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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

WRG 6th edition ancient wargaming rules are back

The WRG rules for ancient wargaming were the first comprehensive set of wargaming rules suitable for national competitions amongst hobbyists. They were detailed by today's standards, needed 100+ figures a side and included the innovation of reaction tests; players found their troops did not always do what they expected them to (a bit like military history). 

Out of print for many years, I brought them back into print and combined them with a guide to ancient warfare by Phil Barker, the man who wrote the original rules. The reprint sold a handful per month... until recently. Now a surge in sales indicates that many wargamers are bringing these rules out of retirement. 

This renewed interest is a surprise to me, as it will be to most wargamers. The WRG 6th edition rules are a detailed simulation of ancient warfare, probably the most heavily playtested manual wargame in the world. Battles on the table top, with players using historical tactics, normally produce historically valid results. 

The unexpected rise of WRG 6th edition ancients has reminded me that is almost impossible to predict sales trends in the world of wargaming.


  1. I have played 6th edition on and off for years. It tends to produce good battles, but the complexity of the rules leads to arguments that can be hard to resolve. For me, it is still the best out there, just wish it was a bit easier to understand! But, I take the view that if we get it wrong, it's just another vagary of chance that a poor dice throw could create anyway. It's not the winning, it's the fun that counts.

  2. I have found that quite a few people play the game solo. They enjoy the puzzle aspect of assembling a good army list and like a detailed game they can set up and really get stuck into.

  3. Could it be that they are after the Purple Primer.?



  4. The Purple Primer i.e. Phil Barker's Airfix Guide to Ancient Warfare has a retained a certain cult popularity. So you might be right!

  5. I still use 6th Edition (and 5th if truth be known)

    I find that the excellent "Book of Hosts" army lists are better and more detailed than the "official" WRG ones

  6. Is it still possible to get a copy of the "Army Lists Book One (Army Lists For use with rules 3000 B.C - 1250A.D.)" for the 6th Ed?

    1. I had to get mine -- quite tattered -- from a seller in the UK. It would be great if the army lists books were reprinted by Mr. Curry!

    2. I got permission to put the army lists as a free pdf download on my site. Not as good as a book, but the 2nd best thing. See hope that helps!