I had a very enjoyable Portable Wargame Ancients with Martin Smith by Skype. There were some internet connectivity issues but not enough to stop us running another session in the future!
Following the game, we had a few ideas on some house rules as follows:
- Only allow pulling out of combat if you are faster than the enemy, and only if directly away from enemy front face, and not hard flanked.
- Only apply having to turn to face rule if in enemy’s front’ square.
- Massed bows (not skirmish bow fire) add +1 to die roll, take away the general -1 for shooting if moving but apply the -1 for moving to massed bows only.
- For hits on elephants, use the normal hit resolution table but apply the flee/retreat rule only when the last SP is lost.
- Do not to apply the “-1 if attacked by elephants” modifier to light infantry.
- Light troops may retreat one extra grid after a ‘retreat’ outcome from shooting or Close Combat to pass through friends behind – but only if facing same direction, and not into enemy front square or impassable terrain.
- Evade option for light troops (LI / LC). When testing for result of a hit, add +1 to dice for light troops, so they’re more likely to retreat than take damage. Also, MUST choose retreat whenever able, rather than dig their heels in and take an SP loss.
- LI bows /slings may not be activated to engage in close combat.
- Troops MAY shoot (rather than CC) if enemy is in adjacent square to front.
- When a retreat reaction is received, first must turn to face the shooter or CC opponent before the retreat. Retreat reaction when flanked/reared – unable to retreat, lose an SP, but still turn to face the cause of SP loss.
- End of Game – pinched from Alan Saunders’ ECW set – ‘Break Point’ is 1/2 army’s SPs, rounded up (or 1/3 rounded up). When, at end of turn, an army has suffered enough SP loss to reach that, dice D6. Adjust by +1 if objective attained, -1 if Commander lost. Score of 3 or less, army morale fails, and game is lost. If survive the test, retest at end of each turn thereafter.
Here are a couple of photos from our game – Alexander v Porus. The figures are 20mm on 80mm frontage bases with a grid of 80mm. The uncluttered plain table made it easier to play by Skype.