by Fr. Aelred Glidden - modified by Jay Stribling

Quick Ancients Rules

Last updated 09/11/07


There is really no scale. These rules are set for our 15mm troops which were originally raised for VENI VIDI VICI, Sam Maxwell's rules set. They are similar to the armies used for DBA or DBM.

Items needed to play the game

Sequence of Play

  1. Toss for Initiative. On the first turn roll again on a tie; on later turns, the player who lost Initiative on the previous turn wins ties.
  2. Movement: 1st side, then 2nd side (Initiative winner chooses to go first or second).
  3. Missiles exchanged (simultaneous).
  4. Resolve Melees: First do flank/rear, then do regular.


The Jackson gamers units are organized in units of 6 bases.


  1. Skirmish Infantry are never formed.
    • Heavy Infantry & all Cavalry are always formed.
    • Medium Infantry may begin formed (3 across by 2 deep) or as skirmishers.
    • Others may begin in column
    • Columns are 1 stand wide by 6 deep for Heavy Infantry, or 2 stands wide by 3 deep. Cavalry are same.
    • Elephants are in column 1 wide and 3 deep or in line (3 across by 1 deep for elephants)
    • 3 deep for Greek Infantry,
    • 2 deep for all others).
  2. Once any unit deploys from column into line, it must remain in line. Note that formed Medium Infantry in support are placed behind the supported unit.
  3. Besides functioning as other Medium Infantry, Barbarians may be organized into two special formations: Two or more units may form side by side in a "shield wall"; as long as a unit remains immobile, it counts as heavy. A barbarian unit may form a "wedge" as long as it is supported by another barbarian unit to its rear; a wedge counts all figures plus those of the supporting unit and has no flanks.


  1. Units in contact with enemy are pinned in melee and may not move.
  2. Normal movement is:
    • Foot (& elephants) 8"
    • Horse 12"
    • Foot attacking Horse moves 2"
    • Engines (Catapults etc.) do not move
  3. Units in column (& formed Medium Infantry) may wheel 90 degrees and move.
  4. Cavalry in line (& formed Medium Infantry) may wheel 90 degrees & move 8" (or move then wheel).
  5. Light Cavalry (& formed Medium Infantry) may also about face before or after movement.
  6. Heavy Infantry in line may only move forward or wheel 45 degrees.
  7. Friendly skirmishers may move through elephants (but no other formed units).


  1. Troops armed with bows or slings are unformed troops, except for riders on elephants.
  2. Units in melee cannot be shot at by either side nor can they shoot.
  3. Toss 1 D6 per figure with a clear shot: hit on 6 (if target is Cavalry supported by Medium Infantry, before tossing divide the dice into an equitable number against each target).
  4. Ranges: bows & slings 15", javelins 4"
  5. Heavy infantry may be armed with javelins. Only the first rank of javelin armed formed infantry toss javelins and then only immediately before the first round of a melee.


  1. Formed troops that contact skirmishers will move their full movement, dispersing the skirmishers as they move through them (each enemy skirmisher gets one shot as he is removed). Skirmishers may not close with formed troops.
  2. Javelin armed Formed Infantry do pre-melee javelins. Formed troops count all figures in contact to their front (all count 2 ranks except Greek Heavy Infantry which counts 3 & Medium Infantry in support add their 2 to those of the unit being supported); plus 1 figure to each flank that overlaps enemy frontage. Skirmishers count only figures in contact with enemy skirmishers.
  3. In melee the normal toss is 1 die per figure but for flank or rear attacks triple the total number of dice tossed by the attackers if they are Heavy. A unit attacked in flank or rear is disordered. A unit already in disorder that is attacked in melee, tosses morale as if routed into.
  4. Elephants toss 6 dice per elephant--when attacking enemy cavalry, the cavalry are disordered.
  5. Hits: Heavy (including elephants) on 6, Light or Medium (including as Skirmish) on 5 or 6, Skirmish on 4-6. If target is Cavalry supported by Medium Infantry, divide the melee dice before tossing) into an equitable number against each target. If either unit routs, the other unit continues in the melee.
  6. A unit that routs an opposing unit gets a post-melee bonus move of 4". It may use this movement to initiate another melee.
  7. One hit removes one figure except for elephants. First hit has no effect. Second hit halves movement and number of melee dice thrown. The third hit kills the beast.


  1. Unformed units do not check morale.
  2. Formed units that are reduced to 3 figures (or elephants reduced to one) are routed and will move away from the victorious unit towards the edge of the table till they exit the table.
  3. Friendly formed units that are within 6" of the rout path must check morale: Subtract 3 from the die if the routing unit is elephants. Unit in:
    • Disorder 1-5 = Rout (6 is remains in Disorder)
    • Column 1-4 = Disordered (5 or 6 is unaffected)
    • 1 rank 1-3 = Disordered (4-6 is unaffected)
    • 2 ranks 1 or 2 = Disordered (3-6 is unaffected)
    • 3 ranks 1 = Disordered (2-6 is unaffected)
  4. Disordered units move their rear rank(s) back 2". They may not move shoot or toss melee dice until they spend an entire turn reforming. To reform (i.e., moving the rear rank[s] back into contact with the front rank) a unit must not move or be in melee.

The Game-Master

The Jackson gamers almost always have an "umpire" or "Game-master" who runs the game but is not a player. He makes final rules interpretations, and these interpretations stand during the course of the game even if patently wrong. He decides what terrain is major or minor obstacles. He adjudicates any hidden movement or hidden deployment. His word is law during the game.


This rules set was originally written by the same person who originally wrote the rules that we use as "Quick Tricorne."

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