So we kept it small and played/play-tested a medieval skirmish set of rules called Chevauchee put out by a group called Nordic Weasel Games. It's based on what is called "the 5-Core system" that is the basis for a number of games, most notably Five Men at Kursk, a set of WWII skirmish rules. Squads or warbands number between 5 and 12 figures. Activation is based on a set of activation dice, usually less than the number of figures you field. This limits activity for a few of your figures. In Chevauchee, the activation dice allows a chosen figure to "scurry" (move without provoking an enemy reaction, on a 1), "engage" (move, shoot, run, or fight on a 2-5), or "Charge" (Charge a opposing figure or shoot at them. You must charge at a visible figure.) When you engage a opponent in combat - hand to hand or ranged - you throw a number of "kill" dice and a number of "shock" dice depending on your weapon. "Kill dice" wound/knock down on a 1 and kill on a 6. Armour and shields permit a possible re-roll by a defender. "Shock dice" cause a figure to "flinch" (no response to the enemy) on 1 or break and run on a 6. A figure armed with sword or spear would roll one kill and one shock die. A two-handed sword or axe-armed figure would roll 3 kill and 2 shock dice.
Figures can be armoured and can even be mounted. Of course, armour makes you marginally slower and a horse can be spooked and throw you.
The game is quite nuanced and many of the more advanced rules can be added as the players become more familiar with the game. Saturday we kept it simple and as time went on, added some extra rules. Oh, yes... a game can last 10-15 minutes. We kept the warband size to 5 each but 12-15 are very possible.
|If you're interested the game is down-loadable from The Wargames Vault for a reasonable price.|
I then sent the file to my local outlet of a national office supply chain were they printed it and bound it.
The price was still reasonable.
|Martin measures out movement for his Rus warriors.|
|The Byzantines take the field. We took an inch off of the armoured horse's movement.|
That wasn't covered in the rules, but it made sense to us. The rules have some gaps,
but they don't appear to be fatal.
|Bear's Militis Christi on the advance.|
|Bear's troops mix it up with a few of my spearmen.|
|In a later game (against Martin's Byzantines), Bear added a mounted knight.|
One out of the five warriors could be a missile thrower of some sort.
Here we see a javelinman. Bowmen and slingers were also in evidence.
|Bear's warband of Crusaders in a better light.|
|I'm not quite sure what happened here. Somehow Bear's knight got turned around,|
but I can't recall if it was a mistake or if he was on the way home.
I had also purchased the fantasy supplement to Chevauchee, called On Samhain's Eve. This is not a stand-alone game but an add-on and it includes simple magic rules, a beastiary (if you want to fight dragons and like that) as well as a list of humanoids like elves, dwarves, halflings, "Red Caps", the walking dead, and other such annoyances. My son really wants to try this one out! I'd recommend any of these rule to you, although they might not appeal to everyone.
I realized while I was writing this blog that these rules could be used for a lot of things. I'm going to look for a "Wild West" set and look into the Sci-Fi rules already marketed. I'd think that small engagements flowing from the Dune books where good knife work is worth more that laser guns could be done in a very satisfying manner. I'll get back to you on that.