.

"Indian war parties passing six inches or less of a Rebel wagon must make a morale roll if they fail they will immediately move their full movement directly to the nearest wagon and spend the next turn looting it. If any Rebel unit is in the way they will immediately go into combat with the Rebel unit. If they win the combat they will continue towards the nearest wagon and spend the next turn looting it. Leaders can modify the die roll."


Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2022 10:54 p.m. PST

I've had civilians in miniatures games set in the Traveller universe, and basically had them running away from gunfire and affecting victory conditions. Also looting at least one crashed spacecraft. Sometimes the civilians turn out to be agents for one side or another.

SBminisguy16 Jun 2022 11:02 a.m. PST

In the NUTS game from Two Hour Wargames there's optional rules that you may encounter civilians during your Mission. You can try to interact with them with varying results:

1. They don't know anything and flee
2. They tell you useful information and give you an advantage on a test, or let you reveal a potential enemy force marker anyplace on the table
3. They are hostile – if you're in their country as an aggressor force they attack you.
4. They are Partisans if you're helping in their country and they join you for the Mission

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