Rally Round the King

February 21, 2011

From Two Hour Wargames comes Rally Round the King, their latest massed combat game for both fantasy and historical wargames.  This is an updated version of Warrior heroes and Warrior Kings.  The scale is not given.  Each army will require 10-20 stands of troops.  The scope is similar to that of DBA with 1 element equaling 1 unit.  In games I played 1 stand was around 1000 men.

The Book

Rally Round the King (RRtK) is 96 pages long.  Don’t be put off by the book length.  The actual battle rules are less than 20 pages.  Much of the book deals with such topics as setup, campaign, army lists and magic.  It can be bought either as a PDF or as a print book (which comes with a PDF as well)   from the authors website.  The book is mostly text with some helpful diagrams as well as the usual charts and tables.  The book has plenty of sample army lists and many are labeled with a historical equivalent army for historically minded players.  There is also a unit and army design system so you can make your own favorite army.  Finally, there is simple campaign system to play out battles in context of the “big picture” of a game world.

Setup

The setup rules are quite simple and straight forward.   In the setup sequence the players choose and build there armies.  You get a set amount of units and then you roll randomly for the rest.  Each army has a number of rolls based on half there army points.  This usually (but not always) is equal to the number of units in the base army.  Once the armies are “purchased”, both players determine the scouting values.  This value will come into play when the units of each army are actually deployed.  Then both players roll to see who is the attacker.

At this point, the defender will randomly place terrain.  The 3’X3′ battlefield is divided into 9 sectors 3X3.  The defender rolls 1 die per sector and consults the terrain placement table and places the appropriate terrain.  The attacker has the right to refuse the terrain placement.  He may do this 2 times and must live with the third placement should it come down to the third roll.  The defender chooses which table edge he will defend and the attacker will take the opposite edge.  Once this is determined, units are deployed.

The player who has the lower scouting value must place the first three units.  If this number is half that of the winner, he must place 6 at a time.  If this number is one third of the winner, he must place 9 at a time.  The player with the higher scouting total places 3 units at a time.  There is a 12″ “no man’s land” in the middle where nobody deploys.  You also may not deploy within 6″ of the side edge of the board or 3″ of the rear edge.

Units in RRtK are broadly divided into mounted and foot units.  They are further categorized as melee, skirmish, missile or dual armed.  Dual armed perform like melee troops but also have a short ranged missile attack.  There are certain abilities that can make troops even better.  Terror, for instance, can cause fear in nearby enemies making it more difficult for those units to pass reaction tests.  Other abilities such as pikes or combo-weapons can add 1 or more points to the melee die roll.  Each unit has 2 numeric values associated with it.  They are REP and AC.  REP is the over all quality of the unit.  It governs the units ability to stay on the battlefield.  The higher the REP (3-6), the better.  AC is a rating of the relative armor protection of a unit.  The higher the AC (2,4,6,8) the better the armor.

In the standard game, the objective is to drive the enemy from the field.  There are no artificial army morale rules in the game.  The battle is over when one army is completely eliminated or when one side decides to withdraw.

Leaders are an important part of the game.  A unit with a leader attached gains +2 to the rep of any unit they are attached to.  They also give +1 to the REP of any unit adjacent to the leader unit.  Finally, the leader has a war rating (2-4).  This is a measure of how many units or groups a leader may activate per turn.

Main Rules

RRtK does not have a detailed or structured turn sequence.  The attacker starts by nominating one of his units or groups to activate.  He must spend a war rating point to do this.  Once activated, that unit or group must keep moving at least at half speed until it is halted.  During the move, circumstances may cause the enemy to make a reaction test and then react to the attackers move.  This reaction could be for the defender to charge, shoot or run away.   The attacker’s group may then be forced to react to the enemy which might be to return fire, continue charging, halt or run away.  Once all actions and reactions for that unit/group has been completed the attacker activates his next unit or group and the process is repeated.  Once the attacker is done moving, the defender becomes the active player and activates units in the same manner.  Play shifts back and forth until someone wins the game.

Activation and Movement

Players spend war points to activate units.  Each player will usually have 2-4 war points per turn to activate with.  Once units and groups start moving, you don’t have to activate them until they halt.

Both units and groups must move straight ahead.  There are rules for turning.  Groups may wheel up to 45 degrees but this wheel must not exceed the speed of the slowest unit in the group.  Units may wheel up to 90 degrees.  It costs all movement for infantry to wheel and half movement for cavalry to wheel, after which they may continue moving straight ahead.

Groups are a collection of units that share a base edge in contact and are facing the same direction.  Groups may be assembled and broken up at a whim as the group or unit is activated.

Movement can sometimes be involuntary.  This may be the result of a reaction test where a unit will give ground, retire, or spontaneously charge.

A group may also be reformed if it has been jumbled as a result of a melee.  Basically the center of the group remains in position and others form up around that center unit.  This costs all movement.

Reactions

The heart of any Two Hour Wargames  game system is the reaction check.  RRtK is no different in this respect.  There are various reaction tests for being threatened by a melee unit, being shot at, being charged or for charging.  There is also a test for when the general gets killed.  To make a reaction test, two dice are rolled and each die result is compared to the units current REP value.  The results will be to pass both, pass one or pass none.  If you pass both, you will remain in good shape.  If you pass only one,  usually only some mildly bad stuff will happen to you.  If you pass none, affected units will tend to run away.  Note that when you make a reaction test, you roll only once for each unit or group.  Some units in a group will have different REP values so they may react differently from the rest of the group.  This can often have the undesired effect of the group fragmenting.  When a unit is forced to give ground or retire, it also loses another point of REP.   Also, different types of units will react differently.  Cavalry and frenzied infantry will charge even though they failed a reaction on one die.  Other will stand on the same result. 

Shooting

After a unit moves, it may shoot at an eligible enemy target.  This target may be a unit or a group.  1 or 2 dice are rolled for each shooting unit depending on type.  The die roll and modifiers are totaled.  If the total exceeds the targets AC, 1 hit is registered.  In the case of a group firing, total all dice and apply hits to the target unit within range.  If the target is a group, then the hits are divided among the units one at a time until all units are hit or all hits are accounted for.  For groups with multiple ACs, the lowest AC units are hit first.  For example, two skirmish units fire at a group with an AC 2 unit and an AC4 unit.  The die total is 7 so, starting with the AC 2 unit, a hit is scored as 7 is greater than 2.  That leaves 4 pips left.  This is compared to AC 4 which is not enough to score a hit on the second unit.  If the skirmishers fire again, the AC 4 unit becomes the first target.  Regardless of the amount rolled, a missile attack cannot score more than 1 hit per unit shooting.

Melee

Melee combat works in a similar fashion to shooting.  The only difference is that units must be in base contact.  The rules have groups and units line up exactly base to base and corner to corner.   This is sometimes not desirable if you have fewer units.  In melee, each unit rolls a die and adds modifiers for special abilities and battlefield situations.  Compare the result to the enemy AC.  If it is 1 point higher, a hit is scored.  For each multiple higher, another hit is scored.  So for instance a unit fighting an AC 2 enemy unit, could score multiple hits if the total of the melee die was 6 or more. Groups fight groups in the same fashion as groups of archers firing at enemy group targets.

Melee has to be initiated by a charge test.  Both sides passing the test will result in the melee.  It is possible for most units to route if they fail both dice on a receiving a charge test.  There is no melee benefit to a flank attack.  In stead, the unit being charged must pass the reaction test on both dice or route.  If they do pass, the melee is fought as normal.  The defending unit is assumed to have refused the flank.

End Game

As mentioned before, the game does not end until the enemy has been driven from the field or one player gives up.  Casualties in the game do not represent just actual loss of life but also the loss of the army’s will to fight.  There is a post game resolution phase that will determine what happened to the units that routed.  Some units will reform and return to the army pool and others will simply be lost.  This is important if you are playing the campaign system in RRtK but can be skipped if you are just having a battle with a friend.

Fantasy Elements

I am primarily concerned with the historical aspects of RRtK.  However, others will, undoubtedly be interested in the fantasy aspects of the game.  Suffice it to say, there are rules for wizards and heroes in RRtK.  Fantasy creatures can be created using the unit building rules so the limit is only what your imagination can come up with.  There is also a fantasy setting to run a campaign with the rules set.  I will not go into detail here but will mention that wizards do have plenty of spells to choose from to cast in game.  They include, attack defense and summoning spells.  I don’t think fantasy enthusiasts will be disappointed.

Under the Hood

I found the game mechanics of RRtK to be extremely easy to grasp and I found the game to be very enjoyable, especially as a solo game.  Part of the reason it is well suited for solo play is the reaction system.  When a reaction test is made, the troops make the move it says.  No questions asked.  So, when the units get stuck in, the local commanders take over and tend to ignore your commands.

One peculiarity I found was with the shooting system.  For the most part, each unit in the game gets 1D6 to attack with.  This seems to be true for all melee units and for skirmish units.  However, for other missile units, you get to roll two dice per unit and add either 1 or 2 to the die roll depending on how many figures are on the unit firing.  This can be quite powerful and most of the time will result in maximum damage to the target.  For instance, an AC2 unit will always be hit as you can’t roll less than 3 on2D6+1.  Similarly, an AC4 unit will be hit 5 in 6 times and with 2D6+1 and 35 in 36 times with 2D6+2.  With group shooting, it’s even  worse.  There are conditions for overkill as you cannot score more than 1 hit per unit.  This will tend to balance out the occasional miss.  I did not play the rules as written in this respect as I already knew the outcome.  For my Marathon game, I simply rolled 1 die per unit and added 1 for 3 figure units and 2 for 4 figure units.  The first couple of games were still disasters for the Greeks who had 4 REP and 4 AC.  While the Persians had only 2AC the front line were 4REP and were dual armed.  They stuck around too long and the Greeks just wore out.  I reduced all but 1 Persian unit to REP 3 and the game went much better.  I will say though, if the Greeks don’t pass the charge test with 2 dice, they will stand there and get shot at.  Give them a Mulligan and let them charge or they won’t win. 🙂  Ultimately, I think the missile system should be toned down for historical battles.  I think a better representation should be D6-1 for skirmishers, D6 for 3 figure archers and D6+1 for 4 figure archers.  I have not tried the change yet but I suspect that will give a really good balance for most battles.

Another oddity was that some units would simply get in the way.  After prolonged combat, you will have units with low REP but are getting modifiers for being supported by friends to the flank and rear.  They are often useless as you can’t charge with them and they block other  friends.  You can voluntarily route them which tends to diminish your strength.  They would still be useful in a support roll.  In my re-fight of Zama, I used the reform action to reform groups by switching the front with the rear ranks.  Most ancient armies were capable of passing ranks in some capacity and not otherwise allowing a move after this maneuver is a good enough penalty for performing the reform action.  Of course, you also can’t be in melee contact to do this.

Scoring hits on multiple units in a group can be a little confusing at first.  If all of the ACs are the same then you can simply divide the hit total by 1+AC and drop fractions.  Example: I roll a 11 on 3 dice.  The units in the target group are all AC2 so I would divide by 3 for a total of 3 hits.  For different units you are simply deducting 1+AC ignoring any result that would be less than zero.  Lets change the example to 2 units with AC2 and 1 unit with AC4.  Now we rolled a 9.  So, the first unit is an AC2, so we deduct 3 with 6 left over.  The next unit is an AC2 so we deduct 3 more with 3 left over.  The last unit is AC4 so we would deduct 5.  That would bring the total down to -2 so that last hit does not count.

So how did the rules perform?  In Marathon, I got cute and tried to do deep Persian ranks.  I allowed the rear ranks to shoot but at -1.  This did not go well for the Greeks…at all.  I then made the formation more sensible with just 1 rank of archers behind 1 rank of sparabara still allowing the overhead shooting.  Still not great.  Then I used the same formation but did the line of shooting as per the rules.  Worked better.  The Greeks got in and even routed the Persian line.  At this point, there were 2 Persian cavalry, 1 light and 1 heavy, attacking the flanks.  I was going to call it a Greek victory but decided to see how the Greek army would hold up against a charge by Datis and his heavy cavalry.  The results were bad.  3 Greek units routed in succession from the flank attack and another after failing a melee test.  To make matters worse, the Persian light cavalry was picking away at the only fresh Greek hoplite unit.  ultimately, the Persians snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

Zama went considerably better and gave a historical result.  The skirmishers did well to defeat 3 of the 4 elephants, first by driving them back and then routing them into the oncoming Punic lines.  The 4th managed to slip through and menace a hastati unit.  Scipio directed the fighting himself, ordering some Triari into the flank of the Elephant and destroying it.  At this point, the mercenaries started their attack, sometimes giving as good as they got.  A combination of the missile fire from the Roman side and the shock of the better Roman troops help drive the mercenary line off.  The Citizens were up next.  They did little damage against the better armed and armored Roman infantry.  On the flanks, Massinissa was almost killed as the Carthaginian Numidian allies really did some damage.  Massinissa decided to charge and fail the charge test.  As his cavalry were all skirmishers, the result caused them to quit the field (defected I suppose).  The Roman and Punic cavalry mixed it up on the other flank.  The battle went back and forth for 2 turns but the Roman cavalry prevailed with the help of some supporting velites.  It finally came down to the Carthaginian veterans supported by 1 slinger unit.  The slinger was driven off the field and Massinissa and company harassed the Carthaginian left.  The Roman line charged and a bitter melee ensued.  First, the Roman line started to buckle and a unit even routed.  It looked like Carthage might just pull this one out when they rolled a 6,6 for their post melee reaction test!  More units routed but some stood firm. Hannibal’s unit finally routed and the other two followed suit in reaction to seeing his unit leave the field.

Conclusion

Rally Round the King is a solid game.  This is another game which is more workman like and less high polish though there is some old school art from Andrea Sfiligoi of Ganesha Games.  The system is easy to play and requires only a moderate amount of figures.  The game is well suited for replaying ancient and medieval battles though some modification will be needed.  I will say that it did not do a very adequate job of Marathon as I could not adjust the rules to replicate the Persian formation (yet).   Other pitched battles will probably work just fine.  People who like there games on the simple side will like this game.  Those who are interested in solo games will love this game.

Rally Round the King from Two Hour Wargames by David Gray and Ed Teixeira

Support Site To get answers to all your game questions.  There is an extensive files section with plenty of THW support material. 

Troll Roller The statistical engine I use to calculate anything I can’t do by hand.



Shaun Travers has an excellent blog reviewing many ancient wargame titles including a refight of RRtK and a review of the predicessor Warrior Kings.

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Sneak Peek at VASSAL Miniatures Game

February 17, 2011

Just a couple of screen shots of games in progress.  The first game is a game of AD6 in progress. 

The second is a historical scenario “Civitate” being played out with an un-named set of rules.

Click on the images to get a larger view. 

I’ve been using VASSAL heavily to run test games for my reviews and will continue to use it to test out rules changes for AD6.  I will also use it to resolve combats if I ever start a solo campaign.


In Death Ground

February 2, 2011

In Death Ground (IDG) is a rules set covering ancient warfare from 2500BC-1300AD roughly the pre-gunpowder era.  The game is a semi-element based game not different in scope from Field of Glory.   Game scales are not set.  Units are notional.  In games I played, a 4 stand unit was anywhere from 2000-4000 men set by me.  Ground and time scale are not given.

 

The Book

The book is a saddle stitched A4 booklet with a color cover and black and white interiors.  It is 38 pages long and is broadly organized by setup, main rules and army lists.

Setup

The setup section tells you all about equipment needed, organizing armies,  setting out terrain and choosing a scenario.  Each is covered in its own chapter. 

Normally you will need miniatures based on stands or elements.  Each element has 1 or more figures on it representing various troops of antiquity.  The nominal base frontage is 6cm as the rules were really designed with 28mm figures in mind.  That said, I used a 40mm base frontage and 15mm figures and the game worked fine.  As well as figures, some terrain and a game board are useful.  My games were played on a 4’X3′ board though with larger armies 6X4 or larger might be more appropriate.  The game also uses D6 dice for movement and morale checks but D10s for combat.

Troop types are divided broadly into two categories.  These categories are infantry and mounted.  Each category is further subdivided into troops by function.  For instance, heavy infantry are called warriors.  These warriors can be generic, swordsmen, pikemen or bowmen.  Cavalry can be light cavalry, heavy cavalry or cataphracts.  Troops have a grade that can affect morale and combat.   Units are collections of 2-12 elements, usually of the same type and grade. 

The rules for setting out terrain is straight forward.  The defender sets out up to 8 pieces of terrain based on guidelines determined by the type of terrain of the homeland.  The attacker can make up to 4 modifications of the terrain which can include moving a piece, turning a piece or simply removing it from the table. 

There are no generic set victory conditions in IDG.  In stead, a battle type is randomly rolled for.  These battle types are ambush, pitched battle, raid and siege.  All of these types have their own set victory conditions.  The pitched battle is the most interesting in that you can pay points to get a stratagem that could alter the fighting ability of your army or negatively impact the enemy’s army.  Otherwise, the victory condition for the pitched battle is simply to drive the enemy from the field.   To support the various scenario types there are optional rules for weather, baggage, ambushes and late arrivals.

Main Rules

The game is played in an interactive IGO-UGO fashion.  That is, both players will each get to act during a specific phase before moving on to the next phase.  The sequence of play is followed throughout the game.

  1. Rally – Both players rally troops.
  2. Late arrivals – Both players determine if late arrivals are available.  Skipped if neither side has off board troops.
  3. Both sides make retirement moves required by last turns combat outcomes.
  4. Side 1 picks a unit to move followed by side 2.  Repeat until all moves are completed.
  5. Resolve shooting.
  6. Resolve melee
  7. Morale tests.
  8. Check victory

Rallying is done by all troops on both sides.  Each unit gets a certain number of dice (usually 2) to rally with.  For each 5 or better rolled, 1 disorder point (DP) is removed.  This may result in the unit standing firm in combat.  High DP totals can result in a unit giving ground or even routing off the board.

Late arrivals is scenario specific.  Generally you will dice for late arrivals to see if your off-board troops arrive on the battlefield.  I did not use late arrivals in any of my games.  A simple check with a D6 determines if a unit appears anywhere within the owning player’s half of the board.

Retirement moves are done next.  If a unit is required to retire, it will either be to give ground 3″ or make a retreat back 1 full move.   Units that retreat into friends will alter course to move around them.  If the path of retreat is blocked, the unit is stopped and takes a further DP damage instead.

Movement is done in an alternating fashion.  Each player alternates moving units until all units are moved or both players decide they are done moving.  Movement allowance is random.  Each unit can move a random number of inches based on unit type.  Infantry will move around 2D6 inches per move while cavalry can move 3D6 or more inches per turn.  There are no rules for turning in the game.  Rather, the unit can move in any direction desired and be turned in any direction so long as the move is measured from the farthest edge to the point of destination.  Also, if a unit wishes to move in any direction other than straight ahead, it must reduce its dice total by 2″.  The only other stipulation is that stands, while they don’t have to be in strict formation, need to remain within 1″ of another unit in the formation and be in some sort of continuous line.

Shooting is done by stand.  Each stand gets to roll 1D10, modified by target type, troop grade and terrain.  A 7+ will cause a DP and a 10+ will destroy a stand.  A lucky die roll can chop up a unit pretty good though warrior units general will not lose stands to missile fire, only DPs. 

Close combat is done by opposed D10 rolls modified by situation and armor.  Only stands that are  touching can fight in close combat.  There are situations where other stands can provide flank and rear support.  As well, there is a negative modifier to a unit if an enemy is attacking the flank.   The difference the winner wins by determines the severity of damage to the loser.  Results can be 1 or more DPs and a lost stand.  Note that each stand in contact with the enemy can participate in combat.  The more stands that fight, the more damage the enemy (or you!) can take.   No stand may ever be attacked more than once.  In the case of multiple stands in a fight, 1 stand is the primary attacker and the other is a support stand.

There are two types of damage in IDG, DPs and lost stands.  A unit accumulates DPs as it fights.  As this total increases, the units fighting ability decreases.  When a unit reaches 3 DPs it cannot advance toward the enemy.  When it reaches 4, it must give ground.  When it gets over 5, the unit retreats a move.  When it the total is 7 or more, the unit routes.  Lost stands, have two effects.  First, they diminish the fighting power of a unit.  Second, they cause a morale check for each lost stand in the unit.  Morale checks, regardless of the cause, are done during the morale step.  1 die is rolled for each affected unit.  The target number is based on the troop grade.  A failed check results in that unit gaining  2 DPs.  This can affect how the unit performs in the next turn.

Generals are an important part of the game.  There are no command and control rules per se.  Instead, each general has certain abilities based on the army type.  The army types are tribal, organized, disciplined and heroic.  Each type grants generals various abilites and each one builds on the last.  The general of a tribal army for instance is the basic general in the game.  He costs no extra points, must be attached to a unit, gains +1 for that unit or any unit within 2″ of the general’s stand and can influence the ability to rally for 1 unit.  The general of an organized army can be an independent stand or be part of a unit.  The other types of generals gain even more abilities. 

Army Lists

There are 12 army lists provided in the book and the publisher has promised more free lists posted on the web.  The lists in the book are Classical Greek, Achaemenid Persians, Carthaginian, Republican Roman, Early German, Imperial Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Seljuk, Crusader,Mongol and Sung Chinese. 

As of this review, the first set of lists have already been published for the Golden Horde

Under the Hood

The game mechanics are rather straight forward and there really isn’t anything new or fancy.  The dice rolled are usually D6 for all things other than combat.  Most tasks are target numbers while combat demands higher numbers to give better results.  Even the close combat system is linear and it is simply a large margins of victory in each combat that damages the enemy.   With that said, my observations this time around are qualitative and not quantitative. 

First, when moving units, I felt they could really move about the board.  In the battles I fought, there were times when I felt the units were a little too maneuverable.  This is probably because of the smaller sized stand and battlefield than was intended.  I would suggest deduction 1 from the movement dice roll total when using smaller units and a smaller board.  The infantry unit sizes I used were 4-6 stands for infantry and 2-3 stands for cavalry. 

The book is pretty well organized and easy enough to read.  There are no pictures or diagrams but I did not find that there were any real problems understanding the rules.  However, if you are like me, you probably gloss over the introduction of each rule section.  I strongly recommend you read everything.  The introductions do not just give overviews but impart some important points.  I ended up answering 3 or 4 questions by simply going back and re-reading the introductions and any part I felt I glossed over. 

Generals were particularly difficult to understand.  This is not because they are especially complex.  Rather my difficulty was in the fact that the rules for generals were spread throughout the book and it was hard for me to assimilate what each general could do.  The Setup section goes over generals and there abilities but not how they pertain to the rules.  However, there are references to the sections where the various rules are.  I highly recommend taking time to follow those references and learning the abilities as you read about generals and not waiting until later. 

There is no dedicated forum for IDG.  I had a couple of questions and e-mailed North Star directly who in turn had to contact the author.  It was cumbersome but I did get my answers within a couple of days.

I played 3 games of IDG before writing this review.  The first game was a simple Macedonian vs Rome battle.  The Romans started off  getting pushed around on some parts of the battlefield but eventually settled in and routed the phalanx driven Macedonian army by winning on the flanks.

The second battle was Marathon.  Normally, only 2 ranks of troops may shoot.  I allowed for a mixed unit for the Persians that had 1 rank of Sparabara and 2 ranks of archers that could shoot.  They outnumbered the Athenians about 3-2.  The battle started with the Persians standing fast and delivering several volleys of arrows but causing very little damage to the armored hoplites.  The thin hoplite center was starting to get driven back but the Persian left collapsed and the line rolled up.  Oddly, the Persian right held fast for the whole battle.

The final battle was Zama.  It consisted of a line of high quality Roman troops and their Numidian allies vs a numerically superior Carthaginian army featuring a high quality line of their own.  The battle started with the advance of the elephants and mercenary line followed by the citizens.  Hannibal stayed back out of danger.  Three of the Elephants were dispatched by javelin fire by turn 2 but the 4th managed to make contact with one of the Roman heavy infantry.  Scipio stayed near and influenced the combat allowing time for the Elephant to be flanked and destroyed before it could cause much damage.  The battle turned into a slow grind but it took a while for the Roman and Numidian cavalry to defeat their counterparts.  I advanced the Carthaginian veterans early which turned out to be a mistake.  As they got close, they were subject to multiple morale checks because it was at that point that the first two lines started to crack.  Even with the higher morale, you eventually will fail a morale check or two.  In this case, one Veteran unit started the fight with 4 DPs and was quickly put to flight.  The other two fought valiantly and I called the fight when they and Hannibal’s stand were the only Carthaginian units on the battlefield.  The game felt like it could play out a credible version of Zama. 

Conclusion

In Death Ground is not a high polish game with pretty pictures that we are used to seeing.  Rather it is a fun set of rules that is designed and packaged in the old style back in the day when a fun game was a fun game.  The game is easy to play and a larger game can still be finished up in about 2 and a half hours.  I highly recommend this game to anyone who really just wants a simple game that gives good historical results but does not want a lot of fiddly rules that slow things down.   The game was designed to give a no nonsense game of ancient and medieval warfare and the this rules set delivers.

In Death Ground by Chris Peers

Available at North Star Military Figures