Ancient Warfare - Wargame Rules for Entire Battles

Period From earliest history to 1400 AD
Scale Figure scale is 1:50
Basing Uses WRG basing
Designer Arnold Hendrix
Publisher Published 1975 by Milgamex

What You Think

Chris Parker (
These rules by Arnold Hendricks and the original Courier staff were incredible. We (my group) played with them quite a bit back in the late 70's. I used the army develpment section as the frame work for devising my combat value in Day of Battle. I also used the structure of the game to help with the flow of writing DoB. Though I wandered terribly.

Arnold was a master writer. He also did 1944 for WWII and Surface Warship. He then moved on to Heritage Hobbies in their better days. He designed a number of their entry-level market games.

John Garvey (

These are the rules I started ancient wargaming with, back in 1977 or so, playing with plastic Airfix Romans and Britons. I have a great deal of nostalgia for these!

Basically they have similarities to WRG Ancients 5th edition (or whatever was current then). They are similar in that they are both "reductionist," building units up by specifying armour, training, weaponry - combat being by comparing these things to each other, involving looking up large tables. Ancient Warfare and the old WRG rules have a similar feel.

Ancient Warfare was a bit ahead of its time, really. The scale they used was 1:50, they had simplified and limited orders, standard formations. Movement had a random element in that you never knew exactly how far a unit could move (you threw dice). Combat was similar to WRG, but there was a separate "Impact" phase for charging units, so units could literally break through others and end up behind them. Casualties were removed as whole figures. Morale was simplified into a UCV value (unit cohesion value). Some of these ideas were later seen in WRG 7th. (I am not implying that they were copied, just that they were obvious good ideas.)

The rules were very complete, with night attacks, weather, forced marches, sieges, spies, and quite a lot of "optional" rules. They also had army lists from Greece circa 450 B.C. to Early Imperial Rome.

However, what got me into these at the age of 15(?) were the Lord of the Rings special rules, and army lists for Gondor, Mordor, Elves, etc. And just at this time Minifigs (?) had released a Lord of the Rings range in 25mm. What more could a 15-year-old want? We saw nothing wrong with Gondor and Rome fighting shoulder to shoulder against orcs and British chariots!

Looking at the rules now, with the hindsight of age, they are remarkably sophisticated for the time, and I have a much better understanding of how they should be played. I have noticed that some people have gone back to WRG 6th edition - maybe nostalgia? I would go back to these instead.

(I've only taken wargaming up again (in earnest) in the last 10 years or so, after my gaming with these rules was rudely interupted by drink, sex (sure) and punk rock!

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Online Resources

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Last Updates
18 October 1999comments by Chris Parker
18 May 1999comments by John Garvey
1 April 1997reorganized
28 November 1996page first published
Thanks to Michael Childers (
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