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"War and Conquest Review (Long)" Topic

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3,266 hits since 1 Jun 2012
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malekithau Inactive Member02 Jun 2012 12:51 a.m. PST

I have been meaning to do this for a while and given the final demise of WH Historical many players are looking at their ancients gaming options as expansions for WAB are likely never going to happen and GW legal will smack down anything that even resembles one.

I'm not going to compare W&C to WAB or COE in detail. COE in my honest opinion is WAB with some evolutionary changes which removed most of my issues with WAB such as overpowered characters and super units. as well as more "mainstream"
historical movement rules. It is a fine game just not my choice for 28s.

W&C is a definitely a WAB successor but is more revolutionary then evolutionary.

The first thing you will notice when you pick up your copy of War and Conquest is the high quality of the book itself. The book is about the size of the Field of Glory rulebook and is the second-best rule book I've ever had the pleasure to
read (Kampfgruppe Normany is the best IMHO). The nice thick pages all have a yellowish aged look to them and feature full colour photos of beautifully painted 28mm figs throughout. There are no diagrams all rules are illustrated with actual figures and are easy to follow.

The rules have been so well written that there isn't even an errata! I have only found one missing item no mention of the Warband rules in the Index. That's all.]

The basics D6 based, uses inches for measurements and is aimed at 25/28 mm figures but could be used for other scales easily enough. All units have a profile that is immediately recognisable but still different to others from the same heritage. Each troop type has a points value and most
armies will probably be 2000-2500 in size (around 10 units and some characters).

Standard troop profiles are divided into five basic values Combat Ability, Shooting Ability, Killing Ability, Morale and Armour Value. Other values are added to some troop types these are Life, Strikes and Durability. WAB players will find these easy to remember as they really do match existing warhammer
values. Rob has mainly removed the superfluous values from standard profiles and only added them where they are really required.

Unit types will be readily understandable as well with regular formations (close), light (open/loose) and skirmish. There are no specified minimum (or maximum for that matter)sizes for units but once units reach a particular minimum size for their unit type they will be removed as dispersed and no longer combat effective. Unit command groups are not given any extra rules but leaders do become important for deciding various things such as where a routing unit is located, for example. You will need need leaders in all of your units so this is a great reason to get converting or painting!

Recording unit status is fairly simple as there are only really 2 states to worry about disorder and half strength. Routed units are easy to recognise so need no marking. As figures are removed as they are killed so keeping track of half-strength is very simple and disorder can be marked in a variety of ways
including staggering of troops within the ranks or markers such as extra shields or casualty figures.

Basing is again familar with 20mm frontage being standard for foot and 25 for cavalry. I use round bases for my skirmishers. Army lists are being developed both by Rob and players and being added to the Yahoo group at a fair pace. I've even mangaed to get off my fat bum and write a few.

Terrain types and rules are also familar. There are no terrain set up rules.

malekithau Inactive Member02 Jun 2012 12:53 a.m. PST

The game is played in turns with each turn divided into phases that will be easily recognised by veteran gamers. It is an IGO-UGO sequence with some differences that set it apart from others in the same genetic line.

The first part of each turn is a roll for strategic advantage which can be modified by spending Strategic Intervvention points (more later). Basically each player rolls a D6 with the winner choosing to go first or second. The winner will also be able to decide the order of combat resolution and pursuits during the turn.

Each player then has a round of play which is made up of the following phases Movement including change declarations, shooting, combat and resolution phases. Once both players have completed these phases the final step is the end phase and then back to the beginning again for the next turn.

Movement will be familar as well but much more streamlined. The movement rules take up about 9 pages many of which are actually half-filled with photos. Charge rules have their own section and take about 11 pages again with lots of photos.

Advance is your standard straight ahead move at the types movement rate while double pace is, unsurprisingly double the movement pace. Double pace can only be used outside certain distances depending on both the moving units type and, occasionally, the closest enemy unit types. Quick march is triple pace and only available to troops in column and outside of a set distance from the enemy. Pursuit and flee moves are handled quite differently to any other set with each affected unit rolling 3d6 and then choosing 2 of them to decide how far they travel. Which 2 you choose is dependent on the unit type testing with regular infantry potentially the slowest (2 lowest d6 rolled) and cavalry the fastest (2 highest d6 rolled).

Manoevres are handled a little differently to other rules but still will be familiar to many players.

Wheeling no measuring around the outside edge of the unit wheeling simply pivot on one corner and measure a straight line to where you wish to move. If a units rear ranks look like they will collide with another friendly unit don't
worry about it so long as they are past the unit when the move ends there is no effect. Take that rules lawyers!

Some manoevres require command tests which are generally 3d6 choose the 2 lowest. If the test is equal or lower then the uunits morale then they have passed.

Charging has it's own section which also deals with charge reactions. As charges are the meat of any ancient combat it is excellent to see them covered in such detail. Again many rules are very easy to understand. For example, flank and rear arcs are straightforward and whether you are in one or out is simple. Judge the arc and then see if your unit leader is in the arc or not. If he's not you are out of that arc. Simple.

All in all movement is very streamlined and easy to understand more so then many
other rules I've read.

Shooting is also familar in many ways. The basic mechanics are very straightforward check range (-1 at longe range) roll a dice and add SA to it.You need 7 to hit. For example SA 3 (most common rating for standard troops)needs to roll 4s to hit. Sound familar?

There are differences such as shooting through skirmishers (both friendly and enemy) and massed shooting. Massed shooting is usually done by bow armed troops. Possibly all bow armed troops in a unit can fire straight ahead. There are restrictions on this but it can be very effective.

malekithau Inactive Member02 Jun 2012 12:55 a.m. PST

Combat is also very familiar but can result in significantly longer combats then some other rules depending on how badly a unit is beaten. Resolution is where things become more interesting. Bonuses are assigned to each unit where
applicable. These include impact bonuses and rank bonuses. 2 or 3d6 (dependent on the unit) are rolled choosing the lowest 2 dice, adding the combat result and comparing it to the units morale value. Failure normally means running for the hills, but this depends on how much you fail by and whether you are a regular or drilled formation and/or you outnumber your enemy.

Fleeing or pursuing troops that reach the table edge are given a last chance to stand. If they fail they are removed. Troops that feign flight can return but miss a round of play.

Characters – referred to as personalities – can be any individual from a Roman Centurion to an Egyptian Pharoah. Some can fight but most are leaders and benefit the army with various bonuses. Some are Legends of War that have
abilities above and beyond what others do.

One of the main advantages that personalities give you is access to Strategic Intervention Points. These allow you to influence morale tests, combat morale tests and command tests but the potentially most useful function of SIPs is roll an extra die/dice to try to seize the strategic adavantage. This reminds me of the flip-flop in Lost Battles/Strategos where a more skilful general can seize
the iniative and have 2 turns in a row.

Here's an example of a use for this in a battle between a Greek army and the Persians. The Greeks move into massed archery range and are facing the prospect of 24 shots over 2 turns into each hoplite phalanx before they get within
charge reach. Ouch. If the Greek player uses his SIPs and seizes the Strategic Advantage he can surge forward effectively moving twice and only facing one turn of shooting.

One of the most intersting innovations in the rules is in the use of skirmishers (chariots count as skirmishers). Friendly units can move through skirmishers and they may reform dependent on a morale test. Skirmish combat is reminiscent of many ww2 skirmish rules sets where all figures within a few inches are able to participate. Skirmishers also have a unique form of fighting called a glancing attack. They need to pass a morale test move at least one model into contact with the enemy unit. The enemy only get to fight back with half the strikes made
by the attacking unit. The unit is then moved back d6 inches. This is one of the best ways to represent the nature of chariot combat I've ever seen.

All of the usual suspects are also present including elephants, scythed chariots and the types of weapons you'd expect to see in this period. Battle set up apart
from terrain is detailed as well with some interesting variations on the standard field battle and the addition of objectives for each army. You can just line up and have at it but the objectives do add an extra level of tactical consideration especially if the objectives are chosen secretly.

Sorry this has been so long but I believe these rules deserve no less.

John O

Lord Raglan Inactive Member02 Jun 2012 1:10 a.m. PST


Great overview of the game.

You have saved me a job, as quite a few people who visit my blog have asked me to write up a summary.

Nice one,

malekithau Inactive Member02 Jun 2012 1:48 a.m. PST

If anyone wants to see army lists and some battle reports visit the Yahoo group -


Quick EIR list 2000 points -
1st Cohort 16 Experienced legionaries
2/3 Cohorts 18 Legionaries
4/5 Cohorts 18 legionaries
6/7 Cohorts 18 legionaries
16 Auxilia Lt Inf with light armour
16 Auxilia Lt Inf with light armour
10 Slingers (skirmishers)
12 Javelinmen (skirmishers)
8 Auxilia cav
6 Numidians

LeadLair76 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member02 Jun 2012 4:11 a.m. PST

Sounds interesting I will add this to my list of rules to get.

Ken Portner Inactive Member02 Jun 2012 5:56 a.m. PST

Very nice review . Thanks for taking the time to do it.

elcid1099 Inactive Member02 Jun 2012 1:58 p.m. PST

Great review. I have these rules, and I must say I like them a lot, especially the way skirmishers are handled.

wargame insomniac02 Jun 2012 2:11 p.m. PST


You ought to save your thoughts and post them on a blog.

I don't play W&C and am not likely to in near future. Mainly because our local gaming group seems happy with Hail Caesar and I can't see them changing anytime soon. Having been the one person locally to have bought FoG and the first half dozen supplements (albeit at good discount), I am not about to make the same mistake twice.

But if ever was to consider W&C it would be useful to re-read this. I'm sure that others are in same boat.



5th Grenadier Inactive Member03 Jun 2012 5:44 a.m. PST

Nice review-thank you!

Shootmenow Inactive Member03 Jun 2012 5:45 a.m. PST

Very good review of an excellent ruleset. My local club has switched over to these having tried several of the recent Ancient rulesets.

ether drake Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2012 8:19 a.m. PST

Thank you very much for this detailed and readable review. I think I shall grab a copy of W&C and introduce it to my local group.

malekithau Inactive Member04 Jun 2012 7:33 p.m. PST

I have often thought about writing a blog but that would require more dedication then I tend to have. I'm likely to be off writing an E-Book for some obscure area or beta testing a PC game. Anyone who wants to put my review on a blog is more then welcome to do so. I have a Word version that didn't paste very well available.

In the meantime I'll continue to write army lists for W&C so people can get playing quicker. Any requests let us know via the yahoo group. There are a few people working on lists with feedback sought and incorporated where able. Can't have much more community involvement then that. The lists truly are living documents and will always be available to be used regardless of what supplements etc may be created in the future.

John O

ether drake Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2012 3:42 a.m. PST

I've been thinking about it and I've been very impressed by the skirmish rules you mention. I take it they apply to other skirmishers besides chariots?

It seems a great way to represent the dynamics of peltasts and/or ekdromoi outrunners in hoplite-era combat.

Does any other ancients ruleset come close to simulating this?

I know Hail Caesar has its 'Short range' attacks which very abstractly represent skirmishing, but the W&C approach seems more dynamic.

Scarab Miniatures Inactive Member05 Jun 2012 4:36 a.m. PST

Thanks for taking the time on the review.
Folk are now discovering War & Conquest is not like some of the other games out there and really enjoying the gaming experience.

I am getting the gaming table set up for a chariot era battle report this week, so once its done, it will be online. There might be a second, depending on spare time.

Ether drake- the Greek lists have had a special ekdromoi rule added in the latest update, which use the skirmish rules. Check the lists for the details.

Chariots have a better morale system than a skirmisher, but they still use the same rules for the fighting to keep that aspect of the game dynamic.

John- warband are in the index, just under the listing for the rule- eg surge warband. but you are right ,there is no listing for warband to send you to the right page. However, Weight of numbers (the other rule for warbands) also starts with a 'W' so its not too far away down the list!

We are committed to keeping our army lists free and online. The community are actively encouraged to submit lists for upload. We do however, also plan publications, full details on the first of these will be soon.

The majority of photos, and their supporting captions are there to explain the rules, you can view page spreads here


Finally, your local hobby or book store can order the book direct from us, or from a choice of major trade distributors. Details on our website where you can also place a direct order if you prefer or you have no local store facility.

Thank you

kind regards
Rob Broom

ether drake Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2012 7:48 a.m. PST

Interesting, I took a look at the Greek and Spartan lists and have some comments about the Spartan list, especially for playing the later stages of the Peloponnesian War (as covered by Xenophon) due to the unorthodox composition of troops (esp. the use of neodamodeis by Agesilaus II who only had about 30-odd true Spartan officers). Though its probably best to reserve comments until after I order the book.

Scarab Miniatures Inactive Member05 Jun 2012 11:38 a.m. PST

Ether drake

Look forward to those, many thanks.

To ensure I get any comments or observations on lists, (which we actively encourage because I am bound to miss out some details!) please sign up to our yahoo group or forum and post them there, or email me direct.

Many thanks

kind regards
Rob Broom

BlackKnight20 Jun 2012 9:53 a.m. PST

Great review!

It is hard to choose between these rules and Hail Caesar…we gamers are spoiled for choice at this point!

But I do lean towards W&C for "competitive" play and for a game with a smaller footprint. Hail Caesar is really designed for great monstrous battles with huge collections. The HC army lists require very large armies, perhaps twice the size of a W&C list in terms of figures needed, unless you reduce unit sizes from the stated norms in the HC rulebook.

W&C standard armies, say 2000 pts, by contrast are about the same number of models as an old WAB list and the unit sizes are comparable as well. In addition, the rules are very tightly written and don't ask the players to resolve disputes (of which there should be few thanks to the rules) informally. So I think it's more suited for tournament play. That goes as well for smaller casual games, too, I think.

Another plus is, as Rob says, the army lists are free!

I hope more people give this game a go. I see it as a very positive improvement over WAB, yet familiar enough for WAB veterans that the transition will not be painful in the slightest.

Scarab Miniatures Inactive Member20 Jun 2012 11:28 a.m. PST

Theres another independent review of the rules on this blog

Over the next couple of days we have a number of new armies lists to go online, plus a lengthy chariot wars battle report with lots of pictures and text showing the chariot (and other) rules in action.

A number of reviews have commented on the standard of our presentation and the way the photographs are used to explain the rules. View some here link

Finally we are organising Gaming Days (we have had one already) and places to play and try out the rules. Theres two activities at Historicon on the Firday and Saturday, and in the UK we have our next gaming day on the 19th August, full details on the Scarab forum

kind regards
Rob Broom

Scarab Miniatures Inactive Member22 Jun 2012 5:40 a.m. PST

The battle report can be found here link

and a number of new free army lists are now online in the Resources section of our forum and yahoo group

kind regards

Rob Broom

Larry R Supporting Member of TMP29 Jul 2012 4:40 p.m. PST

Where can I get these rules in the US?

Dave Crowell30 Jul 2012 1:01 p.m. PST

I got mine from On Military Matters.

Scarab Miniatures Inactive Member31 Jul 2012 1:59 a.m. PST


your local hobby or book store can order from Alliance Game, Warpath or Casemate Publishing.

If buying direct, you can get it from us, Relic Miniatures, OMM and no doubt other stockists.

We now have over 100 army lists (plus variants) online for free.

Thank you

kind regards
Rob Broom

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