Thursday, January 6, 2011

Interesting Rule Set - Honour & Fortune

This is a ruleset by Howard Whitehouse, subtitled Warfare in India from the Great Moghuls to the Great Mutiny.The date of publication is 1987.

I had seen the occasional reference to this ruleset over the years but never an actual copy. Canterac24 on TMP put me on to these rules with the recommendation that they captured the flavour of warfare in India. Canterac knows what he is talking about!

The rules may not be for everyone. I will fess up and say that what I have seen of Howard's other rules I like. For example, I would highly recommend Science -v- Pluck for Sudan gaming. However, due to the roleplay aspect  (which I like and others don't)  and the general lack of interest in Colonial, it hasn't caught on here.

Honour and Fortune is an IgoUgo system, which again seems to have fallen out of favour. Unit effectiveness  is a combination of morale and drill with a random die roll. This combination results in a grading of Aggressive, Active, Passive or Cowed.  The higher the classification the better the movement rate and weapons effectiveness.  As a result, European units will generally take more punishment that sepoys, which in turn are better than irregulars. Shooting is in two ranks and hand-to-hand in one. 

As with the Mike Kirby publication- discussed in the post yesterday - there are suggestions for looting camps, treachery, fanatics and Iqbal ("fortune") so important to native troops (somewhat along the lines of Napoleon when he would ask whether a general had "luck"). 

Rockets are dealt with by a system of irregularly bent lengths of wires drawn randomly from a stockpile. I like this idea, but it may be necessary to have a wide selection for variation. I understand that Canterac24 has substituted the wires with dice.

I haven't played the rules as yet, but have moved a selection of figures around on the table. I get the feeling that these will be fun and capture the feel of Indian warfare.

The downsides? Well, the rules are out of publication. I understand from Howard that the copyright has vested in QRF, although I am unaware if republication is on the horizon. I picked mine up from Caliver, although it was the last copy and not in pristine condition.

For others the fact that it isn't glossy, or is IgoUgo will be an issue. The illustrations are murky, but that's not an issue as far as I am concerned. Howard informed me that the only thing he would consider changing would be to make shooting simpler.

Certainly looks like a set I will be having a few games with.


  1. I had a copy of these around 10 years ago, like you I never actually played the rules but did plan to at the time, the main reason I bought them was for the uniform and flag guide for the brit sepoy units, at the time it was the only info out there, how times change!!

  2. How true Ray!

    I also like the quotes and proverbs scattered throughout the rules by Howard, such as:-

    "As long as the rains come and the tax collector stays away, who the hell cares who reigns in Delhi?"

    Old Hindi proverb.


  3. I used these many years ago, they were ok. I had to make up a slide rule style chart to keep all the modifiers straight. They do give the flavor; I liked the iqbal (sp), or "luck", discussion in the rules. I eventually moved on to Principle of War in order to fight larger actions.
    They warrant a try, even if solo.


  4. Hi, great blog! I noticed that Boardgamegeek doesn't have any images for Honour & Fortune. Would you mind if I uploaded these so people there can see them? I'd give you credit, of course.

  5. If anyone ever runs across another copy for sale, I would like to obtain one! Thanks for the info about these rules.