TITLE: A to Z Rules: Ancient Warfare 800BC - 1000AD
AUTHOR: Andrew Zartolas, Jr. and John D. Manning
PUBLISHER: Andrew Zartolas, Jr.
PUBLICATION DATE: 1988
WEB SITE/SUPPORT FORUM: None
PRICE (with date): Out of Print
REVIEWED BY: Mark “Extra Crispy” Severin
PERIOD COVERED: The Ancient World from 800BC to 1000AD
A to Z Ancient Warfare (AZAW) is a black and white booklet of 48 pages. It is a simple booklet produced by photocopy and a staple binding. It contains a few simple black & white block diagrams, and includes an expanded table of contents in place of an index.
ARMY SIZE: Shako
- There are no ground, time or figure scales.
- Recommended Figure Size: 25mm or 15mm
- Table Size: Not stated.
- Game Length: Games with 300-400 figures per side should be playable in about 4 hours.
BASING SIZES: AZAW has no recommended base sizes. However, the game perform all functions such as losses, shooting and melee on a per figure basis. Singly based figures will work best. Multi-based armies can be used provided losses can be tracked. Multi-based armies will lose some flexibility in movement as a result.
The play sequence for AZAW relies on the use of 6 Sequence Chits. These are simply 3 chits for each army in unique colors. These are drawn randomly from a cup. For each Sequence chit drawn, perform steps 2 through 11. Once all the chits have been drawn the turn is over. Place the chits back in the cup and start the next turn.
- Draw a Sequence chit. The corresponding army has the initiative. That player may now use 3 Impulses (similar to “pips” or “command points”) to activate units.
- Declare charge moves and wheel chargers to face targets.
- Regular movement
- Defender takes evasion checks
- Chargers test morale to close
- Charge targets test morale to stand
- Charge movement
- Missile fire including Defensive fire
- Conduct melee
- Take post-melee morale checks
- Check army morale
Impulses: The Sequence Chit gives the initiative to one army. That army may spend 3 Impulses to activate units. One Impulse will move one unit in a straight line. A wheel requires expending a second impulse. Units that are further than 24” from the commander require an extra Impulse for every 24” of distance. Thus, an army will only have 9 Impulses per turn, in 3 groups of 3. Naturally, it is likely that only a small part of the army will move and fight each turn. Note that shooting does not require an impulse.
Units in AZAW move in fairly limited fashion. All formation changes and wheels come at the start of movement. Units may only move straight ahead or exactly edge-wise. No oblique movement is allowed. A leader moves 21” and it does require an impulse to move a leader if not attached to a unit.
Interpenetration of units is also very limited. All units may move or charge through light infantry. Mounted units may move or charge through light cavalry/camelry. No other interpenetration is allowed (so light infantry, for example, may not move through medium infantry).
Charge moves confer a movement bonus of 50%. Charge moves are the only way to move into contact (and hence melee) with the enemy. The charger must pass a morale check to close, and the defender likewise to stand. Some troops may choose to evade rather than face the charge. Units that use a charge move with no target in range must take an additional “prolong” move with the loss of 1D6 figures (this is to prevent players from using charges as a way to increase speed).
Formations: The rules specify the number of ranks and files units may have. In general infantry units may be between 6 and 12 figures wide, and between 2 and 6 ranks deep. Cavalry have the same width but may only form in 1-3 ranks. A unit may change formation at no extra impulse cost as part of movement. (A unit that changes formation but does not move DOES require the expenditure of one impulse.)
Evasion: Light units and some medium cavalry may perform an evade move during the opponent’s turn. If a unit advances, faces or charges an eligible unit, it may attempt to evade. The evading unit may evade only once per turn, and if successful, must move directly away from the unit that triggered the evade move. Depending on the relative ranges before and after the evade move, units may exchange missile fire.
To evade successfully the unit must pass a morale test. They may be shaken or rout if they fail. If successful they immediately make a full move away from the triggering unit and face away from the enemy. If shaken they will lose 1D6 figures and then evade. If routed they will lose 2D6 figures and makes a full charge move away from the enemy.
Missile Fire: Missile fire is resolved for each figure. Units have a 45 degree arc of fire. A D6 is rolled for each eligible firing figure and a casualty is caused on a roll of 6. For units classed as Extra Heavy it takes two sixes to cause on hit. When firing from the rear, a roll of 5 or 6 causes a casualty. In some cases units may fire at enemy units that “pass through” their fire arc when engaging other units. Fire over friendly troops i snot allowed.
Melee: Close combat is resolved by opposed die roll. Melee is figure vs. figure. In general all figures in contact fight their opposite, so attacker and defender always roll the same number of dice. The high die wins, killing the loser. The die roll is modified for armor type, flank attacks, overlap, terrain etc. Upon resolution of the melee, both sides take a morale check. Melee only ends if one side routs or is destroyed. Units may not voluntarily break off from melee. Units may charge in to melee and join the fight!
Morale: Checking morale is a simple die roll. If the roll is equal to or less than the unit’s morale level, it passes. Units become shaken if they miss by one. They lose 1D6 figures (skulkers). If they miss by two they lose 2D6 figures and are routed, retreating a full charge move away from the enemy. To rally a unit a general must spend one Impulse. Until it rallies, it may not fire, charge or move toward the enemy.
As an army takes losses, it suffers worse morale. At loss levels beyond 30% all morale checks suffer a negative modifier (-1 at 40%, -2 at 50% etc.). At 66% losses the army routs and the game is over.
There are no army lists or scenarios provided. There is an outline of a points system to help guide balanced “pick up” games.
One note on Impulses: On page 3 it states: “Four impulses are required to move a unit that starts its move at greater than 72 but less than 96 inches from the general.” This implies a general may somehow acquire an additional or bonus impulse beyond the three that are granted by the sequence chit. I see no rule explaining how this extra impulse is awarded/earned.