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Author Topic: Thinking about starting ancients, what rules?  (Read 3255 times)

Offline sunspear

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Thinking about starting ancients, what rules?
« on: January 30, 2017, 07:08:43 PM »
I've been thinking about starting an ancients army. But I'm unsure what rules I would use. I have read a little bit on Hail Caesar and WAB. I don't know if anyone plays WAB now or not. The one thing about HC that I don't like is that I would like to individually base the troops just so I can play any size game but for bigger games what would people recommend? Is there another rules set that I haven't mentioned?

Offline Froggy the Great

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Re: Thinking about starting ancients, what rules?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2017, 07:11:52 PM »
Granny Grating Armies!
You, sir, are not allowed to attempt a takeover of the solar system until your octopus sobers up.

Offline emosbur

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Re: Thinking about starting ancients, what rules?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2017, 07:37:26 PM »
Civitates Bellantes by Simon MacDowall is a good ruleset:

http://legio-wargames.com/civitates-bellantes-ancients/4537133983

Offline JArgo

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Re: Thinking about starting ancients, what rules?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2017, 07:38:00 PM »
I've heard a lot about 'To The Strongest' so that might be worth exploring further.

Offline fred

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Re: Thinking about starting ancients, what rules?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2017, 07:48:36 PM »
Don't worry about individual basing for HC - you can easily play with sabot bases. So you can have big bases to move around quickly and easily for HC, and individual figures for other games.

HC gives a good game - but you have to like the idea of command rolls, letting some units move quickly and others stand around.

Offline gpruitt

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Re: Thinking about starting ancients, what rules?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2017, 07:53:54 PM »
I am partial to War & Conquest.  http://warandconquest.co.uk/

Offline Richard in Sachsen

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Re: Thinking about starting ancients, what rules?
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2017, 08:27:31 PM »
Above is a recommendation for Simon MacDowell, I'd also recommend his Comitatus if you are looking for late Roman era, I really like those rules. My armies, btw, are sized for Hail Caesar but all my figures are individually based so I can use them individually for the upcoming SAGA supplement or on movement trays for a big battle game like War & Conquest, Swordpoint, Sword and Spear, To the Strongest, etc.

Unfortunately I can't get a hold of a copy of WAB, but from what people have commented about it, I think HC and War & Conquest are its children from the same designers.

I'm not sure there is any one "best" rules, I've collected and read most that are available and they all look fun (not too many people in my area play ancients, so my figures are a bit lonely) and they all have their innovative ideas and faults. I think it really comes down to personal preference. Perhaps write what you are looking for in a set of rules and someone will be able to suggest one or two of the many rules that comes closest to what you are looking for.

I really like how my warlord can affect the battle at just the right time and I like the idea of mounted/dismounted troops. So Comitatus is in synch with my own personal taste. Civitates Bellante may be similar if you're looking for earlier ancient armies and rules.
You go to war with the figures you have, not the figures you wish you had!

Offline Mad Doc Morris

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Re: Thinking about starting ancients, what rules?
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 08:46:02 PM »
Ask 3 wargamers and receive 4 recommendations for the best ruleset of all time. 4 at least. ;)

Couple of questions in return: Which rules have you played before? What did you like, and what didn't work for you? Should the rules cater for massed skirmish (like WAB) or rather grand battle tactics (like DBx)? Do you want a period specific set (e.g. the Roman Empire), or do you want something covering the whole traditional Ancients setting (3000BC to 1500AD)?

Offline Mithridates1

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Re: Thinking about starting ancients, what rules?
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2017, 10:14:47 PM »
Mad Doc is quite right, we are an odd bunch! 

Swordpoint is gaining support and is very much in the WAB school (so you remove a base of 4 when casualties mount).   Has its own Forum as well.   In the Wargames Research Group DBx mould is Art de la Guerre - as you would guess originally in French but translated to English, has its own Forum.   Quite a few like Impetus (see its Forum) and its large, diorama like bases.

As noted already, using movement trays means singly based figures will fit into any Rules set.

Are there other wargamers in your area, if so what do they use?

Check out some of the Forums (including To The Strongest) to get some feel for the various games.  Also have a look at The Miniatures Page Forum - now has a Rules Section which lists posts on most Rules for Ancients.

Best of luck

Offline sunspear

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Re: Thinking about starting ancients, what rules?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2017, 06:03:57 PM »
Thanks everyone for the help!
I will check out everything that has been suggested. Seems there's a lot out there. A long time friend and I are thinking about getting into it. We started out with GW games and have played bolt action and dragon rampant recently.
I would like to play large scale games, I havent had that much experience other than GW. I like dragon rampant but sometimes I wish there was more meat to it, if that makes sense.

Offline fred

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Re: Thinking about starting ancients, what rules?
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2017, 06:16:38 PM »
If you like DR, then give HC a try. The command mechanism is similar and even the melee and morale tests have a degree of similarity.

Offline chema1986

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Re: Thinking about starting ancients, what rules?
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2017, 07:23:59 PM »
I would say Basic Impetus, easy to learn, fun and "quick"  ( no to mention the fact that you dont need too many miniatures) and of course Hail Caesar and WAB

Offline Nevyen

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Re: Thinking about starting ancients, what rules?
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 04:22:29 AM »
Personal Preference is HC -  gives a great game and suitable for big scale battles.  I have been tinkering with some amendments for smaller battles using HC but LR/DR does that very well I find.

Offline Codsticker

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Re: Thinking about starting ancients, what rules?
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2017, 04:20:09 PM »
Thanks everyone for the help!
I will check out everything that has been suggested. Seems there's a lot out there. A long time friend and I are thinking about getting into it. We started out with GW games and have played bolt action and dragon rampant recently.
I would like to play large scale games, I havent had that much experience other than GW. I like dragon rampant but sometimes I wish there was more meat to it, if that makes sense.
If you like dice-drawing mechanism of Bolt Action the you might like Sword and Spear which has a similar means of randomising unit activation. Suitable for any size battle and gets 3 (or 4?) thumbs up from the M&M dudes.

Offline Mad Doc Morris

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Re: Thinking about starting ancients, what rules?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2017, 05:57:24 PM »
I would like to play large scale games, I havent had that much experience other than GW. I like dragon rampant but sometimes I wish there was more meat to it, if that makes sense.

Hm, sounds like Hail Caesar may be your best option. It's fairly accessible, caters for large battles, doesn't call for specific basing styles, and is slightly similar to GW's Warmaster.
Transition from GW would probably be easier with WAB (being an old version of Warhammer) but that's technically defunct now. There is a number of nominal successors: War & Conquest, Clash of Empires or, the latest one, Swordpoint. As far as I'm aware none of these sets are as popular as old WAB – yet. In turn, that'd be another point for HC.
But better ask your gaming partners if they have any preference.

Just in case, though; HC isn't my preferred set of rules. I could name a fair number of games that I'd deem 'better' in any one aspect – mechanisms, variety, atmosphere, playability… However, HC is by no means a poor start! :)

 

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