Regiment of Foot Rules

I've been promising rules reviews for a wee while now, but haven't got around to writing any. Whilst assisting regular reader Friends of General Haig with some pictures for his seventeenth century wargaming rules overview (see here), I decided to pull my finger out and finally start writing. So here goes... and as a bonus this opening entry is a two for the price of one.

The original Regiment of Foot (henceforth RoFv1) were first published in 2002. Rulesets come and go out of fashion but these rules, or rather one section of the rules endures - the campaign system.

As you can imagine from a rules set that has come from the Peter Pig stable, they were written with 15mm figures in mind.

Before battle can commence, players have to march their armies to battle, utilising the aforementioned campaign system. Dice rolls dictate good or bad events which can delay the march of units, provide extra supplies, gain intelligence, or send your men through an area with the dreaded pox. This campaign system also decides who is the attacker, and who is the defender (and as a result order of game play).

Armies are commanded by generals who motivate their men; without motivation men can only react to events.

Game length is determined using a countdown from 23 to 0): this countdown is not simply the number of turns in the game, but worked out by the defender rolling a dice.

The rules give an enjoyable, quick game; there are a lot of dice rolls, but they don't interfere with the pace or flow of the game (as can often be the case). My only real complaint is that pistol armed cavalry are a little too powerful.

The rules are twenty years old, and have quite low production values by modern standards - pages of text with a handful of sketches to help illustrate a concept. The back cover is a quick reference sheet.  There are some army points lists, but no scenarios included.

Equipment needed:

  • ruler or tape measure (inches)
  • approx 15 D6
  • casualty markers
  • recommended table size 3' x 5'
Whilst out of print, copies do crop up on a certain auction site fairly regularly.
Update October 2022: now available as a *.pdf from the PP website.

The new version of Regiment of Foot (RoFv2) is not simply an upgunned, tweaked version of RoFv1, it is for all intents and purposes a completely different game. 

RoFv2 has higher production values than RoFv1 - full colour card covers, a separate quick reference sheet, some monochrome photos, and fancier typesetting.

Again, written primarily with 15mm figures in mind, this time with a slightly smaller table size. Gone are the use of measuring implements, the game is now grid based. Sadly the campaign system has been ditched in favour of a prebattle scenario builder. Generals still motivate their men using what are described as  'a general's gift' (dependant upon general's ability and a dice roll). Games no longer utilise the countdown, instead they are limited to 8 turns (which equates to about 2 hours).

An example of the in play illustrations

As with RoFv1, RoFv2 includes some simple army lists, the briefest of brief historical background overview, and reading list. The rules now include some scenarios and also have optional rules for sieges.

Equipment needed:

  • approx 15 D6
  • casualty markers
  • general's gift markers
  • a number of other markers including a 'lucky dog', a 'preacher' and a 'winning the fight' figure all of which, the rules state, PP manufacture. Some 8 years down the line the 'winning the fight' figures are still not available.
  • recommended table size 3' x 4' marked with a grid pattern
Available as a print copy or as *.pdf file from PP.

Both rulesets have their pros and cons, and both give an enjoyable game. I think that RoFv1 is better written than RoFv2; reading RoFv2 I get the sense that it all makes perfect sense to those who helped write and playtest it, for those of us approaching the rules completely 'cold' some of the mechanisms are somewhat incongruously explained. PP have tried to address this issue by posting explanatory videos on YouTube. 

An aside: writers of rulebooks usually enlist a group of playtesters to iron out problems with their rules. Once the rules are finished they should engage rulebook testers - can the rules be learnt and played from what is written in the book (and nothing else)? Peter Pig rules would really benefit from such an approach.

I must confess that I much prefer RoFv1; this is quite possibly due to my completely irrational dislike of grids. I have played RoFv2 both with and without grids (transferring grid sizes to measuring sticks), but I still prefer RoFv1. 

Both rulesets specify basing and numbers of figures per base, PP have produced ready made* army packs to support the rules in the past, and are in the process of listing the pack contents of these armies on their website.

Both rulesets are supported via the Rules For The Common Man forum.

*not completely ready made - you still had to paint and base them

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  1. "reading RoFv2 I get the sense that it all makes perfect sense to those who helped write and playtest it, for those of us approaching the rules completely 'cold' some of the mechanisms are somewhat incongruously explained. "
    I have found this with a couple of sets I have used; they give the impression of being written by 3 or 4 chums on weekends.

    1. Absolutely. Far too common I'm afraid, not just a criticism of Peter Pig.

      At least PP have tried to help understanding with the videos of game mechanisms.

      Rules writers, as well as having game development playtesters, should also have rule book testers. Players trying to learn the game cold from just the printed words in the book.

      You might have a great game, but if people struggle to pick it up without the aid of someone in the know, or a video adding further explanation, then maybe the rules need wording differently. Admittedly a very hard skill to master.

  2. Thank you Mike. You'll allowed me to confirm which version of the rules I have; the original set!

  3. I've not read either set. So this is a very useful review. Thanks. The campaign system in version 1 sounds interesting.

    1. I've seen a few campaign systems in ECW rules, RoFv1's is probably the best.


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