The Rob Markham Crossbows and Cannon Series
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This series of games is my favorite for gaming battles from the medieval through the Renaissance and English Civil War periods. As far as I know, there's no overall title for the series. I've chosen "Crossbows and Cannon" because there are two games in the series with this title, and, to me, it best captures the rise of the missile weapons from crossbows and longbows to the age of gunpowder and the effect that this had on army organization and tactics.

Game Overview
Each game includes around 4 battles from the period. The rules are very short, typically around 8-10 pages, with the rest of the book dedicated to scenarios and designer's notes. Counter density is low, with each army comprised of around 30 or so units. Battles can be completed in around 2 hours. All in all, these are nice evening wargames.

Basic Principles
Each wing commander is given an order: Attack, Advance, Stand, Retreat, Reserve and Muster. Each command limits his units' movement options. For example, to execute a flank march, a Reserve command must be given to manuever outside of enemy range, then the command must be changed to Advance or Attack to close. Order changes are done by the initiative of the commander, so it's possible to have reluctant commanders hesitating at critical moments. To get the best effect from cavalry, they need to be on an Attack command, but if they fail their morale check when initiating combat, they lose their charge bonus. Most missile units are considered "skirmishers" and can act on their own.

Stacks, for the most part, are composed of a single unit. Stacks of two must start the scenario that way, and if they split, they cannot rejoin. A common defender tactic is to shoot at this stacks hoping that one unit will retreat and break up a strong formation.

The game includes both offensive and defensive fire combat, so that defenders get a chance to ping the attacker as he advances into range. A couple of the games, for example, Henry V, include ammunition limits so that English longbows are deadly, but they have limited endurance.

There are a lot of morale checks in this game. When one stack attacks another, all attackers first check morale. Failure means that their attack falters, they don't add their combat factors to the total, and charging cavalry lose their Attack bonus. If any attacker passes their morale, the defending units must all check morale. Units who fail this check retreat and don't count for combat. Surviving units must attack even if they'd rather not. So combat is a messy affair with a lot of uncertainty as to whether your units will charge home or stand.

The Bad News
Because most of these games were published by 3W, they are out of print. These games do show up on eBay with some regularity. Most tend to sell for around $20, though a few games like the Crusades quads tend to go for more.

Last, the editing on these games leaves something to be desired. Make sure you pick up errata (check http://grognard.com/), because there are often errors in the scenario setups, or worse, on the combat tables themselves.

(Edited to clean up some grammatical mistakes.)
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1. Board Game Designer: Robert G. Markham
Kent Reuber
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The Markham Designs web site mentions a "This Sceptered Isle 2" game, which I believe is in this series but has not been released to my knowledge.
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2. Board Game: Royalists & Roundheads [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:10550]
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Year: 1991
Period: English Civil Wars
Battles: Marston Moor, Naseby, Justice Mills, and Kilsyth

Sadly, there were some errors in the fire combat table. Errata is your friend. Uses D6 for morale and combat. Combat results are based on attacker's raw strength.
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3. Board Game: Crossbows and Cannon [Average Rating:5.68 Overall Rank:12088]
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Year: 1992
Period: Renaissance
Battles: Pavia, Garigliano, Ravenna, Bicocca

Uses D10. Melee combat uses attacker's raw strength value. There are some modifications for unit types (e.g., pikes, cavalry, etc.).
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4. Board Game: Crusades Quad [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:10211]
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Year: 1992
Period: Crusades
Battles: Antioch, Ascalon, Acre, and Arsouf

May, 2010: just bought on eBay.
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5. Board Game: The Black Prince [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:9395]
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Year: 1992
Period: Hundred Years War
Battles: Crecy, Poitiers, Navarette, and Benneuil

Uses ammunition limits. Uses D10 for morale and combat. Melee combat uses attacker's raw strength with a die roll modifier based on the unit types involved (e.g., Heavy Cavalry attacking infantry is +1).
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6. Board Game: Royalists & Roundheads II [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:11562]
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Year: 1992
Period: English Civil War
Battles: Edgehill, Fyvie, Alford, and Auldearn

Includes errata for Royalists and Roundheads I. Uses D6 for morale and combat. Uses attacker's raw strength for melee resolution.
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7. Board Game: Age of Chivalry [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:10054]
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Year: 1992
Period: Medieval
Battles: Hastings, Lincoln, Bouvines, and Marchfield

Uses D10 for combat. Unlike previous games in the series, strength point odd-ratios are used for melee combat, with modifiers acting as column shifts rather than die-roll adds. (For example, berserk units gain a 2R, i.e., 2-columns-to-the-right shift.)
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8. Board Game: Royalists & Roundheads III [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:10261]
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Year: 1993
Period: English Civil War
Battles: Worcester, Dunbar, Preston, Tippenmuir

Includes combat tables for Royalists and Roundheads II, and advanced melee and fire tables that allow for "disruption" effects. Both basic and advanced tables are based on raw attacker's strength. The advanced tables can be used with any game in the Royalist series. To quote the designer:

Quote:
... they add a bit more complexity and time to the game. I feel the end result is worth the extra time, but they in no way need to be added. In playtesting, I found that they added enjoyment and a touch more "realism" to the game.
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9. Board Game: Henry V [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:10696]
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Year: 1993
Period: Hundred Years War
Battles: Agincourt, Patay, Formigny, Castillon

Uses ammunition limits for missile troops. Uses D10 for morale and combat. Melee combat is based on raw attacker strength, plus die roll modifiers for unit types and situation, and there is a die roll bonus for the odds-ratio of the attacker's and defender's strength.
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10. Board Game: Crossbows and Cannon II [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:10529]
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Year: 1993
Period: Renaissance
Battles: Pinkie, Fornovo, Cerignola, Novara

Combat is D10 based. Basic and advanced fire and melee tables are included (see Royalists and Roundheads III above). Melee is based on attacker's raw strength.

Includes advanced rules which involve activating commands by drawing chits. Sadly, the chit draw mechanic is a bit marred by the description "beginning with the Royalist player". shake
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11. Board Game: Crusades II [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:9325]
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Year: 1994
Period: Crusades
Battles: Hab, Hattin, Nicopolis, and Tannenberg

I don't own this game either, so I can't comment on the components.

(Edit: May 2009):

I just picked this game up at auction. Like most of its predecessors, the combat system used is based raw strength points and uses a D10. The advanced rules are included which includes modifiers for odds ratios and Action Chits.
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12. Board Game: Sword & Shield [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:10202]
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Year: 1994
Period: Medieval
Battles: Stamford Bridge, Kalaura, Bannockburn, Lake Peipus

Melee combat is changed completely. Instead of basing damage on attacker strength, Sword & Shield uses the ratio of attacker/defender strength and column shift modifiers.

The chit draw system appears again, but thankfully without reference to the Royalists. Uses D10. This appears to be the last of the medieval series.
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13. Board Game: Winceby [Average Rating:4.93 Unranked]
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Year: 1995.
Period: English Civil War

Uses the Royalists and Roundheads system.

Anyone know of any other magazine implementations of this series?
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14. Board Game: This Sceptered Isle [Average Rating:6.30 Unranked]
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Year: 1998
Period: Wars of the Roses
Battles: Towton, Mortimer's Cross, Barnet and Tewkesbury

This game has substantial updates to the system. Changing orders, fire, and melee use different mechanics than anything seen before.
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