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l6

Bashin0
lheBishop
by Rtchard Clarke

INTRODUCTION
For my money I'll play, and enjoy equally, two rypes of wrgaine.
Firstly thee is the sincereatremptal hisiorical accuracy,where well
fesedched and elegantly slructu.ed rule syslems allow us ro
(hopetullyl) gain a greate.appreiation of warfde in a sp@ificcodflicr
or period.S{ondly is somethhg quite diffe.ent. rhe FLD,Igme. where
the gane6 enjoy lhen gaminSfor quile differen! bur who is ro say
le$er, re.!ons. Indeeda iook at ey warganesshowor convenrionwitl
see a lirge nunber of the laner, wheG participalion ganes provide So, let\ keepit nice dd simple.Onebishopplus rctinue md a goody
newcomeBto the hobby with a tun. fast dd fatic fint blooding. dd bag. Half a dozen knighc wirh their rclinues, all of whom want the
Ie,hatge. rhebfl rerie\of romeot uscynjcalold .ampagne6. goodiesrali of whom distrust each other. md some of whom really
In the caseof fun games.where the emphasisis on laughter nor HATE eachother ln fact lo makeit morefun we allowedthe Knighrs'
laurcls. rhe rules we needare quire different frcm any others.tnd@d {i.e. our gmers) to forge temporaryauianceswilh some of rhe other
this faci was brcughr home to me only recently when a ioad of clds in the eea, bur ensmd ftar somewould b@ terible grudgesthat
Medieval figures I d "losr" nearly lwenry yem ago fonuitousty cme woDldmeancerlain fisticuffs wererhey to meeron someconnrrylde.
to lighrjnstin timeto getthen in shapefor our mnDalChristDasgame For thosegrapplefans mongst us rhis was reminiscentof rhe King of
of fun, frivolity and down.ighr foolishn€s. the Ring competitionsthat used 10 fill ITV wrestling on a Saturday
h hd to be saidthat my o.iginal purchdhg decisioneas b6ed oDthe aJbmoonin the l9?0s.All we needed now wastbe rules.
fact ftar EssexMiniatrcs Medievil rangewas so dmnably atrEctive
tharI coul.h r resislthem.The facr Oa1I hadmt the dighElt krowledSe
of warfire in that periodeded 6 no bEke on my enriusiasm,md hom
DECISIONS,DECISIONS
of carcful paindnSbek rhen (I ccd in thosedays I) actuatly atlows
ihemb srill standscturinytoday.lndeedtheir e-emergenceleft me keen So, decisiorime. ShouldI now spendmomhsof cdeful resedcb
to Eetthembackonthe1ables soonaspossible. piecitrStoeerherfte subilenudces of conflicrin rhe Middle Ages?
Somehope.No, this was to definitelybe a lun gane, whereflavour
lates precedenceover minuriae.and, indeed,perhapsall those
ENTER TI{E BISHOP coments in this augusrjoDmalalongfte linesof "sodhishry ler's
8eton with thegame maywell bavehi1theirtargerar lasr
SortinSlhrcugh the newly discoleredgoodiesI discovereda two figure So,leavingthe dustyhistoricalronesin plac€.I waslookingfor a
setof a mounedanddismounred bishop,alongwith a smallrerinue of set of rules rh4 matchedthe fiBures we had available. The nuobes
monks.A smalllight-bulbwenton somewheG andd ideawasbom involveddictateda ldgeish skimish game,with roDghlya dozen
tharwashopefullya goodfit fora w&ganesctubbasedin SrAlbans. figms aside.howevertherewa onegrearer fetor ofimpondce: they
As hone 1oBrilain s lrst Chrisrian manyf tbe Abbey Church of St
Albd is a hugepieceofdchilectureon our sm.llcityi skyline.tndeed I can well rccall a Wild Welt skimish 8me tnar I d participatedtn
the relics of lhis ageing.esidentof VerulmiDm de stiil therein a grear as a youngsterTbe scenariowas obviouslydesignedfor iaDghs.as
bie box.Thesedaysnorqlite so manypil8rimscone.blt in theMiddle were fte namesof rhe chamcte.s,howeverrhis cade ro an abruptend
Ageslhe place*as packedwiih rhem.So, within rharcon1ex1. a visit when the rules came inro use. Seventyfour differenr facros ro
by somebig wig bishop,wouldbe eninelyappropriale. To na.kehim considelorso ilseemed.forshooring.andmorefor simpl)geltingthe
more attractiveto someof the local ne'eFdo-wetlgentry tne old duiier gun out of fte bloody holster This was nor for me.
couldbebrinSingsorneexcitingrelic.o. sinply a bi8 box of cash.We WbatI wdted ws a setof"invisibletulej', in orhe.wordsrulesftar
haveto assumeherethal the afoementioned genlry would not be too did not slandi! tne way of lhe gde, a nuts and bolrs flmework rhat
concernedabort cracking him over lhe headto snarchftese goodies. would get us onto the tablead deal with rhe basices*ndalsof the
but lookingdound ar the inhabildls rodayI ftink lbat thal is a fairly game.nmely frovemenl, shootinged conbar (anythinSelsecould be
saf€conclusion lo reach. factoredin by the unpne) andbepreuy muchunnoriceablewhenin use.
So, staiting fron the premisethat infdry nove 6" (andftankl) dy
rulesin which ftey donl shouldbe viewedd suspecrl)I divedin.
Firing was coveredby basr&disingmy WWI] mou. penetnlion
system.whitst meleesaw a slbrle vanarionon ml Dr Cldke\
UniveaalPanacea Russid Civil wa. MeleeSysrem. This latterI use
nlher moreoftenfto snakeoil asacurc fo! everywrgaming ill. ud
seeno reasonfordiscddinga winninglbmula now-
In fact.all in all, tbe sysrenis rarherjolly. prcducinga fun game
wi$ont too much builr in derail.I am fimrly convincedrhal {hen
runninga gameofthis natured ufrpi.e shouidbe freelo gild rhelily
wheneve.apprcpriate, ud avoidir whennot. Indeedrherute systen
shouldbe sophisticated enoughto allowpansof thegame10bealmosr
role playeda la DunEeons& DtuBon\ whilst orher les relelan,
drmaric bits can be played$mugh al sp€ed.
A key iador here is to avoid oveFengineeringthe rules. There de
cenain issuesthat ce be avoidedin print and left to rhe uinpire. Take

At the start of each regainhis feet. all situarions..but suchvmiety addsspicelo our quest. an Ob€se Cowdd lbr whal follows is simply someof lhe morc printable options we used.Arch€rsor other missile troops Ifkilled or captured all his menpill risk deathto rescue will be obliged to withdraw if oy eneny meleetoops comewithin 6" his bodyor freehim nnnediatly lit s his roundnoxl. If he is killed no one will attempt10shift his deadweight. Alche6.RoIs with +1 for tm initiativ€ when ladies ft cDnor be h&dl€d b€rler (and probably a bundred times nore pr€senl.Crossbow amed men need one emire tum over he will only regain his feet rith help from a ftiend.DrunkenLadieJ Md. in this "tun" onenbred situation. he gers+2 penonaily- thea leaderor in somecasestheir troop twe.Rollswilh a -l for tum iniliative.on my other ''Buegerthis. Charsct€r Strength ridicule dd huniliate fellow club membersa! will.On I 3 he wiu attack.esively Infatry .on +6 he will be his besr eqlally fesreringold monasteryWhilst stop?ingovemight ar the Bull lnn in Do6etshire FalherAeltlric is approachedby a lady of the niSht kdieJ Mm Will alwayslead fton the iiont when any female under offenne her w@s. receive a minus. HE rhinks he isl will alwaysleadfron rhefront. A1l you n@d is a bucket tull of dice. The rcactionof their force is diclatedby the peEonaliryof conJidencewhen he Ieadsften.how€verafter a lossof two strengthpoinc underrhe heading" \.6' (ofcourse) Cavalry.he d stink the castleout. will roll for tum initiative with a + L If he is killed or captrred be will be left lo rot while his rctinue headfor the nemsr pub to celebrate! Tough Guy 5 will alwayslead from the red.Once dismountedhe my not remounrwitbour rhe assisrdceof a ldee winch. suchasmorale. addsone dice lo his defensiveroll to r€flect the difficulty Their larget will alwaysbe the ne@sr enemyaslong as no ftiends de of hittinga swaying. te!t. a p r u e dh i . no! know he may act as be chooses. know he will roll a D6. dd all of his forc.Onceknockeddownhe will stru$le to The move sequenceusesaltemadvemovenent.Now do we im€diately write a trarche of mles 60 is watching. Tl'e player with iDitiative has a choice of whetherto imediately. sktionary and not in conbat to reload. ar whichpoinrtheywill indeedleavethe r€suhhe will act as he ch@ses- batle.In discussionsir was meetingthis individual will atwaysattackhim.CHIVALRY & CHASTITYBELIS etrsl he wiil have'2 for initiative dd his mer wiu fiBht wirh 'l dice in melee-If Klled he will be desededby his men. some cannot even manage to rhis blackguardl A kright.but behind closeddooB with othe. On a 6 he will attack.somblingdnnkdd. feit that peEonalitiesfor knighls would a. Feel fiee to Will alwaysattackany knight or rctinue he meets.al.by the Inconlinem A fonie stencbis upon himl His opponentsh mele fNter play of the rules. embetlishas you desire. taking into accounl personality defects.he may not be caFured as no quaner will be given Sadly all KnigbB cannot be heroe!. Secondlyit is etrtirelypossibleto covercerrainmd. silly fun! I would recomend this as an opportuniry !o insult. If heis knocked wiftin 2" of the ltrget. If killed or capttDed no1standin the faceof m advuce by nelee troops. hygienic. all his rennuewill have -l dice in meleeto reflect the fact that rheyhaveoDeeye Soft/ 2 fimly behindthemto checkhe\ notleggedit again. Any knight meeling figures dd a particuldly waiped scetrdio designermd lmpire. but he Dust do so with all of his men and may not he mayacl ashechooses.just don t over seasonthe pot. but if capturedhis nen will attempt!o free him beginsthe tum. assumingrhen lo be hosnk.ld much to the gue. exaDple in the rules that follow neone ever takes a his retinue will have+ I dice in meleeto refler rheir mo. Nobody wouid takethis festeringoaf explanatorycometrts.ic6 & Tarls". Th€ choiceis yoml Puenle. ud A chdacter may be one or morc of these.12' His more ftm mple ginh eives him -2 in melee. tum the opposingplayeB will dice to seewho hd initiativ€ in that tum. wilt risk their ljves ro regainhis body or will keepdoing so urtil their puBuer is stopped.r ktled or caphnedthis preDiry peac@kwill be hufroroully) in a skimish game$an by a roll of a dice wiih de unpne left lo his fale by his men. mix the order Has a -l to his total dice in combalbut benefits ft on a + I Finng oneIbr 1uminiliatile. him will attenpl to Sive him a wide berth- WithoDtHonour This appliesONLY to a kni8ht who hasbroketrthe codeof chivalry that rhe rules dictate. by avoiding sepdate rule sectionsand sinply prescribingfor certain lmortal well.yes.With imediate CHOPPERS.I'm off hone".Fo. wlEn Deetine a knighr he doesnol know more or fire fist.ly I oll aith a -2 for tum initiative. t7 for examplea knight and his rerinue acconpanyinga prrry of nonks when neeting a f'night he do6 not know he wi]I rcI a on a lon-qjoumet perhals escortiDgsomefesterirg old Elic to sne D6.If beingshotat by an dcher he Tr@ps may move a coDplet€nov€ and no1nre or movehalf and nre. The highest adjustedscore.will Big Gi. I would su8gestnot.Ifhe is killedor e l l r l l l e e i l r n { d r l y \ v h e nm e e r i n g . r e r i n uw a knighrhe doesnot know he will neveractagg. conseDtingwargameB good. exmple. In fact therc will retire from battle to havehis woundsboundby the de few issles outsidethe key :@s of sb@ling.but will rctire. To my nind wharis losr by nor having a sepmle norale systen is more ftd compensatedfor. tf killed nobody (not evena Priest) will Wlat follows is the sel we cme up with. Men-at-Ams Need Feding. .Men of all typeswill free him imediatell On meting a Knight he dcs not fight in a meleeDniil fteir smngft falls Io a point where ftey ftink. sone prisoner. I bave added some go ne& his body. and peasants Softiet. As a nom all knights wilt be robqsf or betlei Sergeantslobust'..On metiog a kriSht he d@s making his decisionbasedon that rcsult. fiSbting dd noving said female. for examplewill will roll with a + I for tum initiativ€. excepdnga cowddly one. or d lncontinetrt.

elics.As above. Clerics often cairy about some interestingstuff.48' l0 Prone 50% Moumedv f@l +50% If a hit is achievedconsult the table below io se how Imy dic€ e Ixfensive stanc€ +sOE rclled for penetntion using the sp€cificweapon. Longbow 12 10 l0 8 8 l0 l0 6 Ctiv6lry In thes€nles.For exmple wben two knights were fighting St ite Factor headto had this could be coveredin somedelail... result in him unsatirg or healingpow€rs.olled. -24' 7 Per strcnSthpoint lost -t 24' -36' 9 Defendingobst@le +2 36' .Unhorsedor falls over on 1 to 4 the specincsituation.l8 FiBt mI 2D6 to hit Ob6e :2 Rarge Ro[ Needed IDDonal +2 0. whilsl a dozenoiks tz-u" 2+36" 36-44" in a big $rilmag€ coutd be worted oul with one simple rcll of dice. 12" 6 Opporera hs'toule stench" -2 12. nn hin lhrcugh dd move asay post haste. bils of w@d.with one multiple cornbatof 3 agarnstl. the rcsulting figurc being the they are no.Sir Ralph rclh nve hits. In an energency clerics cd be called on to use lheir "how€ver stEngth points.Inded they were m les fight with a defensiv€posturc. what is morc.ln the cae of medievalfoll( 'r qa ot \alue beyondpri.Automatically nnhoned or falls over hit. Nowt 2 Duing his own initiative phaseuy knight may challengedother wilhin emhol (whateve. bui they donl like kn@king down d opponentor regaininghi! own fet. holy hmd grenadesetc. knights havea codeof chivalry to which Check the chan for weaponand rdge. The victor's net number of hits d€ split equally b€lwen the opporents. dd knights. peferably humorcus. Sir 5 -5 st engthpoinE. with. Any Respectedby all: nobodywill kill a cleric unlessthey@ herencsor the rharfall to one sr€ngh poinr slopeotr dy below that @ dead.that is!) to fighq nm to md. trt cltrb menbeB buy a dozenlo twenty meleem as fotlows. a game possibly even more fun thd Buckmo. appliedin this order Thosein bold only apply to figurcs each. se rhe iable below- Knights my yield at dy poinr in ctoseconbar dd mDstbe spared by a fellow kniSht who will artemplto take thempnsonerfor rdsom. we presune that they chos their favourite and nost eFe.lamageto his enemy(e. take the number of 1 I stretrB$point.lue Sergmis may give knights qudter.Exceptionswould be druntr In a nultiple combat.ro acnonsnexttm net monnt of . If reducedto one Stength point the man will disengagein his tf a mounted figure is unhoNed he is arsumed1o led on his feet- oM tum dd anemptto slopeoff hone lo bed d s@n s he gainsthe Chdacte6 in meleewho are knockedover wil generallyrc8ain lheir initiative. €tr@tive that the modemday placeboyour doctor p€scribes to half of but if he wins the meleehis hits will not resuhin his opponentslosing his patients. In his initiative phe a playermay chosehow he confiCuresa m€lee.buth@ked out 6 to revile eachl'm EdmDndfour The net esult is that Sir Edmund loses one sFengt poinr). d a club prcj@r this is the type of low cost optior tnat What maters hereis class! can prolide m interestitrg@asioMl diveBion jiom the rigours of The adjustmentsto the total number of number of dice rolled in drcaf old historical accurey. it nay stilt.tive.e nem fteir csde.rcmoving a single point of dmage.rotal up the points for eachmd Dd rcll d a whole.e.and tet\ face ir therc de somenice onesout there. Cleri6 with dy odd hits beingappliedby the figms' ownerashe s@sfit. Tuget stationrry -l . Unhoned or falls over on I or 2 dice relevat for his Amou value on the ch6n above. 5 or 6 hits. tf they br€ak lhe code lheir cbmcter numberof sEikedice . The €xcepnonhere is Inconnnentchdacte6 Mail 9 who no sde pe6oD would wdt dywhe. he nay eiect to somerclevut 'powe6 should be devised. f@t if they win the nexfound of mel@.e sid€s. . with 5 or 6 negatingfte eret of Sh@ting & Mel€€ Resolts one successfulhit.Adjtrst this for 2 2 strengthpoints. if not in reality. bu1 Plare 12 this is enlirely optional. Garb Def€Ne V.AgaiDa resuttof 5 or 6 will count asa successfDl 3 3 strengrhpoitrts.. as knights mmy to sergedts. before you know i!you'll be bahirg the Bishop on a re8uld basis. If it is accepEdboft panies will fight to the end (or at leastlo the poiDtof one yielding) whihr their Light cover +? @tinuesstand by uking no pan in fte fighl.As abovebut alsostunned. Whilst to us this is quite clearly a load of old flbbish. TIE loseas side will withd@wat the victor's bidding. must be acceptedor honour will be lost. The defenderrclls a numb€rof imediately chmges 1o "Without Honoui and they suffer penalties savingdice thalreflecr his gdb. cleric atlacks first. SeeFiring dd Melee resultsfor effe. that may be or ime€st 1o For exmple if five men @ fidting three he nay chooseto haveiwo playeB.In this cas€he wjll add 50% more dice.makesomethingup. This challenge Add or subtraclfrom the nrnber of dice rclled a below.9. . A key issu€ hec is the flexible level of detail that you can use lbr fighting your melees. ln this way he my hopeto prcvenl his demisefor long enough1oallow his comdes We de not conc€medh€rc with what *e3pons the men @ fiShting So therc we have it.c The$ should be appliedto eachindividu€l relevdt ro the numberof hits taketrin that tm.so in de\i8nin8a scendio multiple conbat againsta single oubumb€redknight. Melee Hits Resqlt For individual conbat on€ md venus one mm. The wimer is cledly the md who inflicts the mosrhits: doing the 4 -4 slrcn8thpoints.where Oere is more thm one mm on oDeor dd obesecbamcters. mo.rjly bound. to single combats. Any who fall lo zero are dead.thetrrcll savingtbows asfor sFike..

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