Written by Phil Barker for the Society of Ancients' 1989 convention, the rules have since been expanded for the inclusion into a commercial set known as DBM. These are available from WRG (The Keep, La Marchant Barracks, London Rd, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 2ER, United Kingdom - Telephone 0994-380-4558).
To produce the simplest set of wargames rules that retain the feel and generalship requirements of ancient battle in a game lasting 15 to 30 minutes.
These rules distinguish only those arms/troop types that need different tactical handling.
Mounted troops can be:
ELEPHANTS, of any breed or crew compliment.
KNIGHTS, including medieval or Norman knights, cataphracts, and all other horsemen who charge without shooting, such as Macedonian companions, Sarmatians or Goths.
CAVALRY, including all armoured cavalry primarily armed with javelins, such as Greeks, Persians and Romans, or with bow or bow and lance, such as Sassanid clibanarii or Byzantines, but also willing to follow up and fight hand to hand.
CHARIOTS, regardless of the number of horses or crew or whether fitted with scythes.
LIGHT SKIRMISHING HORSE, including all horsemen who skirmish in dispersed swarms with javelin or bow and are reluctant to charge unshaken enemy, such as Numidians, Parthian horse archers, Huns, Late Roman "Illyrians" or Equites Sagitarii.
Foot can be:
PIKEMEN, armed with long pikes or thrusting spears held in two hands, such as Macedonians, Lowlands Scots, Flemish or Swiss.
SWORDSMEN, primarily skilled in fencing with swords or other edged weapons, such as Legionaries of any period, huscarls, galloglaich, dismounted knights or Samurai.
SPEARMEN, including all other close formed infantry fighting in a rigid line of shields with spears held in one hand, such as hoplites, Cathaginian Africans, Byzantines skutatoi or Fyrmen.
AUXILIA, including all close fighting infantry more mobile than those above and with less cohesion, such as peltasts, thureophoroi, Spanish scutarii, Early or Late Imperial Roman auxilia, Japanese ashigaru, Welsh spearmen or Irish bonnachts.
PSILOI, including all skirmishers on foot with javelin or sling, and all foot archers and crossbowmen, whether regular or irregular.
WARBAND, including all wild irregulars relying on impetus rather than skill or missiles, such as Galatians, Gauls, Germans, Dacians or Viking Bondi.
An element is in bad going if in a wood, on rough or boggy ground or on a steep slope, but not if in as river or a gentle slope.
Each army has 12 15mm elements, 1 of which0. includes its general, and a camp. Players dice for ends of a 24x24" playing board of ground scale 1"=50p, then to deploy 1st within 300p of base edge and move 1st. All dicing involves a singles D6, but with 1 counting as 0.
SEQUENCE OF PLAY
The two sides take alternative bounds. During each sides bound:
It dices, and makes tactical moves with up to that number of elements or groups.
Any elements of both sides in contact with the enemy fight and make outcome moves, in an order decided by the player whose bound it is.
A tactical move can be by single element or by a group of elements. All elements moving as a group must be touching another of its elements at the start of the move. Each must first move parallel to, or follow the first of them those moves, and move the same distance or wheel the same angle. Groups cannot retire. Single elements can. No element can move further than:
250p if light skirmishing horse.
200p if cavalry or chariots.
150p if auxilia, psiloi or knights (including cataphracts and companions).
100p if swordsmen, spearmen, pikemen, elephants or warband, or mounted in bad going.
A group's move can include reducing but not increasing its frontage. The first element of each group to try and cross a river must halt and dice next bound. A score of 4 or more is needed to cross that bound. The others follow it across. Psiloi can pass through any friends, or mounted through friendly psiloi not in contact.
This happens when an element has moved into contact with an enemy element, or when one is still touching an enemy next bound. Missile combat is not distinguished from hand-to-hand combat. An element not already in combat must turn to face without this counting as a move.
Each player dices for his element, and adds its combat factor as follows:
Elephants; +4 v foot, +5 v mounted.
Swordsmen; +5 v foot, +3 v mounted.
Knights or pikemen; +3 v foot, +4 v mounted.
Cavalry, chariots, auxilia or warband; +3.
Light horse or psiloi; +2.
Elements, which overlap or contact a flank, count only as a tactical factor.
Pikemen add +3 or spearmen +1, if an identical element is contiguous behind.
Swordsmen or spearmen add +1 if fighting mounted troops and psiloi are contiguous behind.
Add to or subtract from scores for each of the following tactical factors that applies:
+2 of foot defending a river bank, or if the garrison of the camp.
+1 if uphill, or if the element includes the general.
-1 for each flank overlapped, and/or each enemy element in contact with flank or rear.
-2 if any in bad going except auxilia or psiloi.
An element with less than half or half the total of any opponent must make an immediate outcome move, which depends on its own type and that of the most dangerous opponent in contact.
If its total is less than that of the enemy but more than half:
Elephants; destroyed by psiloi, or if in bad going. If not, halt.
Chariots; Destroyed by foot, or if in bad going. If not recoil one element's depth (40mm).
Other mounted; Destroyed if in bad going. If not recoil one element's depth (30mm).
Psiloi; Recoil one element's depth (20mm).
Warband; Destroyed by elephants, knights or chariots. If not, recoil one element's depth (20mm).
Other foot; Destroyed by knights, chariots or warband. Halted by psiloi or light skirmishing horse. If not, recoil one element's depth.
If its total is half that of the enemy:
Light horse; Destroyed by mounted, or if in bad going. Otherwise flee 300p.
Psiloi; Destroyed by mounted, auxilia or psiloi. Otherwise flee 200p.
Other troops; Destroyed.
WINNING AND LOSING
The first side to lose its general or at the end of a bound has lost 4 elements and more than the enemy, loses the game. A camp still occupied by enemy counts as 2 lost elements.