The following table is for a comparison of unit sizes in various rule sets only. Many of the rules have been reviewed on other sites and those reviews should be read for details on game play. Bow range is in millimeters except for "Command and Colors' and "To the Strongest". In some cases this has been adjusted for 40mm wide bases. The numbers under single base and unit are the number of infantry men in close order for a single 40mm wide base and for a unit 8 ranks deep. For “Hail Caesar”, Tactica, and Wargames Research Group the single base number is actually for a single figure. A “V” indicates that units can vary in size. Bow range has been used to try and determine what a unit would represent. As can be seen bow range varies from set to set, with the longer ranges usually being used for earlier rule sets. For those who want to fight larger battles the rules with bow ranges of 120mm to 180mm allow for larger armies to be fielded on an average table. Raphia which is one of the larger recorded battles would fit on a playing area about 4.5m (15 feet) with those ranges. Wider areas would be needed for the rules with longer ranges unless the battle was scaled down.
Rule Set

Bow Range

Single Base

Unit

Notes

Ancient and Medieval Warfare

240

250

1000

1

Armati

400

250

1000

2

Broadsword Ancients Scutarii

150

500 or 250

500

3

Command and Colors Ancients

2 hexes

?

?

4

DBA

120

500

500

5

De Bellis Multitudinis
(DBM)

100

250

500

6

De Belis Magistorum Militum

120

250

500

6

Field of Glory

150

250

V

7

Hail Caesar

180

50

1000

8

Impetus

300

500

500

9

L'ART DE La Guerre

160

500

500

10

Legio

200

300500

V

11

Might of Arms

200

200

V

12

Mortem Et Glorium

160

250

V

13

Sword and Spear

160

500

1000

14

Swordpoint

600

80

V

15

Tactica

250

20

V

16

To The Strongest

2 zones

17


Wargames Research Group IV edition

400

20

V

18

Warmaster Ancients

300

250

750

19

2.
The unit strength is for the recommended size. There are two other unit sizes in the rules. one with fewer bases and the other with more.
3.
A unit may have one or two bases depending on
the number of figures available. Figures
may also be mounted on larger bases for formations like phalangites and
warbands.
4.
This is actually a board game that can be played
with miniatures. Bows have a range of
two hexes and the point that firing is measured from has a bearing on unit
sizes. If the range is measured from
the center of one hex to the center of the one two hexes away then a single
base (block) could be 250 men and an infantry unit would be about 1000
men. If measured from the front edge of
the hex to the front edge of the target hex then the number of men would double to 2000.
5.
This is for the third edition. The earlier edition had a greater ground
scale and a greater number of men per unit.
While the basic rules only allow 12 units per army there are variations
that allow 24, 36 or more per army.
6.
DBM and its successor DBMM. These are the big battle versions of DBA,
allowing many more units per army and using a point system to determine the
composition. Units are actually single
bases representing troops four ranks deep, but can be placed one behind the
other for combat.
7.
FOG. At
one point this was a point this was a popular rule set for tournament
play. Units can vary in size from 2 to
12 bases and must be in even multiples except for some of the formations in the
Later Imperial Roman lists.
8.
Hail Caesar is intended for 28mm figures, but
can be played with smaller figures by replacing the inches in the rules with
centimeters. I have seen some 6mm
armies with 80mm wide units compared to the 200mm wide standard units of the
rules for 25/28mm figures. The rules actually have four
unit sizes with standard units being about 200mm wide (though this can be
less), large units, small units, and tiny units. The figure ratio of 1:50 is based on 20
figures for a standard sized unit. For this table the standard unit width is 80mm.
9.
Impetus uses larger bases than most of the other
rules. 120mm is the recommended base
size in the rules. The rules also
recommend doubling the distances for 28mm figures.
10.
Also known as ADLG or LADLG this rule set has
become what may be the most popular tournament set.
11.
Legio.
This is actually three different sets of rules. The bow ranges were taken from Legio
Macedonia and doubled for figures on 40mm bases The rules are designed specifically for 6mm
figures on 20mm wide bases. The bow
range is only about half that of other rule sets at 100 paces. Others range from 240 paces to 300 paces. Units can be up to 12 bases.
12.
These use a figure ratio of 1:50. Unit sizes can vary.
13.
Another rule set with varying numbers of bases
per unit.
14.
Units are two bases wide. The rules are intended for armies of about 15 units, but also include rules for larger armies.
15. Rules as written are for 28m figures on 40mm square bases with up to 12 bases per unit. 6 to 10 units per 1000 point game. Another option for 15/18mm might be to halve the ranges and number of bases per unit.
16.
First edition of the rules. There is a second edition in the works. Units of varying numbers of figures. Similar in scale to the earlier Wargames
Research Group rules.
17.
Uses square zones for movement. Rules recommend 150mm wide zones, but these can vary in size depending on player preferences. Again there is the question of where missile
fire is actually measured from. This is
further complicated by firing arcs which include adjacent squares and can increase the firing range by
up to 40% in actual distance measured, though not in the number of zones. The rules also allow for different zone sizes
depending on the players preference. The
author also uses large bases similar to those used for Impetus. See note 4 above for the effect on unit
sizes which would probably be the same as those listed there. The author does state that he uses two different scales where each unit would represent a cohort (500m3n) or two cohorts for larger battles. Based on a unit being equal to the frontage of a square and being considered a single base, each unit represents about 800 1000 men or for convenience 1000 men.
18.
WRG. At
one time WRG rules were almost the only rules used for tournament play. Their base sizes were adopted by almost all
other rule sets. The rules went through
seven different editions before Phil Barker went to the DBX series of rules
(see notes 5 and 6 above). The rules
were originally intended for 25mm figures on 60mm bases and the range above is
for the 40mm base for 15mm and smaller figures.
Units could have up to 50 figures.
19.
Adapted from the fantasy rules. Units are three bases wide. Certain troop types are mounted on 20mm wide
by 40mm deep instead of the 40mm wide by 20mm deep of most. Out of print, but still used.
There are a number of historical battles on this blog including Pharsalus, Hydaspes, Raphia, Asculum and Bibracte. Clicking on the Scutarii label will include them amongst all the blog posts for that label.
There are a number of historical battles on this blog including Pharsalus, Hydaspes, Raphia, Asculum and Bibracte. Clicking on the Scutarii label will include them amongst all the blog posts for that label.
8 comments:
Fascinating bit of analysis. I played WRG 6th and 7th, then DBA and then FoG. I always felt FoG was what "WRG 8th Edition" should have been like. Now I'm using Impetus and very happy with them.
Very interesting chart, Bill. Swordpoint is my favorite Ancients ruleset, so I have included below a few comments that you may find helpful for your Swordpoint entry:
In Swordpoint, basing for formed infantry is listed as 4 figures per 40mm square base. So the "number of infantry men in close order for a single 40mm wide base" would be: 20 men per figure x 4 figures = 80 men. Formed units can be 312 bases strong, so the possible range "for a unit eight ranks deep" would be 240960 men, which appears to fall within the same general range as many of the other rule sets on your list. There is no singlefigure basing in Swordpoint, so the current entry could be a little misleading. Also, a typical 1000 point army is usually going to consist of approximately 610 units.
Cheers,
Scott
Scott, thanks for providing the information about Swordpoint. I will revise the information above.
Looks good, Bill. Many thanks. I am not sure where some of your other maximum bow ranges came from, though. It looks as if you used the bow ranges given for 15mm figures for some rule sets, and 25/28mm figures for others. In order to compare apples with apples, here are the maximum missile ranges that I know for certain, all given for 25/28mm figures:
Armati = 24" = roughly 600mm
Civitates Bellantes = 5 JT = 300mm (1 JT = 60mm)  these are Simon MacDowall's rules for 15mm  25mm Ancients
De Bellis Antiquitatis 3.0 = 3 BW = 180mm (3 x 60mm bases)
De Bellis Multitudinis 3.2 = 200 paces = 160mm (50 paces = 40mm)
Field of Glory 2.0 = 6 MU = 150mm (1 MU = 25mm, the same as for 15mm figures. However, many 25/28mm players use a 40mm MU, which would give a bow range of 240mm)
Hail Caesar = 18" = roughly 450mm (recommends halving distances for 15mm figures, or using cm instead of inches)
Impetus = 30 U = 600mm (1 U = 2cm)
l'Art de la Guerre = 4 UD = 240mm (4 x 60mm bases)
Legio = 300mm (3 x 6mm range for 25/28mm)  see Civitates Bellantes above
Might of Arms = 12" = roughly 300mm
Mortem et Gloriam = 4 BW = 240mm (1 Base Width = 60mm)
Sword & Spear = 4 DU = 160mm if using 80mm bases, 240mm if using 120mm bases (1 DU = 1/2 base width)
Swordpoint = 24" = roughly 600mm (author recommends halving distances for 15mm figures, or using cm instead of inches)
Tactica = 15" = roughly 380mm
Warmaster Ancients = 300mm for 10mm figures (25/28mm players have used various width bases, including 60mm, 80mm and 120mm  missile ranges would be increased proportionately)
P.S. For Swordpoint, the number of bases in a unit is an important measure of its strength. So when playing with 15/18mm figures, it is important to keep the same number of bases per unit as given in the rulebook.
Bow ranges were taken from the rules or quick reference sheets using 15mm figure ranges were given or reduced to match a 15mm base width of 40mm as used by most of the rules. The older rule sets such as Tactica and WRG used 60mm for 25mm or 15mm per figure while the newer sets such as Hail Caesar and Swordpoint are using 20mm per figure. All (with the exception of the original listing for Swordpoint) are for 40mm wide bases. "Legio" was a recommendation for large battle rules for 15mm figures in response to a question that had been asked about rule sets for 15mm figures and large battles. The above table was done to provide a comparison of the rule sets that were recommended and/or have been used in tournament play. "Civitates" is one set that had not been mentioned.
Swordpoint is the one set that I have not purchased a copy of at this point. Since keeping the same number of bases per unit is important the range and number of bases cannot be halved unless each 40mm wide base for 15mm figures is counted as 2 bases. Their site has the QR sheet along with a lot of other useful downloads.
While Warmaster was intended for 10mm figures those who had 14mm or 6mm used the same base size. Armati includes reduced scale rulers in the back of the book that can be photo copied, while I believe it was Tactica that recommended making a reduced scale copy of a ruler for smaller scale figures.
I originally started with 20/25mm figures and WRG Ancients, then went to 15mm, and finally 6mm, trading my 15mm figures with another club member for his huge collection of 30YW, Napoleonic, ACW and ancients. I di this to reduce the amount of scenery I would have needed for multiple figure scales. Though I do still have 28mm fantasy.
Thanks for posting the information for 25/28mm figures.
You are very welcome, and thanks for your patience, Bill!
"Since keeping the same number of bases per unit is important the range and number of bases cannot be halved unless each 40mm wide base for 15mm figures is counted as 2 bases."
Agreed 100%. But there is nothing wrong with halving the distances for movement and shooting, or substituting cm for inches, while keeping the number of bases the same  is what the author of Swordpoint has suggested. In fact, substituting cm for inches would allow one to field a single 12base, 240mmwide unit (or two 6base, 120mmwide units deployed sidebyside) as representing a full Roman legion.
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