Sunday, 16 October 2016

1066 And All That: Wargaming the 1066 battles using Scottorum Malleus IV

On their 950th anniversaries, I posted about the big three battles of 1066: Fulford, Stamford Bridge, and Hastings.

Now comes the materials to refight them with, using one of my very simple sets of rules.

In issue 387 of Miniature Wargames with Battlegames, back in the happy days when Henry Hyde captained the ship, I presented my simple medieval rules Scottorum Malleus IV, commemorating the 750th anniversary of the battle of Evesham. I’ve also used them to refight the 1066 battles, and include my scenarios and rules changes here.

The rules and troop types remain as written in the Evesham article, but a new 1066 Tactics Chart is used:

SEIZE THE INITIATIVE
or
CHECK FOR REINFORCEMENTS

BATTLE
One area


SHOOT
One area


RALLY
One unit



ARMY SPECIAL
TACTIC

BATTLE
One area

BATTLE
One area

ARMY SPECIAL
TACTIC

MOVE
One area



MOVE
One area



MOVE
One area


RALLY
One unit

The three armies – English, Norman, and Norse, each have compositions as shown on the battle maps; as noted above, troop types remain the same as for Evesham:

  •  Good cavalry: This troop type is reserved for the best of the Norman cavalry, acknowledged as better mounted warriors than anyone else in the campaign. Well armoured and equipped with spears, swords, and kite shields. Strength 5.
  • Average cavalry: All other cavalry, including Flemish, Breton, and English (shh!). Equipped in the same fashion as Norman knights, but a little less fighty. Strength 3.
  • Good infantry: English and Norse housecarls – well armoured, fearsome chaps with big Danish axes, spears, swords, and plenty of staying power. Strength 5.
  • Average infantry: All other infantry. Generally well armoured, and fighting with spears and shields. Strength 3.
  • Missiles: Mostly limited to groups of archers; they play a minor role in English and Norse armies, but are more prevalent in Norman armies. Even so, they will not win a battle by themselves, instead they are capable of chipping away at enemy units that don’t move into contact with them. Strength 2.
  • Leaders: Representing Edwin and Morcar, or Harold (English); Harald and Tostig (Norse); and William. William counts as Good Cavalry, the others as Good Infantry, but all have a Strength of 6.

Army Special Tactics

The 1066 armies have new Army Special Tactics; the English and Norse share the same ones (it is debatable whether the English used the Swine Array, but in game terms, it represents any tactic that might break a shieldwall), and the Normans get some all to themselves:

English and Norse
  • Shieldwall. Choose any 3 areas containing your units. Until the end of the turn, all Battle and Shoot actions in or into this area involving your units roll only half the normal number of dice (rounded down). Place markers to remind you.
  • Swine Array. Choose 1 area containing enemy Shieldwall marker and at least 1 of your Infantry units. Remove the enemy's Shieldwall marker plus 1 model from any 1 of you Infantry units in that area.
  • Short-range missiles. Choose any 1 area. Each of your Infantry units in that area may carry out a Shoot action against enemies in the same area, using 1 dice, regardless of Strength or Shieldwalls.
Norman
  • Feigned Flight. Choose 1 area containing your own Cavalry. They must all Move into 1 adjacent area to their rear containing no enemies. For each Cavalry unit moved, choose 1 of your opponent's units in the same starting area. Unless they roll over (not equal to) their Strength on 1 dice, they must follow your cavalry into the new space, and lose Shieldwall marker if they had one.
  • Unstoppable charge. Usable by Good Cavalry only, as medieval rules.
  • Additional Shoot action.

Scottorum Malleus IV Victory Points

Fulford
·      A PLAYER NEEDS 8 VPs TO WIN.
  • KILL UNIT: Each army gains 1 VP for every enemy unit destroyed.
  • KILL LEADER: Each army gains 2 VPs for destroying the enemy’s Leader unit.

Stamford Bridge
·      A PLAYER NEEDS 8 VPs TO WIN.
  • KILL UNIT: Each army gains 1 VP for every enemy unit destroyed.
  • KILL LEADER: Each army gains 2 VPs for destroying the enemy’s Leader unit.

Hastings
·      A PLAYER NEEDS 9 VPs TO WIN.
  • KILL UNIT: Each army gains 1 VP for every enemy unit destroyed.
  • KILL LEADER: Each army gains 2 VPs for destroying the enemy’s Leader unit.
  • TAKE THE VPS: The Norman army gains 1 VP if it has one or more units in their VP areas with no English units in the same area in a Turn’s End Phase. This VP is lost if the English arrive or all Norman units move out or are destroyed.

Battle Maps







Scottorum Malleus IV special rules

Initiative
The following army holds the initiative in Turn 1 of each scenario:

·      Fulford: Norse
·      Stamford Bridge: English
·      Hastings: Normans

Terrain
Terrain rules are as follows, for all three scenarios.

·      Unless an area contains a terrain marker, it is considered open and has no effect on the rules.
·      A terrain marker affects the whole area it is in:
o   Hills: Easier to defend against Battle attacks only, not Shooting. Norse units at Stamford Bridge on hills, and English at Hastings are only hit on a 5+; other units fight as normal.
o   Streams and marshes: Impedes movement.
o   Rivers: Impassable – no unit may enter this area.
o   Fords: count as open terrain.
·      If terrain impedes movement, to move out of (but not into) such an area, each individual unit must roll 1 die: it may Move out on 4+, but must stay put on a lower result.

Reinforcements
Reinforcements may be selected as follows:

·      Fulford: Both the English and Norse may test for reinforcements, using the appropriate action on the Tactics Chart. It may only be tested once a player has at least 1 unit on the side of the stream furthest from their baseline – even if in a contested area. On a roll of 5 or 6 on one dice, the player receives 2 additional Average Infantry in the area shown. These reinforcements will only arrive once per side, but may be tested for multiple times.

·      Stamford Bridge: The Norse may test for reinforcements, using the appropriate action on the Tactics Chart. It may only be tested once the English have at least 1 unit crossed to the Norse side of the ford. On a roll of 6 on one dice, the player receives 1 Good Infantry in the area shown. This reinforcement will only arrive once, but may be tested for multiple times.


·      Hastings: The English may test for reinforcements, using the appropriate action on the Tactics Chart. It may only be tested at any time in the game. On a roll of 6 on one dice, the player receives 1 additional Average Infantry in the area shown; on a roll of 1, roll again… if a second 1 is rolled, the English must remove 1 Average Infantry on the tabletop from play.