Blade & Bow is a tactical game covering several battles that occured during the period before the common era (BCE). My goal is to provide a design that departs from many common design features while providing an accurate portrayal of ancient armies and the battles in which they were engaged.


The biggest departure from common designs is the adoption of a grid of squares rather than hexegons to regulate movement. One of the things that has always bugged me about ancient combat employing hex grids is the either staggered battle lines (when units face the side of a hex) or the "staggering" movement of units (when they face the vertex of a hex). Either case is not ideal, but wha we've had to live with for decades. To my memory only one other game, Men At Arms from Strategy & Tactics magazine, attempted to adopt a grid of squares to regulate movement. Unsuccessfully, if reviews are any indication. Blade & Bow attempts to get this movement right.

Next, Blade & Bow adopts a card-driven method of unit activation (with a zealous nod to my Nàvarchoi design). Card play allows units to be activated for movement and/or combat. Depending upon the card played, a unit may even be activated to move and fight more than once. Cards can also be used to trigger events that might occur during the heat of battle.


Additionally, it's my sense that many of the existing wargames on ancient tactical combat (my own Ancient Battles Deluxe, included) provide a little too much information with regards to an army's deployment. In particular, the deployment and function of hoplite formations don't seem quite right to me. An added focus on hoplites and other massed formations are given special focus.

This web site represents the official support center for Blade & Bow on the Web. From here, you can download the latest rules revisions and supplementary components for the game.


Blade & Bow is currently under design. All of the components have been created, but I’m still defining a couple of the battles and tweaking the effects of events during play testing of the battles included. Once I can get everything in shape and tested, I’ll be submitting the design for publication.


So far, the components for the game include:

  • 1 Rules Manual

  • 1 Scenario Book

  • 8 10x8" Double-Sided Map Panels 

  • 3 Counter Sheets

  • 1 Game Chart

  • 1 Deck of 55 Action Cards

  • 4 Six-sided Dice (red and blue)