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Battle (OK, skirmish) Report: - The Battle of Riverside Farm


When I bought the "Ring of Rules" I decided to play a limited battle to see how the rules worked. The scenario involved an advance column of the Cursed Legion (Undead Romans) against a small blocking force of humans

Materials used

I'll put my hand up here. I haven't lovingly bought lots of Ring of Rule figures and painted them to use in this. I also haven't scratchbuilt terrain pieces.

  • The main buildings, the river, statue and the trees are from Microtactix's Riverside Farm, Ruin and Scenics set
  • The tents are from Microtactix's Dirt Cheep Keeps Siege Set.
  • The ground is the basic green felt cloth
  • The roads were from a set downloadable from Wizards of the Coast.
  • Most of the troops are from Microtactix's Budget Battlefield sets, though I have modified them a bit to try and give the Undead a more Roman feel and to give the human troops regimental colour and to adapt spearmen into Halberdiers. The Skeleton cavalry are mostly by Shaun Austin. The site I got them from appears to have disappeared though.  I have added Roman shields, though to the wrong side so my cavalry are left handed.
Microtactix sets can be purchased from Microtactix's Webstore on RPGDrivethru



Scenario, the Battle of Riverside Farm .

Once the bridge over the river Tael was a busy thoroughfare for trade but that was years ago, the trade went away and what once was a roadside Inn became a farmhouse and barns.


It was an accident that a company of Spearmen were camped at the bridge on that day. Aldric, younger son of the Baron Fallspar had not arrived at the hunting lodge as expected (in fact he was in the arms of Lady Ceinnara a widowed noble-women of strong passions who ruled her son's estates efficiently but with compassion) and the company was sent out in the charge of its sergeant to check the roads.

Hunters fleeing from the south brought word across the river. The dead walked again. A horror of legend , the Cursed Legion were heading north. The sergeant, a young man by the name of Ulmmer, arranged his spearmen the only way he thought of use, blocking the bridge, and sent the hunters and the family of the farm away to fetch what help they could.


Marching north are elements of the Legio IXX of the Cursed. The first (double strength) Cohort I, Cohorts II and II and a unit of auxiliary cavalry. The Necromancer Tchernobogovich has commanded them to seize the crossing and send scouts to Fallspar Castle whuich the Cursed mean to capture and make their bridgehead into human lands

(The 20 sided die and the measuring ruler are from a Zvezda "Age of Battles" set. The ruler is a bit hard to read though and next time it's back to the trusty tape measure.)

The Battlefield has the north south road passing by the old ruined Tael Manor and with one jink to allow for the terrain over the bridge, past the farm and north to Fallspar manor

A standard Cursed infantry cohort consists of an officer, musician or standard bearer, 6 Legionaries, two Auxiliary spearmen and two archers, the cavalry has an officer, standard bearer and six light cavalry (the equivalent of two boxes of infantry and one of cavalry). The Cursed have 12 turns to get 50% of their troops off the North edge of the board.

The humans start with 12 spearmen (less than a box of infantry) and no officer. The humans are nto expected to win. Their objective is to delay the Cursed. For each turn past the 8th turn that they delay the Cursed then they gain chances of more troops for the second battle.

Possible reinforcements are
  • a troop of the Baron's cavalry
  • a unit of the Royal Archers,
  • The Blue Battle. A regiment which is on patrol but has been stripped of its archers who have joined the hunt for Aldric
  • Grunmer, a wizard living in nearby Fallsdorf

The plan for the Cursed was simple. Cohort II would head for the river opposite the human camp. There the Legionaries would build a bridge of their own, bypassing the main bridge and allowign them to take the humans in the rear.

Cohort III followed by Cohort I would head for the bridge and try and tempt the Spearmen to advance by putting out skirmishers, perhaps the headstrong humans would abandon their strongpoint and make themselves vulnerable.

The cavalry (they should be in open order but I stored them in close order and I'd have opened them up if they were to be used) were to hang back as a reserve. There was a chance human troops could appear behidn the Cursed and the cavalry could buy time for the Cursed to react.


There was not much the humans could do but wait and hope to hold out for others of the Baron's dispersed troops to arrive before they are massacred. This means that they had to surrender initiative to the Cursed who could deploy as they chose.

A note about the reinforcement rule. Each turn roll a die. If the roll is less than the current turn then a unit of reinforcements arrive. They appear on a random table edge but are more likely to appear on the North edge (the Human's side of the bridge)


The human's eye view of what is coming towards them. Cohort III has its archers firing as does Cohort II on the Riverbank. Luckily neither are causing casualties and in fact those shots of Cohort II that should have hit in fact bounced off the wall of the bridge (I took it as being like a castle wall in a siege and gave the troops a defence bonus).

I had decided that since there was no officer if they took casualties then they might have been provoked into a fight, but that didn't come up.

The Legionaries could have got closer to fling javelins but they were trying to draw the humans out from the bridge.


Gamer's eye view of the battlefield.

You can see Cohort II with its skirmishers to their left spread out bridge building and Cohorts III and I taking their time hoping that either the defenders will come out or that the bridge can be built before reinforements come, but that hope is forlorn as the Blue Battle, a strong regiment of halberdiers, has appeared, not on the road but to the north to the rear of the farm.

(You can see the Regiment cards in play with the official Zvezda ruler, die and pen. The cards are ones I printed out but they are laminated. However the pen isn't that great so I'd get a better acetate writing pen if I were you.)

Realising that the humans were soon to be strengthened by a force that could contest the River crossing and leave the Cursed no better off than before Cohort III was ordered to advance, hoping to break the Spearmen so that the Blue Battle could be engaged away from the river.


Initially things seemed to favour the humans, their defence defeated the attacks of the Undead and they managed to destroy one of the Cursed infantry, however the relentless nature of the assault broke the spirit of the spearmen and they fled.

(Actually the spearmen should have won this combat. I forgot that spearmen get double the bonus for their ranks when they defend also the humans should have had a higher starting morale due to having a camp where presumably they have spent the night fostering camaraderie

The Cursed are limited in that the rules do not allow them any bonus moves. So no column of march, double move charges into combat and no pursuits after a fleeing foe).


Seizing the initiative the Cursed Cohort II advanced to attack the rear of the fleeing humans and the spearmen fled futher, basically heading off the table and even the presence of an officer from the nearby Blue Battle failed to rally the troops.



By now the bridge had been built and Cohort II was about to reform and cross.

(The first thing the Cursed would encounter is the human camp. The downside to a camp on the battlefield giving a bonus is that if it is destroyed then morale [Battle Spirit] suffers.)

The close up of Cohort II points out that the command figures in a "Ring of Rule" regiment are not always required to be in the front row to have an effect in the game.

However the Blue Battle were now able to block the end of the bridge and stop the 3rd cohort coming any further. Furthermore although the Cursed were limited to a narrow front the Blue Battle could take a broader front and bring more troops to bear on the undead line.

This advantage told and the Cursed again started to learn true death. If the dead soldiers had been alive they would have broken and run but the dead are impervious to such things and so they stayed.

Still no other reinforcements came and the Blue Battle was now the sole defender of the bridge, the spearmen having quit the field and now their bridge was complete.and the Cohort II was crossing.


Addoman, Lieutenant of Fallspar, knew what to do, and he gave the order to form square.Without archers he could send out a skirmish line to delay the undead and the best he could hope for was to back off in square and try maintain his men on the retreat home, this battle was lost.

Engaged by the remnants of Cohort III on one side and the full strength of II on another the Blues fought bravely but retreated at a slow speed unil the cavalry bloked their retreat and Cohort I engaged the final flank.

Unable to attack and with no reinforcements the Blue Battle would stand and die, but at least word would get to the Baron of the invasion, the Blues and the Spearmen has done that much at least..

After action

This was only supposed to be a short battle to learn the rules with and the victory objectives of the humans was not to win, it was merely to survive long enough to delay the Cursed long enough for word to get to the Baron. In retrospect the lack of reinforcements other than the Blues was more suitable for the scenario and, if played again, I would ensure that there was a lower chance of those turning up.

The spearmen should have been able to hold, and it was only bad memory that prevented them from holding for a lot longer since in defence they get a distinct advantage in winning combats. The Cursed shouldn't have tried to kill the Blue Battle so effectively, their mission was to hold the bridge and get moving north off the table, which they could have doen and still engaged the humans, the time spent killing the humans will give them a chance for more troops in the second battle.

However the game was enjoyable and the slighly scary at first system of noting everything on the regiment's card and calculating the winner of the fight proved quite simple and fast in practice.

Review of "Ring of Rule"