Trial by Battle – some supplemental rules for Later Medieval Battles

Due to popular demand I have put together some additional rules for Trial by Battle for later medieval wars – particularly War of the Roses.

These are as of yet not play-tested, but will at some point form part of supplements for the Hundred Years War and War of the Roses.

They can be downloaded here: War of the Roses – new Rules v2

And here they are in text form:

New Rules for Later Medieval Battles 

Pits/stakes and static defences 

Also, for use in Hundred Years War supplement 

Treated as difficult ground for movement purposes, so half move for all Units. Can either be a linear static defence – such as stakes or an area static defence such as pits or ditches. Area static defences are 6” by 6”. This means that a Unit of Mounted Knights would take at least two Rounds to cross them. 

Cavalry must also pass a Unit Courage Test to cross the static defences (must roll 7 or less on 2d6, 8 or less if General with them). If failed, they do not break but remain stationary for that Round. They may attempt to cross again next Round or move away. If moving away through area static defences they do not need to pass a test, but their movement is still halved.  

To cross an area of pits Mounted Knights would have to pass two consecutive tests while presumably under fire from Archers.  

New Units 

New Units added to the list for quick reference below, plus any special rules below.  

Unit Name Move Terrain Archery Hits Range Melee Hits Save Stamina 
Mounted Knights  9”  Not Woods n/a  n/a 1d6+1/1d6  4+  6  
Light Cavalry  12”  All 1d6-2  12” 1d6-2  6+  6  
Foot Knights  4”  Not Woods n/a  n/a 1d6  3+  6  
Infantry  6”  Not Woods n/a  n/a 1d6-1  4+  6  
Archers  6”  Not Woods 1d6-1  18” 1d6-2  5+  6  
Light Infantry  9”  All n/a  n/a 1d6-2  6+  6  
Arbalesters 6” Not Woods 1d6-1 18” 1d6-2 4+ 6 
Handgunners 6” Not Woods 1d6-1 18” 1d6-2 5+ 6 
Pikemen 4” Clear only n/a n/a 1d6+1 3+ 6 
Artillery 2” Clear only 1d6-2 30” n/a 5+ 3 
General  12”  Not Woods n/a  n/a +1  n/a  n/a  

 

Arbalesters 

Heavy late medieval crossbowmen. Use Pavise for cover – thus the higher save. Reduce save to 5+ if pavises not available. 

Slow firing: fire every other turn 

Armour Piercing: -1 to Save from Archery hits. 

Handgunners 

Late medieval handgun. Slow firing but caused fear in enemy troops. 

Slow firing: fire every other turn 

Cause Fear: If enemy lose 2 or more stamina because of Handguns in one Round, must make a Unit Courage Test.  

Pikemen

Slow to manoeuvre but effective against Cavalry and other infantry.
Movement reduced to half for 45 and 90 degree turn. Cannot move if turn 180 degrees.
Cannot cross obstacles or difficult ground

Artillery 

Covers range of different artillery pieces seen on the battlefield. Slow to manoeuvre, but greater range than other weapons.  

Slow firing: fire every other turn 

Cause Fear: If enemy lose 2 or more stamina because of Artillery in one Round, must make a Unit Courage Test. 

 

Trial by Battle – my first Wargames Rules

Trial by Battle CoverVery excited to report that I have just published my first set of wargames rules: Trial by Battle. I wanted to do this for a long time. As I have an interest in writing and in playing wargames, it seemed a natural thing to do. I started with what I think are quite a quick and easy set of wargames rules for the Medieval period. I was thinking of something more ambitious initially, but soon decided that limiting my scope was a good idea to start with.

You can find out more about the rules on their product page together with links to retailers where you can purchase the book or get a free sample. Probably the best option for wargamers is the PDF which can be bought at Wargames Vault.

I found the whole process of creating the rules, playtesting and then finally writing them up for publication a lot harder than I thought it would be – and these are only a short set of rules at only 42 pages for the printed book! I am sure that I will be able to improve the process and hopefully make the next set of rules easier to write.

But I am excited to see that some people have already bought the rules at Wargames Vault! Not sure yet how I am going to get word out about the rules. That will be the next thing to investigate. My main focus though will be on producing more content and improving my skills as a rules writer.

What next? I might write some historical scenarios for the rules, add some more army lists. Expand the rules a bit for bigger sized battles. Maybe swerve into other historical periods. Add a fantasy element? Not sure at the moment. Lots of ideas!

I also have a set of medieval skirmish rules that I have posted on this blog that I could write up properly, so that could be the next project. But I am also tempted to go off at a tangent and do something RPG related. Maybe a choose your own adventure? Let’s see. Getting Trial by Battle out there has certainly given me a buzz and I am looking forward to seeing what people think of it.

Warhammer: The Old World Which Factions to Choose

I’m a big fan of older editions of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, having started gaming and miniature collecting when the 2nd edition came out and then carrying on playing with the 3rd edition before taking a long break. Just when I got back into gaming I found out that the Old World was about to be destroyed and that it was all Age of Sigmar. I’ve collected, painted and played Age of Sigmar, and it’s OK. The game mechanics are actually really good and the games generally fun. The detail and design of the miniatures are awesome. But for me nothing can beat the nostalgia of those earlier days or Warhammer and the more traditional fantasy armies and battles. Ranked units of goblins and dwarfs, elves and men etc.

That’s why I’m really excited that Warhammer’s Old World is now coming back. A few years it was a vague rumour about square bases and a few teasing maps, but now there are more and more details and it looks like it should be out maybe later this year with any luck.

Warhammer-the-Old-World-Factions

Now that it’s so tangible I have started looking at my own collection of figures and started to think about what faction I might get behind. Empire of Man fits quite well with what I have but I’m always keen on Orcs & Goblins too. Perhaps the whole lot? Who knows. More thoughts on this soon. And hopefully some more info from Games Workshop about what’s coming to help me decide!

Medieval Skirmish Wargames Rules

I have been working on writing some medieval skirmish wargames rules recently. Here’s a first draft that I’m currently playtesting. I have included some sample stat blocks at the end of the rules. Would be great to get any feedback if you want to leave a comment at the end of the post.

Medieval Skirmish Wargames Rules

Principles 

Small scale skirmish – up to a dozen figures a side  

High to late medieval setting.  

Each figure has a stat line: 

  • Initiative 
  • Move 
  • Shoot Skill – if applicable 
  • Melee Skill 
  • Weapon properties 
  • Bravery  
  • Special Abilities 

Tokens needed for Light and Serious Wounds. Ideally have casualty figures for casualties!  

Turn Sequence 

  1. Activations
  2. Take Actions 
  3. Resolve Bravery rolls 
  4. Determine if a Winner 

Activations 

Two sets of different coloured dice – in a bag. One dice per figure.  

Dice drawn to determine which side goes next. Then dice thrown to determine number of actions – use as a d3. Some figures may have +1 or -1 initiative and be able to take more actions. Never below 1.  

Actions are: 

Move – if want to run need two or more Move actions.  

Fight – can fight twice if have enough actions.  

Shoot – again can shoot more if have more actions. 

Leaders/specials – can do things like rally/challenge other knights, pray etc.  

After Activation – put the dice next to them to indicate moved.  

Move 

Standard 6” etc  – more detail tbc here! 

Shooting 

Simple to hit roll. Normally 3+ unless opponent has moved twice in the turn.  

Melee 

Opposed Roll – d6 + Fighting Skill 

Average Soldier would be +1 

Loser – pushed back. 

If Loser rolls a natural 1 – they slip or trip and lie prone – can get up in their turn but at risk if attacked before then. 

Winner can follow-up or use it as opportunity to disengage – can’t otherwise without risk.  

If Winner rolls a modified 6 or more then loser takes damage.  

Damage 

Hit Location! 

1: Head 

2-3: arms 

4-5: body 

6: legs 

If roll is 7+ to hit then can specify location.  

If armoured on that location – defee 

Mail or brigandine etc – 5+ savnder gets to make a save – weapon modifies that. If not then roll 1d6. 

Plate or enclosed helm: 4+ save 

Heavy weapon – e.g. halberd etc: -1 to save. Dagger: +1 to save etc. More granular than this for different weapon types.  

Some weapons might add to initiative for instance as well. Factor these into stat lines. Or is it better to have normal stat line and then have to add in weapons factors – as reminds player that weapons are contributing to their rolls etc?  

1-3 – light wound (can carry on, but can only do max of two activations) 

4-5 serious wound (max of one activation and penalties to rolls etc).  

6 – dead. 

Need tokens for wounds.  

Bravery 

If leader wounded or someone else killed in that turn – then test for bravery for each person. Modifier of +1 per killed person in total. 

2d6 under or equal to Bravery.  

If failed then flee token and person can only spend activations running away until rallied by leader.  

Medieval Skirmish Wargames Rules – Stats

Man-at-Arms 

Initiative Move Shoot Skill Melee Skill Bravery 
0 5” 0 +2 8 

Special Abilities: 

Aimed blow Can +1 or -1 when selecting hit location.  

Weapon properties: 

Two-handed weapon: +1 to Damage roll 

 

Foot Sergeant 

Initiative Move Shoot Skill Melee Skill Bravery 
0 6” 0 +1 7 

Special Abilities: 

 

Weapon properties: 

Long Spear – can attack when 1” away – if so -1 Melee Skill, but opponent cannot hurt wielder.  

Glaive/bill – two-handed. 

 

Archer 

Initiative Move Shoot Skill Melee Skill Bravery 
0 6” +1 0 7 

Special Abilities: 

Mallets and poignards. If outnumber a man-at-arms get a +1 to melee skill.  

Weapon properties: 

Longbow. Fast shooting. Can use all activations in a turn to shoot.  

If Elite archer – +1 Initiative – so possibility of 4 shots per turn.  

 

Crossbowman 

Initiative Move Shoot Skill Melee Skill Bravery 
0 6” +1 0 7 

Special Abilities: 

Pavise – if supported by pavisier, the crossbowman is almost immune to archery -2 to hit.  

Weapon properties: 

Maximum of one shot in a Turn. Can only move and shoot if has 3+ activations.  

 

A verray, parfit, gentil knyght 

Initiative Move Shoot Skill Melee Skill Bravery 
+1 5”/10” 0 +2 9 

Special Abilities: 

Challenge: If another knight on the table can use an action to make a challenge. Other knight must accept or lose ability to rally. Both knights will only fight each other until decided. More detailed rules for the challenge.  

Rally: If within 12” can use action to rally fleeing troops. They roll on knight’s bravery to stop fleeing.  

Mounted: If mounted – 10” move. Rules for attacking horse? Horse defence?  

Weapon properties: 

If mounted, then can use Lance to charge: +1 Damage and enemy can’t attack back – like spear? Charge takes knight past their enemy?  

Dismounted – Two-handed as per Man-at-arms: +1 Damage 

Priest 

Initiative Move Shoot Skill Melee Skill Bravery 
0 6” 0 0 6 

Special Abilities: 

Pray: Add reroll  

Peace of God: Allows battle to end before too many people are hurt?  

Weapon properties: 

 

 

Wars of the Roses Strategy Battle Game rules posted

I’ve just posted up the rules that I wrote a while ago to a Wars of the Roses version of Lord of the Rings (Middle Earth) Strategy Battle Game. The rules are just the additional things that you might need like profiles, weapons and some special abilities that will add some Wars of the Roses flavour to a game of Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game.

They’re in no way complete – there’s no rules for heroes, cavalry, Irish Kerns etc, but they do include rules for some of the most typical Wars of the Roses troop types: billmen, longbow archers etc. They’re inspired by other adaptations such as Age of Trebuchet and Legends of the Middle Ages 

The rules can be downloaded in PDF here or you can read them online here.

Pelennor Fields Battle Photos

Played this game last summer, but only just got round to having a proper look at the Pelennor Fields battle photos I took at the time, and thought they would be worth posting here. Don’t ask me for an AAR (After Action Report) on the game, but we basically played the main big battle from Games Workshop’s Pelennor Fields starter set. Great fun and looked amazing! Especially the Witch King on Fell Beast – he was a real bugger to put together let me tell you – and paint – only broke a couple of times …

Morannan Orcs knocked prone by charge of the Rohirrim
Morannan Orcs knocked prone by charge of the Rohirrim
The Rohirrim cavalry advance
The Rohirrim cavalry advance
Rohan cavalryman runs away
Rohan cavalryman runs away
Witch King of Angmar vs Theoden, King of Rohan
Witch King of Angmar vs Theoden, King of Rohan
Rohan and Morder battle lines clash
Rohan and Morder battle lines clash

Testing out Terrain for 6mm WW2

I tested out some terrain I made recently for WW2 at 6mm (1/300) scale wargames. I made some basic fields out of card, clump foliage and flock and I think they look pretty good. The trees were cheap on ebay and again on  simple card base.

I also used some paper 1/300 buildings on a simple card stand – bought on Wargames Vault. The buildings look huge don’t they for a microarmor game! They’re quite nice buildings, cheap and easy to make so no complaints there. I have read that people often use 2mm or 3mm scale buildings for 6mm and I think I might go down that route in the future. I’m planning on doing 1 stand = 1 platoon rather than a squad so a smaller building imprint would make sense.

WW2 6mm terrain WW2 6mm terrain

Woodland Scenic Tree Armatures Glue Tip

A quick hobby tip that I thought I would share in case anyone else comes across the same problem. I tried my hand for the first time at making my own trees for wargaming using the Woodland Scenics Armatures and their clump foliage. I couldn’t get hold of their Hob-e-Tac glue for attaching the clump foliage, so used a tacky glue bought from Hobbycraft. Not sure about this, but I assume it was supposed to be similar. Anyway I got the clump foliage to stick to the armatures which was the first stage. Then what you are supposed to do is spray the tree with Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement (basically watered down PVA), which I did but that resulted in most of my clump foliage simply falling off straight away!

Now this might be do with the tacky glue – perhaps Hob-e-tac is amazing – although a search on the internet seems to indicate it is not. I tried some alternatives. Super glue fixed the clump foliage perfectly and strongly, but I didn’t fancy using my tiny tube of super glue on lots of trees, so I looked around for something else. I had some Bostik Contact Adhesive for making Peter Dennis’s Paper Soldiers. I tried this – you’re supposed to attach to both parts and then wait for it to dry four minutes to get a good bond. I did do that, but gluing bits of clump foliage was not ideal, so I thought why not just plonk it on the armature and see if the clump foliage will stick straightaway – and as Bob Ross would say I had a happy accident! It worked like a dream.  A really solid fix. I tried spraying the Scenic Cement on and that worked great as well – no bits of clump foliage dropping off.

Here’s a photo of two sorry trees on the right after spraying – using the Tacky glue, and on the left is the one with Bostik – looking very solid!Woodland Scenics Armatures glue

 

So the long and short of it is try Bostik Contact adhesive for sticking clump foliage to stuff!

Guthrum Mane – the Rock Giant from Bloodbath at Orcs Drift

This is such a characterful miniature – I really loved painting this one. I played the campaign recently with some friends and Guthrum did well in his first battle against the Wood Elves – but he got drunk and never appeared at Orcs Drift. With the painted figure I had a go at doing some tattoos and put a red glaze on his nose to suggest his drinking habit!

Bit better focus on this picture?

Kill Team Rogue Trader Sanistasia Minst and Elucia Vhane painting guide

Sanistasia Minst
Sanistasia Minst
Elucia Vhane – the Rogue Trader


Here are the paints I used for each miniature.

Sanistasia Minst Painting Guide

White Sleeves and Veil
  • Base: Corax White
  • Wash: Apothecary White contrast paint
  • Highlight: White Scar
Lace top and bottom of the sleeves
  • Base: Corax White
  • Wash: Drakenhof Nightshade
  • Highlight: White Scar
Plume
  • Base: Corax White
  • Shade: Hexwraith Flame
  • Highlight: White Scar
Skirt Trim
  • Base: Zandri Dust
  • Wash: Seraphim Sepia
  • Highlight: Ushabti Bone
Boots and black parts
  • Base: Abaddon Black
  • Highlight: Eshin Grey
Red Skirt
  • Base: Mephiston Red
  • Wash: Agrax Earthshade
  • Highlight: Evil Sunz Scarlet
Holster and Belt
  • Base: Dryad Bark
  • Wash: Agrax Earthshade
  • Highlight: Gorthor Brown
Silver metal
  • Base: Leadbelcher
  • Wash: Nuln Oil
  • Highlight: Stormhost silver
Gold metal
  • Base: Balthasar Gold
  • Wash: Reikland Fleshshade Gloss
  • Highlight: Stormhost silver
Skin
  • Base: Cadian Fleshtone
  • Wash: Reikland Fleshshade
  • Highlight: Kislev Flesh
Blue
  • Base: Thousand Sons Blue
  • Layer: Ahriman Blue
  • Highlight: Temple Guard Blue
Nurgling
  • Base: Zandri Dust
  • Wash: Athonian Camoshade
  • Highlight: Ogryn Camo
  • Highlight: Kislev Flesh
  • Glaze on some warts: Bloodletter Glaze
  • Tongue: Screamer Pink with a shade of Pink Horror
Base

Old Citadel sand then painted with Vallejo German Brown Black Camo, with a drybrush of Vallejo Beige Brown and Tyrant Skull. Edge of the base is Steel Legion Drab. I then added some static grass afterwards. 

Elucia Vhane Painting Guide

White Coat and white parts of test tube
  • Base: Corax White
  • Wash: Apothecary White contrast paint
  • Highlight: White Scar
Coat Trim
  • Base: Zandri Dust
  • Wash: Seraphim Sepia
  • Highlight: Ushabti Bone
Boots and black parts
  • Base: Abaddon Black
  • Highlight: Eshin Grey
Red Tube
  • Base: Mephiston Red
  • Wash: Agrax Earthshade
  • Highlight: Evil Sunz Scarlet
Holster and Belt
  • Base: Dryad Bark
  • Wash: Agrax Earthshade
  • Highlight: Gorthor Brown
Silver metal
  • Base: Leadbelcher
  • Wash: Nuln Oil
  • Highlight: Stormhost silver
Gold metal
  • Base: Balthasar Gold
  • Wash: Reikland Fleshshade Gloss
  • Highlight: Stormhost silver
Skin
  • Base: Cadian Fleshtone
  • Wash: Reikland Fleshshade
  • Highlight: Kislev Flesh
Blue (you can’t see this but on the backpack).
  • Base: Thousand Sons Blue
  • Layer: Ahriman Blue
  • Highlight: Temple Guard Blue
Base

Old Citadel sand then painted with Vallejo German Brown Black Camo, with a drybrush of Vallejo Beige Brown and Tyrant Skull. Edge of the base is Steel Legion Drab. I then added some static grass afterwards.