Ancients Rules

As a result of several requests I am posting my Ancients rules on the blog. These are very much a work in progress and as changes are made I will update them here. I stress that these were never meant to be for public release and only for my use until a ruleset that appealed was produced. They are a little rough around the edges! 

I have broken them down into 4 modules. This is the Classical module (500BC - 476AD) and in the most advanced state. As other modules are good enough to play they will be added. 

The core of the rules are based on the General de Brigade template and I recommend that if you do not already have them acquire a copy or its stable-mate Guns at Gettysburg. The notes I have included below are brief and although I have included more detail in the QRS, a good knowledge of GdB is required to fill in gaps. 

A significant change from GdB is the command and control system. Some of you may instantly recognise the Command Values which are drawn from the Black Powder/Hail Caesar/Warmaster family of rules. I am regularly experimenting with command and control mechanisms so this is one that could see significant change in the future.

I have used the style of Hail Caesar/WAB/War and Conquest for creating the army rosters. Fixed factors, such as weapons, armour and troop quality translate to various values for each unit which reduces the need to have this information contained in charts.

When compiling your army rosters (I have used War and Conquest army lists as guidance) calculate the relevant factors contained in the notes to provide the values for your units. e.g. Veteran Roman Legionaries classed as drilled, heavy armour, large shield, pilum (Heavy Throwing Weapon) & Sword will translate to:
Melee factor v mounted/foot: Infantry 2/2, hand weapon 2/2, veteran +1 giving a total of 5/5

Shooting factor for pilum (HTW): 2(1) the number in brackets being the armour penetration value. This numbered is deducted from any armour value of the target. I only allow this to be thrown once during a game so choosing when to use it is important.

Armour value: Heavy armour 2, Large Shield 2 giving a total of 4.

Examples of my rosters can be found in the Britannia campaign battles. 

Firstly the notes:

Army Rosters - I have included the basics for my EIR and Ancient British as guidance. The small square in the middle of each row is for number of figures in a unit with the space to the right for recording casualties:  

The labels I used in my last game (Trinovantes) are included here. You will notice I use the same style in all periods. i.e. black background with white font. Over they years I have experimented with different colours but found these to be the most inconspicuous on the tabletop. I would rather the figures stand out rather than the labels and the reverse is easily the case with 6mm figures.

The top row and a bit are the Legionary cohorts. The figures refer to melee v mounted/v foot/shooting/ armour value. They are made up using tables in Open Office Write and are 15mm in width matching the width of most bases.



  1. Good morning Jon, on first glance interesting mods to Melee and Casualties. Will take a longer look later today after some pre planned duties have been completed.

    Regards Peter

  2. Hi Jon

    Beginning to like what you have done here and I need to read again to fix it all in my brain 😳



    1. Many thanks for that Peter. It is rather detailed for a QRS but is doubling up as a rulebook! There will be quite a few adjustments to be made yet but getting there.

  3. Hey really like what you've got. I saw you had rules for the hastati and princeps. But how would you go about representing the triarii?

    1. Many thanks and pleased you liked the look of the rules. For the triarii they would operate in a similar way. As the last line of defence or a means of delivering the final decisive blow to the enemy they would advance between the gaps of the Principes.

      Hopefully that answers your Q.

    2. Awesome. How do you go about the per man ratio? I recall in the roman invasion campaign you used 1:13 but by going off of the 4 bases for hastati/princeps you mentioned that seems to come to around 1:6.6. Are you combining maniples? Alo how would you go about exemplifying the triarii as they are half the size?
      I have my own ideas on how to do so of course but I'm always looking for better methods of doing so.

    3. The 4 bases per unit (5 maniples of Hastati/Principes and 10 maniples of Triarii) are a compromise with my basing. This works out at a figure ratio of 1:25 (24 figures representing 600). This will of course be for Trebia. I may adjust the figure ratios for other battles.

      The Triarii are more of a problem. I may split up the unit of 4 bases to two units of 2 bases each but at present I am faced with a reduced frontage of 50% when taking the front line. It will be less of a problem when attacking delivering the final blow but as a last line of defence is something I will have to work on in due course.

    4. Gotcha. Well definablylooking forward to seeing how it turns out