Thursday, March 7, 2013

Updated Ancient Rules - Charlie Sweet

    My late December post about Charlie and Dave Sweet's Ancient rules drew a lot of interest. In turn, Bob Cordery's post about these lead to Dick Bryant contacting him and finding an article in his files from the original NEWA Courier from ? the late 1960's which contained these rules, including the army lists for their special Ancient Armies. This can be downloaded directly from Bob's site. As a result I decided to place an updated version here; this uses the information from the old Courioer article, but reorganizes and paraphrases it somewhat, as well as adding a (Mauryan) Indian army to the Special Ancient Armies list. I also changed the Elephant Charge rule so that a low score is good, light everything else in the Sweet/Gerad de Gre rules; I hate it when rules sets have some situations where high rolls are good and others where they are bad!  So here goes:

Rules for an Ancient Wargame

 originally by Gerard de Gre, as modified by Charles and David Sweet

The wargames table uses a gridded board (marked off in squares - approximately 3" for 10-15mm figures, 4" for 20mm, 5" for 25mm, or whatever seems suitable)), and suitable, functional terrain set out upon it.  The two sides alternate, with the side having the first Move of the game being determined by a D6 roll off.

TURN SEQUENCE

1) Both sides  shoot with catapults (simultaneous).
2) Both side shoot with other missile armed troops (simultaneous).
3) Attacker moves and declares Melee supports
4) Defender declares Melee supports
5) All Melees are resolved
6) Next turn begins, with the Defender becoming the Attacker and vice versa.



UNIT
TYPE
Move
squares
Melee
Value
Firing
Range
Support
Type
Points
Stands
Light Infantry
3
0.5
3
B
3
3
Roman Velites
3
1
2
B
3
3
Macedonian Peltasts
3
0.75
2
B
3
3
Heavy Infantry
2
1
-
A
3
4
Roman Legionary
2
1.5
1.5
A
4
4
Macedon Phalanx
2
1.5/1#
-
A
3
4
Mac. Hypaspists
3
1
-
A
4
4
Assyrian Heavy Archers
2
1
3
A
4
3
Indian Med Archers
2
1
3@
A
4
4
Light Cavalry
5
0.5
2.5
B
5
3
Numidian LC
6
0.75
3
B
6
3
Heavy Cavalry
4
1
-
A
5
4
Mac Companions
4
1.5
-
A
6
4
Ass Hvy Mtd Arch
4
1
3
B
6
3
Chariots
4
2/3*
-
A
10
1
Egypt/Ass Lt Ch
5
2/3*
3
B
9
2
Assyrian Hvy Ch.
4
3
3
A
12
1
Elephants
4
2/4*
-
A
10
1
Carthagenian or Indian Elephants
4
2/4*
3
A
10
1
Light Catapults
3
-
4
-
6
1
Horse Crew
3
1
-
D
3
1
Heavy Catapults
2
-
6
-
8
1
Foot Crew
2
0.5
-
D
2
2
Commanders
2
2
-
C
10
1
SubCommander
3
1.5
-
C
5
1


* second, higher number is used when the unit charges into the contact square.
# Phalangites count 1.5 points in melee while there are three or four stands remaining in a unit, 1 point if only two or one stand remaining.
@ Indian Medium Archers count as Light Infantry as a target only

MOVEMENT
1) Moves (except retreats) and shooting on the diagonal counts as 1.5 squares. Add one square to the unit's move if the movement starts ends, and travels entirely along a road.
2) Only one unit may occupy a square at a time, except that Commanders and/or Catapults may share a square with any friendly unit (or not), and may attach and detach freely. Limit one Commander or Sub-Commander and/or 1 Catapult and up to six crew per square.
3) No units can separate or reform except Light Infantry, Light Cavalry, Catapults and Commanders.
4) Enemy units may not be moved through; the space between two diagonally adjacent enemy units also may not be moved through.
5) A catapult must have at least one stand in its square to move; anyone can move a catapult, the rate being the slower of the two.
6) All units must face a side or a corner of the square they are in at all times. All troops may change face at any time during their move without penalty, and to indicate supports in a melee, and after a melee is fought. Support type "A" troops (generally Heavy Infantry, Heavy Cavalry, Chariots and Elephants) may only face the sides of a square.

CATAPULT FIRE
1) In order to fire, a Catapult must have at least one stand of crew, Infantry, or a commander to man it. Any stand manning a catapult cannot otherwise fire or support melee in that turn, although they may fight at full value if attacked.
2) The target must be within +/- 45 degrees of the catapults facing to be valid. Overhead fire is allowed. It is entirely possible to hit one's own troops accidentally!
3) The target must be within range of the catapult; ranges are measured counting the target's square but not that of the shooter.
4) Each Catapult gets one shot per turn. An actual shooting catapult device is placed behind the catapult model relative to the target. A clay projectile with the center marked is shot. Any ONE valid target stand (front axle for chariots and catapults, either front leg for Elephants) within 1" of the center of the shell is hit and removed from play; if there is more than one eligible target, the shooter gets his choice. If the target is in a Protected Square, the center of the shell must also be within the target square in order to kill a stand.

MISSILE FIRE
1) Fire is by units. The target must be within range and +/- 45 degrees of the shooting unit's facing in order to be valid.
2) Any units in the way at any distance screen and prevent fire by either side at the screened units.
3) Normally one die (D6) is rolled per stand;  1 die per unit firing is subtracted for firing into a Protected square (such as a woods or building), while one die is added for each unit after the first shooting at the same target. Unlike all other troops, Heavy Chariots get two shots per stand.
4) Assyrian Heavy Archers, due to their large cane shields, always count as being in a protected square for shooting only.
5) To shoot, use the appropriate number of dice and consult the table below:




Target Type
1 square
1.5 - 2 squares
Over 2
Lt Infantry, Foot crews
1, 2, or 3
1 or 2
1
Hvy Inf., Lt Cav. Horse crew
1 or 2
1
Double 1
Heavy Cavalry
1
Double 1’s
Triple 1
Chariots, ElephantsDouble 1 or Double 2Triple 1’’s or
Triple 2’s
Triple 1
Commanders
Double 1’s
Triple 1’s
Impossible


6) The target square must be designated; if more than one target type can be hit, the shooter gets his choice.

CHARGING AND MELEE
1)  After Movement, if you move any your troops into the same square(s) as an opposing unit, a Melee must be fought. The troops in the contact square are automatically be involved, and other adjacent troops of both sides may also be involved as "Supports".  Supporting a Melee is always optional.
2) Supports are indicated by facing the unit into the contact square, but note the restrictions below. The attacker indicates and faces their supporting units first, then the defender. No unit may fight in more than one melee per turn. Commanders may be placed in the same square as another unit and still participate in melee.
3) Type A units (heavy troops, chariots, elephants) may only support Melee directly to their front, or to either side (never diagonally).
    Type B units (light troops) may support in any direction except directly to their rear.
    Type C units (commanders) may support in any direction, including to their rear if alone in a square, otherwise as the unit they are with..
    Type D units (catapult crews) may not support melees at all.
4) Cavalry, Chariots, and Elephants may not support Infantry or Catapult crews in melee unless they are directly to the side.
5) Chariots and Elephants are usually worth 2 points, but if they charge into the contact square, the second, higher point value is used.
6) Elephants must roll a die before movement to see if they will charge (if desired); on a roll of 5 or 6, the Elephant remains stationary, otherwise it may charge.
7) Cavalry cannot charge into a square containing 4 stands of Legionaries or Phalangites.
8) If the contact square is a Protected square, the attackers are worth one point less than usual.

MELEE PROCEDURE
Each side totals up the points they have in the contact square or in support. Each player has a set of six Melee Deployment Indicators (MDI); the Sweets used old Dominos, with the "spot" side filled and painted over, and labeled LINE, COLUMN, SQUARE, FLANKING, PINCERS, and WITHDRAWAL. Each side selected an MDI secretly, and placed it face down ion the table. They were then revealed simultaneously, and the choices compared according to the following table:


DeploymentSuperior toSuperior to
LineColumnSquare
ColumnFlankingPincers
SquarePincersColumn
PincersFlankingLine
FlankingLineSquare
Withdrawal*Line (Succeeds)Square (Succeeds)


In the case of EQUAL deployments, Withdrawal succeeds for both, otherwise, each side loses stands equal to half the points of the weaker side. The weaker side then retreats 2 squares (counting moves on the diagonal as 1 square for retreats only). If both sides are equal, both withdraw 2 squares. However, if after losses are deducted, the stronger side is three times stronger (or more) than the losing side, then the weaker side is completely *destroyed* instead!

In the case of UNEQUAL deployments, a successful Withdrawal results in that side retreating 2 squares as above with neither side taking any losses; if it does not succeed then it is treated as an Inferior deployment.  The side with the Superior Deployment inflicts 1 point of losses upon the enemy for it's first point, and then points equal to half of the remainder of its strength. The side with the Inferior Deployment inflicts losses equal to half of its own losses upon the Superior side. The side then having the fewest points remaining retreats 2 squares as above; If equal, the side with the Inferior Deployment must retreat. However, if the weaker side is outnumbered 3:1 or more in points, it is instead *destroyed* as above!

The first stand eliminated is always in the contact square, there after they are spread as evenly as possible, moving clockwise. If the exact total of losses cannot be made, flip a coin or roll a die to determine if the extra results in an additional stand loss pr is ignored.

Any unit that cannot retreat from melee due to impassable terrain and/or enemy troops is destroyed instead. Catapults retreat if there is at least one surviving  friendly stand in the square with them; if not it may be captured if their is at least one enemy stand in the square with them at the end of the melee. If neither side has stands remaining, it is not owned by either side, but may be captured by later moving a stand into the square with it. All units of both sides that survive a melee get a free change of facing.


MORALE
 1) Once a Heavy Infantry, Heavy Cavalry, or Light Cavalry unit is reduced to 1 stand, it must to retreat on each and every move towards its baseline. It may support shoot or support a Melee if otherwise eligible, but not initiate one. Special Troops (other than the standard troop types in BOLD in the table), are exempt from this requirement as are any units designated as "Guards".  I'd allow a single stand with an attached commander to carry on as usual, as long as the Commander remains attached.
2) units which retreat off the board are set aside; they do not count as losses otherwise.
3) Cavalry, Chariots, and Elephants may "run down" and eliminate a single stand of infantry or foot crew in the open without stopping.
4) Games last until one side concedes, is destroyed, or an agreed upon number of turns have been played (or a set ending time reached, after which the present move and one additional is completed) In the later cases, count up the remaining points on each side, including those which have retreated off the table; the higher total wins.

SAMPLE ARMY COMPOSITIONS 

Egyptian: 1 normal Commander, 5 units normal Heavy Infantry, 1 unit Sherdan Guard Infantry, 4 units normal Light Infantry, 1 unit normal Heavy Cavalry 3 Sub-Commanders, 4 units Light Chariots. (200 points)

Assyrian: 1 normal Commander, 1 unit Heavy Catapults, 3 units normal Heavy Infantry, 2 units Heavy Foot Archers, 1 unit normal Heavy Cavalry, 3 units Heavy Mounted Archers, 1 unit Light Chariots, 2 units Heavy Chariots. (200 points) Personally, I'd consider replacing one of the units of Heavy Horse Archers with 2 units of normal Light Infantry

Macedonian: 1 normal Commander, 1 Heavy Catapult, 1 Light Catapult, 2 units normal Light Infantry, 2 units Peltasts, 4 units Phalangites, 1 unit Hypaspists, 2 units Companions. (200 points)

Indian: 1 normal Commander, 1 Heavy Catapult, 1 Light Catapult, 2 units normal Light Infantry, 2 units normal Heavy Infantry, 3 units Medium Archers, 4 units (special) elephants, 2 units Heavy Chariots, 1 unit normal Heavy Cavalry (201 points)

Roman:  1 normal Commander, 1 Heavy Catapult, 1 Light Catapult, 2 units normal Light Infantry, 1 unit Velites, 1 unit Normal Heavy Infantry, 4 units Legionaries, 2 units normal Light Cavalry, 1 units normal Heavy Cavalry. (200 points)

Carthagenian: 1 normal Commander, 1 Heavy Catapult, 1 Light Catapult, 2 units normal Light Infantry, 4 units normal Heavy Infantry, 3 (special) Elephants, 2 units normal Heavy Cavalry, 2 units Numidian Light Cavalry. (200 points) Personally, I'd consider replacing one of the Elephant units with 2 sub-commanders.

Generic Ancient Army: 1 normal Commander, 1 Heavy Catapult, 1 Light Catapult, 3 units normal Light Infantry, 4 units normal Heavy Infantry, 1 unit Guard Infantry, 2 units normal Light Cavalry, 2 units normal Heavy Cavalry, 1 Sub-commander, 1 extra stand Horse Chariot crew. (200 points)



I have had so much fun re-discovering these rules that I plan on running a game with them at the upcoming  HAVOC convention in Shrewsbury, MA; tentatively on Saturday afternoon, April 6th. I am on a crash course to complete my Egyptian army by then, if possible!

Although I have modified them, the original article is copyright by The Courier; please feel free to use and adapt them for you personal/non-commercial use.

Carthago delenda est!

Peter

3 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I am looking forwards to running them in a month or so!

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  2. I plan to be at HAVOC and hope to see your re-creation of this game. The "paper-scissors-rock" method of resolving melees led me to winning a game against Charlie himself by forming square on a bridge with an elephant!
    See you at HAVOC.
    Dick Bryant

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