Tribal – best ever rules cover?!


Tribal, the new skirmish combat game by Mana Press, must surely have one of the most impressive covers for a set of wargaming rules ever!

Of course, the news of a set of wargaming rules covering Māori warfare in New Zealand immediately grabbed me, what with my ongoing colonial New Zealand Wars project. Even though the rules are only aimed at pre-European warfare between tribes, so won’t involve my colonial troops. But my Māori warriors will be perfectly suited, as will my 3D printed pa from Printable Scenery.


In the Tribal PDF 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 Māori, Vikings, Aztecs and Gladiators
  • extra rules for Stone Age, Heian Japanese and Iroquois.

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

In Tribal, honour is everything! 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.


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.

Tribal is available as a watermarked PDF for $US10 at Wargames Vault.


4 thoughts on “Tribal – best ever rules cover?!

  1. It really is a great cover and the rules certainly piqued my interest. I immediately thought of your collection when I saw the game demoed at Salute, might be just what I need to dust off my own collection.

  2. I picked up a set at Salute, but, very stupidly, did not pick up any of the figures; and they were part of a fantastic deal too! I did pick up the Maori war canoe though, very nice indeed. However, my own Maori collection is based on British two pence pieces, which are about 1mm too wide to fit in the boat nicely. Oh well, something to work on during the summer I suppose!

  3. I picked them up when released, I had ordered the eureka maori from nic but wasnt able to go to salute so a mate got them for me. Anyway Nic put me in contact with the lads behind this and they are goid lads very enthusiastic and the rules are as said great

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