The Viking Legal Team in Action

The Viking Legal Team in Action
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Sunday, October 25, 2015

NT OHW Medieval Rules: only 2 Pages!

Well, due to the relative simplicity of the types presented, and my not being keen to add any others [altho the medieval world had a fair amount of variety, really] the adaptation of my Dark Ages rules into the Medieval period has made for a very small set.  

It is suitable for relatively straightforward battles between similar Feudal forces of knights supported by dismounted knights, archers and infantry.  Due to my figures being from the early medieval period, I toned down the archery from a devastating d6+2 to my d5+0.  I am still working on relative values, but I think d5-1, d5, and d5+1 are all valid, relatively speaking, for the Units.  Anyway, below are the rules, give them a playtest and let me know what you think!

Grey Areas.  Any situation not explicitly covered in the rules, or a measurement that is “too close to call”, should be defined in “either/or” terms and resolved with a friendly roll off in the winner’s favor.

Pre-measuring.  Distances between Units may be measured at any time.

Units.  There are four types of Units in the feudal rules, representing the most common types.
1.    Knights have chain mail, shields, and not very large horses.  They charge aggressively but their lack of cohesion and horse armor results in them being vulnerable to casualties.
2.    Men at Arms are dismounted knights on foot, or well-armed and armored professionals.  Their armor and shield protect them and they are better able to fight together on foot than mounted knights.
3.    Serjeants are armed and fight effectively, similar to MaA but have poorer armor. 
4.    Archers are trained professionals using a crossbow with adequate armor and weapons to fight a melee if forced.  Others are bowmen with little armor and few weapons.  Either may be trained in shooting volleys.  They’ve enough missiles to endanger their targets and to shoot effectively through a battle.

Figures & Basing.  4-6 inch frontage per Unit with no prescribed depth, figure size or number per base.  Mine are two adjacent 6cm bases of 2-6 25mm figures [WRG standard], for a total of 12cm [47/8”] or 5 bases of 2x1” cavalry singles.  This makes all my Units about 5” wide, and 1.5-2” deep. 

Dice.  For more averaged results, I use a d5, which is the UK “average dice”, having pips of 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, eliminating 1 & 6.  If you want more extremes, use a d6.  Try using a d6 for Warband and d5 for Infantry.

Line of Sight.  LoS is measured from a Unit's front center point to the center of a fully visible side of the Target Unit Base: Front, Left, Right or Rear.  It is blocked by anything apparently taller than the height of the figures, e.g. hills, woods, buildings, and Units [elephants are higher than cavalry are higher than infantry].
·         Units may see 4” into and out of woods, town, and hills [plateau effect] but not through two sides. 
·         Units must have LoS to shoot or charge enemy Units at the time of the shot or charge.

Front, Flank & Rear.  These are measured from the Unit corners, 45° arcs off the front, rear or each base side.  The location of a Unit’s Front center determines if it is in an enemy Unit’s Front, Flank or Rear Facing.

Play Sequence.  A full turn has each player taking four phases:
Attacker  [player A]: 1) Shooting, 2) Movement, 3) Melee, 4) Routs and Rallies
Defender [player D]: 1) Shooting, 2) Movement, 3) Melee, 4) Routs and Rallies

Players sequentially move their Units, with no corner exceeding the total distance rolled in inches. 
1.    Class 1.  All Foot               move 1d5, +2”
2.    Class 2.  Knights               move 3d5, +2”           
To fit through a gap or move along a road, the two bases may be placed one behind the other, or the cavalry bases may move sideways or in a column of bases for appearances sake.  There’s no game difference for a “column” as the warriors are just flowing through a gap or along a road.

Turning.  Units rotate on their center or center-front up to 180°. Turns are not measured but are movement.
1.    Foot may Turn once, at the start OR end of their move.
2.    Knights may Turn twice, once at the start AND once at the end of their move.
3.    Any Unit in melee contact with Unit(s), none on its front facing, may face one of the Unit(s) with its front.  The Unit turns a full 90° or 180° and enemy Unit bases are adjusted to maintain contact. 
Terrain.  There are two terrain types, Linear and Area.  Linear are 6-12” long x 1-3” wide.  Area are 6-12” per side or diameter.  Building or tree models are only decorative – move as needed to position Units.
·         Hills. Area.  No movement effect.  Defensive bonus when uphill.
·         Villages, Woods, Brush, Marsh.  Area. Only Skirmishers and Raiders may enter, 4” movement penalty.  Defensive bonus if entirely inside.
·         Lakes & Rivers.  Impassible Area and Linear respectively. Units may cross at a bridge or ford.
·         Walls, Gullies. Linear. No movement effect but defensive bonus.
·         Roads. Linear. Units get a 4” bonus if entirely following a road and not Charging.

Interpenetration. None is allowed  – Units may not move through each other..

Charging.  Charge moves end with the Unit in Contact with an enemy Unit.
1.    Eligible Target Units must have any part of their base within the Charging Unit’s Front arc and in LoS, and the closest LoS distance between the two Units must be less than the movement amount rolled.
2.    Contact is then made by moving along the shortest legal move from the Charging Unit’s Front Facing towards the center of any Facing that is not already in contact, maximizing the amount of edge to edge Contact, if any, and minimizing any gap using all available movement to do so.  It then stops moving.  
3.    Contact may be made by only one attacking Unit per facing; front, rear and each flank.
There is no additional free movement to achieve fully aligned edge-to-edge contact [the so-called “closing the door” of DBA and other rules].   Any gaps are assumed to be filled with fighting men!

Archer Units may shoot missiles with these restrictions:
·         Range is 12” for bows or crossbows.
·         Archers may not shoot if they moved during the Movement Phase, but may have turned.
·         Crossbows may not shoot if they moved or turned during the Movement Phase.
·         Fulfilling the above LoS and other restrictions, shooting into a melee is permitted.
Roll 1D5 if the Unit is armed with bows, or +1 if armed with crossbows.  This gives the number of
Hits against the Target Unit, modified as follows:
o   Terrain.  Units defending woods, villages or walls halve Hits [round up].
o   Men at Arms.  Have heavy armor and large shields, so they halve Hits [round up] from shooting at their front or flank facings.
o   Unshielded or unprepared. Double Hits from Units shooting into the rear Facing. 
o   Stacked Modifiers. The max defensive benefit any Unit may receive is ¼ Hits [1/2x1/2].

One-Sided Melee.  Units only inflict casualties during their own player turn.  Roll 1D5 for the Unit, getting +2 if Knights but -2 if Archers – Bow and -1 if Archers - Crossbow.  Modify this result as follows:
·         Terrain. Units uphill or defending woods / river bank / gully / wall halve Hits [round up].
·         Men at Arms. Their armor allows them to halve Hits [rounded up].
·         Unshielded or Unprepared.  Double Hits by Units attacking on the rear or flank facing.
·         Stacked Modifiers. The max defensive benefit any Unit may receive is ¼ Hits [1/2x1/2].
There is no dividing of the Hits a Unit inflicts upon multiple Units attacking it [one enemy Unit may attack each facing; front, rear and either flank, for four total Units].  Units only fight melee combats to their Front, attacking a single enemy Unit in contact with their Front Facing.  Melee concludes with the elimination of Units.  Units in melee may turn to face attackers if they don’t have enemy contacting their Front.  [see Movement].

·         Any Unit with 15 or more Hits is removed from the table.
·         Any Unit eligible to rally off Hits due to an Optional Rule does so now. 

Units that pass ten total Hits have 5 become permanent – mark them in red as they may not be rallied off.

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