Men At Arms

Just a twinkle in my eye atm yet I have bought 4 mounted & dismounted Gripping Beast Knights to start the ball rolling for a set of skirmish Feudal rules that look brilliant.

Most combat is dealt with in the normal wargames dice fest but character vs character is foought out with the best of 3 Stone, Paper, Scissors!

I remember a similar idea from the 70s called Lunge, Cut & thrust where you planned at least 2 moves ahead & fought individually.

This appeals to me, especially the Reputation rules whereby Knights can gain experience & therefore battle readiness & can take more hits so you can follow characters throughout their career.

This is my take on Jim Wallman's excellent rules:
Men At Arms 
One Brain Cell Medieval Skirmish Rules  © Jim Wallman 2003

Setting up the game
These rules are intended for several players - say 4 or more. Players control significant leaders, the key lords or knights, who in turn have contingents of fighters under them.
The players should have at least one leader each. They can take control of more than one leader each - but this might make the play more difficult in some ways.
Each Leader has a contingent of fighters or group of followers between 6 and 20 figures strong depending on type. So a group of mounted knights might be about 6 figures and a group of rebellious peasants would be around 20.

In each game turn every player gets to perform Actions. All actions are assumed to happen simultaneously.
1. Players declare what ACTION they are doing (see below)
2. Players can move their personal figure and any followers under their command in accordance with
the ACTION they said they were going to do.
3. If movement brings groups of followers into weapon range then work out who killed who. Work out            archers and long range effects first. Then work out melee.
4. At the end of the turn, all groups of followers that have been fighting have to take a test to see how they are feeling (called the Morale Test)

These are the actions you can do:
Hit Someone (usually another specific named Player). If you choose this you cannot move your followers around that turn because you are too busy concentrating on your immediate enemy to tell them what to do.
Shout "Follow Me, Men!" Lead your followers towards the enemy (assuming that’s where you’re heading). All your followers within 20cm of your figure will follow you by the most direct route to the limit of their movement distance (See Movement below)
Inspire Your Followers. Sometimes your followers might get a bit downhearted (especially if they’ve been taking casualties and their morale is low). You can make them happier by stopping what you are doing and giving them a stirring speech, or hurling insults at your enemies (See below for Morale Test).
Send or Receive a message. Sometimes you need to tell someone something, or send a message. If you are not within 12cm of that person then you can’t talk to them, you must write a note. Yes, really write with a pen and paper. This is an action. The note is then transported using a messenger from your followers to the person its meant for. Reading the note is an action too, so they might not have time to read it when it gets there!
Shout "Attack them!" This is where you can send your followers to attack a specific, named, enemy group. You don’t have to accompany the attack. All your followers move towards the enemy group you pointed at as fast as they can move until they get within weapon range - then they fight. If you are not with them they might not fight as well though (see Morale Test).

Each individual figures move as directed by their leader, up to the following maximum distance each turn:

Type                                                                                                     Distance (cm)
Peasants, lightly armoured soldiers, Archers, Crossbowmen.                                15
Armoured Men at Arms                                                                                    12
Light horseman                                                                                                 40
Armoured Knight                                                                                              25
Carts, engines, other slow stuff.                                                                           8
? dmtd Kn or mtd MAA?
Obstacles can’t be easily crossed. If crossing a low wall or hedge, take one move delay. Wading though a ford or shallow stream, lose half the movement distance.

Shooting :
In order to shoot, archers and crossbowmen may not move in the same turn.
The score in the table is the chance of a hit. 1 hit kills except it takes 2 hits to kill a player-leader figure.

Archers. Roll 1d6 per figure shooting                 Archers are limited to 30 arrows
vs target                                                           Range: 25cm                        50cm                       75cm
Peasants/Soldiers/Archers                                             4,5,6                  5,6                      6
Man at Arms                                                                   5,6                   6                       6
Light Horseman                                                            4,5,6                  5,6                     5,6
Mounted Knight                                                                  6                   6                      -

Crossbows. Roll 1d6 per figure shooting            Crossbows take one turn to reload. Crossbows are limited to 30 bolts
vs target                                                           Range:  25cm                       50cm                       100cm
Peasants/Soldiers/Archers                                             4,5,6                   5,6                      6
Man at Arms                                                                4,5,6                   5,6                      6
Light Horseman                                                            4,5,6                   5,6                   5,6
Mounted Knight                                                               5,6                   5,6                       -

What about Mounted = larger target? Could say, if a hit scored on a mounted target, roll 5+ to save so the horse is killed instead & the rider dismounted (maybe winded i.e. fights at reduced CF)?

Morale test
Events and circumstances can make your followers less keen to fight.
The entire contingent is affected by the morale rules, whatever their type.
Roll 1d6 when:
  • The contingent takes a casualty.
  • The contingent is surprised.
  • If the player in command wants the group to take a test
  • Commoners being threatened by nobles for the first time (i.e. when a line of knights starts moving towards a clump of peasants).

Add or subtract the following factors:
 -1 for each casualty this turn
 -1 for each 10% casualties in game
 -1 visibly outnumbered.
+2 having a stirring speech from a friendly leader this turn. (The umpire might increase this if the player actually gives a real stirring speech.)
 -1 having been directly and specifically insulted by an enemy leader within 20cm this turn.
 -1 if the group’s leader is not present
 -1 Higher class enemy troops moved closer to you this turn.

The check the result in this table:
3+        Morale is fine - carry on as desired.
0-2       Contingent may not move closer to any enemy forces & must pass a morale test next turn to move closer to the enemy.
<0        Contingent must move away from the enemy as quickly as possible. It must pass a morale test next turn to stop running away. The figure representing the leader/player leading the contingent is not bound by these results and may fight or run away as desired.

STEP ONE: Break the combat up into ’fights’. A fight is one fighter vs one or more enemies.
STEP TWO: For each ’fight’ roll 1d6 per side, add the factors below and compare the scores
Factors in Melee:

Peasant -2
Archer -1
Soldier 0
Man At Arms +2
Knight on foot +3
Leader +4
On horseback +1
Outnumbered 2-1 by unengaged enemies -2
Outnumbered 3-1 by unengaged enemies -3
Outnumbered 4-1 or more by unengaged enemies -4

Maybe -1 more to each Outnumbered so 4 Pst vs 1 Kn must score 6:2 to kill???

If they win by 1 or more means the loser is pushed back 5cm                   does winner fu?
If fighting against Peasants/Soldiers /Archers a win by 2 or more is a kill
If fighting against Men At Arms a win by 3 or more is a kill
If fighting against Knights a win by 4 or more is a kill
If fighting a Leader a win by 4 or more is a HIT (it takes 2 hits to kill a leader)
If the outnumbered figure wins, it can kill/hit only one of its enemies that turn. Winner chooses which one.
                                                                                                or use PP Choice die to see who chooses?

Points System: related to the above?

Knight              8
Man At Arms   6
Hobilar             5
Soldier              4
Archer/XB        3
Peasant                        2

[+1       To mount Soldiers or Archers on horseback]?
6 Kn =  8 MAA = 9.6Hb =12 Sd = 16 LB/XB = 24 Pst

Personal Leader figure is free, whatever type he is - make contingent up to 48AP

Should start with say, 1 Ldr; 3Kn; 4MAA; 2 Hb; 8 Sd; 8 LB; 6 XB; 6 Pst = 38 figures/56 pieces

1 Ldr +
3 Kn; 4 MAA = 48AP

Personal Combat
Leaders are special cases (nutcases, some might say - though not within earshot).
If they fight just the followers of other leaders, then use the rules above.
If they fight other Leaders i.e. people of similar standing, then these rules apply.
Leaders never outnumber other leaders.
In the event of a multiple fight between leaders, those not involved will watch and cheer from the sidelines until their turn comes.
Each game turn of combat is three rounds of paper, stone, scissors. The player with the best of three inflicts one hit on their enemy.
Leaders may break off combat and try and run away - but then that wouldn’t be very heroic would it? Whatever would their followers think?

Here are a few additional, and optional, wrinkles you might like to add.

Personal Development
Each leader can accumulate experience and reputation which can affect their abilities in combat. This is carried over every time the leader is used in action, ideally over a campaign or series of linked battles.

Score nothing for killing peasants.
Score 1 point for every soldier/archer killed
Score 2 points for every man at arms killed
Score 5 points for every knight killed
Score 10 points for every enemy leader defeated in personal combat
Score 20 points for every action where you are on the winning side.

Accumulated score        Level / Prefix                Benfits
      0-100                      1 - Noble                      The basic level, as in the rules.
  101-500                      2 - Respected    Melee bonus increased to +5
  501-1000                     3 - Heroic                     Number of hits increased to 3
1001-2000                     4 - Impressive   Melee bonus increased to +6
2001-4000                     5 - Fearsome                 Number of hits increased to 4
4001-8000                     6 - Awesome                Melee bonus increased to +7

Start with a named Noble & if he survives & accumulates enough  experience/reputation points (ERP) he will rise a level in Personal Reputation, gaining a better CF &/or Hit level = better Fighting Skills &/or Stamina.

Can be helped if Leaders are not automatically killed when they reach their hit limit but may be wounded &/or captured for ransom?

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