Gang Warfare In The Age of Bronze is a free wargames rules set that has intrigued me for some time. Written by Don Wolff, the rules help players recreate mythical action in the age of Homer and David. More than a set of battle rules, Gang Warfare is designed to be played as a campaign, with players representing “protagonists” and “antagonists”. As the name implies, the number of figures required is small — just 12 or so per clan.
The rules have disappeared from the web, but are preserved for posterity below:
Beta Version 2.1
2. Game Preparation
2.3 Unit Size and Figure Basing
2.4 Game Scale
3. Troop Types
4. Honor Points
6. Sequence of Play
9. Missile Fire
10.1 Traditional Melee
10.2 Challenge Melee
11. Divine Intervention
14. Designer Notes and References
Gang Warfare in the Age of Bronze (GWAB) is intended as a playable game system which employs miniature replicas of heroes and villains of cultural lore. Through their actions with the miniatures the players paint a new story line of the accomplishments and feats of Homeric, Biblical, or folk tales. Concurrent with the physical play of the miniature pieces on the table, the players will engage in group dynamic interaction to assist or frustrate the goals of their own and those of their fellow players in the ultimate accumulation of ‘honor’ points. The play of GWBA is intended to occur among a group of players over a number of meetings or engagements.
2. Game Preparation.
2.1 Two standard decks of playing cards are employed to determine actions and results. One deck will be employed, without jokers, to determine sequencing of player actions. The other deck will be employed, with jokers, to resolve other variable events, such as combat and divine intervention. It is useful to have two decks of different color or different size. The relative value of cards is found in the Combat Results Chart (CRC) and Divine Intervention Chart (DIC).
2.2 Each player in GWBA is to have two clans. One clan is to be a protagonist and one clan is the antagonist. In a game founded on the classic tale of the Iliad, one clan would represent the Myceneans and the second clan the Trojans.
2.3 A clan is composed of 4 or 3 warbands of 3 figures each, or nine to twelve total figures. The clan has a clan leader and two companions, individually mounted. The clan leader also has one chariot with a driver. A warband stand is composed exclusively of either spearmen, swordsmen, javelinmen, slingers, or bowmen. These ‘pure’ stands may be intermixed to form a warband composed of many varying foot soldiers. The small print – For those players who have already mounted skirmishers, archers and slingers, to conform to existing rules systems (i.e. Armati, DBx), two man stands may be employed in this game, but are still counted as one warband element and are removed from play with one hit point.
2.4 The figure scale is 25mm to 30mm. The warband and chariot are mounted to DBx© and Armati© gaming scales to provide use by players in games of larger (i.e. army) formation size.
Chariots 60mm by 80mm
Warbands 60mm by 30mm
Clan leaders and companions are individually mounted. It is recommended that the individual bases permit the differentiation of front and back. It is the option of the gamer to mount individual figures on either 20mm by 30mm or 25mm by 25mm stands. The former allows the gamer to combine 3 figures into a warband for use in other game systems.
2.5 Ground scale is 30mm to a stride.
3. Troop Types.
3.1 The Clan leader is head man (or in the case of the Trojan ally the Amazons, the head women) of each players clan. He is the only one to accumulate the honor points in combat or confrontations. For the purposes of these rules, the term Hero, clan leader, and leader are synonymous. He may perform the following actions: missile fire, melee, move, invoke divine intervention, drive a chariot, or fire from a chariot.
3.2 The companions may take the place of a fallen or withdrawn clan leader. They may perform the following actions: missile fire, melee, move, drive a chariot or fire from a chariot.
3.3 The warband remains in play as long as either a clan leader or companion is in play on the table. When a leader is present, they may perform the following actions: missile fire, melee or move.
3.4 A clan leader, a companion, or a warband stand constitutes a single element.
3.5 Chariot drivers. Chariot drivers are integral to the chariot stand. The driver manning a chariot may move as part of the chariot stand. The driver may dismount to recover a fallen clan leader and/or his armor immediately adjacent to the chariot element, drag the body back into the chariot and drive away per 8.9. The chariot driver may only melee to defend himself.
4. Honor Points.
The ultimate goal of a player is to accumulate the highest level of Honor Points. Groups attempting to play this system, must make arrangements to accommodate schedules to permit the maximum number of players at each successive game plays, sessions. Points are to be built up over a period of plays on successive dates. A number for quorum must agree to before enrolling the names of the players, their clans and leaders. If a quorum is not achieved, but at least 3 clan pairings are present, then the session is classified as a raid for points.
4.1 Points are accumulated or lost by the clan leader. Points are carried from one day’s play to another within the saga of Gang Warfare in the Age of Bronze. If a clan leader falls, it is assumed on of this companions takes the position, but the honor points begin at zero for that session. Honor points are not transferable.
4.2 One member of the group of players is assigned the task of record keeping and authentication of game results and accumulated honor points.
4.3 Minimum Honor Points. If a clan Hero is killed, the replacement Hero/clan leader starts as a Class 1 Hero with zero points, see 10.1.3.3. Honor Points may never go below zero. At the start of a new session, book, a Hero is never less than Class 2 with 100 points.
|Class 4 Hero||40||20|
|Class 3 Hero||30||15|
|Class 2 Hero||20||10|
|Class 1 Hero||10||5|
|Class 4 Hero||5||1|
|Class 3 Hero||4||1|
|Class 2 Hero||3||1|
|Class 1 Hero||2||1|
|Hero’s Armor, capture||15||7|
|Class 4 Hero||– 10||– 3|
|Class 3 Hero||– 5||– 2|
|Class 2 Hero||– 2||– 1|
|Class 1 Hero||– 1||–|
|Failure to Show**|
|Sulking in Tent or Consorting with Helen||– 10||– 3|
* A challenge from a Hero who received postive Divine Intervention increased ability to inflict wounds or absorb additional hits may be refused without loss of Honor Points.
** Participants in the Saga as officially recorded by the Herald, chapter 11, who fail to show at a previously scheduled sessions have their overall Saga Honor Points reduced by these amounts.
Divine Intervention.Consult the results of Divine Intervention draws for adjustments to the Honor Points.
4.5 Honor Point Rank Chart.
401+ Points – Homeric Hero Basileus
Your story is sung in long pentameter by the ancient Bard.
Classical designs imprint your image.
Neo-classical scholars debate your historical existance.
Amateur archologists hunt your palace.
Hollywood contemporizes your tale for the Big Screen.
Gamers write rulesets on your exploits.
Game Manufactures resurrect you in fine 28mm pewter.
301-400 Points – Class 4 Hero aka Champion
Long pentameter passages in the Great Saga recite your moments of glory.
You appear on vases and mosaics of classical times, but only behind the Big Guy.
Classical literature instructors debate whether to make you an obscure question on the next exam.
You appear as the subject of an small budget art film played at last years Apsen Film Festival.
Gamers at least include your name in their rulesets.
Line manufactures include some representation in 15mm lead as a bag set of command figures.
201-300 Points – Class 3 Hero aka Esquire
You are among the honored clans acknowledged in the unabridged version of the tale.
You appear vaguely as a line drawing in the latest edition of the period WRG book “Friends and Enemies of ….”
Students debate why they are even exposed to your name.
You appear as a supporting character in a Hollywood remake of a 1950s Steve Reeves movie.
A Gamer writes an extensive letter to MWAN arguing that your obscure story constitutes justificiation for some really long convoluted modification to a popular ruleset.
An off brand caster convinces an art student to fashion some figure to represent your class.
101-200 Points – Class 2 Hero aka Leader of Men
Your nearest association with the whole thing is as part of the host to fight before the gates.
Your name appears plastered on the side of a spaceship in Bablyon 5.
At least they know what B.C. stands for!
Some gamers attempt to modify an existing figure to give you existance.
1-101 Points – Class 1 Hero aka Lucky Pierre Hetairoi
You’re not even a belch of Homer Simpson.
You’re name pops up as a background character in Hercules or Xena.
Well, you can always be a Minifig. They all look the same, right?
5.1 A gamer within the group will be appointed the Herald. His fate is to keep the ‘official’ running record of accumulating Honor Points on a real-time basis and over a period of accredited games. If the Herald is unable to attend sessions, an Acting Herald will be selected to communicate results and distribution of Honor Points.
5.2 GWAB is played both as individual raids and battles, or Books, which combine to become a complete campaign or Saga. The Herald will monitor and record the status of each Hero and clan in the Book and the Saga. When a Hero reaches a point total that changes his status, up or down, the Herald will announce it and the new status is immediately applied. If a Hero reaches Homeric status, the Saga immediately ends. The Hero’s name is permanently retired. A new Saga begins with all players’ clan leader starting with 100 Honor Points.
5.3 At the completion of a game, book, each clan leader sheet is annotated with the current state on each element of total honor points, wounds, whether dead or not, and the back of the sheet signed and dated. The sheets are given to the Herald for ‘official’ recording within the ‘Saga’.
5.4 The Herald verifies that a quorum was present, records are accounted for, and Honor points accredited for each battle. The Herald notes which players are cronically absent and adjusts applicable Honor point totals with ‘sulking in tent’ or ‘consorting with Helen’ penalties.
5.5 The Herald will announce through public means the present standing of each participating within the saga.
6. Sequence of Play.
6.1 A round of play.
1. Sequence of actions. The playing deck is shuffled and then a card dealt for each clan. High card and suit goes first. Then the next higher card holding clan goes following the digression of priority and suit till the last card.
2. Stand Aloof. A player may pass, defaulting his opportunities for this round.
3. Non-defaulting player may elect to do ONE of the following.
1. fire missiles from an element.
2. move a foot element.
3. move a chariot and fire a javelin if manned by Hero or champion.
4. clan leader may attempt to invoke divine intervention.
5. clan leader may issue an Individual Challenge. *** If accepted, then follow challenge sequences until this combat is resolved ***
6. loot a body or recover a body.
7. drop any looted armor or bodies being carried.
4. Actions in c are completed by each clan in sequence.
5. Bases of antagonistic clans in contact resolve a melee.
6. Honor points are added or subtracted by results.
6.2 End of session (book) Any session or ‘book’ may end voluntarily upon the withdrawal of most players from a game or by mutual consent. Additionally, the following conditions can be used to determine an end to a particular session:
1. Death of a Class 4 character in normal combat
2. Any character achieves 100 points in that session
3. Advance of all surviving elements of a single clan beyond three quarters of the width of the playing surface.
4. Death of all Heros and Companions of two clans in that session
7.1 Each clan must be deployed on the table within their designated area (see Set-up Chart) and all elements must be in contacting forming one huddle. After deployment, upon election of movement, each clan element may move away from the huddle.
7.2 Protangonist and Antagonist elements set up 600mm from each other or each 300mm from the center of the table.
7.3 The rival clans owned by a player may not deploy across the table directly from each other. During the course of the play they may not fight each other. During play elements of these clans may block the movement of the other.
7.4 Reconstitution. At the beginning of a new session, all clans deploy at full strength. Clans which lost their Hero, begin a new session with a Class 2 Hero with 100 Honor Points. If during the prior session of play for the clan, the Companion, who assumed the place of the clan’s fallen Hero and accumulates points greater than 100, retains all points and position in the new session.
Elements move in sequence with the exceptions of Divine Intervention.
8.1 Movement Rates
|Foot||3 strides or 90mm|
|Chariots||9 strides or 270mm|
|Mounting/Dismounting||1 stride or 30mm [see 8.2]|
|Impact||1 stride or 30mm|
8.2 Mounting/Dismounting. Mounting or dismounting from a chariot expends 1 stride. Warbands may not mount/dismount chariots.
8.2.1 Mounting and dismounting is prorated. If a figure expends one stride to mount a chariot, the chariot may then be driven 6 strides. In a similar manner, if a chariot is driven 3 strides, the rider may dismount costing 1 stride and move a remaining stride.
8.2.2 To mount a chariot which does not belong to your own clan, its basket must first be empty. If an allied clans loses all its Heros and Companions, as well as its assigned charioteer, the friendly clans may attempt to save the chariot. If this is done by a Hero, he gains the appropriate Honor Points.
8.3 Interpenetration. Individual elements may move through their own clan warband elements. Chariots interpenetrating their own warband stand(s) end their movement on the back side of the bands they are moving through. All other clan elements pay no movement penalty when interpentrating friendly elements.
8.4 Wheeling. Chariots must wheel to turn. The wheel is measured from outer movement of the wheel. The wheel is only limited by its movement distance. All other elements may move, wheel, about face as long as the initial center point to the final center point does not exceed its movement allowance. Center point is the center of the front of the base of the stand.
8.5 Backing. A chariot with a driver, may back up one stride per movement round or play of devine intervention (see11.1).
8.6 Missile Fire from Chariots. A chariot with a hero or companion riding may sling a javelin at a target stand. The throw may occur during any point of movement.
8.7 Chariots without Charioteers. It is possible in play, that a Charioteer could be killed either by missile fire or melee contact. Upon the death of a Charioteer and in the absence other occupants, the Chariot becomes a separate ‘player’. If the chariot is parked, it will not move until it is remanned. If it is in motion, it will continue to move. It’s movement is administrative and does not count against any players sequence opportunites. It is moved before any player in the move sequence [See 6.1.a]. The original owning player will move the chariot in the direction it is facing at full move until:
1. It reaches the table edge and is removed from play.
2. Runs into a warband element (less skirmishers) and stops. No further movement until remanned.
3. A player is able to move another Hero, Charioteer, or companion in contact with the chariot with sufficient movement remaining to mount the chariot element.
8.8 Road Kill. A chariot may ‘run over’ skirmishing troops, defined as archers and slingers. This is part of movement, not melee. A chariot, manned or unmanned, which by movement would pass through a stand of skirmishers, slingers or archers, not of its own clan, will instantly disperse the stand for the remainder of the game session. No honor points are obtained. The dispersal does not stop the movement of the chariot which may continue with any remaining movement distance. Since only the chariot’s clan stands are exempted from dispersal, even skirmisher stands of allied clans are effected.
8.9 Recovering a fallen Hero or Companion. Fallen Heros or Companions may be removed from the table by any friendly element. The element recovering the body must make contact with the figure representing the fallen warrior. The next turn, the element engaged in recovery may move the body and itself at 2 strides towards its side of the game table or to load him on a chariot. Once the body is loaded by the element or returned to its edge of the table, the element moving the body may return to engage in further play. The recovering element must drop the body in place if the element must defend itself against attack by antagonists.
9. Missile Fire.
Missile fire is only against an antagonistic clan element, excluding the antagonist clan owned by the shooter.
9.1 Elements armed with missiles may fire. Missiles are either javelin, bow, or slings. If the figure(s) on the base do not have missile weapons, or have been provided separately a casting representing a javelin, they may not fire missiles with the exception of chariot mounted fire.
9.1.1 Skirmish stands, archers and slingers, immediately behind other stands of their clan, may fire over the stands in front of them at antagonist stands. Javelin armed troops can not have an intervening clan stand in front in order to issue fire.
9.1.2 Other stands may block fire if they are nearer to the intended target stand than to the firing stand..
9.1.3 The field of fire is 360 degrees.
9.2 Heroes or companions in a chariot, can issue missile fire. The driver can not issue missile fire. If a Hero or companion is driving a chariot in absence of a charioteer, then no missile fire may be performed.
9.3. Missile fire table
|Range||Short Range (Ace through Jack)||Long Range (Ace or King)|
|Foot Fire||9 strides or 270mm||over 9 strides|
|Chariot Fire||3 strides or 90mm||over 3 strides|
9.4. Apply missile fire results. Hits are placed against the target. Divine intervention protections or savings are applied.
9.5. Missile fire may target leaders, companions, warbands, or chariot drivers. If missile fire is issued at a chariot with rider and driver, it is assumed that the target is the rider unless the firer before drawing declares the specific target of the missile. Horses may not be targeted.
9.6 Missiles may not be fired into a melee. All stands in melee contact may not be fired at.
Melee is only against an antagonistic clan element. Once in contact, melee continues until engaged stands suffers the maximum wounds and is removed (see 10.1.3.2), or a break in contact occurs as a result of impact (see 10.1.3.4).
10.1 Traditional Melee.
10.1.1. Cards are drawn to resolve melee combat. A Hero will draw three cards against a warband, two against a companion, and one against another Hero. A companion will draw two cards against a warband, and one against either a Hero or another companion. A warband or charioteer will draw only draw one card. Card draws are by element.
|No. of Cards Drawn Against|
|Hero||1 Card||2 Cards||3 Cards|
|Companion||1 Card||1 Card||2 Cards|
|Warband/Charioteer||1 Card||1 Card||1 Card|
10.1.2. High card is determined by card and suit. If both players draw matching face cards or aces, the result is a wound suffered by the player with the lower suit. If both players draw cards with the same number, the result is ‘no effect’ regardless of suit. If the high card is a number card, then an impact results.
10.1.3 Combat Results Chart (CRC). [NOTE:MOSTLY LOST TO THE ETHER]
Melee Card Play: Face card inflicts one wound.
1. (-) all lower class suits and order.
2. Divine Intervention selection. A player may receive a Divine Intervention (DI) result of increased melee wound infliction. The wound is inflicted, but both players still pull one card each to determine if the player without DI can also inflict a wound.
Numbered Cards. When two numbered cards are played against each other, highest card (number and suit) wins. The low card holder suffers an impact. The stand suffering a impact result must move back one stride for each numerical difference from the higher card. i.e. 9 spade versus a 5 club, would cause the loser to move back 4 strides. The impact strides may be distributed:
1. The target must under any circumstance be pushed back at least 1.
2. Then distribute the difference pushing back other clan elements [loss of morale]
3. or move forward your clan elements [gain of morale]
4. but no more than one stride per element with the exception of the target stand/element.
10.1.3.1 Wound. Each element has a wound limit. When an element reaches its limit of wound, it is removed from play. A Hero element which reaches this state is removed from play and retired to Tartarus and removed from the Saga. The owner of the Hero’s clan will designate one of the Companions to become the new Hero. A new name is choosen for the Hero element and assigned.
10.1.3.2 Wound limits by element.
|Slingers and Archer elements||1 hit (shieldless without second weapon)|
|Javelin armed element||2 hits (with shield or sword)|
|Spear/sword armed element||3 hits|
|Class 1 Hero||3 hits|
|Class 2 Hero||4 hits|
|Class 3 Hero||5 hits|
|Class 4 Hero||6 hits|
10.1.3.3 A Hero is initially rated Class 2. If a Hero is killed, a Companion replaces the fallen Hero. The Companion becomes the new Hero, is given a name, and becomes a Class 1 Hero. In a Saga, the replacement Hero remains a Class 1 for the remainder of the session until it achives the minimum Hero Points, 100, to move to the next level. Even if the replacement Hero does not accumulate 100 points to move to the Class 2 level, he will be rated Class 2 at the next gaming session. If no Companions remain to replace the fallen Hero, the remainder of the clan disengages in any melee and exists the field of play towards their original placement. A Hero’s wound limit may increase in two ways. First the Hero’s wound limit may be raised by Divine Intervension card draw. Second, in a session, a Hero’s wound limit increases as he earns Honor Points to move to a higher Hero Class.
10.1.3.4 Impact . When the highest card in a melee is a number, rather than an ace or face card, and it is greater than that of the antagonist’s, an impact occurs. The stand suffering an impact result must move back one stride for each numerical difference from the higher card. i.e. 9 spade versus a 5 club, would cause the loser to move back 4 strides. The impact strides are then distributed by first moving the losing stand away or back at least 1 stride. The victor my apply the remaining strides by:
1. moving the antagonist clan elements away or back [loss of morale]
2. or moving forward your clan elements [gain of morale]
3. or moving forward your combat element and maintain melee contact to continue the combat in the next melee round.
4. but no more than one stride per element with the exception of the target stand/element which may receive impact points up to the total difference.
The victor may not move stands that were not involved in the melee into melee conatact.. Stands are moved away or back from the stand of the victor and if possible towards the loser’s clan or allies. Stands which suffer an impact and are inhibited by surrounding stands from moving or interpenetrating, suffer a wound hit instead.
10.1.4 Multiple element resolution. When more than two stands are in contact, a multiple element melee results. Cards are drawn for melee against each element as per 10.1.1. Example: A Hero’s stand is touched by both an antagonist Companion and a Warband stand. The Hero plays two cards against the Companion and three cards against the warband while the antagonist stands each play one card against the Hero stand. See Multiple Melee Example, below:
Multiple Melee Resolution
MMR1. When multiple stands of antagonist and protagonist are in contact, melee is still resolved by pairings of card draws. A simple example would be a Hero stand in contact with both an antagonist companion and warband stand. In this case, the Hero would draw two cards against the companion and three cards against the warband. Conversely, both the companion and warband would draw one card apiece against the Hero. Cards are only drawn against stands in physical contact.
MMR2. Highest card not only wins the melee but also establishes the sequence of the melee resolution. Melees are resolved in the order of priorty of suit and ranking as shown on the Combat Results Chart (CRC). As per the CRC, aces and face cards inflict wounds and number cards inflict impacts. Matching number cards result in no effect (i.e. a 10 of spades and 10 of diamonds are draw in melee) and, limited to this type of draw, stands would remain in contact unless effected by other melee resolution results or divine intervention.
MMR3. If contact is broken, no melee occurs. Since sequencing of melee resolution is determined by highest card, a situation can arise in which an impact will permit a player to pushback antagonist stands out of melee contact. Additionally, within a multiple melee, a stand can be killed before other stands can effect or be effected by the eliminated stand. Since these multiple melees may involve multiple clan members, it is possible for one owner of a clan to decouple a melee of other protagonist by moving stands of the antagonist clan in his melee, through impact or elimination. [N.B. Hero Points can only be attained by the clan Hero, so he/she must be the one inflicting the wounds or the kill in combat to garner points.]
MMR4. Example. Trojans are white outlined stands and Mycenians are gray filled in stands, coded ‘H’ for Hero, ‘C’ for Companion, and ‘W’ for Warband. For the purpose of this example stands are in contact. The Trojan Warband and Companion are in contact with the Mycenian Hero. The Trojan Companion is also in contact with the Mycenian Warband. In resolving the melee, the Mycenian Hero draws three cards against the Trojan Warband and two cards against the Trojan Companion. The Trojan Warband and Companion each draw one card against the Hero. The Trojan Companion draws two cards against the Mycenian Warband. The Mycenian Warband draws one card against the Trojan Companion. Based upon MMR2, the following sequencing would happen with these draws:
Trojan Warband: 6/Hearts
Mycenian Hero: Jack/Spades, 4/Spades, 4/Clubs
Mycenian Hero: Jack/Clubs, 7/Spades
Trojan Companion: King/Clubs
Trojan Companion: Queen/Spades, 2/Diamonds
Mycenian Warband: 5/Spades
High Card is the King/Clubs. Trojan Companion inflicts 1 wound on Mycenian Hero.
Next High is Queen/Spades. Trojan Companion inflicts 1 wound on Mycenian Warband.
Next High is Jack/Spades. Mycenian Hero inflict 1 wound on Trojan Warband.
Trojan Warband: 5/Hearts
Mycenian Hero: King/Hearts, 7/Hearts, 7/Clubs
Mycenian Hero: Jack/Diamonds, 6/Diamonds
Trojan Companion: 8/Hearts
Trojan Companion: Ace/Hearts, 10/Clubs
Mycenian Warband: Ace/Clubs
High Card is Ace/Hearts. Trojan Companion inflicts 1 wound on Mycenian Warband.
Next High is King/Hearts. Mycenian Hero inflicts 1 wound on Trojan Warband.
Next High is Jack/Diamonds. Mycenian Hero inflicts 1 wound on Trojan Companion.
Trojan Warband: 9/Clubs
Mycenian Hero: 7/Diamonds, 5/Diamonds, 3/Hearts
Mycenian Hero: Ace/Spades, 2/Clubs
Trojan Companion: 2/Hearts
Trojan Companion: King/Spades, 8/Clubs
Mycenian Warband: 10/Hearts
High Card is Ace/Spades. Mycenian Hero inflicts 1 wound on Trojan Companion.
Next High is King/Spades. Trojan Companion inflicts 1 wound on the Mycenian Warband. This is the third wound on the Mycenian Warband and it is removed from play.
Next High is 9/Clubs. The Trojan Warband inflicts an impact of 2 strides on the Mycenian Hero (9-7=2). The first stride must be played against the Mycenian Hero forcing him back. Contact is broke with all remaining stands. To keep the melee going, the Trojan player uses the second stride to move the Trojan Companion back into contact with with the Mycenian Hero.
In the movement sequence of this round, the Trojan player elected to move his Warband back into contact with the Mycenian Hero.
Trojan Warband: Queen/Clubs
Mycenian Hero: Queen/Diamonds, 9/Hearts, 9/Diamonds
Mycenian Hero: 6/Spades, 4/Hearts
Trojan Companion: 3 Diamonds
High Card is Queen/Clubs. The Trojan Warband inflicts 1 wound on the Mycenian Hero.
Next High is 6/Spades. The Mycenian Hero inflicts an impact of 3 strides on the Trojan Companion (6-3=3). All three strides are applied against the Trojan Companion.
In the missile sequence of this round, the Mycenian player attempted missile fire against the unengaged Trojan Companion without success. The Trojan player elected to move his Companion back into melee contact.
Trojan Warband: Ace/Diamonds
Mycenian Hero: 8/Diamonds, 6/Clubs, 2/Spades
Mycenian Hero: Queen/Hearts, 10/Diamonds
Trojan Companion: 8/Spades
High Card is Ace/Diamonds. The Trojan Warband inflicts 1 wound on the Mycenian Hero.
Next Card is Queen/Hearts. The Mycenian Hero inflicts 1 wound on the Trojan Companion. This is the third wound on the Trojan Companion and it is removed from play.
Trojan Warband: 3/Hearts
Mycenian Hero: 10/Clubs, 5/Hearts, 5/Diamonds
High Card is 10/Clubs. The Mycenian Hero inflicts an impacts of 7 strides on the Trojan Warband (10-3=7). Four strides are applied against the Trojan Warband moving it out of range to reengage the Mycenian Hero in the next round and thus ending this particular melee. The remaining 3 strides are distributed among three of the Mycenian players other stands to bring them forward 1 stride apiece.
N.B. During this melee the Mycenian Hero inflicted wounds and one kill which would add Honor Points to his ranking.
10.1.4.1 The melees are resolved by the highest played card. Highest card draw wins and resolution is then sequenced by card order. Results are applied against all touching stands in the order of highest card to lowest card played. Results are applied based upon the CRT. As the individual combats are resolved kills and impact effects may negate combats which draw lower ranking cards.
10.1.4.2 As the melees are sequenced by highest card within the area of all touching stands, it is possible that as a result of a high number card, the winner has impact points which in application causes meless with lower cards to break off, thus terminating those melees. A hero element which inflicts the final and fatal wound upon a target receives the honor points for the kill. Any other element (companion, warband) which inflicts the final and fatal wound does not receive honor points.
10.2 Challenge Melee. A challenge occurs when in sequence, one clan leader issues a challenge to individual combat to an antagonist clan leader except his own. The clans of these leaders must be facing each other across the table or immediately adjacent. There can not be intervening clans between leaders for a challenge to be issued. Only one challenge can be issued by a specific Hero against another Hero in a single session.
10.2.1 If a challenge is declined, honor points are subtracted from the challenged leaders totals, see the Honor Point Chart. Honor points are then added to the challenging leaders total, see the Honor Point Chart.
10.2.2 If a challenge is accepted, all other actions stop. The two Heros sequence their combat round:
1. defaults (as per Divine Intervension).
2. missile fire is issued once and only once before melee contact
4. melee as per 10.1.2
5. apply results, adding or subtracting honor points repeat sequencing, less 10.2.2.b, until either one leader is rendered hors de combat or retreats from the fray.
10.2.3. A challenge is completed when one Hero:
1. receives wounds equal to his/her wound limit and is removed from play.
2. receives at least one wound and takes advantage of an impact to disengage combat without loss of Honor Points.
3. accepts a loss to his/her Honor Points and takes advantage of an impact to disengage combat.
10.3 Capturing Armor.
10.3.1 When a Hero dies, his armor becomes a potential prize. Only a fallen Hero’s armor may be looted. Live Heros, companions, and warband elements may not be looted for armor. Antagonist or protagonist Heros may loot the armor.
10.3.2 To obtain a dead Hero’s armor, a live Hero must be touching the stand or figure of the fallen hero for a complete turn sequence without interference from other players, to include fellow protangonists. The first turn of this looting does not include the turn the antigonist Hero is killed. Once the armor is taken, the holding Hero must move back, retire towards his side of the playing table, to his chariot, or towards other stands of his clan. Only a Hero can receive Honor Points for looting armor.
10.3.3 The Hero holding the armor may transfer it to another stand of his clan. The Hero may rejoin the fight, but the receiving stand must move towards his edge of the playing table. The selection of which element to move during subsequent sequences of play is up to the owning player. However, the stand holding the armor may not move any direction other than off the table in the aformentioned direction.
10.3.4 A stand caught in melee while holding the armor can not draw cards in melee until it either exits the table or drops the armor. The attacker draws cards as per 10.1.1. The holder of the armor may drop the armor during his turn of sequence. A token or other means of representation is placed to indicate the dropped armor. If the stand dropping the armor is in direct contact with an antagonist, it may draw cards to melee in that sequence per 6.1.e.
11. Divine Intervention.
11.1 Special Dispensation. A player who draws a Joker may retain the card and request to draw another card. The Joker may be used by the holding player at any time to draw an additional card, to defer a hit or wound, to retreat beyond the field of battle [leave the game], double the foot movement of a stand for a turn, to jump out of a round sequence, or retreat out of melee either regular or challenge. The joker may not be transferred to another player or played in behalf of another player. Once a Joker is played, it is returned to the discard deck.
11.2 Regular Dispensation. During the normal sequence, a clan leader may ONCE in a game, attempt to invoke the divine in his behalf. A card is drawn and the Divine Intervention Chart is consulted. If the clan leader draws a Joker, it is kept as in 11.1, but another card is not drawn in its place. Negative results may occur as well as positive.
* Antagonist A GWAB clan deployed across the game surface from the clan in question. An opponent.
* Battle A game of GWAB with at least 5 players and 10 clans.
* Book One session of GWAB. A single battle or raid.
* Challenge An event when a Hero calls upon an opposing or antagonist Hero to individual combat.
* Clan A GWAB “Army” a group of elements initially composed of a Hero, his Chariot, its driver, two Companions, and 3 or 4 warbands. The clan can be considered the warrior companions and peasent conscripts of the chieftain of the warrior class.
* Clan Leader Synonymous with Hero.
* Combat The event of a missile being used or a melee occuring.
* Divine Intervention An event that occurs when a Hero calls upon his deities to act upon the session.
* Element A single stand. The stand is based for either a Hero, Companion, Chariot, or warband. The charioteer does not have a stand and is handled as an extension of the Chariot.
* Herald The player who acts as the recorder for honor points for a series of GWAB sessions or saga.
* Hero An element consisting of a single figure. The Hero is the leader of the clan and is the only element that can accumulate or lose honor points. Administatively the Hero can be represented by two figures, one on foot and one for in the chariot.
* Honor Points The unit of measure to determine the ranking of players. Accumulated or lost incrementally by actions identified on the Honor Points Chart.
* Impact The effect of morale on elements causing either forward or backward movement.
* Raid A game of GWAB with 4 or 3 players with 8 or 6 clans.
* Saga A number of sequential session of GWAB ending when a Hero achieves 400 Honor Points.
* Session A game of GWAB with players each with two clans played for the record.
* Skirmisher Warband stands composed of slingers or archers.
* Stand Synonymous with Element.
* Stride Three centimeters.
* Warband A stand with three figures either composed of spearmen, swordsmen, javelinmen, slingers, or archers. Optionally, slingers and archers may be mounted two per stand.
* Wound A hit on an element caused by melee, fire, or divine intervention.
The follow Special ideas are optional for incorporation into your play.
13.1 Terrain. There are two types of terrain, both of which limit the movement of chariots.
13.1.1 The first terrain prohibits the movement of chariots and restricts foot stands within its parameter, i.e. rock outcroppings, tightly packed trees, palisades, and ditches. Movement by chariots is not permited in these environments. Foot stands may move through or into these environments, but must stop within, as in the case of outcroppings and groves, or stop upon crossing them, as in the case of palisades and ditches.
13.1.2 The second terrain restricts the movement of chariots from one side to another, i.e. streams. Chariots must stop at the edge of a stream to cross. The next turn it may proceed to the other side, clearing the terrain, but it may not proceed further in that round.
13.2 Limited Chariot Javelins. Chariots may have an agreed to limit, basic load, on the number of javelins they may carry. Three or four is recommended. Once the supply of javelins is expended, the chariot can return to an area behind a line of owner’s clan to obtain a resupply. Passing behind or moving behind the line of one’s warbands is sufficient to be recharged with the basic load of javelins.
13.3 Carry over of Honor Points between Sagas. As a variation to 5.2, rather than beginning a new Saga with all Heros at Class 2 and 100 points, players may elect to carry over their standings in Honor Points and Ranking to the next Saga.
14. Designer Notes and References.
14.1 Designer Notes
Sitting here, viewing the vast vistas of New Mexico and listening to the morning news, another account of the effects of local gang warfare in the south valley strikes a cord in my mind. The conduct of todays thugs and those 3000 years pasts bear remarkable resemblance. Each gang, clan, household engages in pack and alpha male behaviors far more than modern organized military operations. A read of the Iliad and the personalities reveals that time has not changed man much when it comes to the base social order. The Mycenians were raiders and devastators who left destruction and terror in their wake at Troy. It does however make an interesting setting for a great play. So to borrow from the Bard, let the world be our stage and we are but the players.
The game system as organizied is clean and relatively simple. Please avoid the temptation to add ‘chrome’, additional rules and conditions which add no ‘gaming’ value to the play. I continue this philosophy by keeping the biggest headache in miniatures, accumulating and painting figures, to a minimum. GWAB requires two clans with 16 to 13 figures and a chariots each. Two clans should cost no more than $100 (US) as of the date of this publication. I retained the basing structures of two popular ancient rules sets, so that individuals or groups who wish to pursue a grand tactical battle can easily upgrade their holdings to play those rules. One bias that I do bring into these rules is that if we employ meteric for our figures and bases, then we might as well employ it for our measurement. However, since much of this is rendered into “strides”, it should not create too much problem or discomfort with the metrically challenged among us.
The game is intended to be strategic in the sense that it is not played in a single round and that the gamers are expected to alter their ‘alliances’ and ‘behaviors’ as honor points of a hero(s) increase to the goal at the mythical Homeric level. That goal is to reach the ultimate level, the equivalent of Achilles. An underlying game concept is that each meeting of the players is equal to one book in the Iliad. If one of the players, either as a Mycenian or Trojan reaches the highest level accumulated over a number of such meetings then the ‘Saga’ or ‘Epic’ “as told” ends. A new ‘Epic’ or ‘Saga’ begins. Remember that the Iliad is only 52 days or so of a 10 year war. Certainly there is room for more stories, in the manner that the Romans continued the tale with Aneas.
Divine Intervention is not constructed as a fantasy or magical element within the parameters of these rules. Rather it is a good or bad day on the field of play. As modern major sports figures have days in which they are ‘in the groove’ and turn in remarkable performances, so the personalities on our fields of Ilium have the potential for an extrodinary day. Interesting, even today, when an athlete makes a goal, touch down, or incredible achievement, one can be seen to bow and render thanks to his or her ‘Divine’ belief. The application of ‘Honor Points’ under Divine Intervention is to portray a good, great, or poor pep-talk, to use modern terminology, as ritual invocations and their morale impact upon the clan.
Other Guilty Parties
These are the local Heros and Companions who have provided color in the evolution of these rules.
Dave “Hephaestus” Burton
Gerard “Achilles” Coffey
Dave “Hermes” Downs
Bucky “Sarpedon” Fox
Dave “Terminus” Lowe
The Staff “Spawns of Eris” of Active Imagination in Albuquerque, NM for the gaming space we routinely defile.
and of course, the man who made this site possible
Kevin “Apollo” Schwebel
Los Lunas, NM
14.5 Charts and Annexes:
14.5.1 Set-up Chart.
14.5.2 Combat Results Chart. [LOST]
14.5.3 Divine Intervention Chart.
14.5.4 Honor Points Chart. [SEE ABOVE]
14.5.5 Honor Point Rank Chart.[SEE ABOVE]
14.5.6 Clans & Names.
14.5.7 Multiple Melee Example.
14.6 Playing Aids. [LOST]
14.6.1 Hero Record Chart [LOST]
14.6.2 Movement Template [LOST]