Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Milgamex' Ancient Warfare: The Search for the Grail

Well, it may not be as dramatic as all that, but I'm happy to say that I finally acquired a copy of a hard-to-find set of golden oldie wargames rules. I bought them through Noble Knight games, which can be a great source for out-of-print games and rules.

Ancient Warfare came out in 1975 at a time when WRG was releasing it's 5th edition Ancients rules. At the time, many people considered it to be the Betamax to WRG's VHS. Ancient Warfare had some novel mechanics for the time, such as variable movement rates, two movement phases in a turn, a separate Impact phase before a Melee phase (much like Field of Glory uses currently), and combat resolution that didn't tick away at the number of "real" men per figure. However, WRG had established itself internationally as the rules for Ancients competitions and Ancient Warfare never caught on with enough players to establish itself. There were two printings of the rules and by 1980, they were almost impossible to find. They remain rare enough that no one has submitted them to Board Game Geek (well, not until I just did).

The copy I found is a bit knackered, to say the least. It has the feel of an ancient document that may crumble in my hands. The Quick Reference Sheet is very battered and held together by tape. The QRS has a lot of charts that are not included in the text of the rules, so reproducing these is a top priority. It looks like another project for Adobe InDesign.

I don't know what I'll actually do with them. I have a 28mm 3rd c. Roman army for WRG and am working on a Sassanid army for WRG as well. Ancient Warfare used the same base sizes as WRG, which was common for almost every ancients rules set that came out in the 70s due to WRG's dominance of the genre. So, I could alternately play WRG and Milagmex.

But of course, I would need to complete my Sassanid army and I am nothing if not indolent when it comes to painting these days.


  1. Gee Dave, you shoulda asked - I think I still have my copy in storage; actually played these before WRG...

    I think my copy (if I still have it) is in really good shape.


  2. I'm pretty sure that you have a copy of everything hidden away somewhere. If you want to part with Milgamex AW, let me know.