White Steeds and Seax - Version 2.7 (6/8/08)

DAIS modified by Steve Switzer

 

The DAIS rules were originally written by Andy Callan and appeared in Miniature argaming magazine in 1983. On this page is an adaption of these rules by Steve Switzer to include cavalry which were not in the origianl version of the rules. These are very much an ongoing project and so your comments, suggestions, etc, will be greatefully received. The original version of the rules is here D.A.I.S

 

THE RULES

- A leader base consists of a leader figure and a (removable) standard bearer.

- Figures should be based in groups of about 10 on a rectangular base of a regular size. A UNIT is made up of one or more such bases.

- UNIT = either a leader's retinue or a leaderless Contingent.

- Each leader has so many LEADERSHIP POINTS (LP's). (As per scenario or each leader Av. dice +1)

- A leaderless contingent has one inherent LP for movement/manoeuvre only.

- Each unit has three different ratings. i) Aggression: (1-8, starts at 1. ii) Formation: (1-8, starts at 1). iii) Strength: (as per scenario or 2 * Av. dice. Retinue, Av. dice + 5).

- A unit flees the field if any of its ratings drop to zero.

 

Turn Sequence

  1. Allocate leader points
  2. Shooting
  3. Movement
  4. Adjust ratings
  5. Determine 'combat trumps'
  6. Resolve combat
  7. Adjust ratings after combat
  8. Make enforced retreats, pursuits, etc.
  9. Adjust ratings as reactions to 7.

Leadership Tactics

In any turn a leader may use his leadership points to do any combination of:

  1. Raise/lower aggression (not during advance).
  2. Raise formation (not more than 1 per turn in advance).
  3. Move himself or the unit he is with 6" (18" max.).
  4. Choose combat trumps for his retinue (costs 1LP)
  5. Note: when followed up by cavalry and in combat - only 1LP for Agg or Form per turn.

- A leader normally operates with his own retinue but may allot LP's to any unit in his division (while forming up) or to his own unit and one to either side of him only (in combat).

- A retinue whose leader leaves it while any part of the army is still fighting stays at its current agg. or 3 (whichever is the lower) and loses one formation point.

- A retinue whose leader is killed throws two Av. dice (+ and -). Gain/lose that number of points on agg. and form.

Forming up

The start lines of the two sides = either:

A) Average dice roll * six inches apart, or

B) Both sides state preferred forming up distance. Take the mean of the two.

- Leaders may not take initial stand with a flank unit or adjacent to another leader.

- Cavalry must be in front of - or on flank of infantry.

- All units start with a basic Aggression of 2 and Formation of 2. Leaders allot LP's in each 'forming-up' turn to build up these ratings to a level sufficient for them to feel to confident to order the advance.

- Units need an aggression of at least 5 in order to advance.

- Both sides display card at the end of each turn to show if they wish to advance. If both show an advance card on the same turn assume simultaneous advance.

- Otherwise the side on defence immediately rolls 1 Average dice +1 for each of his units. The units lose that number of points off their ratings, in the sequence aggression/formation/strength. So, if you roll a three, adding 1 to give a total of four, you will lose 1 point each off aggression, formation and strength, with an extra point off aggression.

The Advance

- Once the signal is given all units capable of advancing do s (i.e. those with agg. of 5+).

- Cavalry throwing javelins will advance on agg of 3 +

- Infantry with agg of 8 and cav with agg of 6 will advance straight away.

- Units with agg. of 4 will also advance (but 3" behind) as they get +1 agg. as reaction to seeing advance. Others may follow once their agg. reaches 5.

- Units with Form of 8 cannot move and form of 7 move at half speed.

- Contingents conform to the movement of an adjacent retinue (players choice as advance starts)

- Each 6" move (12" for cavalry ) forward entails loss of 1 formation point. Only one LP can be allotted to formation each turn during the advance.

- Obstacles: effect on formation is umpire-assessed or dice. (1= -3, 2-5= -2, 6= -1).

- Re-forming: Leaders may halt their retinues (costs 1LP) to rebuild formation. A halt automatically entails the loss of one aggression point and one formation.

 

Closing with the enemy

- Lay down 'fighting lines' to determine opponents when first within 6" of enemy line. Make any necessary adjustments to 'orbat' (i.e. breaking down and creating contingents).

- Compare aggression levels. An advancing unit with higher aggression, or if both at 8, charges the enemy. Defender loses 1 form. If attacker agg. is lower he halts (lose 1 form). In the next turn the defender, if he is a retinue, may counter attack. If one or both sides have an agg. of 4+ they close with each other with no gain or losses to ratings.

CAVALRY - javelin throwing cavalry -

Javelin throwing cavalry advance

Move to 4 " throw 2 rounds javelins. During the stationary round can only raise Form by 1.

5,6 to hit - TARGET - one formation point lost - may only +1 to fp and ap that turn.

Units attacked by javelin cavalry - While under attack can only raise agg and form by 1.

Once 2 rounds finished cavalry must check agg and go into closing with the enemy

 

Missile Fire

All units armed with bow ,sling or javelin may do missile fire -

Ranges - Bow 12" Sling 9 " Javelin 4"

Skirmishers however armed fire by throwing a 6 = 1 FP lost.

Cavalry Units armed with javelin count strength ,5,6 one FP lost.. Max 2 shots.

Units in sheildwall (FP = 8) only hits on a,6.

Heavy infantry who wish to throw javelins must reduce FP to 5 at once - If AP = 7 cannot do so.

Missile fire can never destroy a unit - if reduced to 0 stay on 1.

Combat

- On each turn of combat one of the three ratings is going to be the most important. This is called the COMBAT TRUMPS for the turn. At the start of fighting aggression is always paramount, then formation will gradually take over and finally sheer strength will be decisive. This is randomised using the following table.

Turn
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Dice roll
1
agg.
for.
stg.
stg.
stg.
stg.
2
agg.
For
For
For
stg.
stg.
3
agg.
agg.
For
For
For
stg.
4
agg.
agg.
For
For
For
For
5
agg.
agg.
agg.
For
For
For
6
agg.
agg.
agg.
agg.
agg.
agg.

- Units need an aggression of at least 4 to close. If neither of two units facing each other has enough then assume resting/stand off.

- Compare trumps. Highest wins that round of combat.

- Both lose one off trumps and strength. Loser then also loses points difference off other ratings in sequence agg./form./stg.

- Both sides separate 2". If difference 3+ loser retreats 4", winner has option of following up (see manoeuvre).

CAVALRY RULES

Cavalry always Start at Column 3. Cavalry vs stationary Infantry -

A. cavaly combat - Neither side can use LPs to influence combat trumps

B. Cavalry lose 1 agg point unless they win a combat.

C. Cavalry that win inflict (even by only 1) an additional 2 fp and force loser back 4 "- causing relevant effects.

D. Cavalry in pursuit - Always fight on turn 3 line of combat chart - unit that retreating - leader can only add 1 to FP or AP.

Cavalry + light infantry vs cavalry -

Cavalry with attached light infantry (allamani only) - Infantry with form of 3 or less and agg of 6 or more adds its Combat values to attached cavalry if it attacks!

CAVALRY - javelin throwing cavalry -

Javelin throwing cavalry can advance on 4+

Move to 4 " throw 2 rounds javelins. During those rounds can only raise agg and Form by 1.

Units attacked by javelin cavalry - While under attack can only raise agg and form by 1 - retinues can raise fp only by 2 instead of agg by 1.

Once 2 rounds over cavalry must check agg and go into closing with the enemy

Infantry charge cavalry

A. Throw die for all cavalry being charged.

B. If 1- 3 cavalry take normal morale effects and can dismount and become a retinue with -1 formation in addition.

C. If 5,6 cavalry role ave die and add amount to aggression - must charge if agg is enough on any unit

D. If 4 then cavalry take effects and make their own minds up

 

Leaders in combat

Note; New king rules !!!

- If not facing opposition leaders: wounded (lose one LP) for dice of 1 if on winning side, 1/2 if draw, 1/2/3 if loser.

- Personal combat with opposing Leader: May refuse challenge but retinue loses one agg. If accepted fight 3 rounds (stones/scissors/paper). Lose 1LP if 2 rounds lost, 2 LP's if 3 lost.

- If standard falls (risk as for leader, see above) lose 1 form. Take up standard again automatically on first fall, for 4+ on 2nd, and 5/6 only on subsequent. If not taken up again assume captured: lose one off all ratings (retinue + adj. units that turn, others next turn)

- If he is present, a leader can chose the combat trumps for his retinue (unless cav vs stat inf). Costs 1LP. Where two leaders are facing each other and choose different trumps the standard combat trumps (as used by other units that turn) applies.

- Leaders must lead from the front unless they have suffered more than 1 wound or have only one LP left.

Reaction

- Units are influenced by the fortunes of adjacent friendly units. Start at one end of the line.

- If an adjacent friendly unit:

  1. Falls back: lose 1 formation point.
  2. Routs: lose 2 agg., 1 form., 1 stg.
  3. Advances/follows up: add 1 agg.
  4. Pursues: add 1 agg., lose 1 form.

 

Manoeuvre

- Before the lines close there is no manoeuvre: units march straight ahead. Once the lines have clashed, however, various eventualities are possible:

a) Outflanking: A unit outflanking/overlapping another may attack its flank if its agg. is at least 4 and (if no leader present) it throws an initiative dice LOWER than its agg. (Plus one on dice for each previous refusal to attack (i.e. it gets more difficult)).

b) Follow-up and retreat: A unit must retreat 4" if the difference on combat trumps was 3 or more. Victor can follow-up if agg. 4+. Adjacent units react to this advance/retreat.

c) Pursuit and Rout: A unit routs if any of its ratings drop to zero. Victor pursues if aggression 4 or more. Chase fugitives one turn and 12". Lose Av. dice off formation and strength. Formation should not drop below one but if strength goes down to zero assume whole unit pursues enemy off field. If leader present never drop to zero strength.

CAVALRY - pursue 18" - lose Ave dice off formation and strength - If leader then you stop going to 0 on 4,5,6.

d) Envelopment: A unit attacked in flank or rear and not engaged on another facing (or one wishing to attack to its own flank/rear) counts 1/2 effect in combat. May turn to face (see below) in next turn. Two or more units attacking one unit combine their ratings in combat to give a trumps score.

e) Wheeling: A wheel up to 90 degrees costs 1LP and loss of 1 form. Over 90 = 2 LP's and 2 form.

f) Rallying: A stationary leader with a standard, not involved in combat, can rally one strength point per turn (from stragglers, etc) to a total not exceeding the original strength of the unit.

Cavalry may interpenetrate friendly infantry as long as they are facing the same way or exactly the opposite way unless Sheidwall FP=8.

 

Explanatory Notes

These rules use a number of quite unconventional mechanisms so readers who haven't seen them demonstrated may find the following useful:

1) BASES

Base size doesn't matter as long as its consistent for all groups. Beer mats make ideal group bases. The number of figures on a group base is irrelevant. Use whatever you think looks right or whatever you can afford.

2) FORMING UP

i) The army forms up as a single line of group bases. No reserves allowed! - Cavalry always form up in front . Unless Late Roman Regulars.

ii) The leaders take up their positions (2-5 leaders per side). One player per leader is ideal. They stand in front of their personal retinue (one group base). Each leader commands a 'Division' or 'Battle', which is made up of one retinue and a contingent to either side.

3) RECORD KEEPING

For each unit you need to keep a record of the current state of its various ratings (aggression, strength, formation). I use a piece of cork tile with mapping pins to move up and down the score tracks (this saves the constant crossing out of a paper ad pencil record).

 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Aggression                
Formation                
Strength                    

Place these behind the unit concerned, standing upright, so you an read off ratings at a glance while they are hidden from you opponent. I paint the reverse side to match the table colour and stick on a few of the 25mm cardboard cut-out Saxon figures now sold by Standard Games and Publications to help the visual aspect from the enemy's side of the table.

Alternatively, you can simply represent Strength by the number of figures on the base.

4) THE ADVANCE

Each Commander in Chief has two cards, one blank and the other saying 'CHARGE'. He displays one of these after phase one of each forming up turn.

5) CLOSING WITH THE ENEMY

When the two lines close you will find that the unit divisions rarely coincide. This doesn't matter as long as the actual bases are aligned. Simply break down the units into smaller versions of themselves (cloning), maintaining the same Aggression/Strength/Formation ratings. Since the original contingents represented no coherent unit structure in the first place, being simply used for administrative convenience, this breaking down makes no difference. Boundaries between the Divisions of the army MUST be maintained though, for leadership purposes.

becomes

'Fighting Lines' are lengths of string or florists wire used to mark off boundaries of engagements.

6) COMBAT

The Stone/Scissors/Paper game: A playground game, but for those of you unfamiliar with it here it is...

Each player forms one hand into a fist, knocks three times on the table and then simultaneously displays one of the following:

Stone (=fist). Beats scissors (smashes them) but is beaten by paper (is wrapped up by it).

Scissors (=two fingers). Beats paper (cuts it) but is beaten by stone (smashed).

Paper (=open palm). Beats stone wraps it up) but is beaten by scissors (cut).

Genuine hand to hand combat!!

7) GENERAL APPEARANCE

As one wing of the army moves off to the advance first, or after a few turns of fighting and groups begin to rout off, you'll find gaps appearing in the line. To prevent these gaps making the battlefield look too 'regular' scatter a few loose figures around to represent stragglers. These have no influence on the game other than to make it look better (and if you don't want it to look good why on earth are you using figures in the first place?). The cardboard figures mentioned above also look very good scattered as dead.

8) CAVALRY RULES - For use with - PICTS, NORTH BRITONS, MIDLANDS AND SOUTH EAST BRITONS , SAXONS IN SCOTLAND, LATE ROMANS.

Player must have cavalry if from the above areas -

  1. Cavalry numbers - each retinue can be turned Into 3 cavalry units I retinue 2 contingents - picts must leave one retinue to command the infantry. All others may have no infantry at all.Each retinue unit produces two units of cavalry but with each unit reduced strength of infantry retinue. Each unit same width as original Infantry unit.
  2. Cavalry are stationed in front of or on flank of infantry in a separate line. Max 6 inches in front.
  3. Cavalry act as infantry except for the following -
  4. Cavalry leaders can only influence cavalry retinue and adjacent cavalry retinue not infantry
  5. Cavalry Fight combat starting at turn 3 and must Cannot fight more than 3 turns
  6. Cavalry vs stationary infantry - Neither side can trump using LPs or use any line but turn 3 until the cavalry WIN a combat.
  7. Cavalry that follow up after winning a combat always fight on column 3 and leader in retreating unit can only add 1 to agg or form
  8. If neither side defeated by turn 5 combat on chart - cavalry withdraw - a . To own infantry b. A full move
  9. Cavalry move at 12 inches and in a single line like infantry
  10. If Picts cavalry may dismount when returning to own infantry rejoin as infantry retinue with total strength , average aggression but formation of 1.
  11. If Saxon or Britons may throw javelins at 4 inches range - 4,5,6 per unit = -1 ap lost. 2 rounds only then close.
  12. If Cavalry withdraws - opponent may attack and advance causing all normal effects.


9) Winning -

Side loses a Division when the following happens -

a. 2 of the following 3 are captured/routed/dead. -- Leader standard retinue

b. When all the contingents are routed retinue retires from field unless with a king - then it fights on. Side loses game when -

  1. King dies (when a king is present).
  2. 2/3 of divisions are lost.
  3. All leaders of all divisions dead.

 

10) Kings

Most armies were led by kings in this period as lots of small parts of Britain had kings -

There are 2 types - Normal Kings And Warrior Hero Kings

All kings have at least as large a contingent as everyone else.

a.Normal Kings - reroll one combat die for single combat (total) Even if all contingents routed retinue will fight on if king alive
Retinue takes first hit on king on its strength.

c. Warrior Hero Kings as above and can out-trump other leaders by playing trumps with his retinue

 

ARMY LISTS


SCOTS/IRISH

Type
Aggression
Formation
Strength
Notes
Comitatus
8
7
7
 
Contingent
7
6
6
 

PICTI

Type
Aggression
Formation
Strength
Notes
Comitatus
7
8
7
 
Contingent
6
7
5
 
Cavalry
6
5
4
 

SAXON WARBAND

Type
Aggression
Formation
Strength
Notes
Comitatus
7
8
8
Contingent
6
7
6
Cavalry (Javelins)
6
6
5

LATE ROMANS

Type
Aggression
Formation
Strength
Notes
Legio/Auxilia Palatina
7
8
8
Count as Comitatus
Limitanei/Poor troops
5
7
5
 
Heavy Cavalry
6
7
6
Count as Comitatus (Clibanarii)
Medium Cavalry (Javelins)
5
6
5
one unit per 2 is Comitatus
Light Cavalry (Bow/Javelins)
5
4
4
Do not close with enemy unless enemy lower agg than them and form lower as well. One unit per 2 is Comitatus


Click here, Andy Callan, to return to the index of Andy Callan's articles.