Monday, March 20, 2017

Rule Sets Game Scales

There ae literally hundreds of rule sets for ancients and these are only a few of them.   They cover those rules that have been used for tournament play and some of the others that have been popular.  There are others that have been popular, but are no longer available.   while I have quite a  few others in my library, many of those are out of print and almost impossible to find.   The following is only intended as a rough guide to what is available or might be found.

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
300-500
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

 Notes:
      1.        Except for Elephants, Artillery, and Chariots all units are four bases

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.   Again there is the question of where missile fire is actually measured from.   This is further complicated by 45 degree firing arcs which 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.

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.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

South Bay Game Club meeting March 11, 2017

Participated in a Napoleonic naval game at the South Bay Game Club yesterday.   In addition to the naval game there were several others.   The French and Spanish ships were trying to leave a port and join the rest of the fleet at sea.   The British squadrons were attempting to prevent this.   Bob Bergman ran the game and went with a humorous them.  I was Admiral Rowan Atkinson commanding HMS Black Adder with HMS Baldric and HMS Bean in my squadron.  Unfortunately I do not recall the names of the other three British ships in Chip's squadron or those of the French and Spanish.   The French ships were named for New Orleans Mardi Gras and the Spanish translated to cowboy names.   The game lasted about four hours and finally ended when one of my ships fired its initial port broadside into the Spanish admiral's ship.   I scored four hits on six dice and a critical.   Thomas Foss, who commanded the Spanish squadron then rolled a 12 on the critical hit table  followed by another 12, on a 12 sided die, resulting in his flagship exploding. We dud award Thomas 1 point for his admiral being able to leave the table %D.   Greg commanded the French squadron.

In addition to the games there were quite a few books, buildings and miniatures that were being given away or sold.

 Pancho Villa train robbery
 

Ice planet Hoth game
 table for pig wars being set up.  the tiles represent underground passages between the various features on the table top.  I should have taken another picture of the game later in the day as there were quite a bit more of the passages on the table by then and features on the table..
 World War II bomber raid
 Sharp Practice game
The naval game just prior to the wind shifting.   Two ships from Chip's squadron are engaging the French towards the back.  Two of my ships are on the left engaging two of the Spanish ships.  The group of four ships in the center right are as follows: Spanish flagship at front with other Spanish ship to the rear.   Chip's third ship on right and mine in the middle.  The wind shifted counter-clockwise putting my two ships in irons, but fortunately a tacking card came up shortly after allowing me to move before the Spanish could.   The red markers indicate that a broadside had been fired.  When a broadside was fired a ship was given two of them for that side and required two cards being drawn that allowed reloading to take place.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Friends, Romans.....

Finished the first major project for 2017.  Expansion of the Republican Romans.  After painting about another thousand the army now totals 300+ velites, 640 Hastati, 640 Principes, 280 Triarii, and 106 cavalry with a few spares.   This was done to provide the full Roman army for Asculum without having to provide substitute figures as I have done in the past.   The photos show them arrayed as a single legion of 4200 infantry and 300 cavalry.  The figure to man ratio is about 1:2.5.  All figures are from Rapier Miniatures.  The entire force will fit in two of the plastic parts boxes that I use for storage and transport.  Click on photos to enlarge them.


 
 
Now it is on to the next project.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Comparison of Baccus and Rapier phalangites

Both Baccus and Rapier make several packs of Macedonian and Successor phalangites.  Rapier has four packs.  Each pack contains 24 of one pose and helmet variant.  The two poses have the pikes at either vertical or at a 45% angle, both with two different helmets.   Rapir does include command figures in each pack replacing three phalangites with an officer, standard bearer, and musician.  However, you can request that the packs do not have the command figures.  Baccus also has four different packs, with 96 figures in each pack.   Two without pikes and open hands for adding pikes and two with cast pikes.   They are available with either standing poses holding the pike in a vertical position or advancing with strips of four different poses - two vertical and two at about a 45% angle.  

I purchased a pack of the advancing phalangites with the cast pikes from Baccus a while back when I was starting the project for Raphia.   The four pose strip is 20mm deep allowing eight strips to be placed on a 40mm wide by 20mm deep base.   However, it would be necessary to cut the strip in half in order to avoid having a multiple base deep phalanx having alternating pairs of lines with vertical and sloped pikes. 

Rapier''s phalangites are cast in strips also, but come in packs with singles, and either two, three, or sometimes four figures per strip.   Each figure occupies about 8mm of depth, though some of the later molds have the figures spaced further apart.   I ended up mounting them on several different sized bases.   Some are on 80mm x 40mm, some on 40mm x 24mm, some on 40mm x 16mm, and some on 20mm x 40mm.   Again 8 figures can be mounted side by side on a 40mm wide base.

Both Rapier and Baccus are the same size and could be combined in the same unit as I have done with my American Civil War figures, except for one major difference between the two.   Although the photos are slightly out of focus,  the casting quality and detail are equal.   Pike lengths are the same.  Rapier's other helmet is similar to the helmet on the Baccus figures.   The Rapier figure is one I broke when removing it from a base.  The Rapier figure is holding his pike with more of it behind him than the Baccus figures.  Baccus uses a softer metal alloy resulting in the pikes bending more easily and becoming wavy instead of straight.   All of the above are minor.  The main problem with the Baccus figures is their shields.   They are too large and flat.   Their size is closer to that of a Hoplite's instead of the one used by phalangites.  Both Hoplite and phalangite shields were convex and not flat.

Except for this one strip that was overlooked, I sold the Baccus phalangites to another club member and ended up painting about 4000 Rapier figures for Raphia.  Raphia Project phalangites  If I had included or used Baccus there would have been another thousand or so to be painted.
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Update:  Found out from Baccus that their phalangites have been revised with a smaller slightly convex shield.   I will have to purchase a pack of the newer figures to see how they compare.