From The Perfect Captain, Ironbow is one of their series of beautifully illustrated wargames where the graphics are not just eyecandy, but integrated into the rules and play of the game. Truly innovative stuff. Ironbow covers the crusades era from 1096 to 1192.
Into the Dark is a set of free wargames rules by Dan Abbott for mass combat in the Medieval period. Designed for 25mm to 30mm figures, the rules seem designed to allow players to easily manage large numbers of figures. In combat, 1d6 is thrown for every four figures in combat. Modifiers are kept to a minimum.
More from Dan:
I’m aware that there are many rule sets on the market designed to deal with medieval armies. However most of these sets are meant to deal with skirmish fighting. Even some of the better known rules for armies are really just skirmish rules done on a giant scale. The rules you see before you are designed for battles between armies, similar to those found in history or heroic literature. Large scale battles can 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, use 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.
Danegeld and Dragonships is a set of free wargames rules for dark ages skirmishes. It has an interesting turn mechanism in that the side that gets the most kills has the initiative the next turn.
Minimal Melee Combat is a set of free wargames rules designed to depict combat between sword armed adversaries.
Shields and Blades is a set of free wargames rules by Jackson Gamer Eric Wood. It is designed as a “squad level” game, with each casting representing 10 to 15 men.
From the introduction:
This rule set is a squad-level scale using side move / countermove system. The rule set has opportunity fire (with both standing and moving fire). Since these rules are not skirmish level, the shield facing and facing of the castings is not a problem.
This rule set deals with each casting representing a squad of a fifteen men rather than tactical or grand tactical scales. As a result the formation and movement rules are very fluid and the distance ranges might seem wrong to some one, until they realize that the battles are “zoomed in”.
Since we are not skirmish level, shield facing and facing of the castings is not a problem. One can do a skirmish level game with these rules easily by worrying about the shield facing and increasing the weapon 3” and movement ranges an additional d6”.
1:15 thus 1 casting represents 15 men. 1′ = 120 yards, 1″ = 10 yards. Time frame is 1 minute. 2 fire phases. Infantry unit has 180 men; cavalry has 90 riders and 90 horses. Minute walk moves 1’ (12”).
Infantry base is 3/4″ x 3/4″. Assume each infantryman wants 4′ front x 7′ back. Fits 15 castings with 5 along the front and 3 ranks deep.