Friday, 13 July 2012

Scottorum Malleus wargame rules

I've posted a few times about Scottorum Malleus, a medieval wargame I have been developing over the past half year or so.

I've decided to draw a line under this game for now as it's not quite working in the way I'd like it to and I'm disinclined to flog dead horses; it still provides a fun little game as a diversion from some of the more serious (and further developed!) medieval wargames available, so I've decided to offer up pdf copies for free to anyone who would like one.

If you are interested, drop me an email rather than commenting below. I'm now developing a couple of other games including another medieval wargame, so this project is on the back burner with regard to support and development, but if you have any comments after playing it I'd be pleased to hear from you.

At this point I'd like to offer thanks to both Simon B (who fought a battle with no casualties for much longer than any reasonably patient man should), and Michael, who has taken the trouble to write up a few of his game reports here: dalauppror

Thanks chaps.

To provide an overview of the game, here's the - erm - Overview:


These rules were originally designed for battles involving Feudal English armies and their enemies at home and abroad. The rules have been expanded to encompass Western European feudal warfare between the Norman Conquest of Britain and the start of the Hundred Years War but players should feel free to stretch this period to suit their own interests.

I like an enjoyable, fast game rather than a grinding simulation of war, so I abstract much of the battle. Games should be short enough to swap sides and play again within one gaming session. My starting point for this game is that most medieval battles were conducted using a limited palette of commands and communication. So I have set out to make a game reflecting those options available to commanders, and testing the players’ abilities best to use them to out-think a similarly trained opponent.

There’s a high level of abstraction in this game, and it represents battle at a higher level of command rather than the minutiae of weapon versus shield. I’ve not distinguished between troops beyond basic type – all Common Foot are the same, all Knights are the same, and even Missile troops are not distinguished by their actual weapon (the power of longbows is represented special rules such as Storm of Arrows, for example). Don’t think of ‘turns’ in the usual wargaming way – in each turn your units may fight or move several times, so each one may feel like perhaps three turns of most other medieval games.