As you may have seen from my main blog, I am re-starting a project to wargame Pyrrhus' campaigns in Italy. After a lot of mental 'thrashing around' I have decided to use a modified version of AVGVSTVS to AVRELIAN as rules for this project. It seemed to make more sense to adapt my own rules rather than someone else's! It is possible that they may become a 'commercial' product at some unspecified time in the future. How 'general' the rules become will depend on my enthusiasm - the initial plan is simply to write rules to allow me to fight battler from this one campaign. I may, later, branch out into the Punic Wars, in which case the rules would get a bit more general. My friend and fellow-conspirator, Richard, would like a set for fighting the warts of the Diadochi, so we may, eventually, end up with a more general set of rules for 'Hellenistic' wars.
I have, over a period of several months, been working on a couple of additions to the rules. The first covers the use of what we might call 'field engineering' - ditches, palisades, caltrops and other such obstacles, designed to hinder an enemy's advance. The second, slightly more controversial, addition concerns religion. Now, whatever our own views on religion, it would be hard to deny that the ancient Romans and their contemporaries lived in a very different era, one in which gods, demons, spirits were the subject of fervent belief and superstition. Whether or not they really exist(ed) is beside the point - the simple fact is that people believed that they did, and good and bad 'omens' could (and did) have a big impact on the way people acted. With this in mind, I have written some simple guidelines to how the use of omens or auguries could be used to influence your games.
These two additions are available, bundled together as a single zip file, containing both 'tablet' and 'printable' versions, from here.
One of my main sources of difficulty, when I first started playing TooFatLardies' games, were that of working out what cards and tokens I needed, and then either sourcing or making same. When I designed AVGVSTVS to AVRELIAN, I was determined to make that step easier for those buying the rules. The cards are bundled, as printable PDFs, with the rules, as is a useable, but not very attractive or robust, set of tokens. I had a chat with Martin at Warbases a few weeks ago, and he offered to produce sets of tokens, in laser-cut acrylic, for the game.
They come in two colours, red and blue (which fits in with the 'colour-coding', scattered throughout the rules!). In each set (red or blue), you get five each of the four circular 'Order Chits' (Advance, Attack, Hold, Retire) and ten each of the 'Tokens' (Impetuous, Pila, Disordered, Shaken, Fleeing). The order chits are 20mm (¾") in diameter, whilst the markers are 25mm (1") across. They are, I believe, £14 per set, and only available from Warbases - I don't see them in the webshop, so you may need to drop Martin an email.
Just to let you know that Simon Miller and I are putting on a game at The Other Partizan MMXII. It will involve almost a thousand figures, and is intended to showcase AVGVSTVS to AVRELIAN - come and take a look; chat to us, or even join in the fun and learn to play the game. The game is based on the Battle of Ad Castores, which occurred during AD69 - 'The Year of Four Emperors'. The battle was fought between the forces of Vitellius and Otho. Craig Davey is providing the terrain, Simon the figures, and I the rules.
If you find any errors in the rules, please post them here as comments, and I'll check them out, and note them for possible inclusion in a later version of the rules.
If you have questions about the rules, please post them here as comments! I'll try to answer them in a timely manner, though I am busy with 'real life' a lot of the time, so replies may not always be instant.
Today is launch day! You can purchase the rules from the Too Fat Lardies website. You can also download a zip file of 'printable' files from this site. Within that zip file, you'll find a selection of useful 'goodies'. There are two files of cards: the first is the common cards you need for every deck; the second is a fillable PDF 'form' to allow you to create cards for the commanders in your army, depending on their level, which part of the army they're commanding, etc. There's a set of markers; the best way to deal with these, in my experience, is to print them off, laminate them, and then cut them up with scalpel and straight edge. There's a roster sheet, to print off and fill in with the attributes of each unit in your army. Lastly, the there's a quick reference sheet. If you were being a mean, thieving, so-and-so, you could just download that and try to play the game, but I don't recommend it - it contains all you need to play once you know the rules, but you're unlikely to get a good game without knowing the rules - it lacks definitions for all sorts of things, and the details of the rules themselves, though it is handy once you know the rules and definitions.
Keep your eyes peeled - I may well produce additional downloadable files of things I've found useful in my own games.
So, off you go and buy a copy!
To the accompaniment of a loud fanfare of cornua (trumpets!), I am pleased to announce that, following high-level discussions with Rich (well, he is 6'4", so they were bound to be high-level!) AVGVSTVS to AVRELIAN will be available to buy from this coming Saturday (2nd June) from the Too Fat Lardies website. Assuming, of course, that Lard Island doesn't suffer some sort of Krakatoa-like catastrophe in the meantime - in which case, presumably, I'd have to think again!
I hope it isn't significant, but it will be the anniversary of the Vandals sacking Rome… Not very auspicious!
By the way, we tend to refer to AVGVSTVS to AVRELIAN (which is horrid to type!) as A2A. I may well slip into doing this when referring to the rules in public - just so as you know!
Here are four sample pages from each version. The top line is pages from the tablet version, the bottom row is pages from the printable version. The main differences are that the printable version has wider margins and doesn't have a coloured background.