Miniature Wargaming Club Leuven
Schild & Vriend

'Schild en Vriend' is an old Flemish battlecry, used in the rebellion of the city of Brugge against the French, May 18, 1302. Legend tells that it was used to differentiate between the French-speaking (who could not pronounce 'schild') and Flemish-speaking citizens. Nowadays, historians tell us that it was probably 'Des Gilden Vriend'.


Ancients rulesets

  Recently, we've been playing quite a lot of games of Armati, and generally like the ruleset at least as well as DBM, and probably even more. Alan explains why: 

If you read the DBM mailing list regularly you could easily get the impression that the other mainline rule set for ancients was lifeless, static and amounted to little more than a dice-rolling contest (this is an in-joke for our club members, following one notorious evening when a skirmish game was denounced as "just die-rolling" approximately 63 times by one bored player).

The argument goes that you take your troops and deploy them and then are stuck. Wrong deployment, dead army.

So, we decided to try it out ourselves, wondering if the criticisms were fair or just a result of the evangelical fervour of the DBM players. Our first few games have been a great success and Armati has a nice feel about it. Let's briefly examine why.

  • your army is divided into units, but unlike other such games, they must stay more or less together in coherent battle-lines. There is some flexibility though and you can divide your army up into independent segments, and thus send your light troops off to skirmish.
  • soldiers tend to stay together in groups and lines, they can maneuvre but slowly. You don't get the strange phenomenon of a single element of psiloi that holds up or even attacks the might of a Roman legion for instance.
  • despite its reputation, manouvre and re-deployment are possible providing you use the 'Advanced Armati' book and the extended manouevre rules.
  • Horse archers are real horse archers. They advance, fire and run away again. They're not just another generic troop type.
  • The frustrations of millimetre accurate measurements for killer moves in DBM are just no longer necessary.

And I can say that the results we have had seem reasonable. Bart's Early Imperial Romans are a frightening prospect under Armati, but in DBM I fear they are rather fragile even against historical opponents.

So for the moment we are convinced, though I shall still play DBM and go to the occasional tournament. I shall keep painting my Sub Roman Britains, but happily they can be used in either rule set as the basing system is the same.

 This page is maintained by Bart Vetters
Schild en Vriend Miniature Wargaming Club Leuven