Friday, 23 December 2016

TMWWBK extra rules

If you missed them in issue 349 of Wargames Illustrated, here's a little collection of ideas I've been holding back until after the publication of my colonial rules, and once players have had a chance to get to grips with the rules as written.

You'll find some new rules ideas here, to try out in your games. Consider them a little festive gift for TMWWBK players!

For various reasons, these ideas were all cut before the final playtesting took place - this means that they haven't been as developed or tested (and/or broken), as the rest of the rules but hopefully they're going to be of some use to someone, somewhere.

As a consequence, I recommend using them only in the friendliest of games, not against one of those ferocious fools we all dread meeting!

One leader – and one leader only  

Rather than every unit having a leader, you may decide just to field a commander-in-chief (possibly holding a lofty rank such as Lieutenant or Captain!). If so...

  • Select which unit has your C-in-C. That unit needs a Leader model, the other units just have ordinary soldiers.
  • Roll for your Leader's trait and leadership value as usual.
  • The Leader's own unit uses his leadership value and is affected by his trait. All other units use his leadership value, but are unaffected by his trait.
  • If your Leader is killed, all units count as leaderless.

You may choose to consider including a rule that says units count as Leaderless is beyond a certain range from the Leader's unit (or more specifically, from his model). This could depend on how open the table's terrain is. Something for you to ponder!

Theoretical strength

You may wish to implement this rule if you want to field a large Tribal Field Force but don’t (yet) have enough models… or if you’re looking for a slightly different tactical challenge.

You can command a Field Force at Theoretical Strength as follows:
  • You must command an all-Tribal Field Force.
  • Work out the units you wish to include up to your agreed points value (24 points in the usual game). Ignore how many units you actually own.
  • Deploy as much of your Field Force as you have models for at the start of the scenario; deploy complete units only. The rest of your Field Force – at paper strength – lies in wait off table for the present moment.
  • When one of your on-table units has been destroyed or retreats off the table, recycle it at the start of the next turn from your paper strength resources.
  • Naturally, an Infantry unit may only replace an Infantry unit, and a Cavalry unit may only replace a Cavalry unit.
  • To make up for lost time – or if you prefer due to your amazing off-table generalship – during your next turn you may deploy the new unit along any table edge. It may not take any further action during this turn, and may not deploy with less than one of its Movement distances from any enemy units.
  • Remember to keep track of how many of your paper strength units you have deployed. We wouldn’t want you sneaking an extra impi onto the table, would we?

With flags flying and bugles blowing

If you choose to include flags and musicians of any kind in your units, you may utilize their morale effect on the tabletop:
  • A unit may replace one ordinary model with a flagbearer or musician model (+1 point).
  • A unit may contain both a flagbearer and a musician, but may only benefit from one model per turn (this only becomes useful is useful if the first model is killed).
  • When present in a unit, this model allows one failed Rally test to be rerolled, once per turn.
  • If the model is killed, the unit suffers a permanent –1 modifier to its Discipline.
  • A flagbearer/musician is killed in the same way as a Leader (both types being ‘special’ models): if both types are present in a unit, ‘special’ casualties occur on a roll or 3 or less (4 or less if both musician and flagbearer are present); roll one die to determine whether the Leader or musician/flag is killed (odds = Leader; evens = flagbearer/musician). Reduce the chances of another ‘special’ casualty to 2 or 3 (for one or two models remaining, respectively) when a ‘special’ model is killed.

Using other exciting models from your collection

In the core rules, there are only two roles for models: Leaders and cannon fodder. If you’re playing a fairly small skirmish, you may wish to introduce special characters depending on the models you have in your collection, building on the Flags & Musicians optional rules in the book:
  • Sergeants: If Leaderless, functions on a 7+ not an 8+. Adds 1 point to a unit’s cost and replaces an ordinary model. Is not tested as a special casualty – anyone who has seen Zulu knows that Sergeants are too tough to put down!
  • Reporters, witchdoctors, and holy men: Add as an extra model in the unit. For every enemy unit removed from play by this unit while this character is present, the player gains +1 victory point. If this special character is killed or the unit is removed from play, the player suffers -4 victory points. Does not count as a model in the unit for combat or morale purposes. Adds 2 points to a unit’s cost, and a player may only field one such model in a Field Force. 
  • Escorted archaeologist/lady/governor/pet chimp: Add as an extra model to the unit. More vulnerable in melee than soldiers: killed on a roll of 3–5 when testing for Leader casualties from melee (Leader is still a casualty on a roll of 2). If this special character is killed or the unit is removed from play, your opponent gains 1 victory point; if the character survives, you gain 1 victory point. Does not count as a model in the unit for combat or morale purposes. No additional cost, and a player may only field one such model in a Field Force. 
If any of these special characters are included in your unit, they stand a chance of being killed in the same way as a Leader/musician in the core rules. A special character is attached to a unit in the same way as a Leader.

Artillery limbers

For some Field Forces, it may be appropriate to allow their guns to be limbered up and moved more efficiently by horsepower. If you wish to do so:
  • Allow the crewed weapon to move as Regular Cavalry 
  • Introduce two new commands: limber up/unlimber
  • Before moving as cavalry, the unit must pass an action test to limber up
  • After moving as cavalry it must pass an action test to unlimber, ready to fire
  • Increase the cost of the unit by 1
You should ideally have a horse team available to place in front of the gun when limbered up.


It is perfectly acceptable to use the field gun rules if your Field Force wishes to use a rocket. However, during the rules’ development, I experimented with a more fanciful way of representing rockets, based on the accounts I’ve read of their variable performance in action.

Rockets act exactly as other Crewed Weapons, but may only fire at targets at long range, and instead of causing casualties they cause the target unit to take Pinned tests:
  • Choose a target unit at long Field Gun range: this unit must take one Pinned test for each crew model with the rocket.
  • The rocket may not target a unit at short Field Gun range.
I claim no historical accuracy here, just a different type of toy to play with on the tabletop.