Monday, July 24, 2017

Clearing Away the Cobwebs. (amended 26 Jul 2017)

As I prepared to dust off my Medieval/Fantasy forces, I started picturing an Old School game with traditional multi-stand units but then......well, then I looked at the shelf and was reminded that in 2015 I had rebased the figures as small single stand units that could be grouped temporarily.

OK that works too and I already have some table ready forces so I looked at the rules from 2015 and updated them.

2015 Ambush game.
Back of a Post(card) Rules.
(Note: Before the game set up I decided I'd rather use my brightly painted 6cm increment sticks than have to peer at inches on a tape and didn't really want to roll dice for movement after all. During the game I decided that melee needed to be clarified and made less deadly. This result is this summary of how the game was actually played.)

Groups. A Group is 1 stand or multiple stands which are touching and aligned.

Measuring. All measuring is in terms of lengths which are anything that works for you.  I usually use 3" with my 25's on 60mm bases.

Initiative. Draw a card each turn to see who goes first. Include chance cards if desired.

Sequence. Active side moves and/or shoots all units then resolves melee group by group.

Command. If group is not within 6 lengths of Commander must roll:
5,6 obey orders, 3,4 1/2 move no charge unless shock troops, 1,2 No Move.  -1 if Levy +1 If Elite/Veteran

  • 2 lengths  for Infantry, Artillery or Wagons, 3 lengths for Light Infantry, Great Beasts or Heavy Cavalry, 4 lengths for Cavalry, 5 lengths for Light Cavalry.  
  • Charge to front only. A stand may not shoot and charge.
  • Single stands may move any direction and change facing. Groups may only wheel unless drilled.
  • Group within 1 length of front of enemy may only move towards it or retreat away from it. 
  • To form or reform a group, a designated guide stand must stand still. Pikes can form square if they don't move.
  • Woods etc lose 1 length if Infantry, 2 if any mounted. 
  • Skirmishers may move through others, cavalry may move through freindly skirmishers. 

Missile Fire.

  • Target must be to front except horse archers may fire to rear. 45 degree arc either side of ahead.
  • Shoot once per turn
  • Archers shoot 2 dice at 4  lengths if they do not move that turn, 
  • Horse Archers and Skirmishers may shoot 1 die at 2 lengths then move,
  • Artillery shoot 1 die at 8 lengths if they do not move that turn and are deployed. Takes a whole move to deploy or pack up mobile artillery.  
  • 5,6 hits Owner of group chooses where to put hit.
    +1 if artillery
    -1 vs cover or heavy. 
  • Stands in contact roll vs enemy in contact with front. Hits go on opposing stand in contact. 
  • Roll 2 dice per stand 
  • add 1 die for each overlapping friend not itself in contact
  • add 1 die if shock troops charging or if any pursuing
  • lose 1 die if any but light infantry and skirmishers are in or charged through woods or over an  obstacle.
  • Each 5,6 hits
  • -1 per die vs enemy who is heavy or in cover or is spearmen being attacked from the front
  • +1 per die vs skirmishers or light 
  • Commander in contact rolls extra die but 1=wounded. Roll again 1=dead o/w out of action 1 turn.
After Melee.
  • Remove destroyed stands.
  • A stand still in contact that took more hits than it inflicted will recoil 1 length unless blocked. The opposing stand may follow up if they charged this player turn and must do so if Impetuous. 
  • Strength. Hits are a mix of casualties, fatigue, fear etc. When a stand has taken as many hits as its strength it is removed. Light infantry and all Cavalry take 3 hits, other Infantry take 4 hits. 
       +1 hit if Heavy
       +1 hit if Elite/Veteran
       -1 hit if levy.
  • Rally. A Stand with 2 or more hits which is not within bow shot of enemy may Rally instead of moving. Roll 1 die 5,6 recovers 1 hit.
  • Commander Morale. Army losing 1/2 stands concedes unless scenario overrules. Scenario Objectives may be used to boost morale.


  1. Fast, simple and smooth rules: i suppose shooting: 1 die?
    Did your create similar postcard rules for acw/napoleonic?
    I would us them to play this weekend a tabletop with my grandson.
    Meanwhile, always a pleasure to read your site.

    1. Thanks Lex. Oops, I thought I had the shooting dice in there. Fixed now. 2dice for archers, 1 die for skirmishers, horse archers and artillery.

      I often do this sort of quick summary when trying something and they are scattered throughout my blogs. Some get expanded, other become forgotten :)

      I'd love to hear how the game with your grandson goes! My grandfather never gave up his toy soldiers despite his service before and during WW1 and used to tell me stories of battles. If he'd lived longer I like to think we might have played with them together though I doubt he heard of 'wargaming'