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"New Ancient & Medieval Wargames Rules" Topic


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3,252 hits since 10 Jul 2011
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Marshal Mark Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2011 4:15 a.m. PST

I'm nearing completion of some wargames rules I've been working on : Ancient & Medieval Battles. The rules are now in the playtesting stage, so are playable. I'd be interested in hearing any views on them and I'd be keen on getting any other playtesters to play some games and give me feedback.
We have played two playtest games, Rome vs Carthage. The basic mechanisms seem to work and they gave good games. We haven't yet playtested any other armies, so there is still lots of work to do. However I expect any issues that arise as a result of playtesting will be fixable by tweaks rather that major rules re-writes.
The rules cover the standard Ancient & Medieval period, and there will be a Fantasy version also. I'm concentrating on getting the basic mechanisms working for historic battles working first before releasing the fantasy version.
To give an idea of the kind of game to expect, my main influences are FOG, DBA and Impetus. You might like these rules if :
You like DBA but want more detail and variety.
You like Impetus but want more manoeuvre.
You like FOG but don't like the complexity and lengthy games.
The rules require figures to be multi based on equal frontage bases, so the standard WRG/DBX basing works fine. Most units consist of 4 bases, and all units are two bases wide.
The aspect that makes these rules unique, IMO, is the command and control system. It is an alternate activation system, where each player receives numbered chits which he places by each unit at the start of each turn. These determine the order in which the units are activated. On average each player only gets enough chits to activate half his units. So decisions have to be made about which units to activate and when they will be activated. When a unit is activated it does everything moving, shooting, combat. So there is no turn sequence to remember and work through.
I don't like having to refer to charts and tables during a game, and you rarely need to in this game. In fact in our second playtest game I think I referred to the rulebook once and the QRS about twice. So it is a game that can be quickly learned and memorised. Playing time is about 2 hours for a game with about 12 units on each side.
The rules are available on the Yahoo Group
link
Or I would be happy to e-mail a copy to anyone who is interested.
All feedback gratefully appreciated.

kreoseus211 Jul 2011 6:25 a.m. PST

Hi


Sounds interesting, will pop by the yahoo group.

Phil

meledward23 Inactive Member11 Jul 2011 7:23 a.m. PST

Interesting. I read a fair bit. More later.

But in the mean time. What is the point of 4 bases per unit?
why 2 wide for each rank?

kreoseus211 Jul 2011 8:53 a.m. PST

Yahoo is messing me about , could you email it to me please at

philsherlock at gmail dot com

thanks

Micman Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2011 11:58 a.m. PST

I was able to join and download the rules. Looking forward to reading through them.

MajorB11 Jul 2011 1:24 p.m. PST

What is the point of 4 bases per unit?
why 2 wide for each rank?

Why not?

Marshal Mark Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2011 2:04 p.m. PST

What is the point of 4 bases per unit?
why 2 wide for each rank?

It simplifies the combat mechanism. Every combat is one unit vs one unit. Having different sized units means you would have to split combat dice, often with different to hit numbers, and this is one of the more headache inducing aspects of FOG. It is more like DBA or Impetus in this respect, where each unit (which is just one base in those rules) retains a constant frontage. Not all units have 4 bases large units have 6, so they can take more losses, and small units have 2, so they are brittle. You could play without removing bases (for example if you wanted to use figures based for Impetus on double WRG/DBX standard width bases), and mark notional base losses with casualty markers. But the point of making each unit consist of multiple bases is so that bases can be removed to represent casualties and permanent loss of cohesion, without the need for casualty markers.

Terrement Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2011 6:26 a.m. PST

Marshal Mark,

Can't yahoo at the present. Would you be so kind as to email a copy to parusj@saic.com?

Thanks,

JJ

Marshal Mark Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2011 3:29 p.m. PST

Well 30 people have joined the Yahoo group but not much feedback yet. I'd like to hear any thoughts about the rules, even if it's just a first impression from a brief reading. Any constructive comments (positive or negative) appreciated.

Marcus Brutus Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2011 4:36 p.m. PST

No disrespect meant but with so many rules available I'm not sure why we need another.

andyfb16 Jul 2011 10:08 p.m. PST

No disrespect meant but with so many rules available I'm not sure why we need another.

Because while there are lots of rulesets around, humans being what they are will always like to change things to suit their own views. I play all 3 of the rulesets that the author mentions and with all of them there are small changes I would like to make, same goes for Mark I think?

Have printed out the rules and read through them, I like the Order/Action chits idea. A very clever bit of thinking.
Am rebasing my Hoplite Greeks to DBA etc bases, and expanding my Sassanids and Parthians, when these are done I'll be giving the rules a try, another guy I met recently at our club ( Hi Shaun ) has also got them so hopefully we'll give them a go soon.

Cheers Andy :-)

Marshal Mark Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2011 2:28 p.m. PST

No disrespect meant but with so many rules available I'm not sure why we need another.

There might be lots of different rules available but are any of them perfect ? Maybe you are completely happy with the set you play, in which case that's great for you. But with most sets of rules, most people find something they are not happy with and would prefer to be changed. My aim is to write a set of rules that are perfect for me, in that they give the sort of game I want to play, with the right level of complexity and a reasonable playing time. The reason I am sharing them is that other people who want the same sort of game might like these rules. Plus they have the added advantage of being free.
So whilst we don't need another set of rules, and can get by without them, it certainly can't hurt to have more choice, especially when it doesn't cost anything to try them

50 Dylan CDs and an Icepick Inactive Member18 Jul 2011 2:39 p.m. PST

"No disrespect meant but with so many rules available I'm not sure why we need another."

Do you apply that logic to:

1. Books?
2. Movies?
3. Music?
4. Food?
5. Games?
6. Clothing?
7. Websites?

Personal logo rampantlion Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2011 3:04 p.m. PST

"No disrespect meant but with so many rules available I'm not sure why we need another."

That comment doesn't even make any sense. What is the point?

Keep plugging away Mark, that is how something innovative eventual happens, because someone takes an idea or school of thought in a new direction.

Best of luck with them.

Allen

Marcus Brutus Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2011 5:30 a.m. PST

We just had three major rules sets released in the last month or so plus there are scores of ancient rules available. I play Impetus and while I don't think it is the "perfect" set at some point I think it makes sense to pick your rules and play them instead of pursuing the unattainable perfect game. My concern here is that gaming involves communities as well as individuals. There was a time in ancient gaming that most everyone used WRG. While that had its drawbacks it did allow for a wide variety of gamers from all over the world to play with each other. We are now seeing the atomization of ancient gaming as each person offers their "perfect" game. I wouldn't want to go back to WRG but it does seem to me that there are several very good systems available that can reasonably satisfy our ancient gaming community.

50 Dylan CDs and an Icepick Inactive Member19 Jul 2011 9:43 a.m. PST

" I think it makes sense to pick your rules and play them instead of pursuing the unattainable perfect game."

Most people aren't looking for the perfect game. They're looking for new and interesting games to play, instead of just playing the same thing over and over again.

The constant development of new ideas and games (and figures) IS the hobby.

After all, there are plenty of figures "out there" for whatever period you like. Why should anybody ever produce any new ones?

RockyRusso Inactive Member19 Jul 2011 10:24 a.m. PST

Hi

Back in the 60s, I heard this as "the Scruby rule", that is the only way to get what you wanted from rules was to write your own.

Unless you need to have lots of strangers play them, write your own. If you don't abuse your own systems to produce "I get to win every time…", then your club, friends or whatever should have no problem.

Rocky

Gary Flack22 Jul 2011 1:42 a.m. PST

Marshal Mark
I'm banned from your yahoo group
[weird work thing – terribly unsporting in my opinion – but there you go]
Could I please trouble you to e-mail me a copy of your rules & I will try to give them a run through with a couple of different groups over the summer
My e-mail is garyflack@hotmail.com
Many thanks in advance
Gary

Marshal Mark Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2011 10:30 a.m. PST

Gary. Rules sent – I hope you like them.

Marshal Mark Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2011 10:35 a.m. PST

We played another playtest game today Rome vs Carthage again. This time we used elephants for the first time. Everything seemed to work well, and it looked like what I feel a historical battle should look like and gave a reasonable outcome.

The Fantasy version of the rules is now in a playable state so I've put that on the Yahoo group. There are two versions of the rules on the group Fantasy Battles and Ancient and Medieval Battles. The core rules are the same, the Fantasy version just has added fantasy elements (Magic, Flying Units and Creatures).
We will hopefully play a playtest of the fantasy rules next week.

kevanG24 Jul 2011 2:34 a.m. PST

"You like Impetus but want more manoeuvre."

?????????????

Marshal Mark Supporting Member of TMP24 Jul 2011 10:15 a.m. PST

KevanG

I think Impetus has some good features, but there is quite a lot I don't like about it, and the lack of manoeuvre is just one of these things that I happened to mention. I don't want to get into a big discussion about Impetus here (you could look at this thread TMP link if you want to see more discussion about Impetus).
However, as a brief comparison of manoeuvre (and using 15mm figures with 80mm unit frontages in both sets):
In Impetus Heavy Infantry move 5cm compared to 12 cm in my rules (FAMB).
In Impetus units cannot wheel and move forwards in the same movement whereas they can in FAMB.
In Impetus cavalry (who should be amongst the most manoeuvreable troops) cannot wheel or turn 90 degrees in one movement step whereas they can in FAMB.
In Impetus Heavy Infantry combats are over quickly (thus reducing the benefit of flanking manoeuvres) wheareas they can take a few turns in FAMB.

Terrement Supporting Member of TMP24 Jul 2011 5:59 p.m. PST

MM,

I owe you an update – I'm half way through with the mark-up and will send that on so you can see what I've noted thus far rather than hold off until I'm done.

I'll try to wrap it up this week.

JJ

AlanYork Inactive Member27 Jul 2011 7:40 a.m. PST

We just had three major rules sets released in the last month or so plus there are scores of ancient rules available. I play Impetus and while I don't think it is the "perfect" set at some point I think it makes sense to pick your rules and play them instead of pursuing the unattainable perfect game. My concern here is that gaming involves communities as well as individuals. There was a time in ancient gaming that most everyone used WRG. While that had its drawbacks it did allow for a wide variety of gamers from all over the world to play with each other. We are now seeing the atomization of ancient gaming as each person offers their "perfect" game. I wouldn't want to go back to WRG but it does seem to me that there are several very good systems available that can reasonably satisfy our ancient gaming community.

Good points Marcus. I play Impetus too after deciding FoG wasn't for me and like yourself I don't think they are perfect but I like them, I think they're fun and give pretty historically accurate results.

It's possible to buy and play all the new sets but even if you could find regular opponents I think it would be almost impossible to learn them all and you'ld end up retaining a bit of knowledge of all of them but not enough to make games easy or fun. I think in the end you have to make your choice and stick to it.

I actually miss the days when WRG 6th dominated. I enjoyed the games, didn't find the rules particularly hard going and despite their perceived faults I thought they gave reasonably accurate results and it was good fun planning armies that could take on all kinds of opponents using the "lingua franca" of the Ancients community. (Historical games are great but there's only so many times you want to play Romans vs Celts.)

I don't really feel that FoG has achieved the dominance that WRG 6th and DBM achieved and so there has been room for Impetus and probably some of the other new sets to gain a foothold in the market. Certainly Impetus seems to have aquired a big enough player base to make it "viable" as a tournament set and to make it possible to find fellow players without too much difficulty a lot of the time.

I'm not so sure that "fragmentation" of the hobby is a good thing. Lots of isolated little groups playing their own favourite rules and not really interacting with each other doesn't seem to be the way to keep Ancients healthy and growing. None of which should prevent new rules such as Marshall Mark's being developed, we don't want ossification of the hobby either.

Phil Dutre28 Jul 2011 1:34 a.m. PST

I'm not so sure that "fragmentation" of the hobby is a good thing. Lots of isolated little groups playing their own favourite rules and not really interacting with each other doesn't seem to be the way to keep Ancients healthy and growing. None of which should prevent new rules such as Marshall Mark's being developed, we don't want ossification of the hobby either.

I don't think there's a danger of this happening. In my own extended wargaming bubble, I see wargamers who are slavish followers of only the dominant ruleset, but I also see a smaller fraction of 'experimentalists' who like to try out everything available on the market, play around with modifications, or simply start writing rules from scratch. I always considered that a healthy mix.

Remember, even for a dominant ruleset, someone started so many years ago with trying out some new ideas because he was dissatisfied with whatever was available at that time. Otherwise, we would still be playing 'Little Wars' with H.G.Wells' rules.

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