At present the rules for this project are still in consideration. I could write my own, but I'd rather not reinvent the wheel if I can find what I want off the shelf. A few options are the following:
Flashing Steel by Andrew Boswell and Greg Hallam - Ganesha Games
This set of rules is written for swashbuckling and derring-do. Using the standard Ganesha Games engine from Song of Blades and Heroes it gives a simple, quick and fun game. Chrome is added with special rules rather than tooling around with the basic character stats. Game play is 8-15 figures a side, so perfect for what I'm looking at. The chance turnover of the active player from failed activation rolls is an attractive feature for solo games.
At the moment this is the leader in my considerations.
En Garde by Craig Woodfield - Osprey Wargames
This is brand spanking new this month, and one the shopping list for post-Xmas purchases. Apparently based on the same system as Craig's Ronin skirmish game, this promises to be more granular than Flashing Steel. It looks like it would use a similar number of figures and there is supposed to be an appendix looking at adding in supernatural characters, which works well for where I'm thinking this project will head.
Lord of the Rings by Games Workshop
The reason that this is in here is because of Tim Eagling from the Spirit of the Game club. Tim has been working on his 1588 and all that project for some time, which looks at an alternative history where England is invaded by the Spanish in 1588. The website is inspirational, as are the 3 articles that he published in Wargames Illustrated a couple of years back. Tim came up with stats for the LotR rules for his project and has done the hard work already, although my characters will need some work. The beauty of using this rules set would be that I'm also using it for Star Wars and for... errr... Lord of the Rings.
Galleys and Galleons from Ganesha Games
These are the only rules that have been decided on. There may be some sea fights required in certain scenarios, and this is the set I will use to fight them out. Using the Song of Blades system but heavily modified, I've only read through these the once, but they seem perfect for what I want.
So there we have it. Have I missed something obvious? I like simple and I like quick and I like suitability for solo play, so if you can think of anything else that fits, let me know.