"Being a set of introductory rules for the conduct of miniature battles of the British Empire"
This one set of rules enables the miniature wargamer to play in six different Colonial periods - Pathans 1878, Zulus 1879, Boers 1880, Egyptians 1882, Dervishes 1884 and African Exploration (only in the 20th Anniversary Edition). There is no need for additional supplements or game cards.
By utilizing half-a-dozen or so six-sided dice (d6), about a dozen 10-sided dice (d10), a tape-measure and a standard set of playing cards, this was the first published set of rules to incorporate:
- Variable move distance
- Specific casualty determination
- Random movement and firing sequence
Figures are individually mounted, but movement, morale and combat is by the unit, with the basic unit being the 20 figures infantry platoon (or Pathan clan, Zulu Iviyo, Dervish warband), 12 figures for a cavalry troop and 4 figures for an artillery battery. Units are then added to make larger forces (company, battalion, Pathan/Dervish tribe, Zulu Ibutho, Boer Commando, and cavalry squadron). Each unit has an identifiable command figure.
TSATF has been described as a semi-skirmish game. Unit movement is determined by die roll, different types of units under different circumstances rolling differing numbers of six-sided dice. Random card draws decide which units move first, and also determine the effects of fire and combat.
"The Sword and the Flame 20th Anniversary Edition"
Included in the updated 20th Anniversary Edition are many new features such as Pinning defenders, Two ranks firing, Overhead fire, Pass-through fire, Limited ammunition, Volley and independent fire, and a Rules synopsis page. The 20th Anniversary Edition is an improvement over the original edition.
The Sword and the Flame is designed for use with 25mm figures, but it can be easily suited for 15mm and 20mm miniatures.