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"Another what rules question, ideally like rank and file" Topic


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HappyHiker13 Apr 2020 6:27 a.m. PST

Bored in the lockdown, I've been digging out my older figures to wargame with 12 yr old son. He enjoys it if the rules are right. We've found rank and file to be perfect for napolionics, so now looking for medieval, hundred year war rules. (Biggish battles in 28mm).Got to be simple, full of flavour, ideally model removal not admin work. We've been using kings of war, but got a bit bored of it. Don't like hail caesar, or dba, or war master, read all the usual posts and reviews on recommendations and don't like any of those either.so obviously hard to please 😩
KOW is fine but ends up in everyone in the middle bashing each other, which might be accurate but it's dull.
We want something that's gives a medieval flavour, so long bows that kill French better than cross bows(don't care if unhistoric)Rock Paper Scissors of cavalry beat arches, but beaten by pikes etc Out flanking to mean something. Fast play where units actually rout not just fight turn after turn after turn. It would be good if the rules steered you towards proper medieval tactics (ie rewarded you if you use proper tactics). Can't be bothered with to the strongest. Have checked out impetus, but not excited, same with all the usual suggestions. I've not played the usual suggestions, but just not excited by the rules? Ideally we'd like rank and file but for medieval. Any suggestions or am I just to hard to please ?

uglyfatbloke13 Apr 2020 8:58 a.m. PST

I don't know Rank and File, but – writing as a historian – all the medieval rules I've come across suffer from being either impossibly cumbersome or terrible history…quite often both. Why not just modify Rank and File? For HYW/Scottish Wars you've not got that may troop types….archers, crossbows, men-at-arms, spears, pole arms and no real differentiation between countries -- a French man-at-arms looks just like an English one, looks just like a Scottish one, looks just like a Belgian one and so on.

HappyHiker13 Apr 2020 10:01 a.m. PST

Ha, well I did think about that, but I'm not sure I know the period well enough. Rank and file works with a list of +/- modifiers on a d6. So for archers I guess -1 if distance to great, behind cover, against light armour, -2 heavy armour. +1 if target densely packed. +1 if stationary ?
For melee -1 light armour,-2 heavy, -1 vs mounted +1 if heavy weapon, +2 spears vs mounted ? What made one guy better at killing the other guy, and what saved the other guy ? Did depth of formation make a difference ? Do you know of any games that have a good medieval modifier list I could steal?

coopman13 Apr 2020 10:29 a.m. PST

Do you have the book, "One Hour Wargames"?

HappyHiker13 Apr 2020 11:59 a.m. PST

No, but it's one I've thought about getting. R&F is based on other games so there could be overlap. R&F has dice per base, with base removal as units deplete, I like that idea, but it's probably come from other games?

Olivero Supporting Member of TMP13 Apr 2020 12:24 p.m. PST

Well, after you rule out what 99% are either actively playing or at least consider to be good rules sets, want it simple but full of flavour, and rewarding proper tactics while at the same time you don't care if its unhistoric….

Maybe you should try out some rules written speficifally for the HYW or similar. There are some around.

Flower of Chivalry link
The Tree of Battles link
By the Sword Decided: From Hastings to Bosworth link

HappyHiker14 Apr 2020 4:31 a.m. PST

Yeah I'm not making it very easy on myself am I.
Have tried to read summaries of all the rule sets but some details are sparse.
Swordpoint sounded like it might be good, but it's doesn't sound like many people took it up, even the forum is pretty quiet since 2019…. Neil Thomas, ancient and medieval wargamming has the same base removal as R&F but really I'm just going round in circles. How do people decide, or do people buy and try ALOT of rules…

Squash at home15 Apr 2020 4:07 a.m. PST

Have you tried Warhammer Ancient Battles? It has a medieval themed supplement called Armies of Chivalry. Plays similar to KOW (written by the same authors) but with the added complication of single figure bases and figure removal, which seems to be what you are looking for. I don't think the game is still supported or played much, but it should do what you want.

HappyHiker15 Apr 2020 9:51 a.m. PST

So I found a dodgy post on another forum that had links to lots of rulesets. (I wont repost). I have now speed read alot of rules. WAB looks like it would eventually be a winner, even though its as complex as 40K, but for now we want something simpler. (Why isnt WAB still a thing, is it not new and shiny? Replaced by Hail Caesar?).
Alot of the rules really are quite similar, it all comes down to +/- modifiers done one way or the other I guess. I think for now I'm going to alter R&F to include battle line bonuses, strip out the Napoleonics and nick all the modifiers I've just read everywhere else. Thanks for the replies.

Thomas Thomas16 Apr 2020 1:21 p.m. PST

If you want fast play with a reasonable degree of historical accuracy try the various DBX games. DBA 3.0 being latest and one of the easiest versions.

If you want a specific medieval flavor (which it seems you do), you may want to try A Game of Knights & Knaves which uses DBX ideas but in a modernized and very medieval orientation.

(By the way mounted do not fair well against archers – see for instance Crecy. It was the motivating factor for the French to get off their horses when faced with mass archery. But in general your correct medieval warfare is very combined arms in nature and a bit rock/paper/scissors).

Thomas J. Thomas
Fame & Glory Games

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