Notes on House Rules, modifications etc.
In case you are wondering why MW is being used for the battles while Piquet is used for the campaign, here is the explanation. We like the basic principles of Piquet - variable length turns, army characterization, morale chips etc. However the rules do not cover the Medieval era quite well. In particular we find Piquet's combat mechanics for Ancient/Medieval battles less interesting than SAGA's Medieval Warfare or Ancient Warfare. We feel that Medieval Warfare simulates the variety in weaponry and their effect in combat better than does Archon, the Ancient/Medieval supplement of Piquet. Lack of easy to choose army lists is another reason why Medieval Warfare was chosen for the battles.
Consequently, we are using Medieval Warfare(MW) with the best of Piquet thrown in. Henceforth our MW battles will feature aspects such as variable impetus, sequence decks and morale chips. The excellent combat mechanics and morale rules of MW will be retained without any change. We hope that such amendments will make victory in unequal engagements possible. By nature, MW tends to limit the chance of winning for the smaller side in uneven battles.
When it comes to playing Campaigns, however, there is little to choose from. Having used Theatre of War (ToW) for an earlier campaign, we opted to use ToW with some modifications. First of all, ToW's movement rules were modified to reflect the difference in mobility of Cavalry dominant armies such as Normans, as compared to predominantly foot like Vikings and Scots. Unlike pure ToW where separate movement cards are used for moving in Light, Medium and Dense terrain, we use a single movement card with different movement rates(costs) for various armies. For example, Vikings can move 2 sectors in water using a single move card, whereas Normans move 1 sector on water and 2 on land. Similarly Scots get to move faster in their home ground and are slowed down in other territories including water.
The "Advantage Level" concept in ToW also needed to be married into MW. For this, we used a simple substitution. Every advantage level merits the owner 50 + 1D100 of army points. This is less complicated than the elaborate and rather cumbersome mechanism given in ToW. Also, players no longer get to choose an entire army like when they are playing a tournament game. We have devised a method to automatically select a representative army for a given number of points. Like wise, Generals cannot be handpicked either. These will be drawn randomly from a pool of 10 or so generals made prior to the campaign.
1) Movement: We used the variable impetus system adopted from Piquet. Both sides used 1D20, with the side rolling higher getting the difference in rolls as their impetus. Each side had their own sequence deck which specified which actions they could take. Again, the sequence deck was not typical Piquet/Archon style. We used generic cards such as "Move" ,"Fight", "Rally" etc. instead of "Cavalry Move" or "Infantry Move" as is traditional in Piquet. The number of cards per side were decided before battle using common sense. For instance, a side more war prone such as Vikings would get more "Fight" cards in their deck than others. Movement rates also came from Terry's MW rules.
2) Command and Control: Leaders were chosen MW style, by rolling a 2D6 per leader. All rallying had to be preceded by the appearance of a "Rally" card from the sequence deck. The calculation was done using MW's excellent mechanics. Commander radius was as prescribed in MW. (Another change which is being planned comes from The Perfect Captain's Spanish War rules. According to the system, each sub commander will "interpret" the commands he gets before acting upon them. This proved to be tremendous fun is our limited play testing!)
3) Melees and Firing: All melee and firing calculations were done using the mechanics suggested in Medieval Warfare. However, players had to wait until a "Fight" card appeared before initiating melees, and until a "Reload" card appeared before they could effectively fire again.
4) Morale and related Features: Morale 'chips' were borrowed from Piquet. Each rallying action had a cost in Morale as did each rout, loss of melee and loss of stand. One of the conditions which we disliked in Medieval Warfare was the way the battle was decided after a certain fraction of an army was lost. Using the Piquet-ish mechanism we were able to have more realistic games where an army was able to make a comeback even after losing key units in the beginning.
5) Army Lists: We devised a system for generating a "probable" army using Terry Gore's basic lists as a starting point. A percentage probability for all kinds of troops was devised beforehand depending on the suggested numbers in the original list. A percentage dice was then thrown to determine how many stands of each type actually made it to the roster. The cost of each was deducted against a set total (more on this set total below) In the end, a player would be left with x stands of Knights, y stands of spearmen and so forth. He was expected to form them into units according to his preference.
Since the battles were part of a campaign, the "Set Total" was calculated using Piquet/Theatre of War rules and mapped into Medieval Warfare points system. For instance, every advantage or "Strength" card gave the owner an army bonus of 50 + 1D100 points. Every "Strategic Reserve" card gave him 100 points and so forth. So a person with a strong army group could end up with 400 + as many 50 + 1D100s as his "Strength" cards allowed him to. If both sides had equal number of such cards, they got cancelled.