Victory Without Squares (v2)

I've had a request for these rules from a number of sources, so here they are. First up I must make it clear that most of the design credits belong with Richard Brooks and his "Victory Without Quarter" square based system. There may be the odd whole in them. Please fill in as required.


4” to 250 yards (long musket shot); 1 turn to 10 minutes. 4 figures (infantry) or 3 figures (cavalry) on 30mm frontage base representing 200 men in 3 ranks.



Cavalry with swords and pistols, or swords and lances if Scots/Irish


Mounted infantry with muskets


Musketeers, known as ‘Shot’, and pikemen, usually 1 pike to 2 shot


Pieces of ordnance


1. Formations:


3 in 1 rank

Parliamentarian Horse 1642

6 in 2 ranks


6 in 2 ranks

Pikes in centre

Commanded shot

Min 2 bases

When a unit is moving advance the central figure base as an aide memoire that the unit is advancing. This is important as it is necessary to draw a card to stop.

2. Bodies must be in one of the following states:




Usual formation at game start


Rear rank straggles first


May not fire or approach the enemy. Break if another step lost


Run away from enemy until rallied

NB: Commanded Shot and Dragoons go directly from Formed to Disordered.


  1. Move up to 8”. Any body of troops to which a leader is attached may draw two cards when effecting a manoeuvre and use the most favourable.
  2. Draw card for leaders under fire/in combat, and see below if picture:

♥ ♦

Unhorsed – ineffective 1 turn: captured if overrun

♣ ♠

Killed or sorely hurt – remove from play


Armies are usually organised into three “divisions”, a left & right wing, and a centre. Each division will be under the command of at least one leader. In addition each leader may have a second in command (who will usually command the second line, if there is one), and the army may have an over all Commander. It must be clear at the start of the game which units are commanded by which Leader.

Dragoons and commanded shot move independently of the division structure.


1. Roll a D10. Highest decides which side moves first.

2. Players move a division at a time. Units within the division are moved one at a time either from left to right, or right to left. Front ranks must be moved before rear ranks. The moving player moves one unit at a time, starting from either left or right flank. Each unit is moved & resolves combat before moving on to the next unit.

3. When all the units in the Division have been moved and combat resolved the player may nominate another Division to move, or pass the turn over.

4. Dragoons and commanded foot are moved at any point in lieu of a divisional move.

5. If a unit moves within range of a unit that has not fired this turn it may be fired on out of sequence (see table below).


1. Infantry: Move 4” per turn (including an about face if required), or wheel up to 90 o, or form hedgehog, or fire. Commanded shot move back/sideways without turning.

2. Cavalry: Move 8” per turn. To wheel up to 90 o or about face or fire pistols deduct 4”. NB By firing cavalry are effectively halted if then contacted. Parliamentarian cavalry in two ranks may fire twice per turn.

3. Dragoons: Move as horse when mounted, foot when dismounted. To dismount/dismount takes 4” movement from the move allowance at the start of the turn. (ie cannot mount up and ride off in same turn)

4. Artillery: 4” per move. Full turn to unlimber

5. Manoeuvring and reforming. If a unit wishes to perform any other actions or cross difficult terrain, draw a playing card and follow the results in the table below. NB Once a unit starts moving it will continue to do so until it is able to draw a card to stop, meets an obstacle or comes within musket range of the enemy.

6. Bodies may move through friendly bodies which are stationary and have not and do not fire or fight this turn. Bodies overrun by fleeing friends lose a formation level.


Enter/leave woods/bogs or cross ditch, hedge etc





Fire in opponent’s turn





Halt/Turn About





Reform (Unsteady/Disordered troops)





Rally (Broken troops)






(*)Lose a formation step, unless in column

(#) Not under fire/in combat

($)Not if mounted, except Dragoons drawing Ace-10;


1. Troops with firearms can fire once per turn instead of moving/ rallying/ reforming:

a. In their own turn when it is their turn to move. OR

b. when the enemy come in range if they draw the correct card (see above).

2. Mounted troops in 1 rank fire once per turn, those in 2 ranks fire twice. Note, this is two shots, calculated separately

3. Ranges: Muskets 4”, Pistols 1”.

4. Musketeers, horse, and dragoons fire directly to the front, with no arc of fire. Gunners fire at any target in a cone 20” forwards and 4” to either side. Disordered bodies do not fire.

5. Count firearms bases in firing (NB two ranks may fire in an infantry unit together). Artillery bases count double when firing. Modify as follows:


Firing pistols; Unsteady; small arms target in cover


Oblique fire; target unsteady/broken


Firing at hedgehog


Enfilading or rear fire; disordered target; guns up to 8”

6. Roll D10: Score <= modified firing figures to reduce target formation 1 level.

7. Disordered targets draw card if hit again:

Break; about face and move away from enemy. This counts as this turns move

Retire 4” facing enemy at once, This counts as this turns move

8. Guns rolling “0” when firing run out of powder. Reduce effectiveness by half.


Fire 1 figure in any direction (up to 4). Figures firing at hedgehogs add 1 to numbers. Horse attacking hedgehogs count as attacking head on, see below.


Bodies not in combat or pursuit regain formation as follows:

Rally ( only):


Reform ( )


NB: Broken pikemen throw away their pikes, and cannot be rallied. Remove the broken pike bases.


Armies ending a turn with more broken or disordered bodies than otherwise are beaten, and may not advance. Dragoons, commanded shot, gunners and disordered bodies break. Foot next to formed enemy and 12” or more from unbroken friends surrender.


1. Combat occurs when a moving body (Attackers) contacts an opposing body (Defenders). Bodies may fight several combats in a turn. If a unit contacts two units it must fight them one at a time, starting with the one contacted in the direction of movement, applying the appropriate combat results. After fighting that round of combat the moving player may move up another unit to contact the second enemy unit, if possible, and use that to fight it instead, otherwise the attacking unit must fight it with the “already fought” modifier.

NB When contacting two units an attacker may not be able to apply all combat results (eg “Attackers follow up”) until the second round of combat is resolved.

2. Note the following restrictions:

Troop Type

Combat Restriction

Disordered troops

Never attack

Commanded shot/dragoons/gunners

Never attack/defend: retreat 4” if attacked. If contacted, remove unit.


Never attack formed foot head on


Never attack formed/unsteady horse

Parliamentarian Horse before 1644

Only attack after firing pistols

  1. The moving player rolls a D10 modified as below. “Attacker” & “Attacked” refer to who originated the initial combat.

Per Formation step/ Terrain advantage


Fighting vs horse across hedges/woods


Attacking obliquely or from flank


Attacking from /rear


Mounted attackers vs moving foot/standing cavalry


Attackers following up success (replaces above)


All Pike; 2 ranks Horse; Pikes/Horse attacking Shot


Better quality than opponents


Own body has leader attached


Per Formation step/ Terrain disadvantage


Horse vs hedges/woods


Attacked obliquely or from flank


Attacked from rear


Per round already fought this turn


Previously broken and rallied/Poor quality


Opponents body has leader attached


Worse quality than opponents.

4. Read Final Result from the following table




Less than 0

Defenders - 3 steps

Defenders retreat 2” if infantry, 4” if cavalry, facing enemy unless broken.

May not move again in this turn

Attackers hold ground, unless defenders break, when pursue

0 - 1

Defenders - 2 steps

2 - 3

Defenders - 1 step

4 - 7

Both sides - 1 step

Both sides lose 1 formation step.

Attackers retreat 4” or to starting position, whichever is shorter, unless Defenders break, when Attackers pursue.

If Defenders have not moved, or Attacking horse moved less than 4” may move again.

8 - 9

Attackers - 1 step

Attackers retreat 2” if infantry, 4” if cavalry, facing enemy unless broken

May not move again this turn.

Defenders do NOT follow up.

10 - 11

Attackers - 2 steps


Attackers - 3 steps

NB: Broken bodies turn about, and move 4” away from the enemy, and may not move again if they have not already done so.


1. Horse winning a combat draw a card and must pursue on a Black, and may do so on Red. If they contact the routed unit it is pushed in front of them. In order to rally, draw a red card, or be 4” or more behind.

2. Broken bodies move away from enemy until rallied or halted by obstacle; may not rally next to enemy or return after leaving table. Surrender if unable to escape.

3. Pursuing units become Unsteady after the second round of pursuit.

4. Units next to broken friendly bodies draw card: lose 2 formation steps; lose 1.


  1. As one who asked about the availability of these rules, I thank you very much for going to the trouble of posting them here for me and others to share. Your kindness is much appreciated.

    After a quick read through, I noticed there is no numerical value for 'Worse quality than opponents' in the list of Combat modifiers. When I checked back, I could find no other reference to 'quality' - might this refer to the state [Formed &c.]?

  2. Quality modifier is -1. Quality is subjective, but should be decided before the game. EG Rupert's cavalry is better than other cavalry and so on. I don't employ veteran/average/raw classifications. All that is needed is to know who is best.

  3. When I said -1, I meant +1. Sorry.

  4. Thanks for the clarification. I had wondered if troop quality was simply up to the players to agree upon, but just wanted to check.


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