EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tin Army Summary (amended 17 Dec 15)

THE TIN ARMY
BASIC MID 19th C SUMMARY


(2 Dec 2015 )
(proofread and melee corrected 4 Dec
Dec 13 clarifications to formation and attacks + change to chance cards)
Dec 18 Clarification to 1/2 casualties and reinstatement of melee resolution. Line Inf raised to 6 hits


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This is a short summary of the The Tin Army wargame rules leaving out pretty much all the explanations and rationale which will be in the full version. ******************
The rules are designed as a warGame and so rules may be used to play skirmishes and battles without adjustments. The main rules are being written for games set between roughly 1812 to 1912 with charts, unit types and special rules for various subperiods. This summary is for generic mid 19thC games.


Definitions. All measurement by “area” (grid square). If not using grid 1 area = roughly a unit width. Formation is 2 or more units of same type + Commander. Units aligned, adjacent and facing same way ** in open terrain. A unit suffering 1/2 hits ignores fractions of a hit.
Units. A unit is what fits in an area or is what is agreed upon. Units are treated as 1 stand.
Line Infantry can take 6 4 hits, other units 3 hits. Increase by 1 if Elite, decrease by 1 if Poor.


  1. Sequence of play. . Draw a chance card, 1st player rolls for orders then moves and conducts skirmish and artillery fire. Both sides resolve attacks, 2nd Player rolls for orders then moves and conducts skirmish and artillery fire. Both sides resolve attacks.
  2. Chance Cards. Use ordinary deck inc Joker. One side is Black the other Red. Shuffle then make a deck with 1 card per maximum number of turns. Draw 1 each turn. Only Facecards, Aces and Jokers count others are “No Effect”.. Cards affect player based on colour. Chance card selection msy be changed by GM or by agreement.
    • King: Move or Shoot with 1 Formation or Unit of either side. An attack is resolved immediately. Enemy formation may not be moved off table or make an illegal move. A unit which moves or shoots may not move or shoot again later.
    • Queen. Move or Shoot with 1 Unit as above. A unit of unscheduled reinforcements arrives or remove 1d6 hits from units on table.
    • Jack Select one unit of either side that may not move this turn and may not Give Ground. The unit may still shoot.
    • Ace. A unit of unscheduled reinforcements arrives or remove 1d6 hits from units on table.
    • Joker. Discard the next 1d6/2 cards from the deck shortening the game.
  3. Orders. 1d6 = Number of orders available. 1 order allows 1 unit or 1 formation to move. If formation is not with General’s LOS then 1d6=3+ or order is lost. Light troops may move without order on 4,5,6.
  4. Stacking. Units may pass through each other but there may never be more than 1 unit in an area at the end of movement. Commanders do not count as a unit for any purpose including stacking.
  5. Facing. A unit may move in any direction unless engaged or attacking and may end its turn facing any direction. A stand's arc of fire covers a 180 degree arc centered on the direction it is facing.
  6. Movement. Units may only move when ordered or as a combat result. Distances are maximums.
    • Cavalry: If mounted move 3, if dismounted move 1.
    • Infantry, Artillery may move 2.
    • Wagons move 1
  7. Attacks. Any move adjacent to enemy front, flank, rear. Must stop and resolve combat. May not attack an area that unit may not enter. A unit may not attack while Giving Ground or retreating from combat.Artillery and transport units may not attack a known enemy.
  8. Terrain. Infantry includes Line + Light
    • Clear terrain. All units may move full.
    • Woods. Light Infantry no effect. Others stop on entering each area. Arty wagons may not enter. Woods block line of sight and  provide cover.
    • Hills. Gentle hills have no effect on movement. Troops other than light infantry moving on a steep hill must stop when they enter a steep hill area. Only infantry may enter a rocky hill area.  Rocky hills provide cover for infantry.
    • Towns. Any troops may move through a  town if following a road but only infantry may occupy a town. A town provides cover and may be fortified. 
    • Roads. A unit moving its entire move along a road increases its move by 1 but may not shoot or attack. While following the road a unit may ignore off road terrain other than steep hills.
    • Linear Obstacles. Stop upon crossing if rated passable.
  9. Artillery and Skirmisher fire.  Infantry may move 1 and shoot. Cavalry may dismount and shoot. May not shoot and attack, may not shoot if adjacent to enemy, may not shoot at target adjacent to friend. All infantry and dismounted cavalry do skirmisher fire unless otherwise noted (eg native spears).
    • Ranges: Rifles 3. Breechloaders are superior as are sharpshooter light infantry, Muskets are inferior, Carbines 2, Generic Artillery 8 but superior up to 4.
    • 2 d6 per unit. @ 5,6 is a hit.
      • -1 if rated inferior firepower.
      • +1 if rated superior
      • Cover. Unit is cover cover suffer ½ hits
      • Dense Targets. If there is a 2nd target directly behind first and both are in the open then arty rerolls misses vs 2nd target.


    • Indirect and Overhead Fire. Guns may fire over intervening friendly troops on lower ground.
    • Giving Ground. A unit may cancel 1/2 hits by immediately retreating a full move. It may not move adjacent to enemy while doing so or violate stacking. A unit that gives ground may not shoot or move on its next turn.


  1. Combat. (Attack Resolution) Combat is close range shooting + charges.   
    • Defensive Reaction. A unit which was attacked this turn may retreat a full move. It may not move or shoot on its next turn. Infantry, dismounted cavalry and artillery which were attacked this turn may roll their dice and apply results before the enemy rolls. The attacking unit may Give Ground as per shooting instead of fighting. If attacked by 2 enemies defensive fire against 1 only.
    • Combat. Once defensive fire has been rolled, roll combat dice for all units which are adjacent to an enemy and did not roll for defensive fire this turn.
    • Dice. Roll 4 dice for Line Infantry 3 for all others. +1 if Elite, -1 if Poor.
      Support. Add 1 die for each supporting adjacent unit which is not itself adjacent to enemy.
    • Effect. Each modified score of 5 or 6 is a hit
      • +1 if rated Shock troops and attacking or pursuing or being attacked in the open or if troops rated Superior firepower using defensive fire inc arty
      • -1 if rated inferior in combat or if artillery in continuing melee,
      • Troops in cover suffer 1/2 casualties rounded up
      • Troops in fortifications suffer ½ casualties rounded down.
    • Mutual Destruction. If both sides would be destroyed then they must both give ground.
    • Defeat. A unit which received more hits than it inflicted is defeated and will immediately retreat a full move and may not shoot or move on its next turn. If neither side is destroyed or forced to retreat, mounted cavalry will immediately retreat and may not move or shoot on their next turn.
    • Pursuit. A unit that attacked this turn may occupy the area vacated by the enemy if the enemy retreated before combat or was destroyed. Mounted Cavalry that pursue they may then advance an extra area and may resolve melee again with no defensive reaction by the enemy.
    • Continuing melee. If opposing units remain adjacent and neither retreats during movement they will resolve combat again next turn with no defensive reaction and no shock bonus.  


  1. Commanders in Combat.  If a commander is with a unit which suffers hits from shooting or melee he may risk himself to inspire the men. On a score of 5 or 6 one hit is cancelled but a score of 1 indicates that he has been wounded or killed and must be removed. Subordinate commanders will not be replaced. If the General is lost his second in command will take over but all subsequent order dice will suffer a -1 penalty. If a General not stacked with a unit is adjacent to an enemy both sides roll a die. If gen is lower he is captured o/w he moves towards safety.
  2. Army Morale. Unless exempted by the scenario, a General who has lost over 1/2 of his units either destroyed, routed or forced to retreat off table, at the end of a player turn must concede the battle. May be modified by objectives held. If both sides reach this point in the same player turn then they both lose.

5 comments:

  1. More rule sets should look like that!


    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Ross,
    Glad to see this set of rules, as I've been considering doing up some 1/72 ACW plastic. Meantime of course, I have questions.
    9. Arty range: "Generic Artillery 8 but superior up to 4". What does this mean?
    10. Combat against defensive terrain: "infantry in any cover or difficult ground or up a steep hill if defending against mounted cavalry". Is that infantry in any of those 3 terrains defending against mounted cavalry? or just the last (steep hill) against cavalry, and the other 2 against any attacker?
    12. Army Morale: "...forced to retreat off table (inc groundl..." what does this mean?

    Nice tight rules, hope to try them out with Battle Cry and some extra Imex figures.
    Thanks again, Ross. You are an inspiration to many.
    Regards,
    John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks John. Questions {and errata) are inevitable with such a brief, hasty summary.
      1. Arty has a range of 8
      Upto range 4 it is considered as Superior firepower and gets a +1 die modifier (canister, rapid fire, pointblank etc]. For ACW I might have a rifled btty rule, range 10 but no superior close range modifier
      Etc
      The other 2 are editing misses, now fixed.

      Delete
  3. Thanks John. Questions {and errata) are inevitable with such a brief, hasty summary.
    1. Arty has a range of 8
    Upto range 4 it is considered as Superior firepower and gets a +1 die modifier (canister, rapid fire, pointblank etc]. For ACW I might have a rifled btty rule, range 10 but no superior close range modifier
    Etc
    The other 2 are editing misses, now fixed.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks John. Questions {and errata) are inevitable with such a brief, hasty summary.
    1. Arty has a range of 8
    Upto range 4 it is considered as Superior firepower and gets a +1 die modifier (canister, rapid fire, pointblank etc]. For ACW I might have a rifled btty rule, range 10 but no superior close range modifier
    Etc
    The other 2 are editing misses, now fixed.

    ReplyDelete