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Jackson Gamers' Adaptation of the Old Ral Partha "Rules by Ral"

Medieval Rules


The medieval battles described in these rules are fought between armed groups of men led by valiant leaders represented by miniature soldiers. Thes groups challenge, fire their bows or crossbows, maneuver, and melee (fight hand-to hand). The best will endure and claim the victory.

To play this game you will need toy soldiers, sevral six-sided dice (D6) and at least one twenty-sided die (D20). Rulers or tape measures will be needed to measure movment and fire distances. If the figures are mounted in multiples on bases (as opposed to individually) you will need rings or markers to denote casualties.


This medieval game is fought (played) between two or more armies. Each army is composed of two or more units. A unit of infantry (foot figures) contains 12 miniature soldiers. A unit of cavalry (figures on horseback) contains six soldiers on six horses. Each army also contains one or more leaders, with an equal number of leaders on each side. Each unit moves and fights separately.

The various units in this game are divided into three broad types: (serfs, militia), Yeomen (men at arms), and Knights. Peasants may carry bows, and Yeomen may carry bows or crossbows. Knights do not carry missile weapons. Yeomen and Knights may be mounted or on foot. Peasants are always on foot.

This medieval game is played in turns. Each turn is composed of a series of events which must be performed in the proper sequence. Each turn is the same, repeating the events. Each event must be completed before moving on to the next event. The events, in order, which make up a turn are as follows:

Event I Personal Challenges (if any)
    a. Resolve any combats resulting from Challenges
Event II Archery (if in range)
    a. Resolve bowfire
    b. Test morale of non-knight units which take 1 or more casualties
Event III Movement (each side in turn)
    a. Determine who moves first
    b. Move all units of player moving first.
    c. Resolve any reserved fire of other player, test morale if casualties
    d. Move all units of player moving second.
    e. Resolve any reserved fire of other player, test morale if casualties
Event IV Melee
    a. Resolve all melee combats, test morale if casualties
Event V Morale
    a. Attempt to rally any units routed on previous turn.
    b. Remove from field any units which attempted to rally and did not.
    c. Cast spells if using MAGIC rules.

When all of the events in a turn are completed that turn is over. Let's look at each of the events in detail,

Event I - Personal Challenges

In Event I of each turn, any player's leader may combat any opposing leader within 12 inches to personal combat. If the opposing leader accepts, each player rolls One die (Id6). If either player roils 5 or 6, the opposing leader is killed, and is removed from play immediately. Any other die roll has no effect. The die roil is simultaneous; therefore, each player has the chance to kill the opposing leader.

The first time a leader declines a challenge, he loses all leadership value for that turn only. He may not participate in an attack that turn. The declining leader may neither voluntarily move to a new unit, nor may he rally a unit during that tam. Thereafter, during the game, the declining leader may refuse personal challenges without penalty. His men have seen his mettle!

Event II - Archery

Peasant or yeoman units may carry bows, knight unit may not. A bow armed unit (not in melee) may fire its bows during Event II. A bow unit must fire its bows at only one target, and the target must be the closest opposing unit. The target unit must be within 12 inches of at least one soldier in the firing unit. Archers may not fire bows over a friendly unit. At least half' of the soldiers in the firing unit must have a clear shot at the target unit.

To determine hits on the target unit, the owner of the archer unit rolls 1d6. If the archers are infantry, the die roil number is reduced by I for each two figure casualties the archer unit has suffered. If the archers are cavalry, the die roll number is reduced by I for each figure casualty the archer unit has suffered. After the die roil has been adjusted, divide die result by:

Target is Peasants or Yeomen - divide by 2 (round all fractions of .5 or above up)
Target is a foot knight unit - divide by 3 (round all fractions of .5 or above up)
Target is a mounted knight unit - divide by 4 (round all fractions of .5 or above up)

This result is the number of casualties which the target unit suffers.

Example: A unit of yeoman infantry archers are firing at a unit of foot knights. The yeoman archers have lost five figures earlier in the game (there are seven left). The yeoman archers roll a 6. This 6 is reduced by 2 since the archers have lost four, but not six casualties. The modified die roll is now 4 (6-2=4). Divide this 4 by 3 since the target unit is a foot knight unit. One knight is killed since 4 divided by 3 = 1.33, and the fraction would be rounded up if .5 or greater results in 1.

There is no bow fire into, or out of, a melee. An archer unit that fires during Event II cannot move voluntarily that turn. A peasant or yeoman unit which is a target unit, and loses one or more figures from bow fire, must check morale. When this happens the owner rolls ld6 and consults the morale chart listed in Event V under this unit type column. Knights do not test morale because of casualties due to bow fire. Any unit that does not pass the morale check must be turned 180 degrees (faced in the opposite direction), and moved one full move away. This move is immediate and mandatory.

No leader, save a Saxon named Harold, can be killed by bow fire.

Event III Movement

The two opposing sides each roll a d6. The side with the higher roll may choose to move first or second. The first player then moves his units as he wishes (except those routed, locked in melee, or which have fired their bows that turn). Each unit may move up to the maximum distance permitted for that type of unit. Types and their respec-tive maximum movement are as follows:

Leaders and Yeoman Cavalry - 12”
Knight Cavalry - 10"
Yeoman and Peasant Infantry - 8”
Knight infantry - 6”

A unit may change its direction without penalty. A unit cannot move through another unit unless routing. A unit needs at least two inches clear space to move between two other units, unless routing. If a unit is touching an opposing unit it is in melee. It may not move until the opposing unit is eliminated, or forced to run away from the melee. An unrallied, routed unit cannot be voluntarily moved.

When the first player is done moving, the second player moves. Movement rates and rules are the same as for the first player. Remember, he may not move units which are in melee, including units which were just put in melee during the first player's move.

A leader may either move with the unit he is commanding, or move to command a new unit, unless he refused a personal challenge for the first time during Event I of that mm. If he refused the personal challenge, he must remain with the unit he started the turn with.

Terrain Effects on Movement

Hills A unit moving up a hill level loses 2" of movement.

Woods -- Only peasant units may move in or through woods; they move at full speed. ~ ~r:

Walls or Hedges -- A unit crossing loses 2" of movement.

River -- A unit coming to a river must stop. On its next turn the unit may move across the river, but must stop on the opposite bank. Thereafter it moves normally unless recrossing the river.

Event IV Melee

Melee is hand-to-hand combat between opposing units. It occurs when a player moves a unit so that it touches an opposing unit. The first two units in melee are always face to face. Once two opposing units are face to face, they stay that way until one or both are eliminated or forced to run away. Addi-tional units may move to touch the flank (side) of a unit in melee or they may move to touch it in the rear. These flank and rear attacks are especially beneficial (more on this later).

Remember, a unit needs at least two inches of space to move between two other units. This two inch space also applies to the ability to move your unit onto an opposing unit's flank or rear. You must have the space to attack there.

The first two opposing units in contact are always face to face. In the the diagram below, the numbers show the order in which tim m~ts move. Assume that White moves first this turn: First white unit "1" moves face to face White stationary black unit "S", then White unit "2" attacks the black unit "S" in the flank. Now white unit "3" attacks the Black unit "S" in the rear. Finally, in his part of the turn, the second player (Black) moves his unit "4" to attack White unit "2" in the rear.

Each unit gets to fight the enemy unit it is facing. Units attacking on an enemy flank or rear are never attacked back by that enemy unit. All combat occurs simultaneously. Casualties are not removed until all fighting is done.

Note that routed units are always facing away from any opponents and thusly never get to fight back if attacked in melee.

Each unit rolls lD6. The die roll is modified (see below). Then the die roll is divided by:

Target is Peasants or Yeomen (mounted or on foot) - divide by 2 (round all fractions of .5 or above up)
Target is a foot knight unit - divide by 3 (round all fractions of .5 or above up)
Target is a mounted knight unit - divide by 4 (round all fractions of .5 or above up)

This result is the number of casualties which the target unit suffers.

Melee Modifiers
Peasants -1
Yeomen 0 (neither + or -)
Attacking uphill -1 Attacking from rear +2
Knights + 1
Mounted unit* + 1
Each 2 casualties on an infantry unit -1
Each casualty on a Mounted unit -1
Leader with unit +1
*Thus, mounted yeoman + 1; mounted knights+2.

Leaders commanding (with) a unit when that Unit suffers casualties in melee must test to see if the leader is killed or captured. Roll a D20. If the result is 20, the leader is killed. If 19, he has been captured by the enemy.

Melee will continue from turn to turn until one, or both opposing units are eliminated, or forced to run away.

NOTES on Melee

When a unit charges another unit, the “target unit” does not change frontage to meet the charging unit - the charging unit must adjust it’s facing to conform to that of the target.

EXCEPTIONS to the above:

  1. If both are cavalry, the target will countercharge (unless morale failure) and both will meet somewhere in the middle. The target unit will move out 6” and the facing direction of both units will be “fudged” so that they are the same. If the charging unit is too close target unit cannot move 6”, then they will meet half-way.
  2. If the target unit is flanked (Charging unit started behind a line parallel to and extending from the facing of the target unit) Then it must pass morale to stand. If it routs, it heads to the rear. If intercepted by the charging unit it fights as routed.

    If it does not rout, a mounted target unit will act as in 1) above. A foot unit may turn to face or try to change formation. Changing formation requires passing a simple test (1,2,3 = no, 4,5,6 = yes) and if failed the unit stands in place without changing facing or formation.

Knights must always attempt to fight other knights. Only if there is no other target, may knights charge non-knightly units, however, if a leader is attached to the knights, he can direct them to attack non-knightly units.

Event V. Morale

Few soldiers fought to the death. Most ran away when things went bad. In each turn, during the Morale Event, each unit which lost at least one figure in the Melee Event must check Morale. On the top row of the morale chart below find the type of unit checking its morale. In the left-hand column find the enemy unit it is fighting. Apply all relevant modifiers.
Mounted Knight
Mounted Yeomen
Foot Knight
Foot Yeomen
X = need not check against this type of attacker.

Morale Modifiers

Attacked in flank -1
Attacked in rear -2
Commanded by leader* +1
Lost 1/2 or more of soldiers in unit -2
Lost commanding leader that turn -1

*Leader cannot cammand that turn if he has declined a personal challenge for the first time in Event 1.

If the checking unit is fighting more than one type of unit, pick the highest rated enemy (closest to the top of the chart.)

Cross reference the column below the checking unit with the row across from the highest rated enemy unit. You will locate the number you must equal, or beat with one die roll in order to remain in melee.

Roil Id6. Modify it by the Morale Modifiers listed below the Morale chart. If you make your roil, your unit will continue to fight. If the unit fails to equal or beat the Morale check number, it immediately turns 180 degrees (faced in the direction) and moves one full move to the rear.

  1. A leader can rally a unit. To do so he moves to touch the unit in the next movment event. in the following Morlae Event, the unit rallies and turnas around to face the enemy. it is not condsidered a normal unit. If a leader moves to a nunit in the movement Event, but it is attacked in the Melee event, it does not rally in the following Morale Event. Instead it automatically runs away and the leader must start the rallying process again. The leader may move with the routing unit in this case or stay where he is, abandoning the cowards to their fate.
  2. A player mat attempt one rally without a leader for each routed yeoman or knight unit. to rally without a leader, roll 1D6. A yeoman unit rallies on a roll of 5 or 6. A knight unit rallies on a 4,5, or 6. If the player failes his die roll, removed the routed unit from the game at once. if he succeeds the unit is turned to face the enemy and is considered a normal unit and may move next turn. A peasant unit cannot be rallied without a leader.

This concludes the turn. The next turn begins with Event I. Continue until one player begs for mercy


You may wish to fight battles between armies of different composition. The following is a point system for creating different armies.

For small beginning engagements, 150 point armies, with one leader per side should suffice. if there are move players, or you are move experienced, you can use more points (300-500) and more leaders per side.
Figure Type Point Cost
Peasants 1 point per figure
Yeoman 2 points per figure
Knights 4 points per figure
Horses* 2 points per horse
Bows** 1 point per bow
*Peasants may not ride horses **Knights may not carry bows