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"Grids for Ancients Wargames" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian31 Oct 2015 1:20 p.m. PST

How do you feel about rulesets that use gridded movement?

f u u f n f31 Oct 2015 1:23 p.m. PST

I like the idea. But have yet to find a set of rules I grok with.

advocate31 Oct 2015 1:29 p.m. PST

No problem in principal

Who asked this joker31 Oct 2015 1:32 p.m. PST

I like it! Yet to play To the Strongest.

I have played DBA on a grid. It was a considerably different game. Probably it should be played on a grid IMHO.

warwell31 Oct 2015 1:38 p.m. PST

I love grids

Wargamer Blue31 Oct 2015 1:44 p.m. PST

I like it.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP31 Oct 2015 2:06 p.m. PST

Grids? The Devil's work! ;-)

Lovejoy31 Oct 2015 2:17 p.m. PST

Grids are a deal-breaker for me; I won't play any game that uses them. A big part of wargaming for me is the visual spectacle, and grids spoil that IMO.

Phillius Supporting Member of TMP31 Oct 2015 2:21 p.m. PST

My buddies play TTS and love it. I have read and like the rules, but grids are a bit of a bug bear for me.

I'm not so sure it is actually the grids, but more the fact that they define the soldiers in them as "units". When your talking Romans and Greeks, Egyptians and some others, that is fine. But when you are talking Celts, Germans, Iberians, Numidians, Huns, Franks, Goths, and in fact most armies covered by the "ancient" period, our interpretation of "units" is far too modern.

I like the "mob of blob" look that DBMM brings to most ancient armies, and I feel that is a more correct representation than neatly defined units all with the same frontage. However, that is just me.

I am going to play TTS soon, so am looking forward to seeing just how the grids impact the game.

coopman31 Oct 2015 2:27 p.m. PST

I prefer gridded games to non-gridded games.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP31 Oct 2015 2:28 p.m. PST

I like To The Strongest.

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP31 Oct 2015 2:48 p.m. PST

Grids schmids. That said I don't really care one way or the other.

MajorB31 Oct 2015 2:53 p.m. PST

I play (amongst others) Lost Battles and CnC Ancients. Both use grids.

MajorB31 Oct 2015 2:55 p.m. PST

I'm not so sure it is actually the grids, but more the fact that they define the soldiers in them as "units".

In Lost Battles, which is played on a 5x4 grid, there can be a number of units in each square.

TKindred Supporting Member of TMP31 Oct 2015 4:37 p.m. PST

I don't mind them, or hexes, as long as they help make the game play well. My emphasis is always n the "game" in "wargame". If I want simulations, I'll go back to Norfolk or Jax. grin

doug redshirt31 Oct 2015 5:42 p.m. PST

Well I have come to enjoy the speed and ease you get from using hexes or grids. No arguing over inches or mm for that matter. No wasted time measuring or premeasuring.

evilgong31 Oct 2015 9:14 p.m. PST

You can mitigate the visual downsides of the table grid by just showing the corner points, and you can place non-grid terrain pieces atop the grid (to further disguise it) – it's easy enough to look up or across the table to properly locate troops sitting on terrain above the grid.


David F Brown

platypus01au31 Oct 2015 10:52 p.m. PST

I can see how they stop the "milimetric" arguments, but I have always thought they take away the whole point of miniatures on a tabletop. Still, happy to be proved wrong.


Emperorbaz01 Nov 2015 12:52 a.m. PST

Grids make for a much better faster game. Never used grids till I played TTS, but it was a lightbulb moment for me.

Lovejoy01 Nov 2015 1:23 a.m. PST

they take away the whole point of miniatures on a tabletop.

Yep, this! ^

If you want easy gridded movement, and aren't worried about how your game looks, why not save yourself all the bother and play a board game?

But if you like well-painted miniatures, and terrain pieces, why spoil the look with a grid?

Martin Rapier01 Nov 2015 1:25 a.m. PST

Lost Battles and CnC Ancients for me, DBA also works very well on a square grid. There is a difference between fine grained grids with only one or two units in each, and the zone approach of Lost Battles. The latter is very effective indeed and preserves the visual aspects.

Nothing worse than those tedious arguments about wheeling, tiny gaps in frontages and unit matchups. All gone in a stroke.

bobm195901 Nov 2015 5:29 a.m. PST

I've played a fair few games of "Conquerors and Kings" by RFCM (Peter Pig) and liked it very much for the large battles that games represents. I'm currently developing an ACW game for similarly large engagements using a square grid and it seems to be going well. I find when I'm playing a "big" battle then micro-managing angles and wheeling becomes far less interesting….those decisions are for the officers closer to the action.
However indicating the grid on the table is a real issue….bits of terrain stuck to pennies at intersections is my best suggestion.

Bob in Edmonton01 Nov 2015 6:02 a.m. PST

Much prefer gridded games. especially when teaching rules because it reduces the complexity of the decisions player have to make. But I'll play non-gridded games as long as no one brings out their callipers.

Dexter Ward01 Nov 2015 8:52 a.m. PST

A grid doesn't spoil the look of the table – you only need to mark dots at the corners of the squares.
Particularly good for ancients as there tend to be long lines of troops parallel to one another anyway.
The answer to 'why not play a boardgame' is 'because it doesn't look nearly as nice as having lots of figures on the table'.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Nov 2015 10:19 a.m. PST


Yes, grids don't need to be too obtrusive. Here are links to a couple of shots of the game we played today. We used small felt squares to show the grid intersections. Minis are from the collections of James Morris and Scrivs.


Khusrau01 Nov 2015 1:01 p.m. PST

dislike grids intensely. for me they ruin the disbelief I am trying to achieve with nice terrain and painted figures.

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Nov 2015 1:40 p.m. PST

Yes I really enjoy grids.This is o course a subjective choice so players can like or dislike with equal validity.
Some plus points of grids
Speeds up play(move 2 squares), gets rid of burst templates(is that base in the square or not) , easy to determine troop density(there are 4 bases in that square). prevents micro fussing but allows generalship level decisions(go and assault the farm). Clearly defines what the scenery is. No need to define exactly who is where, the are just "in the woods". It is easier to evaluate whether a formation is supported or flanked too. The look of a game is often improved by using grids because the exact distance is not important. e.g. The four bases of riflemen can be scattered where they look good in the square rather than ensuring they are all in exact range with individual clear lines of fire.
A game of PBI (WW2) or ROF (ECW) can be completed within 2 hours once a player has some experience. I have enjoyed gridded games since Conquerors and kings in 1982.
Of course players might disagree with all of the above, but then wargaming is wide enough for all tastes?


colin knight01 Nov 2015 3:40 p.m. PST

I was against grids for the look. However if grids are subtle the advantages are massive in creating units that look great like in Impetus.

Bandolier Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2015 5:49 p.m. PST

I never used to like them, but grids offer some distinct advantages with a good set of rules.

coopman01 Nov 2015 6:08 p.m. PST

Great looking game, BigRedBat.

Personal logo Gonsalvo Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2015 6:17 p.m. PST

Another example of a grid with just the corners marked used for TTS:


From this post with a play through of TTS (Rome vs Carthage)


(As a first game we delibetately left out terrain – would be even less conspicuous with some terrain elements added).

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