Fire and Steel

rulebook cover

Brief Description

Rules allow for fighting skirmish-level battles (less than a dozen models per player/side). Models are rated with skill levels (from 1 to 3). Troops may also be given Traits, such as +1 morale or +1 Hand-to-Hand.

Weapons include: Single/Double action revolvers, single/double barrelled shotguns, smoothbore muskets/carbines, bows, thrown weapons (spears, knives, axes, etc.), rifled carbines or rifles, breech loaders, repeaters, etc. Rules also cover gatling guns and explosives.

All figures spend impulses to move, fire, reload, etc. (all start with 3, -1 per wound they may have). Models take actions one at a time (or in big games, by groups), in an order determined by drawing standard playing cards from a deck (not included).

There is no point system for constructing forces or scenarios. The rules provide five sample scenarios:

  • Patrol Clash (American Civil War)
  • Ambush (French and Indian Wars)
  • The Gunfight (Old West)
  • Escape (Indian Mutiny)
  • Peninsular Adventure (Napoleonic)

All scenarios include full OOB's, victory conditions, and a map.

Also provided are rules for constructing your own scenarios. Suggested orders of battle are provided for certain nations.

Period 18th and 19th Centuries
Ground Scale None given. It may be helpful to note that a rifle's maximum range in this game system is 48"
Time Scale Apparently several seconds per turn
Figure Scale Each figure represents a single combatant
Miniature Scales No preferences stated - should work with 15mm or larger
Contents 31-page booklet, countersheet (markers)
Designers Mark Evens, Dave Wilson
Publisher First edition published 1996 by WRG

What You Think

Ron Pehr (raven@wizard.com)
This game is one of the better skirmish rules for this era. As soon as my granddaughter learns to read, it will be one of her first wargames. Naturally, the fact that the Napoleonic adventure just happens to be Richard Sharpe in action is worth the price of admission.
John Carroll (John_C_Carroll@msn.com)
Fire and Steel is my game of choice for French and Indian Wars (FIW) skirmish games. Everything about the period feels right, from the reload times to the flow of the game. Almost all rules disputes can be solved by making an initiative roll. Well-painted, large 28 mm figures really stand out in this game with the small unit size. I like to add canoes, wagons, old Ladies, Demi Moore, Major Rodney King (Can't we just get along?), Hawkeye, Chingachgook and Uncas. I haven't played later periods, but for FIW, it works just fine.
Greg Jennings (gpj@ic.ac.uk)
Very playable skirmish rules, very quick to start. Good idea for short, afternoon games.
Mighty Sapphon (jab@toast.net)
Overall the game is very quick playing, fun, and has a good feel for small scale combat. There is plenty of room for expansion by players.

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Online Resources

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Last Updates
24 April 1999comments by Ron Pehr
7 April 1999comments by John Carroll
14 January 1999page first published
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