D3 Norman Conquest 1066 Rules


These are low complexity Norman Conquest 1066 rules influenced by the rulesets One-Hour Wargaming Dark Ages rules and the Dux Bellorum.

The rules use a square gridded tabletop to control movement and shooting.

Combat used a D3 dice (1,1,2,2,3,3). The alternative is to halve the value of a D6 dice rounding up fractions.


Units represent the following:
  • Saxon Housecarl
  • Saxon Fyrd
  • Saxon Archers
  • Norman Spearmen
  • Norman Cavalry
  • Norman Archers
Note: the rules do not differentiate between Select Fyrd and Greater Fyrd. If you wish to the suggestion is to treat the Greater Fyrd as Fyrd in the rules, but with D3-1 in melee.

Sequence of Play

The game is played in a series of turns. During a player’s turn they follow the sequence listed below:
  1. Commands
  2. Movement
  3. Shoot
  4. Melee
  5. Rout


Commanders roll D3+2 to determine their available command actions for the turn.

Command actions do not get carried over to the next turn.

Command actions are used by a player to move units, have archers loose of a volley of arrows, or increase the ferocity of a melee.

Note - as an alternative to dicing to determine command actions is to have a set value. This can be set for a commander based upon their quality (eg, poor=3, average=4, and good=5).


It costs 1 command action to move any two units. Units can move up their Movement allowance in squares. Units are not allowed to move diagonally between squares.

Movement allowances:
  • Foot units move 1 square
  • Cavalry units move 2 squares
Only 1 unit can occupy a square and units may not move through squares occupied by other units.

Units are allowed to turn and the start and/or at the end of their move. They must always end their move facing one side of a square.

Units can turn when in combat, but this counts as a move.


Terrain has the following effects:

  • Woods - Only Archers can enter and treat as defensive terrain.
  • Towns - Only Infantry and Archers may end their moves in a town.
  • Marshland and Lakes - These are impassable to all units.
  • Rivers - These may only be crossed via bridges or fords. Treat as defensive positions.


Only archers can shoot. They have a range of 2 squares and are allowed to shoot over friendly units. To determine the number of hits roll a D3-1 when shooting and apply the following adjustment:
  • -1 if the target unit is Housecarl or Norman Spearmen.
It costs 1 command action to order an archer unit to shoot.

Archers can shoot if they have moved.

Note:  there are no restrictions on moving and shooting. This is to represent archers are more fleet of foot than armoured foot units and using squares limits some movement subtleties.


Only attacking units inflict hits during their turn. Units can only attack units the adjacent square which they are facing (not diagonally). To determine hits the attacking unit rolls a D3 and applies the following adjustments:
  • +1 if the attacking unit is accompanied by commander
  • -1 if the target unit is Housecarl or Norman Spearmen unit
  • +1 if the target unit is attacked in the rear.
Terrain Advantage - defenders on a hill increase they strength by 3 providing all attacking units are downhill (see Rout section).

Commanders, both attacking and defending, who do not like a D3 melee result can use a command action to ignore the result and force the dice to be rerolled. This represents unit leaders who have galvanised their men into another effort of attacking or defending. Players can keep requesting re-rolls (on the same unit if they so wish) until they have no command actions left.

If the target unit is routed, then the attacking unit who’s hits caused the rout must advance into the vacated square. The only time this does not occur is when the attacking unit has acquired more than 6 hits due to holding a defensive position.

Units can only leave a melee (an adjacent square to an opposing unit) if they gave a greater movement allowance than the opposing unit, or the opposing unit is not facing them (e.g. cavalry can break off a melee when other cavalry are not involved).


Units rout upon the acquisition of 7 or more hits. However, units in defensive terrain or positions rout upon the acquisition of 10 or more hits.

The loss of a commander with their unit means the remaining units automatically take 2 hits.

Note: when using defensive positions the additional hits acquired can be increased. For example, a unit defending a fort is not routed until 13 or more hits are acquired.


  1. These are simple but really interesting. I might borrow them for a dark age battle or 2

    1. I hope you find them useful and feel free to adapt as needed.