Brother Against Brother

rulebook cover

Brief Description Ruleset for skirmishes between company-sized units, with players taking the roles of Sergeants (Group Leaders over a squad of 9-10 figures) and Company Officers (a company consists of 4-5 squads). Infantry, cavalry, and artillery are covered. Cards randomly determine which groups act when. Soldiers take individual actions - fire, load (certain weapons require loading before firing), move, charge. Being outside of a Sergeant's command radius limits a soldier's actions; and soldiers can charge only if ordered to do so by a Company Officer. Taking casualties or charging requires a group to take a Morale Card, often causing skeedaddling (stragglers). Optional rules cover troop qualities, event cards, types of fire, and allow leaders to be "personalized." Designed to be played to completion in 3-4 hours.

Three scenarios are included:

First Blood
Two forces of equal size (~100 figures) run into each other while foraging. Intended as basic game to introduce beginners to the rules.
Camp Raid
Union raiders (100 men, plus cavalry and artillery) hit Confederate supply depot (40 defenders, with artillery and entrenchments; plus reinforcements)

scenario mapscenario description

Under Siege
French troops (with Indian allies) must drive British from blockhouse before reinforcements (rangers) arrive. French and Indian War.
Period American Civil War; appendix provides rules for French and Indian War, with suggestions for covering all North American wars between the two
Scale One infantry/cavalry figure represents 1-2 men. Ground scale is 1" = 5 yds. One Action Phase represents 1-3 minutes.
Basing Individual
  • 44-page rule booklet with color illustrations
    color illustrationsmore color illustrations
  • 19 plastic-coated Morale Cards, 15 artillery markers (must be cut apart)
    back of card front of card

Requires deck of standard playing cards (not provided)

Designer Ivor M. Janci (
Publisher First edition published 1996; second edition published 1997 by H.G. Walls

What You Think

Steven R. McHenry (
Personally, I like them if you keep the actions small, say about 10 to 20 figures per person, and about three people per side. The only problem that I found with the rules is that, since they are based on a card move system, like Rusty's Rules (which I also like), with too many players there is a lot of down time as one side waits while the other side's players move their figures. Other than that they are fun and fairly fast to pick up and play.

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Online Resources

Official Errata
At the Sabre's Edge website.

If you know of any resources for this game, or if you have material you would like to make available to the Net, please let us know.

Last Updates
11 October 1999comments by Steven R. McHenry
4 September 1999errata link added
8 January 1998changed card display
31 December 1997second edition added
23 October 1997added cover
Comments or corrections?