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"What ancient rules do I want?" Topic

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Patonius28 May 2013 2:38 a.m. PST

I like General de Brigade for Napoleonic.

I used to play DBM many, many years ago.

Looking for an ancients set of rules…including..

15mm minis
Flank marches
Large battle groups (happy for 300 + minis in an army)
Not wishing to have numerous modifiers that I have seen in FoG.
Cavalry that get to move around the table.
Archers that get to shoot before being killed in combat.
Happy for variable General quality.
More than 6 turns in a game.

Any suggestions?

Swampster28 May 2013 2:51 a.m. PST

DBMM seems to fit. I prefer it to DBM but others differ.

Dexter Ward28 May 2013 3:10 a.m. PST

FoG also fits; I'm not sure what the 'numerous' modifiers are – usually only a couple of modifiers apply at a time.
But yes, DBMM has all of those things, and other nice stuff, like Stratagems.

Marshal Mark28 May 2013 3:47 a.m. PST

Yes, I think FOG fits all your requiremetnts except for not being FOG. Other than FOG and DBM /MM I don't think you'll find other rules that cover what you want.

Marshal Mark28 May 2013 3:50 a.m. PST

Have you tried playing FOG ? The POAs (which are presumably what you are talking about when you refer to numerous modifiers) are no more difficult to memorise and apply than the combat outcomes in DBM.

BunJen28 May 2013 4:15 a.m. PST

Try Hail Caesar, they are a great set of very flexible rules that I use for 15mm ancients and fantasy mass battle

Dark Knights And Bloody Dawns28 May 2013 4:40 a.m. PST

Love HC, lets me play 1000 figures a side with a result in three hours.

6sided28 May 2013 4:48 a.m. PST

Hail Caesar.

Jaz – Better than felt!

jameshammyhamilton28 May 2013 4:48 a.m. PST

If you think FoG has numerous modifiers then you really need to be looking for something very simple. IMO FoG is not that complex at all, it is rare for more than a couple of modifiers to be relevant at any point. Most other rules have at least as many or more modifiers.

For a simpler game what about the Command and Colours Ancients boardgame using miniatures instead of blocks?

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP28 May 2013 4:53 a.m. PST

If you are happy to play samurai battles (probably stretching the ancients thing here), then consider BAW-Battles in the Age of War by RFCM/Peter Pig.
Has a pre-game, challenges, several on table generals and is all fought on a 5 x 3 foot table!

Good luck with your search

martin at PP

Ferbs Fighting Forces28 May 2013 5:00 a.m. PST


RelliK28 May 2013 5:03 a.m. PST

Hail Caesar…
The whole large basing thing with multiple minis on it will suit 15mm fairly well.

Oh Bugger28 May 2013 5:06 a.m. PST

DBMM would fit the bill nicely, like Swampster I think it a better game than DBM.

Maddaz11128 May 2013 5:22 a.m. PST

Peter Pig ancients rules RFCM- (conqueror & kings?)

DBMM – Damn fine rules set.

Lost battles – for antiquity (probably the best researched rules set anywhere – but considered by many as dry – and lacking in details as it is an army game)

I played fog (v1) a couple of times – didn't like it as it felt like a game of more detail than DBMM – It was like ordering battalions around, when I wanted to be ordering brigades and divisions (not what I strictly mean… but I struggle to convey the remove I want to feel when I am the army commander)

I still like WRG derivatives when I am playing the brigade commander/wing commander role. I currently play Imperium from Leopard Heraldry (lots of modifiers – elements that are close to Shock of Impact but are better, the playtesting continues and regular updates are suggested to the published rules – and a letter to the author (as in the good old days a Stamped Self addressed Envelope) gets you the updated page of rules and the suggested alterations to the fast play sheet!)

We play eight a side games with imperium (or one of its sister sets for the different periods that cover dark age and later medieval periods) we have may be 5-7000 figures a side and take two days of play at UK conventions to reach a suitable conclusion. I am trying to get a version that adopts element basing convention from DBMM, and that simplifies troop types a little…

A small battle (300-500 figures a side) can be played to a conclusion by two players in four to five hours, but the rules may be too fiddly for what you want!

jameshammyhamilton28 May 2013 5:36 a.m. PST

I played fog (v1) a couple of times didn't like it as it felt like a game of more detail than DBMM It was like ordering battalions around, when I wanted to be ordering brigades and divisions (not what I strictly mean… but I struggle to convey the remove I want to feel when I am the army commander)

Interesting.. to me the exact opposite is true. To me DBMM feels to be at a much lower scale than DBM or FoG. It is the my bound your bound nature of many of the outcomes that ruins it for me.

Suffice to say there are many different sets of rules about but if you are looking for games that use large numbers of 15mm figures the list is a fair bit shorter.

vojvoda28 May 2013 5:45 a.m. PST

Classic Hack would be worth a look.
James Mattes

Martin Rapier28 May 2013 5:59 a.m. PST

As Maddaz says, Lost Battles is probably the best researched set of rules for fighting entire battles. It also has ambushes, variable quality generals (rather key to the whole thing) etc. If you don't like lots of modifiers, probably not the set for you unsupported fresh levy hoplites attacked by elephants across the stream when it isn't raining with the Generals combat bonus but open flanks…. you get the idea.

Another recommendation for CnC Ancients, simple, fun, fast and works with any number of figures. What is not to like (apart from grids, if you don't like those).

Yesthatphil28 May 2013 6:13 a.m. PST

I think Armati is always worth a look – but although you can easily modify for them, it doesn't have flank marches.

Both FoG and DBMM have baggage/army camps which are a nice decorative addition which makes you have to cover your rear …

FoG has the traditional structure of units (Battle Groups) but the commanders have only a very rudimentary characterisation.


Temporary like Achilles28 May 2013 7:49 a.m. PST

Warmaster Ancients, perhaps? Probably been superceded by Hail Caesar though.

I like Lost Battles for most of your requirements, but if you don't like modifiers you'll not like these, as the esteemed MR has already said so well.

Socalwarhammer28 May 2013 7:50 a.m. PST

+1 for Warmaster Ancients.

Who asked this joker28 May 2013 8:50 a.m. PST

Armati Grand Scale (the largest scale they have)

Might of Arms.

Both would fit the bill nicely. You would want Armati 2nd edition OR Armati and Advanced Armati books.

Might of Arms is still available through the author (I believe) and is still about $18 USD for the book.

Marcus Brutus28 May 2013 10:25 a.m. PST

Impetus sounds a lot like what you're looking for. Fast moving, dynamic game with lots of interplay between the troop types.

(Leftee)28 May 2013 12:33 p.m. PST

Have to chime in for Impetus too, if only because it fits all your listed requirements.

Look at some of the AAR's posted in the Ancient's section here for some idea of how the game flows.

sumerandakkad28 May 2013 12:41 p.m. PST

Perhaps a look at older rules sets.5th edition WRG
Newbury 'warfare through the ages?
Just a thought if you can get them.

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP28 May 2013 1:26 p.m. PST

Armati are good rules though few play them still; however, basing is essentially compatible with FoG and DBx so you would largely be okay (only some useless units on the margins).

Hail Caesar is interesting but lacks much flavor IMHO--the stat line is nearly identical for various troop types and only the special rules matter. I really like Black Powder, but Hail Caesar is just not for me.

DFLange Supporting Member of TMP28 May 2013 2:02 p.m. PST

You could also consider Tactica, a rule set from the 90s. Not sure if it is still published but there are probably some copies still available. It calls for large numbers of figures on the table and is a little less involved than FOG. It does impose some restrictions on movement due to command range but this is how it should be in a rule set. No real distinction between generals but it is easy to house rule that into the game. Tactica II is in the final stages of development and that definitely will be an excellent set of rules for ancients once it comes out.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP28 May 2013 3:39 p.m. PST

Another vote for tactica. You can ease the movement restrictions if you like and modify the army lists as needed.

chriskrum28 May 2013 9:20 p.m. PST

+1 for Hail Caesar. It's an evolutionary improvement over Warmaster Ancients.

Keraunos28 May 2013 11:09 p.m. PST

a lot of the rules listed fail to meet some of your basic requirements, so be wary of leaping in without further checking.

flank marching, ambushes and variable generals do not feature in most of them, especially the newer sets.

the above is just everyone's current favourite list of rules, with a few exceptions.

I've not played it, but DBM does seem closest to your list. I'd also suggest looking at WRG 6 or 7, as I think they had most of those things included. you may struggle to find opponents for 7 though, it got a real bad press because it was too easy to mess up with non historically plausible matchups.

dagc5429 May 2013 9:30 a.m. PST

Legion, if you can find them.

Who asked this joker30 May 2013 10:10 a.m. PST

a lot of the rules listed fail to meet some of your basic requirements, so be wary of leaping in without further checking.

In Death Ground does. Pretty fun game. A little different than DBM or DBMM. Both also good choices.

Did a review a couple of years back.


Mollinary30 May 2013 11:32 a.m. PST

Another vote for C&C Ancients using figures. In particular, the Epic version is a fantastic game.


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