We had our version of the Society of Ancients' battle day here in Japan today. The object of this year's study was of Pharsalus, and we used bespoke rules to try to explore the battle and some of the possible outcomes.
With six players and myself as umpire, it was an excellent turnout, and everyone got into the spirit of the event. The rules were simple: play a card (move, charge, hold, skirmish, fall back, etc) and act. Combat was by dice roll, with units needing different scores to hit against different opponents. Players had Tribune pieces which they could play to save hits or to add dice to an attack, and there was an appeal to fate option by which players could ask for a re-roll by screaming their side's watchword, with the re-roll option then passing to the other team and remaining with them until someone on their team had used it.
Each player had his own secret victory conditions, and was able to score 'dignitas' by hitting the enemy, surviving past a certain period, using his tribune effectively, and so on. The intention was to keep players interested and to give them an incentive to command their section in a historical fashion.
For me, the game was a great success, and it was wonderful to see people getting caught up in the moment and to watch the battle re-enacted in the way it was.
I'm not going to say too much as I intend to put the bulk of my reflections into an article for Slingshot, but here are a few shots of the deployment and some of the action.
Many thanks to all who participated in making this a great day.