Saturday 25 December 2021

It’s That Time of Year...

I suppose it was inevitable that one year Christmas Day would fall on a Saturday, and hence on blog posting day. That year is this year.

It has become ‘traditional’ on the blog that I offer some rules for any reader’s Christmas present, and there is no reason why this year should be any different. Mind you, tradition is a slippery word; how many times does something have to happen before it becomes a tradition?

Anyway, this year’s offering is the Ancient Rules which I have developed, and which you may have seen in action on the blog over the past year, in Caesar’s invasion of Britain and in the various attempts at Marathon. The link should work for all and sundry, but I may have messed up.

These are indeed the ‘Polemos: SPQR Light’ rules which I started after returning to the original and finding them a bit clunky. They are in tandem with the Wars of the Counter Reformation rules (which really need a new name, extending as they do now from the Hussites to the Great Northern War). You might well need a copy of PM: SPQR to play them; being very short there are doubtless lots of unspoken assumptions that I am unaware of lurking within.

Still, I have worked to try to remove some of the ambiguities of the original rules. The interpenetration and combat outcome rules should be a bit more transparent, and the army morale rules have been reworked. You still have to do a bit of mental arithmetic, I’m afraid. But doing such things is good for the brain.

For reasons that escape me the Ancients Rules start from 20 base armies, while WotCR start from 12. I suspect this is because I am a poor and lazy painter and baser, and just wanted to get to toys on the table when I came to rebasing my Early Modern figures. That is now coming back to bite me, of course, as the battles are expanding, especially as I have discovered that 20 bases a side fit on one of my card tables without looking too squashed or losing the flanks on the table edge.

These rules are not designed as a replacement for PM: SPQR, by the way. I still think the latter give a good game and model the legionary / tribal foot interaction quite nicely. But time and interests move on. These rules cover hoplite warfare as well, although I have not got around to anything that looks like the Punic Wars, or Rome after about 200 AD. Rather than tinker with SPQR, I went for something newer, shorter, and sketchier, and this is the result.

Enough waffle. Enjoy the festive season and the rules, if you dare.

Happy Christmas.


  1. A Merry Christmas to you and yours , Cheers Tony

  2. A very merry Xmas to you, and a Happy New Year. Here's to keeping up the good blogging work in 2022!

  3. Many thanks for putting up the Ancient rules - Merry Christmas!