Warband 5th Century Skirmish Rules

Warband is a set of free wargames rules for games set in 5th Century Britain.

The author writes:

“Warband” is a simple set of skirmish rules I wrote for 5th century AD British scenarios. It is usable for other periods, and indeed has a fantasy add on. It is intended for 25 or 28 mm individually based figures. Between 20 and 30 figures per band give a reasonable game, but it can cope with more or less.

The rule mechanisms owe a lot to DBA, except that each figure is an “element” representing one man. Instead of trying to double the opponent’s score the aim is to beat it by 5 or more.

Battles are decided by morale. Casualties affect morale, but they are not the only factor.

Classification of troop type is simple. Except for missile fire, arms and armour are less important than the man represented.

Each band has one War Band Leader, with enhanced fighting capability. Mounted leaders move at mounted rate and are treated as the equivalent mounted troop type except that they use the leader combat factor. When shot at, all leaders (foot or mounted) are treated as being heavily armoured.

If the leader is lucky he may have some Top-Rate Infantry. These are experienced, disciplined and well motivated soldiers. Examples may include household troops, remnants of regular Roman units in the post-Roman period, or huscarls in an 11th century army.

The majority of his band are likely to be Average Infantry. They are skilled with their weapons, but not as practised as top-rate troops. Examples include levy spearmen in the post-Roman period and “Fyrd” spearmen in an 11th century army.

One or two Skirmishers, armed with bow, sling or javelin, may be useful.

Heavy Cavalry are well-horsed cavalry with good training. They include early knights.

Light Cavalry represents less well mounted scouts or mounted skirmishers.

Really poorly trained or motivated troops may be treated as Civilians, and have no enhanced combat factor.

“Warband” is intended for scenarios, for instance interactive tourism in connection with non commercial transfer of wealth. There can be more than one band per side, for instance defenders of a settlement being relieved. I have tried to keep the main body of rules short. The idea is that when preparing a scenario you do your own temporary add ons.

Pigs and Glory Viking Campaign

Pigs and Glory is a campaign game for a Viking campaign.

One Page Saga

Here’s a set of rules that boils Saga’s army creation and fatigue mechanics down to a one-page system: One Page Saga

Into The Dark – Dark Ages Mass Combat Rules

Into The Dark is a set of free wargames rules for mass combat in the Dark Ages / Medieval era. From the author’s introduction:

I’m aware that there are plenty of rule sets on the market for the medieval period. However, many of those rules are actually designed for skirmish fighting. Even some of the better known rules for mass combat are really just skirmish rules done on a giant scale. Into The Dark is designed for battles between armies, similar to those found in history or heroic literature. Large scale battles ‘look’ like large scale battles, and yet can still be fought to a conclusion in a reasonable amount of time.

These rules were originally designed for 25mm/30mm figures, although they can easily be used for 15mm by dividing all ranges in half, or by using centimetres instead of inches. Don’t be put off by the size of the rules, they actually play very fast and easy. Try only the basic rules until you are comfortable with play, then add whatever optional rules you like. The section on game preparation takes up a lot of room, but is only needed when first creating your army. In fact you could skip it if you’re just checking out how the rules work. Come back to it only if you decide to give them a try.

Valhalla Dark Age Skirmish Rules

East Street games offers Valhalla, a set of free wargames rules for Dark Age skirmishes. The rules are free for the downloading, or for purchase in print. The website has an online system for generating warbands. Interesting stuff.