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Tribal - skirmish combat game
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Tribal - skirmish combat game

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Tribal the skirmish combat game.

In this book you get: the basic rules; optional rules for missile fire, dirty tricks and honour pools; four scenarios you can play in a variety of tribal settings; in-depth explanation of culture, weapons and combat for Maori, Vikings, Aztecs & Gladiators; extra rules for Stone-Age, Heian Japanese & Iroquois.

Honour is everything! Tribal provides players with a game set in a pre-gunpowder tribal/clan setting. The rules  offer some new and exciting approaches to wargaming.

Firstly, honour is used to drive the narrative of the game. Players are rewarded in honour for the things that they do in the battle. Honour determines who wins Tribal rather than the normal determinants of wargames (killing enemy/taking ground). In turn, honour is a dynamic part of the game - it can be won and lost during combat, the deeds of combatants can win or lose honour, players can spend honour to do 'dirty tricks' to win combats etc.

Secondly, the game is played with a normal deck of cards. Cards determine movement, unit activation and - most importantly - combat. While cards still have the randomness of the draw from the deck, players can actually be involved in the combat through playing/holding particular cards. Attacking, defending, waiting for an opening, bluffing the opponent - these are all strategies the player can use in a round of Tribal combat.

There are plans for future supplements involving Stone-Age cave wars, Modern-Day rioting/Gang warfare, and Polynesian Islanders.

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Reviews (5)
Discussions (6)
Customer avatar
Kyle R July 26, 2021 10:23 pm UTC
Any chance of adding Brutal on here?
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November 23, 2018 5:52 pm UTC
Seem to be having problems getting page 7 (Movement, Distances & Terrain) to print out of version 1 and version 2. The bottom paragraphs in each column just come up missing words and sections and don't appear as on the screen. My printer problem or is there a problem with my download? (I've redone the down load a couple of times)
Keith S.
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Derek C January 28, 2017 12:55 pm UTC
I like that it is card driven but will it play solo with random card draws or does it require intelligent use of the cards, plaese?
Customer avatar
Mana P January 31, 2017 1:00 pm UTC
Hiya Derek, sorry just saw this now. I think we've discussed this in depth on FB but, just in case anyone else is interested, there are some solo-play rules available on our forum:

and for those interested in possibly doing gunpowder rules:
Customer avatar
Alan S May 29, 2016 9:37 pm UTC
Just picked up a set of your rules (at Little Wars) and am loving what I see. Comments below are covering a few thoughts I have (eg. inclusion of black powder for Musket Wars in Aotearoa - some of my minis Maori have muskets). This expansion would also allow us to bring in the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie. Looking forward to where you take these - great job.
Customer avatar
Mana P May 31, 2016 1:14 pm UTC
Cheers Alan, thanks for coming along to Little Wars! There seems to be quite a bit of interest in musket rules - for maori musket wars and/or conquistadores. We'll definitely have to work out some useful rules for that... Keep an eye out for more supplements soon!
Customer avatar
Jon H May 18, 2016 12:15 am UTC
Any thoughts on some basic fantasy stuff?

I LOVE the ruleset! I'm incredibly excited about getting games in. Just trying to hunt down some appropriate miniatures for a couple of warbands.
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Mana P May 18, 2016 1:03 pm UTC
Thanks John, glad you like the game! Yeah... there are some ideas bubbling around in our heads regarding fantasy. Main one was that someone suggested that this would work well with a certain Robert E Howard character... The other main thing we're thinking of is magic. It's basically a separate card-deck accumulated by magicians in the battle, which they can use to throw spells - dependant on the suit of the card they play (eg.hearts=heal; spades=evil eye etc). Of course, opposing magicians can cancel out magic with their own cards that they've accumulated... just some ideas...
Customer avatar
Jon H May 20, 2016 10:58 am UTC
I'm even more excited!

Have there been any thoughts as to putting together a campaign system? The rules seem to call out to be able to trace the fortunes of a tribe (or kingdom, ludus, etc...) over a period of time.
Customer avatar
Mana P May 22, 2016 8:28 am UTC
Yep, working on campaign rules. Next supplement is gonna focus on prehistoric tribes. In there will be a mini-campaign/narrative which we'll call 'The Hunt'. There will also be the mechanics for a generic campaign system which will (hopefully) cover most periods/settings. I'm currently musing over elements of it... For example. the personalities in your tribe/kingdom would be drawn face-cards. Hearts characters would be 'amorous' and/or 'friendly/diplomatic'; diamonds characters=wealthy and/or greedy; clubs=militaristic and/or distrusting; spades = cunning and/or distrustful. These personalities will affect their skills/actions in the campaign itself. Just some ideas at the moment. Probably been watching too much GoT/Vikings and the like. ;)
Customer avatar
Jordan L May 12, 2016 7:20 am UTC
Really fine job on this. I'd like to use these rules for Conquistadores vs Aztecs. The armor rules from the Gladiators are easy enough to sort out. How would you propose one handle war dogs, mounted troops, Black powder weapons and mixed units; such as Tlaxcallan archers and their shield men?
Customer avatar
Mana P May 13, 2016 1:59 pm UTC
Thanks Jordan, glad you like the rules. Do you think conquistadores would have the same views on honour as the Aztecs? Maybe a different honour system for them?

War dogs - I'm thinking of having them as 'ablative armour' on characters; i.e add an extra wound and attack card to a hero. They cost one honour point each, though (kinda expensive, but makes characters well-hard)... Or, could purchase them as a unit of four dogs and one human handler - play like a typical 'short weapon' five-man unit.

Black powder weapons and archers - use the optional missile rules. With black powder, can add additional +5 to combat result, and unit/hero MUST fall back one long card length if they take any damage from a Black Powder weapon (more of a psychological weapon). Black powder unit costs 2 honour. Conquistadore musket-men were useful in hand-to-hand as well, so treat them as normal in combat.

Cavalry - I have some ideas on them... I think they're much more useful when moving. When they...See more
Customer avatar
Jordan L May 14, 2016 6:18 am UTC

Conquistador Honor: I think the system works as it stands. Their honor could be seen as a need to suceed and bring honor to their family name, King and faith. They were the minority in most battles and the Tlaxcalans and other allied tribes make a fine roster in their own right. I just happen to have a mixed force.

Wardogs: I was thinking of treating the dogs as being deployed as packs, treated as short weapon equiped infantry with the fearsome upgrade. I figure that warhounds "in the zone" could be even more focussed on getting the job done than a human with a frankly frightening and reckless disregard for their own lives. They seem like they could swarm and bring down targets very well. I imagine that the psychological impact would have been massive as well, particularly for those cultures without trained attack animals. I also like the idea of having them as a character upgrade.

Blackpowder weapons: I like the +5 idea and target fall back. I was going...See more
Customer avatar
Mana P May 17, 2016 9:27 am UTC
No problems, I like the idea of co-operative creation of new rules for particular troop types, periods, battles. If you'd like to discuss some ideas more, there's a small Tribal player community where we could discuss this more:
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File Last Updated:
March 21, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on April 27, 2016.
Mana Press
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