Sunday, May 12, 2024

First Game of Ruckus


Retinues advance onto the table

Retinues close, archers shoot

In the May 2024 (issue No 247) of Wargames Illustrated there is a 32 page, free set of Medieval skirmish rules, Never Mind the Billhooks Here's the Ruckus by Mike Peters. I ordered it at great expense for the postage down under. I thought they sounded like a lot of fun, a War of the Roses skirmish game with only twelve figures a side. After reading the rules, downloading, printing then gluing all the cards, tokens and sheets I was ready to  try a solo game. 

Quite a time consuming part of the game is the set up of retinues which is done with a pack of playing cards with the four suits reflecting different skills and traits. You need a retinue sheet for each side. I scribbled one out but didn't worry too much about the skills and traits just using the standard retainer examples. Each side has three heroes, a captain with two squires who command retainers, usually bowmen or billmen. The game uses card activation with three card decks, the Hero Deck, Cunning Plan Deck and Divers Alarums Deck, as well as D6s for shooting, combat and morale.

I played the introductory scenario on page thirty with each hero and their retainers activated when their card was drawn, moving onto the table. In my game there were quite a few misfires (roll of 1) for both sides in the shooting, obviously no veteran archers available! Once they charged in to combat it was all over fairly quickly. A retinue reduced to half strength has to pass a Will to Fight test (7+ on two D6) which they duly failed. Overall it was a fun, quick game, and I'm keen to try it again. A retinue spreadsheet would definitely make it easier to keep track of everything.

A squire with billmen charges
the opposing hero and retainers

Retinue is down to half strength
and loses the will to fight!


  1. Not my period but looks like a fun game, and only a few figures required would make it easy to get into.

    1. Thanks Donnie, it was fun and definitely easy to get into.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Aaron, it seems like a fun skirmish game.


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