I played a quick play-test of Chainmail Reforged. I setup a simple game of 4 units each. The red team had 3 units of armored foot and a unit of crossbowmen. The black team had a unit of Armored horse, a unit of billmen, a unit of longbowmen and a unit of peasants. I set them up across the board from one another and placed some terrain including a river. Changes from the classic game published by TSR Inc:
- Missile fire has been changed to be less deterministic. Instead of rolling 1 die and consult a chart, you roll 1 die per eligable shooter and score a kill based on armor. 4+ vs unarmored, 5+ vs half armored and 6+ vs fully armored. Casualties are halved from long range, cover and so forth.
- Post melee morale is based on a ratio and has been simplified. When a round of melee is over, each side determines how many figures are left in the unit. They add to it the morale factor of that unit (Armored horse add 9 for instance) and then the result is multiplied by the result of a D6. The two numbers are compared to a table 3:2 results in a push-back and the melee continues if the winner had enough move to follow up. 2-1 results in a retreat, 3-1 results in falling back and so forth.
- Other minor tweaks and clarifications.
The game played pretty well. It was quick and bloody as I remembered it. Rolling many dice for shooting is a good idea as it allows for more variation in results than in the classic version. The post melee morale worked pretty well too. Twice, black scored significantly higher casualties in melee than red and twice they rolled a 1 while red rolled something higher. The retreating footmen in the center was a result of one of those. I did make one mistake. the cavalry walked into the second melee so the armored foot was not obliged to make a “charged by cavalry charge” morale check.
I used my VASSAL module for Ancient and Medieval Wargaming. The units are rigid so I could not do any formation changes. I originally liked make maneuvering more fiddly but I am kind of happy with the simplified facing change for maneuvering which costs half of a move.