Washington's Wars

Brief Description David R. Hoffman gives us the "feel" of the times with these grand-tactical rules. Units range from British regulars to American militia, from Indian allies to French Marines. An optional Phase Card system keeps everyone guessing what his enemy will do next. Includes morale rules.
Period French & Indian War, American War of Independence.
Scale In the words of the designer, "Actual time, distance and the size of units have no direct relation to the game." The basic unit for play is the battalion/regiment -- a typical unit consists of 5 stands. The rules are meant for use with 15mm figures.
Basing Line infantry are mounted 4 figures abreast on a 40mm x 20mm base; light infantry, 2 figures on 20mm x 20mm base; cavalry, 2 figures on 40mm x 30mm base; artillery, 1 gun plus 2-4 gunners on a 30mm x 40mm base.
Contents 64-page rules booklet (with color photos and illustrations), reference card, three sheets of markers and phase cards (to be cut out).
Designer David R. Hoffman.
Publisher First edition published 1993 by Soldiers & Swords.

A detailed description of Washington's Wars is also available.

What You Think

Sean Clark (sean@sacanak.freeserve.co.uk)
Washington's Wars rules are not my idea of a "good" set of rules.

Any morale system that allows units to hang around until 100% casualties is way off the mark as far as realism is concerned. Units do fail morale checks, but look at the morale failure tables. There is only a 33% chance of routing after losing melee, regardless of how bad you've been beaten. The "Other Failed Morale" table has no rout result, the worst being a retreat disordered for 2 turns. Consequently, in the 2 games I've played using these rules, although units have failed morale tests, the result of that failure has meant the unit has hung around for more punishment. This could easily be remedied by modifiers to the roll on the morale failure tables, but in such a well-produced set of rules you would have expected some consideration would have been given to this anomaly. Of course, I could be missing something!

I'm personally looking forward to trying Patriots and Loyalists (written by Scott Holder with assistance from Arty Conliffe).

Alistair Gray (no email)

I feel the rules are generally sound and give a good game once the mechanics are fully understood. I have only used the rules twice and so I am still in the playtesting stage, but there are a few tings that I would question:

  • American militia seem to have a better fire factor than British line in most situation. I am not underestimating the Americans' ability to handle firearms, but their ability in a battle situation to maintain the rate of fire - especially in the war's early years. (I raise this even though I prefer to play the American side!)
  • The "mass" formation seems to be of limited value, and there appears to be no great benefit to troops using it.

The rules are very playable, and I feel that if the spirit of the players matches the spirit of the rules, then most queries can be sorted out. The rules are quite elastic, which I feel is a positive thing.

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Online Resources

Rules Questions
These are the questions our staff had about these rules. We asked the publisher for answers, but never received any. Since the company is now out of business, I despair of ever receiving answers. :-)
If you know of other resources for this game, please let us know by sending email. If you have material you would like to make available to the Net, also let us know.

Last Updates
Mon Apr 05 01:09:54 PDT 1999comments by Sean Clark
19 February 1999Alistair's comments
2 December 1996reorganized
23 June 1996reformatted
9 April 1996reorganized
Comments or corrections?