Encyclopedia of War: Ancient Battles - Manual
Coming soon on an Amiga by you is Ancient Battles...
[I`m using the PC copy] - Scooter
Ancient Battles is a wargame for 1 or 2 players designed to simulate pitched
battles in the ancient world. Players may select their forces from those
available to a range of ancient nations and design the terrain over which the
battle will be fought. The program contains armies of nations from the earliest
times until the fall of the Western Roman empire in C 475 AD. The program also
comes with a number of pre-designed ancient battle scenarios.
If you are playing the game for the first time. You are advised to begin
playing the `Hydaspes` scenario.
2. Getting Started:
Usual guff about what computer ect you need....not worth typing in...this goes
for the 2.2/2.2/2.3
2.4 Using Menus:
Many items of the game are controlled from a series of menus. To select an item
from the menu move the highlight bar to the desired item using the `up`-`down`
arrow keys and select it by pressing `Enter` or `ESC`. If there is more than
one column of items use the left and right arrow keys to move between them.
From time to time the program will put a small box on the screen informing a
player that it is his turn. Pressing any key will cause the program to proceed.
3. The Main Menu:
This presents the player with the following 5 options -
[Begin New Game...]
This option allows players to pick their forces for a battle. Choose, which map
it will be fought over and then take them to the battle menu. If a new map is
to be designed for the battle it should be designed and saved. Before selecting
This allows players to pick a scenario to play. This can either be supplied
with the program. Or one previously designed by the player. Each scenario
contains of the forces involved in the battle. The terrain to be fought over
and the deployment of the forces. They allow players to join battle immediately
without the preliminary stages of choosing forces and deployment.
[Continue Saved Game...]
This reloads the last saved game from the battle menu
This option takes players to the map desogner menu. Which allows them to design
and save their own maps.
Return to DOS
Select play scenario or `Begin New Game` to choose your own forces (then turn to
section 6) it is recommended that you begin by playing a scenario in order to
familiarise yourself with the game system.
4. Playing A Scenario:
4.1 Selecting A Scenario...
Use the arrow keys to highlight the desired scenario and press `Enter` a
description of each battle is contained in section 1 of the historical notes.
4.2 The Battle Menu...
This menu controls the actual fighting of the battle. Various options are
presented depending on the stage of the battle.
[Begin or Continue Battle...]
Choose this option to proceed with the battle.
[Change Number of Players...]
This allows players to change the number of players or switch sides during the
This allows the player to set lenght of the battle. Change the visibility level
and choose wether to use formal or free deployment. This latter choice must be
made before deployment for it to have any effect. The other 2 may be changed
whiilst the battle is in progress.
[Save Game Scenario...]
This saves the state of play so that it may be continued at a later date. If
the game is saved before the battle is started. It is saved as a scenario and
joins the other scenarios on disk. Players must enter a name of up to 8 letters
for a scenario.
If saved after the 1st turn. The game is not saved as a scenario and replaces
any previously saved game. There is no need to enter a name.
This is used to finish the battle before all the turns have been completed it
is useful when the winner of the battle is clear. But players do not wish to
continue it to the bitter end. The usual debriefing info is given, a battle
must be ended before it is possible to return to the main menu.
[Return to Main Menu...]
This allows players to return to the main menu to begin a new game. It is only
available after the battle has ended. So use the `End Battle` option to abort a
Choosing this option leads to another menu. Which gives players 3 more
choices. Showing a summary will give a report on the screen of the forces
involved in the battle and the casualties so far, printing a summary will send
the same info to the printer. Printing a unit report will send a listing of the
status of all units in the battle to the printer..printing a unit report will
send a listing of the status of all units in battle to the printer. This is
provided for players who wish to have detailed records of how each unit fared
and since it is liable to be fairly Long. No option to show it on the screen is
provided. Be careful not to choose either the `Print Summary` or `Print Unit
Report` options if no printer is attached.
5. The Battle
5.1..[Sequence of Play]
The battle is played over a sequence of turns. During each turn actions are
carried out in the following sequence...
- Computer checks which units are visible to each side
- Players give orders to units
- Computer carries out both sides orders
- Computer adjudicates missile fire
- Computer calculates efects of hand to hand combat
- Computer checks morale of all units
- Players are shown which units rout or must retreat
- Units are given another chance to complete their orders
At the beginning of each turn the computer works out which units are visible to
the other side. When giving orders. All your own units are displayed. But only
those of the enemy that are currently visible. During the movement phase. Only
the units that are visible to the other are displayed. The level of visibility
may be set to `normal` `poor` or `night`, using the `change settings` option on
the battle menu.
When a general is with a unit, the symbol for a general is shown rather than the
Every turn, each player is given an opportunity to change orders of his units.
Only the player giving orders should look at the screen at this stage. Once
ordered, units remember their orders in subsequent turns, so orders only need to
be given once, even if they take several turns to complete. To select a unit to
be ordered, move the cursor over it and press `Enter` once selected, a unit may
be ordered in several ways;-
(a)... To order a unit to move, move the cursor to the desired position and
press `enter` again.
(b)... Pressing `Enter` with the cursor over the unit leaves the unit with its
(c)... Pressing `F` issues a follow order. The unit will follow the last unit
that was given a move order. The unit will move in such a way that it stays in
the same relative position as it currently is. To the unit it is following. For
example, to move a line of units, order one unit to move to the desired
position and give the rest follow orders. The whole Line will then move
towards the objective at the same rate as the originally ordered unit.
(d)... Pressing `R` changes the info in the right hand window to a report on
the units state. The unit may still be ordered in the normal way. See reports.
(e)... Pressing `G` changes the selected unit to the general stacked with the
unit. If there is no general with the unit. It has no effect. This enables the
general to be ordered seperately from the unit he is with.
When all orders have been given press `ESC`
Note: While giving orders players may use the inspect command. This shows the
terrain under the cursor and prints the name of the unit there. This is useful
for determining the quality of enemy forces and finding out what sort of unit
is with an enemy general.
5.4...[Number of Orders Allowed and Delays]
The number of orders a player may give each turn is limited by how may generals
he has. Each general gets 2 order points each turn. Which he uses up giving
orders. Every unit is commanded by a particular general (use the report option
to find a units commander) and when a unit is given an order. Order points are
deducted from the total of that units general. If a unit`s general has used up
his order points for the turn, the unit may not be given any new movement
Giving an order costs 1 order point if the ordered unit is a disciplined unit -
2 if not.
There are 2 exceptions to the above, firstly, any unit that is with, or
adjacent to, a general may be oirdered by him at no cost. Even if the unit is
under another general`s command. Secondly, follow orders do not cost any order
points. Generals may give orders in these 2 circumstances, even when they have
used up all their order points.
Orders do not necessarily take effect immediately. Delays may be a half or a
full turn. Units within 15 squares of their commander react with no delay if
drilled and a half urn delay if undrilled. There is an extra half turn delay if
further away. Units More than 20 aquares away from their generals always take a
full turn to react.
During the first turn, each general has 4 order points and units react with no
The info a player brings up on a report on a unit is as follows;-
- The name of the unit
- The name of its commanding officer (co)
- The units type
- The units armour and weher or not it has a shield
Units can be unarmoured, have some armour (eg mail coat or breastplate) or have
heavy (ie all over) armour. Cavalry units with horse armour are described as
If a unit is armed with missile weapons, their type will be shown, together with
the percentage so armed and their skill at shooting also expressed as a
Weapon types are bows, javelins (jav), slings (si) and mixed bows and javelins (mix).
- str - Gives the units strength in men, elephants or chariots depending on the
- fat - Is the units fatigue level. This affects fighting and morale. Units
become fatigued by shooting and fighting, particuarly if losing or if forced to
- mor - Gives the units morale factor. The higher this is the better the
unit...5 is average and 8 is exceptional.
- dis - Disciplined units are easier to order.
Drilled units react to orders faster than others. Wild units fight much more
fierce in combat while fresh. Better morale units remain fresh for longest, but
no unit will count as fresh after it has been forced to retreat.
Following this is the units hand to hand fighting ability expressed as a
percentage. This represents the units skill and aggression.
At the end of the battle players are presented with statistics on the forces
taking part in the battle left on the battlefied and killed. The difference
between the Numbers starting a battle and the total of those left and those
killed,is the number that have routed off the battlefield.
The figure for those killed also includes wounded which would account for about
80% of the total. The winner of the battle would be able to rescue his wounded
and many would be able to fight again another day. The loser`s wounded would
either be taken prisoner or killed. In addition to the losses suffered in
battle, the loser would lose many more men in the after battle pursuit. The
casualties suffered in pursuit would depend on a number of factors, such as
wether or not the loser has a fortified camp, the number of cavalry left on each
side and the amount of daylight remaining.
Usually the winner of the battle will be readilly apparent, but in cases of
dispute look at the debriefing statistics. The number of points left is the
best guide to which side has possession of the battlefield and thus of the
wounded. If one player has at least 10% of the starting points more than his
opponent, remaining, he may claim a great victory. The other player may claim
that the battle was indecisive.
6.00..[Designing Your Own Battles]
When players have selected the `Begin New Game` option from the main menu they
must pick new forces for each new army. Each player must choose which army to
use and then pick forces from those allowed for that army. If the player
intends to plat against the computer, he must pick the composition of both
armies. If playing with a human opponent, players usually inform each other of
which armies they intend to use before actually choosing their forces. Forces
should be chosen secretly.
6.1...[Size of Battle]
Before selecting armies the number of points allowed for each army must be
decided. 750 point battles will last about about half an hour, 1000 points about
1 hour and 1,500 points about 2 hours.
The unlimited points option is useful for very large battles and for setting up
refights of historical battles. If unlimited points are chosen,then there May
be a total of 254 units Split between 2 armies. Otherwise each side is limited
to 127 units.
6.2...[Picking an Army]
The first thing a player must do, is to decide which nations army to use, there
are grouped into files on the disk. Each of which contains details of armies of
several roughly contemorary nations. Players must select which group of armies
to use and then which army from within that group.
Each nations army has an `army list` which shows which forces were historically
available to that Nation and specifies the maximum and minimum of each type
that a player must have. Players choose forces from this list up to the maximum
number of points allowed. The forces available are grouped in a number of
entries. Each of which contains at least one unit. Sometimes a player will get
sveral units for each entry selected.the system used for selection is;-
Move up and down the list using the cursor keys. Add one unit with the right
hand arrow and remove one with the list arrow Key. Pressing `Enter` will print up
details of the highlighted entry. These give a brief comment about the
troops, show how many units the player will recieve for picking that entry and
then give detailed information on the units similar to that given if a report
is requested during battle (see reports above).
Press `ESC` when satisfied with the army.
Some armies have a series of options that a player must choose from before
selecting his forces.
These tailor the army list to a specific campaign or period of history, allow
foreign allies, or allow players to choose different historical interpretations
of the army. To select an option, move the highlight bar over it with the arrow
keys and press `Enter`. Press `Enter` again to deselect it. More than one option
may be chosen for each army, but some options are mutually exclusive and some
may only be selected if others are also selected. Press `ESC` when satisfied.
After selecting forces players must choose the name of their generals. The
computer provides a list of suggestions for each army. Or the players may enter
their own names.
After choosing their armies, players must decide which map to use. Several
different maps are providedor players may choose one that they have previously
designed themselves. If a battle of 2000 or more points is to be fought, then
players are advised to use the `Chalons` map, use one of the other maps for
When players have selected New forces, they must be deployed on the battlefield
and a Commander allocated for each unit. Choose the deployment option from the
battle menu to do this.
Each side may deploy a few squares in from its map edge (exactly how far depends
on the size of the map) player 1 deploys at the top of the map and player 2 at
the bottom. Players may choose to deploy the armt themselves, or allow the
computer to do it (auto deployin).
If `free deployment` is chosen from the settings menu then the players may
deploy units anywhere. This is useful for setting up ambushes and defensive
To deploy a unit, place the cursor over it and press enter then move the cursor
to the desired position and press `Enter` again. If the unit is within your
deployment zone, the unit will be re-positioned,repeat this process until all
units are positioned as desired, then press `ESC`.
If an army has more than one general then players must allocate units to be
under the control of each general. General 1 is assumed to be c-i-c and all
units are initially under his command. After deployment the computer will allow
players to allocate units to the command of each subordinate general in turn.
To do this, move the cursor over the unit and press `Enter`. Press `Enter` again
to return the unit to c-i-c`s control. Press `ESC` when you have finished
allocating units to the present general. Units of allied nations which have
their own general will automatically be placed under his command. Allgenerals
may not command any other units.
During play each general may only issue a limited number of orders and these
only to units under his command. It is thereforemost sensible to allocate the
units in the army fiarly equal between generals, even if a general is stacked
with a unmit. It is still necessary to explicitly make it a part of his command.
If auto-deployment is chosen, the computer will automatically deploy that side`s
army and allocate commanders. Before deployment the player will be presented
with a list of battleplans listed in decreasing order of preference (as judged
by the computer) each plan consists of an action for the left and right wings of
the army and the centre. To select a plan, move the highlight bar up and down
with the arrow keys and press `Enter` or `ESC` to select the highlighted plan.
There are 4 possibilities for each part of the army. Attack is an all out
cavalry charge. An attack in the centre is a charge with elephants, cataphracts
and chariots. Advance is an attack with infantry. Skirmish means deploy light
cavalry and infantry and harass the enemy. Defend means do not advance and
deploy to take advantage of terrain.
One general will be allocated to command each wing and the centre. The c-i-c
will command whichever part of the army is attacking and will command the
centre in prefernce to the wings.
Note: Left and right refer to the left and right of the computer screen, so
strictly speaking, the action is chosen for the left of player 1`s army will
actually be peformed by its right wing.
8.0...[Battle Rules in Detail]
Stacking is term meaning, having 2 units in the same square, units may not
stack, nor move through each other (ie only one unit may ever be in each
square) unless they are generals. Each unit may be stacked with one general. If
the general begins the game stacked with a unit, he will automatically be given
orders to follow it, so that he will stay with the unit throughout the
battle, unless given orders to the contrary.
During the movements phase units attempt to move towards their objectives. If
this takes more than one move, they will continue moving in subsequent turns
until countermanded. The rate of movement depends on unit type and terrain. In
clear terrain the movement rate are as follows.
Units that are next to enemy units may not move. Units will also not move move
into squares adjacent mto enemy units that would heavily defeat them in combat.
Units that are 20 or more squares from all enemy move at double the speed.
Units will make automatic moves in 2 circumstances. At the end of movement
units that are unengaged will make a support move of one square to attack an
enemy that is engaging another friendly unit. The second type of automatic move
is an evade move. Gen, lc, hc, hcl and li type units contacted by a more powerful
enemy unit will attempt to evade it by moving away.
Shooting is autoomatically adjudicated by the computer after movement. Units
automatically shoot at the nearest enemy unit. Troops with javelin may only
fire 2 squares, those with bows and slings may fire up to 4 squares, but are more
effective at close range. Units with mixed missiles fire at full strength if in
javelin range, and half strength if not. Slings are more effective than bows
against armoured units.
Units may only shoot at targets that are in the direction they are moving
in. Units standing still can shoot in any direction, units in hand to hand combat
cannot shoot, unless they are hi, sp or bi type units armed with bows and not in
hand to hand combat at the start of the turnthese may shoot at their assailants
as they charge in.
Units with armour suffer less casualties from shooting than unarmoured
units, units without shields suffer extra damage. Horse armour greatly reduces
shooting casualties for cavalry.
8.5...[Hand to Hand Combat]
The computer adjudicates hand to hand combat after movement and shooting. Units
fight against all adjacent enemy units. If there are more than one of these the
attack is split between them. The casualties caused by an attack are affected by
the following factors.
- Strength of the attacking unit.
- Number of units attacked
- Terrain occupied by attacking and attacked units
- Unit type of attacking and attacker
- Whether or not attacker is wild
- Whether or not attacker is accompanied by a general
- Fatigue level of attacker
- Shooting casualties on attacker
- Armour and shield of attacked unit
Units that suffer more casualties than they inflict in combat suffer extra
fatigue. Units are not directly forced to rout or retreat by the effects of hand
to hand combat, but its outcome is the most important factor considered when
testing a units morale.
After combat the computer checks the morale of every unit. This may cause some
units to retreat or break and rout. Players are shown those units that break or
retreat. 2 pieces of info are given about them. Firstly, the losses suffered that
turn and secondly, their morale level. The higher this second figure is, the more
unhappy this unit is. This allows players to gauge how close a retreating unit
is to breaking. Units break when their morale is greater or equal to twice
their own morale plu 2.
The factors taken into account in the morale test are as follows.
- Casualties suffered that trun
- Whether unit is winning or losing hand to hand combat
- How many consecutive times the unit has lost in combat
- Whether fighting elephants or chariots
- Whether infantry losing combat to cavalry
- Fatigue level of unit
- Whether enemy units are behind units rear or flank
- Whether unit is with a general
- Whether general can be seen in rout
- Other friendly units that can be seen routing or being destroyed,
units are more disturbed by seeing units of higher morale factor rout than
those of a lower morale.
- Enemy units that can be seen in rout
Units that are in rout cannot fight and cannot be given orders, if attacked they
suffer 4 times the normal rate of casualties, routing units attempt to move away
from enemy units and towards their own map dge. They are removed from play when
they reach it.
Elephants and cythed chariots, howeverk, will continue to fight while in rout, but
will attack friends and enemies indiscrimantely.
Routing or dead generals are unable to give orders, the units under their
command are transferred to that of the most Senior surviving general. If this
general is within 3 squares of the unit then the transfer happens
automatically. Otherwise there is a 20% chance each turn of each unit changing
Commander, this may mean that some units will not be able to be ordered for some
time after the demise of their general.
If playing with shared command, this may entail players taking control of
previously computer conbtrolled units, or if the c-i-c routs, the computer may
assume complete control of the battle.
When all of a sides generals or dead or in rout, then no more orders may be
There are various types of units, representing different types of troops.
Generals......(gen) These represent Senior officers and their staff, they are
not fighting units, but can join other units to encourage
Heavy cavalry.(hc) These are mounted shock troops. They form the main
attacking force of many armies, but can be withstood by
quality infantry, particularly if spear or pike armed. They
are also hampered by difficult terrain.
Lancers.......(hcl) These are hc equipped with a lance, they are superior to
hc when fighting infantry.
Light cavalry.(lc) They are mounted skimishers, useful for wearing down an
enemy, rather than close combat.
Cataphract cav(cat) These are men in very heavy armour, riding in close
formation, very powerful in attack, but less mobile than
hc. Cataphracts are most often found in Oriental armies.
Heavy infantry(hi) These are infantry fighting in close formation, they are
hampered by difficult terrain.
Spearmen......(sp) These are infantrymen fighting in close formation with
Long spears or pikes, such as the Greek phalanx. They are
good at resisting attack, especially cavalry and are
very powerful in attack if used in large.
Units, however, they are badly hampered by difficult
terrain and when attacked in More than one direction.
Barbarian inf.(bi) These are infantry generally fighting in close formation,
but equally at home in any sort of terrain. Less
able to stand up to cavalry than hi.
Light infantry(li) Foot skirmishes fighting in a dispersed formation. They
are generally weak in close combat, unless in difficult
Elephants.....(el) Elephants make a very powerful attacking force that can
seldom be withstood, but are unreliable and will often end
up trampling their own troops. Cavalry cannot fight
against elephants, since the horses are frightened of them.
Heavy chariots(hch) These are chariots with several crew, used as shock
troops, generally used by early armies. Since their role is
fulfilled hc in later ones, chariots are useless in
Light chariots(lch) Smaller chariots used for skirmishing.
Scythed chariots(sch)These are sturdily built chariots festooned with spears
and blades of various sorts, designed to break up enemy
infantry formations. They would charge straight at the
enemy, then the driver would jump out just beforew impact.
In practise they were seldom useful, and like elephants
could be turned back on their own army.
General...........(gen). tricorn flag with a diamond in the middle
Heavy cavalry.....(hc).. horses head (black)
Lancers ..........(hcl). orses head (black) with a javelin (spear)
Cataphracts.......(cat). Man sitting on a horse (black)
Light cavalry.....(lc).. horses head (white)
Heavy infantry ...(hi).. two men (Black)
Spearmen...... ...(sp).. three javelins (spears)
Barbarian infantry(bi).. Man (black) with javelin (spear) at his side
Light infantry....(li).. Man (black) with javelin (spear) raised above his head
Elephants.........(el).. elephant (Black)
Scythed chariots..(sch). chariot with thin black outline (with hooked) line above
Heavy chariots....(hch). chariot with heavy black outline (no hooked) line!
Light chariots....(lch). chariot smaller version of the 2 mentioned above
The battle takes place over a map representing the battlefield, the types of
terrain shown on the map are as follows...
Clear terrain.....Has no effect on anything.
Desert............Gives some combat advantage to troops in it
Woods.............Conceal troops in or behind them,also reduces fighting
ability of troops in them, apart from li and bi.
Hills.............Hides troops behind them, improves fighting ability of all
troops on them.
Mountains.........Similar to hills, but reduces fighting ability of troops other
than li or bi.
Scrub.............Similar in effect to woods, but less serious. Only hides li.
Marsh.............Reduces effectiveness of troops other than li or
bi, impassable to troops.
Buildings.........Increases defensive ability of all troops and hides
Rivers............Reduces fighting ability of all troops in them
Sea...............Impassable to all troops
Note that: Terrain other than hills, also slows movement of most troop types.
Trees............. shown as a tree (easy wasn`t it)
Hills............. work that one out yourself!!
Mountains......... shaded in 3 bumps
Rough............. clumps of Grass (shown as 5 clumps)
Marsh............. shown as 6 v`s
Desert............ shown as 6 wiggly lines (don`t blame me..the drawing are naff)
Buildings......... shown as a large block with a smaller one near it
River............. shown as a bendy line
Sorry about the descriptions..but they were bad drawings..so I thought they
deserved bad descriptions!!!!...heheh
Typed by Scooter