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Ancients D6

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TITLE: Ancients D6

AUTHOR: John Acar and Andrew Damon

PUBLISHER: Johns Wargames



The rules are available online here.

Support forum is at Yahoo here.

PRICE: Free from http://johnswargames.wordpress.com/ancients-d6/

REVIEWED BY: John Acar (Author)

PERIOD COVERED: Ancient warfare from the dawn of history to 1500AD


The book comes as a PDF file.  There are 25 pages printed out on 8.5” X 11” paper.  It contains all of the rules of play for the game.  There are many color diagrams illustrating some of the trickier concepts of the game.  There is a Quick Reference Sheet available on line as well.


Tactical or grand tactical warfare.  Each force can represent an army or a contingent of an army.


Each 300 point army usually ranges between about 8 and 15 units.  10-12 units is about average.  The game can be scaled up for larger battles or for multi-player fights.   Most 300 point armies require about 50 figures or fewer to play.  A whole game, therefore, requires less than 100 figures. 


The smallest unit in the game is an element.  They could represent maniples, cohorts or legions.  It's really up to the player. 


Scales in this game are unimportant and are up to the whim of the player based on what they want to represent.  As a suggestion:

  • Ground Scale is 1”=40 yards
  • 1 turn is about 15 minutes
  • 1 element is 300-500 combatants  or 25-50 vehicles or 10-25 elephants


The game uses WRG basing and the suggested figure size is 15mm.  If you wish to use 20mm sized figures, increase the base width and depth by 50%.  If you are using 28mm sized figures, increase the base width and depth by 100%.

  • All stands are 40mm wide.
  • Heavy infantry are 15mm deep.
  • Light infantry and skirmish infantry are 20mm deep.
  • Light cavalry are 30mm deep.
  • Heavy cavalry are 30mm deep.
  • Artillery, chariots and elephants are 40mm  deep.


Each player will take a turn and follow the sequence below.  After the first player is done, the second player goes.  That completes 1 turn.

  • Rally- eligible units MUST rally.  Units in melee contact may not rally.
  • Movement- The player moves all units he wishes to move. 
  • Shooting- The non-phasing player resolves missile combat.  Results are applied immediately.   The phasing player then resolves missile combat and applies results.
  • Melee- All melee combat is resolved now and results are applied simultaniously.


The game uses 6 sided dice to resolve all tasks in the game.  Each player should have about 5 or 6 dice.  Each task is based on the amount of successes you obtain by rolling a certain amount of dice.  This amount usually is equated to the number of surviving figures on the stand modified by various situations.  The basic success number for most tasks is a 4 or better.  Missile fire requires a 5 or better to succeed. Each success scored gives you better results.

Command and control is similar to that which you find in the Dbx series of WRG games.  Instead of rolling for a random number of orders, you get a set number based on the general's or captain's ability.  Generals usually get 2 orders per turn and captains get 1 order per turn.  An army usually has 1 general and one captain so the army has 3 orders per turn.  You may use orders to order a unit to move or to give a unit a better chance at rallying.

Rally checks are performed in the first phase of a player turn.  Rallying is required if the unit is eligible to rally.  Roll the number of equal to the number of figures in the unit.  Subtract the number of casualties the unit has.  If there are no successes, the unit is disrupted.  1 success allows the unit to move 2 or more successes adds figures back to the unit.  Note that a casualty is not just the loss of human life.  It is also the loss of unit morale and cohesion.

Each unit gets 1 move.  It may move, or turn but not both.  If it the unit is given an order, it may take a second move.  Groups move in a similar fashion but with multiple units in base contact facing the same direction.

Units eligible to shoot may shoot at targets in range during the shooting phase.  The count the number of figures in the unit and subtract the number of casualties the unit has taken so far.  This is the basic number of dice you get to attack with.  Each die that comes up 5 or better is a success (hit).  The opponent rolls the number of dice equal to the hits received.  Each die equal to the target unit's armor rating negates 1 hit.  Any hits not negated are casualties.  Morale checks are taken.  A failure (no successes) results in the target unit being pushed back and disrupted.  Any undisrupted attackers may return fire.

Melee combat works the same way as missile combat except for the following.  Units must be in contact.  The success number is a 4.  Combat is simultaneous.  The loser of the melee is the unit that takes the most casualties.  The losing unit takes a morale check .  A failure (no successes) causes a rout.  The unit is destroyed.

Victory is determined at the end of any player phase.  A side has lost if it has lost half of its figures from eliminated stands or it has lost all of its commanders.


Each army book is about 5-10 pages long and contains all of the lists of the various combatants for the era.

Current Army books...

  • Alexander the Great
  • 2nd and 3rd Punic War
  • The Dark Ages (Post Roman Britain)

Will be developing army books for...

  • Early Medieval (Norman, Saxon, Viking)
  • The 1st Macedonian and 1st Punic War
  • Hoplites (Early Classical)


We strived to make a game that was fun to play and plays quickly.  The rules were written to produce an easy to read document.  We wanted the game mechanics to be familiar to most players and be easy to use without having to do loads of computations.  The mechanics make sense in the fact that no unit is mathematically eliminated from being able to defeat another stronger unit.  It might be highly unlikely depending on the match up but it can be done.


These are my rules so any opinions I might have of the game are completely biased. :)

The games generally play in about 1 hour each.  Andrew and I played 3 games in about 4 hours last month.  This included time to talk, gloat and drink wine.  From my observation in play-testing with friends is that the first game will be a bit slow as players figure out the unit abilities.  After a game, it is usually a snap.

Is it fun?  We think so but you should decide that for yourself.  Give them a try.  They are free!

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