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"Days of Knights – 2nd Edition" Topic

Days of Knights

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mawaliuk215 Nov 2005 8:41 a.m. PST

Well it's been a long time coming – the sceptics among us sometimes doubted we would ever see it – but it has now arrived!

So, was it worth the wait? Read on and find out.

The original Days of Knights featured a character driven Command and Control system that neatly limited what units could do without the influence of a commander. The combat system combined DBx style instant destruction of units with a more gradual accumulation of Demoralisation (which you can try to Rally off each turn), leading to eventual destruction. Combat factors were designed so that it is always possible to ‘get lucky', and beat apparently insurmountable odds (I have seen desperate peasants fight off repeated attacks by their superiors) while usually giving the ‘expected' result (don't EXPECT your peasants to be anything more than a small speed bump for enemy knights!). The rules were straightforward and robust, making them ideal for those of us who love tinkering to make games fit our view of history or to make a particular scenario work how we want it to.

The new edition builds on this solid foundation, refining and expanding the characters and units that each army can have and also incorporates many tweeks and new rules, often inspired by discussion on the Yahoo group. That said, Chipco have not taken the easy way out and merely adopted changes that were suggested by the diehard DOK players on the group. This version of the rules is an impressive development of the game and not just a collection of house rules and fixes.

Characters, i.e. the Generals, Marshals, Allied Lords and Captains of the armies, can now be Heroic, Incompetent, etc, and the effects of each type of character have been expanded and clarified, while many units can now be upgraded in a range of ways. Pikemen, for example, can be fielded as Pikes, Professional Pikes or Swiss-style Pike Blocks. This all greatly enhances the player's ability to customise his army to fit his view of how it should perform. When building a Wars of the Roses army, for example, Longbowmen can be represented in a variety of ways. They could be fielded as separate units of Longbowmen, as Professional Longbowmen (better equipped and tougher in melee) or mixed with troops armed with pole arms in combined units. If mixed with pole arm troops, these can themselves be of various grades, ranging from poorly equipped levies to dismounted men at arms. The choice is yours.

The rules are rounded out with a guide to putting together your army, choosing figures with the right type of armour and painting heraldry.

Days of Knights comes in the increasingly popular PDF format. I love this format because I like reading while eating lunch and having a bath. If my copy gets too tatty I just print off another one!

So, was it worth the wait? Hopefully you will already know what my answer is! If you are interested in medieval wargaming, give these rules a try.

Gronan of Simmerya15 Nov 2005 9:02 a.m. PST


mawaliuk215 Nov 2005 9:23 a.m. PST

I knew I would forget something!



007alec15 Nov 2005 11:12 a.m. PST

I've wanted to play this a long time, I hope it is as good as it seems.

wminsing15 Nov 2005 12:17 p.m. PST

Sounds Awesome! I will grab a copy ASAP, it just might be what I'm looking for….


ajbartman15 Nov 2005 7:57 p.m. PST

Just finished going through the rules. ma2 does a great job with his review. I always enjoyed playing DoK and now it's time to dust off those knights.

My question is who makes the best 10mm figures for the DoK time period?


westphalia15 Nov 2005 9:58 p.m. PST

I sure like the Kallistra knights in 10mm. They're intended for the Hundred Years War, but the line is quite complete. Lots of supporting infantry, archers, men-at-arms, etc.

A client has sent them to me to paint, and I'm very pleased with them.

morrigan16 Nov 2005 4:50 a.m. PST

Pnedraken makes a good medieval range too!

morrigan16 Nov 2005 4:51 a.m. PST

Sorry, Pendraken. Usually it's medieval I spell wrong….

mawaliuk216 Nov 2005 6:08 a.m. PST


I must say that Days of Knights does work well with 10mm figs – basing is recommended as 40mm square (not carved in stone, though), which gives a nice area for the unit.


ajbartman16 Nov 2005 6:35 a.m. PST

Thanks for the tip westphalia. I have some Pedraken and like them. Will be getting some of the Kallistra to round out the armies.

wminsing17 Nov 2005 6:41 a.m. PST

Ok, I picked these up. Figured that for 12 bucks I couldn't go wrong. I was pretty impressed with the rules overall. Simple enough to be fast, enough variety to keep things interesting. Can't wait to give them a live run.


kblackley22 Nov 2005 8:17 a.m. PST

Days of Knights is a game played with miniature figures that covers period roughly from the Scottish Wars of Independence to the Italian Wars of the early 16th century. It is produced by Chipco Games and is available as a .pdf file via their website at

Chipco has just released a second edition of this ruleset. This review is of this new version.

Days of Knights is a fast-play ruleset, based around the element (here called a unit), rather than the individual figure. All units are based on 40mm x 40 mm (60x60 for 25mm) bases.

Each army also has a number of characters, which are based individually. There are two categories of characters; Major and Minor. Major characters, which are used to determine unit movement and can give morale and melee bonuses, include the King/General, Marshals (sub-generals), and Captains. Minor characters, which cannot influence movement, include Religious Personalities and Masters of Bow.

Essentially, a unit can only move straight forward (angling 45 degrees to either side) unless it has an attached Major Character. A Captain, for example, can affect the movement of a single unit, a Marshall can control a Battle and the King/General can lead anyone. This can lead to all sorts of problems if you don't have the required character available for a particular maneuver!

Unit demoralization is an important part of DOK. A demoralized unit cannot engage enemy and has its combat factor reduced by one. A double-demoralized unit also recoils from combat and/or shooting and cannot advance towards the enemy. A third demoralization results in the unit's destruction. However, each player has a chance to rally his demoralized units each turn by rolling a d10 and comparing the number to that unit's rally factor. If he makes the roll, the unit rallies and loses all demoralization markers. .

Combat rules are simple and familiar to players of DB*. Each unit has a combat factor, to which are added any modifiers that may apply, and the roll of a ten-sided die. Higher score wins, with the loser either becoming demoralized or being destroyed. However, unlike DB*, there are no quick kills and no variation in outcome moves depending on unit type.

Heavy infantry units get support from those beside them, encouraging the player to use battle lines. Interestingly, longbow units can give support to other infantry units, but not to other longbow units, forcing to player to adopt a herce-like formation of alternating "bills and bows". Cavalry doesn't give nor receive support, encouraging players to deploy it separately from the foot.

To fire missiles, you total the number of firing units and roll a d10. The target is unaffected destroyed or demoralized. Some troops, such as dismounted knights and later-medieval plate-barded horse are less vulnerable to missile-fire than other units.

So, how is the new second edition different from the first?

Most of the basic game mechanics remain the same with perhaps the most radical change to the basic system being new combat factors for many unit types. Many units now have higher combat factors than before; while this may reduce the luck factor in combat, it also makes it tougher on those lower in the food chain, and all but ensures units like longbows will get thumped in combat.

Unit types have also been expanded. Longbows can, for example, take to the field as Longbows, Professional Longbows, English Expeditionary Force Longbows, or mixed in with a men-at-arms unit as a unit bowfire upgrade.

Optional rules cover such topics as Swiss pike blocks, later medieval artillery and Hussite War Wagons. There is also a new system for generating armies based on the types of units each character can bring as part of his retinue.

Minor irritants remain from the first edition. Foot knights cause panic just as do mounted cavalry, and crossbows are classified as infantry rather than as missile troops. The rather odd panic rules have been somewhat improved but still feel to me like a patched version of the original system when something different was really needed.

The physical quality of the rules is much improved with photos and easy-to-read lettering. The game is only available as a printable PDF file, which has become my medium of choice.

And the verdict?

Just as with the first edition, I find the game system still works surprisingly well. Characters are all-important, and must be in position to reorganize troops after combat, or to react to unexpected threats. Leaderless units become easy prey to the enemy.

However, I find I still prefer the first edition. DOK2 is a more finished product, which leaves less room for the scenario-specific tinkering I love to do. And while there is nothing intrinsically wrong with all the new chrome that has been added, I prefer to add my own chrome to the more basic system found in the first set. But those who prefer a more finished product may well find the new version to their liking.

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