This system has been my go-to rule set since it first came out in 2007. You can run a variety of games in many periods without much effort.
My Hundred Years’ War armies are based on these rules.
Ancient and Medieval Wargaming is perfect to introduce new wargamers to the hobby, since the rules are light an easy to grasp. Most games will last under two hours, which is perfect if you want to play a couple of games in an afternoon or evening.
The book itself is divided into sections based on a general historical period of warfare: Biblical, Classical, Dark Age, and Medieval. Each section is further divided into chapters describing the historical overview of the period, the rules, the army lists, and a battle report. In other words, you can run wargames depicting battles from around 3000 BCE to 1485 CE.
The neat thing: the rules are pretty standard throughout each period. If you play a Hundred Years’ War game, you’ll be familiar enough with the rules to play a scenario about the Hittite invasion of Egypt or Alexander the Great’s battles with Persia.
The rules are based on the d6. The type of unit, and the number of stands you have left in the unit determine the number of dice you roll when attacking. The rules assume each unit has four stands (with 3-4 figures per stand).
So, for example, a unit of medieval infantry attacking another unit of medieval infantry would get to roll 4 dice. A for 4 or better always hits. The defending unit gets a saving throw based on armor per hit. A save negates a wound. Four wounds removes a stand and causes a morale check.
None of this “roll to hit, roll to wound, roll to save,” like you see in other wargame systems.
If you outflank an enemy, you get roll more dice.
Is it a detailed set of rules? No. It’s very basic. Which in itself is a good thing, you can easily add house rules to get the desired effect.
Some wargamers, no doubt, will prefer a more detailed set of rules where you now exactly how many warriors each figure represents or how many inches represents how many yards. But you won’t find that here. The rules are abstract in this case. Each section tries to recreate the general feel of the period.
In fact, you probably will have to make house rules, either to adjust for the few vagaries in the rules, or to help you convert the game for 28mm figures (the game using 15mm movement rates and ranges).
Again, the two biggest strengths for Ancient and Medieval Wargaming: the game is easy to learn and it plays fast.
Get this if: You’re new to wargaming or plan on introducing people to wargaming. The rules are very beginner friendly. There’s even an appendix in the back describing the basics of scale, and there’s a list of miniature manufacturers.
Don’t get this if: You prefer more complicated sets of rules for your historical wargames, such as for tournament play.