So what in the hell is FUBAR?

FUBAR began its life as an intellectual exercise about seven years ago. I decided to see if I could possibly fit all the rules needed to play a small unit action wargame onto one side of a single page of A4 paper.
Obviously if you have a microfiche printer you could put the entire works of Shakespeare into such a huge space, so I needed to set myself some rules. After some thought I decided that the rules had to be both printable and legible, so no text smaller than 8 points in height.
I soon discovered that I could cram more in if I built the page in multiple columns and after some experiments found that a three columns format was best.
So all I had to do then was write the rules which, when it came to it, was a lot easier said than done. It took two years to get the first draft ready, while at the same time I had written and published Forge of War, a set of rules of many pages, and a group of chaps had set up a Yahoo group to discuss it.
The original FUBAR was a set of modern/SF rules and I spent a lot of time creating mechanisms that would suit that period and then abandoning them. I have folders stuffed with these on my laptop.
The Activation and Suppression rules came first, quickly followed by Initiative and Firing. Once those were working the rest fell into place pretty quickly and the first edition saw the light of day in 2010.
The chaps on the Forge of War yahoo group fell on the rules, tore them to shreds and then very kindly helped me stitch them back together. The second edition, with dozens of typos fixed and not a few rules rewritten, came out pretty soon after and then the floodgates opened.
The chaps realised, as these were such simple rules that they would be easy to adapt to other genres. Before I knew it they had produced versions covering Imperial Commander, Star Wars, Stargate, Starship Troopers, W40k and a dozen other settings and genres.
Some of these, such as the Star Wars rules, were supported by full colour cards describing each unit. I mean, look at this stuff:

Clone Trooper

You can find these in the downloads section.

Since then we have expanded FUBAR into the Medieval period and others, but we have only just begun. I intend to take these rules, and similar ones I have ideas for, much further.

If you want to be part of this you are most welcome. Please understand that the only things you will get from it are enormous satisfaction, some rules you like playing and credit for your work.



9 thoughts on “So what in the hell is FUBAR?

  1. Maybe some cowboy and Indian rules…I’ve played the Star Wars rules, can’t say enough good stuff about them…


    • Hello from Canada. I just came across FUBAR. Haven’t had a chance to play yet, but the rules look pretty good! I agree with Derrick Barton – a Wild West mod seems like a ‘natural!’


    • Back when we wrote the rules there was a lot of chatter about it and we tried a few formulae but nothing really stuck. For example:
      (7-Activation)+((7-Expertise)xFPs)+Combat bonus+(7-Armour)+Points for any specials
      Now I have had more experience of creating a working points system I’ll have another go at it.
      It is worth pointing out that balance is highly overrated 🙂


  2. What you published was very reasonable. However, consider this, suppose you wrote a catchier title?
    I ain’t suggesting your content is not good., however suppose you added a
    headline that makes people want more? I mean So what
    in the hell is FUBAR? | FUBAR Wargames is kinda vanilla.
    You could look at Yahoo’s home page and note how they write article titles to
    get viewers interested. You might try adding a video or a related picture or two to get readers excited about everything’ve written. In my opinion, it might bring your posts a little livelier.


    • Thanks for the advice 🙂
      However, FUBAR was published over a decade ago and has been downloaded roughly eight thousand times. So changing its name would be counterproductive now.


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