Gathering of Hosts Wargame Rules V5

Gathering of Hosts V 
A simple wargame
5 May 2016

**  Its going to take a lot of editing to get all the details of company capabilities and terminology fixed through out the rules once they are stabilized so please excuse some of the confusing inconsistency in terms throughout. 

  1. Sequence of Play.  Determine initiative by rolling or drawing a card.
    1. 1st Player Moves.
    2. 2nd Player Moves.
    3. Both Players Shoot. 
    4. Resolve Melee
  2. companies.  Each stand is a company.  Basic troop types are defined but to accommodate all the possibilities of a fantasy game, companies may be given special abilities or penalties and new company types added. Infantry in full armour and armoured cavalry on barded horses count as Heavily Armoured. There are also special abilities such as "shock" which may be added to companies. The endurance of a company is based on its type with modifiers for training, morale and equipment.
    1. Infantry: All troops on foot.
      1. Skirmishers
      2. Archers
      3. Light Infantry
      4. Infantry
      5. Heavy Infantry
    2. Cavalry: All mounted or flying troops
      1. Horse Archers. Lightly equipped horsemen skilled with the bow but capable of engaging hand to hand
      2. Cavalry. The bulk of cavalry with shields or armour. Some may rely on bows while those known for a fierce charge may be rated as "shock" troops.
      3. Heavy Cavalry. Heavily armoured shock cavalry on barded horses.
    3. Special: Artillery, great beasts and monsters
  3. Groups. A group is 2 or more stands touching and aligned. 
  4. Measurement. All movement and ranges are measured in standard companies of measurement as agreed upon. Generally this is near to the width of a stand. 
  5. Endurance. Hits are all the things that weaken a company, casualties, fear, fatigue etc. Each company is rated for its endurance or how many hits it can take. This is based on a combination of factors such as how many men are represented, how well they are armoured and trained and how strong their morale is. The base is 2 for light infantry peasants rising to as high as 6 for elite heavily armoured companies. When a company has taken its maximum it is removed.
  6. Movement.  A single company may move full in any direction. A group moves at the speed of the slowest company in the group. A group may move full speed forward including  wheels. A group may move sideways or backwards with a reduction of 1 to movement but this may include a change of facing.
    1. Heavy Infantry moves 2, Infantry and archers move 3, skirmishers move 4.
    2. Heavy Cavalry moves 4, Cavalry moves 5, Light Cavalry and flyers move 6.
    3. Great Beasts move 4.
    4. Artillery moves 2 but may not shoot if it does. 
    5. Square. A group of 2 or more infantry may form a square facing out in all directions. It always pays the penalty for moving sideways and must face forward to attack. When facing outward it has no flanks.  
  7. Terrain. Terrain may limit a company's move. Some terrain may provide cover. This should be determined before a game.
    1. Light infantry and skirmishers are not affected by open woods and other minor terrain features but other troops lose 1 from their move.
    2. Only light infantry and skirmishers may move through forests and swamps unless following a trail 1 stand wide.
    3. Only infantry and artillery may occupy towns and fortresses but any company may move through one if it is not occupied. Occupying a town or fort takes a whole move if beginning in contact with an empty town or fort.  
    4. Moving up a steep hill reduces movement by 1
    5. Fording reduces movement by 1
  8. Attacking. A group or company which moves to within 1 distance of an enemy or starts within that distance must either halt, retire or move to contact an enemy.  
    1. Contact. A company may only move to contact a company that is in front of it before it moves and must contact the front if it began in the enemy's front unless that is in contact with a friend in which case it must move to an overlap position. Align stands when they contact. A company may always turn during movement to face an enemy which is in contact with it. A company which fought as an overlap may wheel onto the enemy flank during the next turn if not prevented by enemy companies.
    2. Counter attack. A company of the side which moved second which was contacted frontally by an enemy attack this turn may declare a counter attack or may choose to receive the charge. (Basically this is for shock troops or those hoping to win and pursure. Note that infantry with both shock and shieldwall or phalanx get different bonuses depending on their choice.)
    3. Evade. Horse archers and skirmishers may evade if charged. Roll 1d6, x1/2 if skirmishers infantry, and the company will retreat this many lengths, back to the enemy. The charging company may stop of the evaders original location or complete their full move. If they catch the evaders these may not fight back but horse archers can still resolve shooting.
  9. Shooting. Archers and artillery may only shoot to their front. Horse archers and skirmishers may shoot in any direction.  There must be a clear line of fire to the target. A company that is in contact may not be shot at except by a company or group that it moved into contact with this turn.
    1. Infantry archers have a range of 6. Horse archers and skirmishers with javelins have a range of 3, Artillery has a range of 12 but may not shoot if it moved.
    2. There must be a clear line of fire to the target and the target must not have been in melee contact at the start of a turn.
    3. A unit that was attacked this turn may fire at the unit that attacked it if it has a line of fire to it but a unit that began the turn in contact may not shoot even if it breaks contact and retreats.
    4. Archers roll 2 dice when shooting, others roll 1 die
    5. Difficult Targets. Companies which are in cover or  heavily armoured or skirmishers or in a shield wall and shot at from the front suffer 1/2 casualties.    
    6. Overhead fire. Archers and artillery on a hill may fire over troops on lower ground. Archers in the 2nd rank of a group of companies  may fire over the front rank but with only 1 die.
    7. Effect. Each hit on a group inflicts 1 hit. Companies in a group may pass 1/2 hits to an adjacent company.
  10. Melee. If opposing companies are in contact during melee they must fight. Only 1 company may fight each side of a company but sometimes adjacent stands in a group may provide support as follows.
    1. Basics. Roll a base of 3 dice per infantry or cavalry company fighting to the front or 1 die if contacted in the flank. When halving dice round 1/2 dice up. Regardless of modifiers a company always gets to roll at least 1 die.
    2. Effect. Each 5,6 hits.
    3. Bonuses
      1. Leadership. Add 1 die for each inspiration point of an attached leader or hero.
      2. Overlap. A unit which is in corner to corner contact and not itself in contact or blocked by enemy or terrain from wheeling onto the enemy flank if the rules allowed it may roll 1/2 of its dice against the enemy being overlapped. 
      3. Shock. Add 1 die to shock troops who attacked this turn unless either side is not in open ground.  
      4. Height Advantage. Add 1 die if defending a hill or an unbreached fortress against an escalade.
    4. Penalties.
      1. Non-Melee troops. Lose 1 die if archers, skirmishers or horse archers.
      2. Difficult targets. Companies suffer 1/2 casualties if heavily armoured or in cover or a shield wall or pikemen in the open attacked frontally this turn. 
    5. Pursuit. If a unit attacked this turn and destroyed its opponent it must advance on to the position of the fallen enemy.
  11. Command. (Optional) 
    1. A company that is not part of a group including a captain's banner must roll 4,5,6 to attack the enemy. +1 if Elite -1 if Skirmishers, Levy or Disaffected 
    2. If the General is killed any company within 6 lengths must test. 
      • 1,2 panic and flee the table, 
      • 3,4 immediately retire 1 move. No move next turn. 
      • 5,6 Carry on.
  1. Special Rules. Any number of special rules may be added.


  1. Great rules,
    but i preferred the previous order of sequence.
    Moving and firing? losing a die?
    Moving: left, right, back: rather halve distance if facing enemy?
    Pilum of the romans? bonus in melee?

    1. Thanks Lex. The original sequence was closer to Morschauser's original rules but since they allowed moving and shooting, the attacker always got the 1st shot. Removing the ability to move and shoot solved that but led to other complications esp for evades, firing at charges etc and for horse archers which weren't covered but also when using the initiative which I like. Going to the more common approach solved all of those issues and allowed me to reintroduce firing and moving.

      Its easy to miss but a unit loses 1 unit of movement if it moves sideways or backwards or turns. Tf I don't move the rules to a google doc I will ahve to get into html tables and lists, blogger does a woeful job of all but the simplest lists.

      I didn't need pilum for this so left them out but they could be handled as any other missile weapon perhaps hitting on a 4 but with 0 range, in otherwords only resolved when charging or being charged. Heavy Infantry javelins were intended to be handled that way as well but the ratio of combat dice to hit points proved too much and I needed to either increase the strength points of all units or remind myself that this was supposed to be about relative values rather than representing particular tactics in detail.