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Author Topic: Small scale Skirmish rules for Romans in Britain Any Suggestions please?  (Read 2055 times)

Offline Johnny Boy

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A very good evening to one and all. I was after some recommendations for a set of Skirmish rules for Romans in Britain. Having started rereading some of Simon Scarrow's Macro and Cato adventures and watching "Rome" again gave me a yearning for a dozen or so Romans and appropriate Barbarian bands to game. I've seen reviews of SPQR and not wholly convinced. What else is out there for the size of game I'm planning.
Many thanks in advance
Johnny Boy

Offline wmyers

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Re: Small scale Skirmish rules for Romans in Britain Any Suggestions please?
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2020, 07:41:13 PM »
Check out ‘Clash of Spears’.

https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=120683.0

Also, ‘War and Conquest’ and ‘Warhammer Ancient Battles’.

You can also use the Games Workshop ‘Lord of the Rings’ Strategy Battle Game rules without the magic to create some very fun, detailed (jumping, climbing, falling, rolling, etc) and personalized character action without the magic.

Offline NickNascati

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Re: Small scale Skirmish rules for Romans in Britain Any Suggestions please?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2020, 08:41:56 PM »
For games that size, look at Fistful of Lead, Song of Blades and Heroes, or even Pulp Alley.

Offline Nick2729

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Re: Small scale Skirmish rules for Romans in Britain Any Suggestions please?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2020, 09:06:21 PM »
How about the forthcoming "Infamy, Infamy" from Too Fat Lardies.

Several playtest game reports here.

http://toofatlardies.co.uk/blog/?p=7895

I'm looking at these for exactly the things you are looking for.


Offline Tibson

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Re: Small scale Skirmish rules for Romans in Britain Any Suggestions please?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2020, 05:22:19 AM »
Are copies actually available?  Scale doesn't really seem to fit.  Does it scale down to only a dozen guys?  If it's anything like Dux or Sharpes, it's really large warband scale, rather than small skirmish.

Earlier suggestions were very good.  You could easily toss in En Garde as it's pretty generic if you enjoy the mechanics.

Offline has.been

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Re: Small scale Skirmish rules for Romans in Britain Any Suggestions please?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2020, 11:39:33 AM »
I have fancied doing similar, (Romans in Britain skirmish games),
ever since seeing Angus McBride's wonderful illustrations all those years ago.
The scenarios flooded into my (then young) mind:-
One 2 wheeled supply wagon, guarded by 6 Auxillia. Ambushed by a dozen barbarians;
A cavalry patrol (4 mounted figures) trying to scout out possible ambushes;
10 legionaries have to hold the ford against all comers or
a battered rearguard (8 legionaries/auxillia & a couple of archers) have to retreat
across the table, closely pursued by a mixture of light troops (slingers/javlinmen/unarmoured Cav.)

I like Lardy rules & have a lot of them, but Infamy Infamy is for larger numbers of figures.
I would recommend the Fistful of Lead core rules. They are fun, simple & deal well with
multi-player.  e.g. Player a) controls the supply wagon & driver. Player b) The 6 Auxillia.
Players c) & d)  6 Barbarians each. You can give each player their own objectives/victory conditions.
e.g. You must get the supply wagon off the table. Your warband must kill more Romans
than the other warband. Sod the supplies you want to get back to the fort.

Offline Malamute

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Re: Small scale Skirmish rules for Romans in Britain Any Suggestions please?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2020, 11:46:07 AM »
If you want a small scale skirmish game where a player controls 5 - 7 figures and you want your heroes and characters to have traits, skills then Look at Fistful of Lead Core rules as mentioned by has.been.

Do not be fooled by the title, the rules work extremely well for games using swords, spears bows etc. We have been using them for medieval combat and they play very well indeed.

Check out the thread here for some further information about FFoL and a summary of a recent game:

http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=121380.0
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Offline BaronVonJ

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Re: Small scale Skirmish rules for Romans in Britain Any Suggestions please?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2020, 02:02:22 PM »
This guy used FfoL for Romans vs Werewolves:
https://youtu.be/csgFrzCouBU

Offline boywundyrx

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Re: Small scale Skirmish rules for Romans in Britain Any Suggestions please?
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2020, 02:35:20 PM »
A lot of good suggestions already, a couple of more specific ones from the Song of Blades and Heroes can be Song of Arthur and Merlin for very late (400s) Roman Britain, or Song of Dust and Shadows, which is urban Roman gang warfare; less on Britain but some good Roman stuff.  I'm looking at the Advanced SoBH system too, as it has a few more details to add about weapons and shields that will work to make things less generic.

Offline Aerendar Valandil

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Re: Small scale Skirmish rules for Romans in Britain Any Suggestions please?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2020, 02:41:02 PM »
I second Song of Blades.

Offline Maniac

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Re: Small scale Skirmish rules for Romans in Britain Any Suggestions please?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2020, 07:11:32 PM »
Like others have said, Fistful of Lead is fantastic for small scale action (4-10 models per player).  You could also modify En Garde!/Ronin if you are feeling a bit more adventurous.  It uses a similar model count.  We've used it for Dark Age and Greek warfare a couple times.  It does not use FFoL's card activation system but it does have a morale score that can effect gameplay.  The combat pool mechanic is also quite good.

Going a little larger, up to 20-40 models look at Saga.  It is a brilliant system.  We prefer 1st ed. overall, but 2nd is a little 'cleaner' (the changes to warlords and the changes to the movement of figures, while more simple were not good changes in 2nd ed).  Aetius and Arthur already covers late Roman armies and her enemies.  There are already republican/imperial home made lists out there so it will easily support that too.  The battleboard mechanics are fantastic, and it is really in this area that the game shines.
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Offline Easy E

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Re: Small scale Skirmish rules for Romans in Britain Any Suggestions please?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2020, 07:37:07 PM »
You could use Broken Legions from Osprey.....

https://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/2016/12/review-broken-legions-osprey-wargame.html

Also, here are some thoughts on EnGarde/Ronin....

https://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/2017/09/review-roninen-garde-osprey-games.html

I am not a fan of the Song of Blades and Heroes as I find it FAR to heavy on special rules and not enough stats for meaningful differentiation between units.  You can see my thoughts on the general systems here....

https://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/2016/12/review-fistful-of-kung-fu-osprey.html
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Offline Johnny Boy

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Re: Small scale Skirmish rules for Romans in Britain Any Suggestions please?
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2020, 07:59:46 PM »
Many many thanks guys. A lot to think and read about to come to a decision. I'm in a semi-fortunate position of having a modest amount of disposable income for my hobby but am very "Time Poor" so rule sets in the past supported by plenty of scenarios(Force on Force, Dead Man's Hand and Bolt Action Sealion for example) has been a go to for me. I like to keep a degree of historical realism but have a little flexibility. Hollywood and TV provide much inspiration in my world of gaming. If anyone knows of a source of scenarios that would be useful too.
Once again many thanks
Johnny Boy

Offline seldon

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Re: Small scale Skirmish rules for Romans in Britain Any Suggestions please?
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2020, 09:21:02 PM »
haha.. "skirmish rules" ... we need to come up with more clear definitions..

we always end up having the same problem with the definition.. 10-15 figures per side or 30-60 in units ?

CLASH fits the second group... 30+ figures in units of 6-10 guys each roughly..

for squad level games ( 10-15 ) I might add to the other great recommendations Brink of Battle..

But I'm not sure which one you were looking for.. cheers...

Offline Johnny Boy

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Re: Small scale Skirmish rules for Romans in Britain Any Suggestions please?
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2020, 07:43:22 PM »
A very good point made there seldon. I'm old school and skirmish to me will always be Don Featherstone ie a handful (4-12) figures per faction so it's manageable but a large skirmish with "Big Men" but therein what constitutes large, 15-25 figures? All in the eye/mind of the beholder I suppose. But many thanks for your input and I will endeavour to be a bit clearer on what I'm looking for in future posts.