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Posted on Jan 30, 2023 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Another Option for Online Tabletop Gaming with Rally The Troops!

Another Option for Online Tabletop Gaming with Rally The Troops!

Ray Garbee

Tor Andersson’s online gaming project continues to grow.

The experience of playing tabletop board games has been primarily a physical, face to face experience. But in the 21st Century, board games began migrating into the digital space. Well known examples of this shift include the VASSAL engine, Steam and Tabletop Simulator. That shift really picked up speed in 2020 when the pandemic had many folks stuck at home with no face to face opponents. It was certainly what motivated me to dive into Vassal and start tabletop gaming online.

Beyond the Vassal’s and the Tabletop Simulator type enfine, there’s another option out there – Rally the Troops!

Rally the Troops! is a website created and maintained by Tor Andersson. It is a free software project. The site is free to play, requiring only a user profile. The game engine presents each game through a web-browser user experience. Unlike some of the other channels, Rally the Troops provides the complete game experience and includes game board, charts and the complete rules of the game, all easily accessed through the in game menu. Even better, the game includes an impressive level of automation, that enforces rules, rolls dice and resolves combat and prompts players to respond to events and decision points.


The website has a growing collection of games available, from a number of publishers. Impressively, all games are used with consent from their respective rights holders. So don’t worry about the legality or ethics of the interface. You don’t need to own a physical copy of the game in order to play.  The roster of games represents publishers like Columbia Games, Fort Circle Games, GMT Games and Wehrlegig Games.

The current catalog of games includes;

Columbia Games

  • 300: Earth & Water
  • Crusader Rex
  • Hammer of the Scots
  • Julius Ceasar
  • Richard III
  • Rommel in the Desert

Fort Circle Games

  • Shores of Tripoli

GMT Games

  • Wilderness War

Wehrlegig Games

  • Pax Pamir

The cross section of games includes a number of block games, a deck builder, a classic point to point wargame. I’ve had the opportunity to play Pax Pamir, Wilderness War, Hammer of the Scots and numerous games of Shores of Tripoli.  The interfaces are solid, the level of automation is impressive both of which allow you to focus on enjoying the game.

Match making is serviceable, giving you the option to either create public matches which anyone can see and freely join. In addition, you can create private matches and invite your friends to play. It’s a robust platform. In 2022 Rally the Troops hosted a Shores of Tripoli tournament, that had around 100 four player teams engaging in game play across four weeks. The site performed well, at least, I can say that I had no issues participating in the tournament. (My mediocre performance was solely my own doing!)

The site automatically saves your games. Call it quits for the day and pick up your game in the future with no muss or fuss. The engine also allows asynchronous play, allowing you to replicate what we used to call ‘play by mail’ (PBM) gaming. Playing this way, you’ll get a notification when it’s either your turn, or you need to make a decision.  The built in chat tool allows players to chat via messages back and forth, but we’ll typically leverage a video chat feature such as Facebook Messenger or Discord to facilitate the real time conversation and trash talk you’d get sitting around the table.

All told, Rally the Troops is a great addition to the tabletop gaming landscape. While’s its hard to beat the experience of sitting at the table and playing a game, Rally the Troops give you’re a great opportunity to get an online game going.

About the author

Ray Garbee has been a gamer for the past four decades. Ray’s interests include the Anglo-Sikh Wars through the conflicts of the 20th Century and beyond, but his passion remains American Civil War naval gaming. His past works include Iron Thunder, Anaconda, Anaconda: Capital Navies and articles in a number of hobby magazines.