Sunday, August 6, 2017

Mr Madison's War rules for War of 1812

These rules for gaming the War of 1812 originally started out as a set of rules for The American Revolution by Jim Purkey at Fife and Drum miniatures.  These are offered free on his miniature site.  I liked them, and made a few changes to better reflect the new time period.  In addition i have posted a few clarifications and additions here to how we play the game.

Move first, fire second, move second, fire first:  when it is your turn to fire remove all casualties from hits.  No, casualties removed do not get to return fire that was the advantage of firing first.

Retire facing or not facing enemy:  deduct 2" from move to retire with back towards enemy.  Half move to retire facing enemy or move sideways.

Charges or moving into melee:  during your move declare charge.  Defender tests morale, if pass they stand and can fire at charger if not retire column distance back shaken.  There is no charge move bonus.  Fight two rounds of melee then loser (most casualties) tests morale.  If pass then winner tests.  If both sides pass then attacked is considered to have failed to push back defender from their position.  The attacker retired one column move back towards their line facing the enemy.   

Routing units effect on other units:  ignore friendly units routing past if router is lower morale.  Take morale test if equal or better morale.  

Multiple units in melee:  If two units vs one distribute casualties evenly to both units.

Wheeling regiments:   Wheels are made from the left, right, or center of the unit only.

Fences, small streams:  Units move up to them and stop move.  Next move you cross obstacles and continue your move. If both units are touching the same fence line and facing each other across it neither gets the benefit of the fence.

Artillery:  one operation costs 1/2 move, this included fire.  So you can limber and move half movement;  move full move if limbered; unlimber and fire Artillery cannot enter woods, need infantry to knock hole in fences to cross.  Any friendly unit within a friendly artillery arc of fire, if the arc of fire goes through two opposite sides of that friendly unit the artillery can not fire.  Arch of fire is measured  from cannon barrell, with of stand forward like a bowling alley

Difficult terrain (fields, Rocky ground): cost 2" for every 1" of movement in it

Woods; units stop movement at edge of woods.  They enter next turn (similar to fences).  Once in woods skirmishers troops (skirmishes or Indians)  move their full movement, while formed troops move half their movement.  Small arm range is half.  Only skirmishes get cover modifiers. Yes, it sucks for regulars in the woods (please ask General Braddock).

Indians:  always unformed, in mass formation (I.e. in a bunch).  No penalty to change direction.  In woods move full movement.  Units fired at by Indians for first time check morale.  In open clear terrain go one step down chart for firing and morale (if on line "C" use line "D").  Indians are not shock troops. They race about being obnoxious and scaring volunteers and militia who are not used to them.

Rockets:  roll  d10.
   10 = hit, one casualty and test morale.
6 - 9 = test morale
3 - 5 = miss
     2 =  hit nearest friendly unit test morale
     1 = rocket doubles back,  destroyed battery

Here is a link to Jim's blog where he explains how to play his rules.  Very well done explanation with clear examples of play.


  1. How long have you been using Jim's rules as a basis for your 1812 games? Jim's rules' explanation was a good one.

  2. His illustrated explanation was excellent. Clear and concise. Wish more rules writers did this.

    I have been using these rules since May. They worked very well for what I wanted. A game that players could pick up and understand quickly. And gave a old school but battalion feel.