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Warhammer Ancients Battles

I have played Warhammer Ancients mainly through friends and at a wargames group.  Within the group we also run Warhammer campaigns.  Here is the rules from a Dark Age Campaign we ran in 2007.

An Hour of Wolves and Shattered Shields

Players intending to play in this years Dark Age campaign, need just do the following:

1. Pick a Faction
The following factions are available (except where noted). Anyone who does not own a Sheildwall army but who wishes to play, just pick a faction, I will get the army list copied for you and the figures will be provided!
The armies may come from either the Arthurian supplement or Sheildwall, as both are accepted for competition.

2.Design Your Kingdom
Your kingdom is made up of four provinces. Each type of province gives you options for troop types or campaign benefits and will also dictate what terrain is placed on the battlefield. You must choose one of the following for each province:
Mountains Allows skirmishers in your army. Allows Hills as a terrain type.
Forests Allows skirmishers and War Machines in your army. Trees as terrain type.
Plains Allows Cavalry in your army.
Settlements You may give units Heavy Armour upgrades where allowed in your list.. Allows Buildings and enclosures as terrain options.
Major River / Port Allows Dogs of War. You may choose a ford or bridge over a shallow river as terrain or a settlement on a beach as terrain ( e.g. a port )
Mines This province has deposits of tin, silver or similar. Before any battle roll 1d6. On a roll of a 5-6 you have struck a rich seam and may have 1d3+1 hundred points more troops in the forthcoming battle. These must still be legal in the list.

In addition, you must designate one of your provinces as containing your capital. Capital cities or fortresses produce bodyguard units.

You must also nominate a different one of you provinces as holding your “Temple” ( this can be Stonehenge type monument or Cathedral or whatever. ) Temples produce Priests ( or whatever your armies equivalent ) and they also bless and consecrate Army Standards.

When you lose provinces in battle, you will not be able to raise more units of that troop type for the next campaigning season. Loss of your temple means no new priests or army banners if they have been lost and if you lose your capital you become a client king of the person who conquered you ( more on this later ).

For example: I am playing the Irish, so I will call my four provinces Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connaught for ease. I have no cavalry in my army, so don’t need plains, but need Dogs of war to have any chance of meeting Vikings toe to toe. Since woods don’t suit my army ( as it is not Light Infantry!!!!! ) I will designate Ulster and Leinster as Ports/ Rivers and the other two as mountains. It is tempting to take Mines and gamble on a good roll prior to battle, but this is balanced against having a ford to defend if I take rivers…..I will place my capital at Tara in Leinster and put my temple at the island monastery of Rathlin in Ulster.

3. Pick an Army
Your army represents the army that goes on campaign for that season, and so can change from season to season. One battle at one club is one campaigning season.

However, you can only have one king in your Kingdom, up to four sub-kings ( or other Counts in the case of Norman Shieldwall armies ) but any number of heroes. (within the points limit and percentages of your army lists, obviously ).The army that goes on campaign does not need to be led by your king ( in fact some of you may not want to commit him against some types of army in case he dies ). But if your king dies in battle he may be replaced by a sub king in the next until you have lost four sub-kings after which your army will be led into battle by heroes!! You may like to name your king and sub kings to avoid confusion. You may choose never to take your king on campaign, but he must be used if defending your capital.

Armies will be 2000pts in order to get a result in one afternoon and not end up with “hung” battles. If we are still not getting results this may drop to 1800 or 1500. The army is picked from the list as presented in the book. None of the optional rules in the appendix of sheildwall will be played ( saints bones and magic weapons etc ) but all army advantages will be played ( e.g.: welsh ambushes etc ).
Army lists should be available on the day for inspection. Anyone found cheating will be crushed under the weight of their shame.

4. Fight a battle
Players will attend club as usual. Anyone who is a player in the campaign but cannot attend club will not avoid playing! The Umpire will roll one random event on the table on page 90 of the rulebook and apply it. Note that it is possible to lose provinces due to rebellion or drought on this table and it is just possible for someone to lose all their provinces without ever turning up to club!! This will allow occasional attendees at the club to still take part in the campaign.
Players who are there on the day will fight one battle each, either by mutual agreement or based on revenge from the week before. You do not have to fight the same opponent week after week to win the campaign. Games will be fought on a 6ftx4ft board with deployment zones being 12” in from the rear edge and 6” in from the two short edges.

Having decided who you are to fight, you each “wager” a province. Each player may place one terrain piece ( size not to exceed 12” ) of the type indicated by his “wagered” province. They may place it anywhere outside their opponents deployment area. If your province contains a capital or temple you may now place it as above.
You then take it in turns to place either difficult terrain ( marshes, rough etc ) or more of the two terrain types being wagered. You do this by rolling 1d6 and placing the terrain anywhere in that 2ft by 2ft terrain square. When one player declares there is enough terrain, their opponent can only place one more piece.

Example: The Irish wager a mountain area and the Saxons wager a Settlement. The Irish may place a hill anywhere on board outside the Saxons deployment, and place it in their deployment area to hold their centre. The Saxon may choose a building or enclosure and place this on a flank where they can defend it. They may then roll as many times as they like to place difficult terrain, enclosures or hills. Both sides can choose any of these options. The Irish would choose a building, in the hope that it lands in their deployment area and they can defend it against the shieldwall.

You then fight the battle as normal, putting units on alternately etc.

5 Winning and Losing
Who has won and lost may be obvious. We will be using the Battle results guide at the back of the rulebook if there is any doubt, gaining points for units destroyed, table quarters held etc. A draw will ONLY be called in exceptional circumstances. We are not here to fanny about with stand off battles…..

If you win, you gain the opponents province. You can draw on troop types from this province during the next campaigning season. ( e.g.: if you take a plains province you may now like to upgrade your troops to cavalry or raise cavalry units not available previously ). You may never own more than 5 provinces. If you win two battles in a row and gain two provinces, you will have to choose which to bin and which to keep.

You may upgrade any ONE unit who captured a unit standard during the battle or ran down and destroyed an enemy unit to “Veteran” for the next battle. They retain this until they flee in battle or are destroyed at which time they start again.

Any hero who defeated a rival in single combat, or captures a banner, may gain feats on the Veteran Character table on page 95 of the rulebook.

Any King or Sub-King who wins two battles may roll on the successful Generals table on page 95 of the rules. They may also gain feats as above.

If you lose you lose the province. You may not raise any new units from that province for the following season. Any units who were not destroyed or fled off table remain for the following year. E.G.: The Irish army loses its last port / river. I may not hire any new Dogs of war for the following season. However, my Sons of Death unit finished the battle intact and so I may choose to include it again the following season.
This has the effect of limiting your options and making some units quite precious as they become irreplaceable. If you lose your temple you cannot get anymore priests or Army standards if yours were lost. The last province you lose will be your capital. You become a client king to the King who defeated you at the gates of your capital.

As discussed above, you only have one king and four sub-kings to use in the whole campaign. If they are all killed, junior members of the family will be promoted to Army General, but they can never have stats more than hero status.

6 Ending the Campaign
Eventually, one player will conquer a couple of others and power groups will emerge. Alliances will be struck and treachery committed.

At Christmas, we will play the usual Bretwalda game. However, the sides will be split along the lines of the campaign, with everyone bringing their armies as they are at that time in the campaign. Bretwalda will then be fought with the winning group winning the campaign!!

By using rules that effect even players who do not come to every club, everyone should know what state their kingdom is in and what troops they can raise.

7: Special Rules, Spies and such
In addition, the following special rules apply to this campaign:

Spies: At any one battle during the course of the campaign you may declare you are using your spy. You may then roll on the table on page 91 of the rulebook and apply it to your enemies army.

Princesses: You each have one Princess to marry off and secure an alliance. You may “deploy” your Princess on any rival faction to prevent them attacking you that season. This option is played on other factions against their will, but who can argue with the course of true love? You may also use your Princess to secure a mutually agreed alliance, meaning the alliance cannot be broken for at least two seasons. Alliances made any other way can be broken when you like.

This rule will apply to all games during this campaign. IF a unit breaks and either cannot flee directly backwards due to the presence of enemy units, or encounters a formed enemy unit ( not skirmishers ) in its first flee move directly away from the attackers, it is destroyed. Pursuers must declare if they are pursuing before units are moved or flee distances rolled.

This will be enforced to prevent surrounded armies fleeing through gaps and rallying to keep the game dragging on. It will also increase the number of units destroyed in a game which will give a decision more quickly and risk certain troop types not being raised again.

Also: Where two factions are squabbling over the right to dispatch a capital city, the winner of a dice roll can have the opportunity to attack that season, with the other faction attacking the season after if it still holds out.

8: Record keeping
I will undertake to produce a table listing what has happened to each faction, develop the back story and keep everyone up to date. Rolls on hero or general tables will be witnessed after the battle and a record made. However, it is up to each of you to record the state of your army accurately, the benefits your heroes have and any veteran units etc. Again, anyone found out cheating will be shamed.

I will post the results on the website after each battle.

Anything I have forgotten or missed out will be agreed by mutual consent or made up by me on the spot ( the Umpire is always right ).

Now then, on with the slaughter…….


© Edmund Proctor  2003 - 2012