The Viking Legal Team in Action

The Viking Legal Team in Action
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Monday, October 31, 2016

Latest Feudal rules

Well, here they are. Lots of play testing and re-writing and tweaking here and there. I need to put in the character rules and such, but these are the rules, anyway.

Being a battle game for 1000 warriors a force on a table as small as 3x3’, A.D. 500-1100.

0.00 Grey Areas are resolved by defining the issue in “either/or” terms and rolling off, my “Triple-Zed Rule”.
0.1 Measuring may be done anytime.  Inches are used here - double or x 2.5 for cm as desired.
0.2 Dice used are six-sided, with either 1-6 [D6] or  2-5 for averaged results [the D5 “average dice”, has pips of 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, eliminating 1 & 6]. Pick one to use for all rolls in a game. Due to this choice, “Dx” is used for the die rolled in the rules.  I prefer the D5 as less frustrating and rewarding tactics more than luck!
0.3 Scale is 5-10 minutes of action / inaction; 6” = 24m [1”=4m]. A 25mm fig=20 / 15mm fig=10 men.
0.4 Units represent 160 foot, 80 mounted / Lights in five common feudal warrior types:
a.    Knights or milites are feudal nobles with mail, helm, lance, and shield on warhorses, supported by retinues.  They charge aggressively but lack cohesion and horse armor so are vulnerable to casualties.
b.    Foot Knights are dismounted knights using lances as spears and mutual support to attack and defend.  They move slowly due to gear and tight grouping. Either Unit may have large numbers of men at arms.
c.    Serjeants or servientes are armed with spear, shield and hand weapons.  They’ve little armor and less √©lan so offer support through numbers and tight grouping.  Also called stipendarii, et al.
d.    Bowmen are serjeants, liberi or mercenary stipendarii, with bow or crossbow, who shoot volleys. They’ve enough missiles to endanger targets and affect the battle but avoid melee if they have missiles.
e.    Lights or ruttae are bandits or camp-followers with knives, bows, javelins, rocks and other missiles, but the best may be fierce raiding warriors.  They harass from difficult terrain, charging vulnerable opponents. Also called ribauds, bidets, brigans, arriere-ban, kerns, jacquerie, etc.
0.5 Figures & Basing. Units are 4-6” per Unit Front with a depth half the front.  I use single 5”x 2.5” bases, with 3-5 figs for mtd / Lights, 12-16 for foot. Multiple WRG/DBx bases may be on 12x6cm sabots. If there are multiple bases, they may be Turned into a BD wide column to pass gaps – their Flanks will then be twice their Front. Units on a sabot or single base do the same by using a Turn and marking the base’s new “Front”.
0.6 Base Width [BW] & Base Depth [BD] are 5 and 2.5” for my single bases, and 12 and 6cm for WRG/DBx bases. BD is used for measurements like LoS, melee contact and gaps.
0.7 Front, Flank & Rear are measured from Unit corners, 45° arcs off the sides Front, Rear [back] or Flanks –left and right. The Front’s center point shows if a Unit is in an enemy’s Rear Arc for Shooting.
0.8 Bows are missiles propelled by a device, such as a bows, slings, and the new light crossbow.
0.9 Javelins are missiles thrown by a person, including throwing spears, javelins, hand axes and rocks.
0.10 Terrain has two types, Area and Linear.  Area are 6-12” per side or diameter.  Linear are 6-12” long x 1-3” wide. Units are Defending terrain if they are within Area terrain or lining the edge of intervening Linear terrain.
a.    Hills. Area.  Defensive bonus if uphill of melee opponent.  Define “uphill” according to hill’s appearance.
b.    Woods, Marsh.  Area. Only Lights may enter. Defensive bonus.
c.    Camp & Village. Area. Defensive bonus.
d.    Lakes & Rivers, Cliffs.  Impassible Area and Linear respectively.
e.    Walls, Ditch, Ford. Linear. Defensive bonus.
f.     Roads. Linear. Road movement cancels terrain restrictions, e.g. river crossing.
0.11 Line of Sight.  LoS is measured from a Unit's Front center point to a side of the Target Unit Base: Front, Flank or Rear that is a BD length, and requires a gap >BD through which to trace it.  It is obstructed by anything taller than figure height, e.g. hills, woods and Units, but may still be traced over the obstruction by a Unit on a height clearly taller and if there’s a gap of >BD between the target and obstruction.
·         Units lining the edge of Area or Linear terrain have unobstructed LoS into the open.
·         For Units within Area terrain, e.g. woods, hill [sculpted with plateau], a LoS may be traced across a terrain edge a BD between it and another Unit, but not through two sides of Area or Linear terrain.
·         Units must have LoS to a Target Unit at the time of a Shot or Charge.
LoS to a Target Flank is blocked if it has a friendly Unit facing the same general direction within one BD of that Flank, measuring from front to front and rear to rear corners of that Flank - it may not be Shot or Charged.
PLAY SEQUENCE.  A full turn has each player taking four phases:
Attacker  [player A]: 1) Shoot, 2) Move, 3) Melee, 4) Rally
Defender [player D]: 1) Shoot, 2) Move, 3) Melee, 4) Rally

1.1 Shooting Basics.  Missile Units may shoot with these restrictions:
a.    A BD of the Shooting Unit needs a LoS to a BD of the Target Unit per LoS [0.11].
b.    Range is 18” for Bows, 6” for Javelins, measured per LoS above.
c.    Bowmen Shoot into their Front arc, and then cannot move in the Movement Phase.
d.    Lights with Javelins Shoot in the Movement Phase before or after moving only.
e.    Shooting into a Melee is permitted if there is LoS and the shooter is in the side Arc it is targeting.
f.     Remove units as soon as they get 15+ Hits.
1.2 Resolving Shooting. Roll a Dx for the number of Hits against the Target Unit, modified as follows:
a.    Lights shooting are -2,
b.    Terrain.  Units defending woods, camp, village or walls halve Hits,
c.    Armored.  Foot Knights halve Hits from shooting,
d.    Unshielded or unprepared. Double Hits from Units shooting into a Rear Arc [cf. 0.7]. 
e.    Stacked Modifiers. The max defensive benefit any Unit may receive is ¼ Hits [1/2x1/2].  Note that a halving and a doubling cancel each other out.
f.     Round all fractions up. This increases the minimum number of Hits which accounts for fatigue.
1.3 Shooting Limits.  Lights only carried about 2-3 Javelins and Bowmen a dozen arrows, so both Unit types run out of missiles if they roll a natural ‘5’ or ‘6’ on their Hit roll - mark the Unit.

2.1 Move Basics.  Players sequentially; select a Unit, state if moving Fast, roll a die [add any Bonus], and move the Unit in a straight line any part of the amount, incorporating Turns as allowed.
Class 1  Foot Knights, Serjeants, Bowmen   Move  1Dx,     Fast +3”                      
Class 2  Lights                                               Move  1Dx,     Fast +6”                      
Class 3  Knights                                             Move  1Dx,     Fast +9”                      
2.2 The Move rate may be used any time, in any direction, and allows Turns [2.4] and a Charge [2.8], but no corner may move more than the amount rolled. To retreat from Melee a Unit may be in contact with only one Unit, to its Front, from a lower movement class, and may only move straight back out of melee Contact.
2.3 A Fast move is only allowed when a Unit is NOT within a BD of enemy Unit[s] at the start of the Move Phase.  If used, a Unit may not move within a BD of any enemy Unit[s] except ONE Unit that it Charges.
2.4 Turning. Units rotate on their center or center-front point up to 180°. Turns are not measured but are movement.  Ignore contacts with friendly Unit(s) while turning, as long as the Unit ends its move clear and the “overlap” is < an inch.  It is helpful to leave gaps of about 1/2 -1” between friendly Units to facilitate Turns.
a.    Foot Knights, Bowmen, Serjeants, Knights, may Turn once, at the start OR end of their move.
b.    Lights may Turn twice, once at the start AND once at the end of their move.
c.    Facing an attacker is allowed when in Melee contact with enemy Unit(s), none on its Front. The Unit turns a full 90° / 180° and faces one contacting Unit with its Front side.  Adjust enemy Unit bases to maintain contact.  If space is a problem, just mark the new “Front” [cf. 0.5].
2.4 Interpenetration & Gaps. Only Lights through any friendly Unit, and vice-versa.  The moving Unit must roll enough on its move dice to entirely clear the stationary Unit’s base. A gap >BD is needed to move through.
2.5 Moving and Shooting. Lights with Javelins may Shoot before or after their Move [a Move includes all Turns used].  Bowmen may not Move if they shot in Phase 1 [cf 1.1c].

2.8 Charging Basics.  Charges are moves that end with a Unit’s base in physical Contact with the base of an enemy Unit that is in LoS.  The total amount rolled must permit a legal Charge contact or the Charge may not be made. Units using a Fast move may only charge Targets within their Front Arc; using a Move, Units may charge enemy Units in any Arc with which they can make legal contact, effectively a 360° LoS.
a.    Lights may only charge a Flank or Rear. 
b.    Bowmen may only Charge when out of missiles.
c.    Contact is permitted by only one Charging Unit on each side, Front, Rear and each Flank. 
d.    Contact normally requires a BD+ of each Unit to be touching edge-to-edge.  The Charging Unit Moves along the LoS using the most direct legal move until it touches the Target’s base; it then uses remaining movement to close any gap and maximize the edge Contact, and stops moving.
e.    A Flank is protected if a Target Unit has a friendly Unit facing the same general direction and within a BD of that Flank, measuring Front to Front and Rear to Rear corners - it may not be Charged.
f.     If a Flank is not protected, a Charging Unit may stop its Move upon Front Corner Contact with the unprotected Flank, an exception to 2.8d above.  This allows Contacting that Flank side at the expense of the Flank Contact Bonus, cf 2.8g below.
g.    The Flank Contact bonus is only earned when the Charging Unit has full Front to Flank edge Contact on the Target Unit.  A charging Unit with just Front Corner contact melees that Flank side, but with no Bonus [3.2d].  If later Frontally Contacted itself, it automatically melees the Unit now Contacting its Front, and no longer puts Hits against the Unit with which it has only Front Corner to Flank Contact. 
h.    Space problems that occur from sculpted Terrain and Base size/shapes sometimes make full edge contact impossible.  In this case, if both Units would otherwise be able to make a legal Contact, Front Corner and edge Contacts between the Units are permitted instead.
i.      Rear contact occurs if even just a corner of the charging Unit Contacts any part of the Rear, regardless of any remaining gap between the Units.
The goal is to allow any reasonable melee contact despite terrain modeling, basing or sabots; also to reward flank protection while penalizing unprotected flanks and rear.  If disputed, cf. 0.00!

3.1 One-Sided Melee.  Units only inflict Hits during their own player turn and only on one enemy Unit in Contact.  Melee includes lulls in action as both sides catch breath and exchange insults in close proximity.
3.2 Resolving Melee. Roll a Dx for each attacking Unit to get the Hits on the Target Unit, modified as follows:
a.    Unit Types. +2 for Knights and -2 for Lights and Bowmen. 
b.    Terrain. Units uphill, or defending woods / marsh / village / camp / river bank / ditch / wall halve Hits. 
c.    Armored. Foot Knights halve Hits.
d.    Unshielded or Unprepared.  Double Hits from Units attacking a Flank or the Rear.
e.    Stacked Modifiers. The max defensive benefit any Unit may receive is ¼ Hits [1/2x1/2].  Note that a halving and a doubling cancel each other out.
f.     Round all fractions up, even quartering, as for Shooting [cf. 1.2f].
Melee concludes with the elimination of Units or their retreat from Melee [cf. 2.2]. 
3.3 Facing Attackers. Units in melee with Unit[s], none on their Front, may turn to face one attacker [cf 2.4c].
3.4 Remove Units as soon as they get 15+ Hits.

Units eligible to rally off Hits due to this or an Optional Rule do so now. 
4.1 Rallying. Units that didn’t Shoot, Move or Melee, Rally off 1-3 Hits:
·         roll Dx with 1-2=1, 3-4=2, 5-6=3 Hits removed. 

Units that have passed ten Hits may not rally to below five Hits.  This represents unrecoverable fatigue and casualties in a typical 10-15 turn battle.

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