River and Ford Variant
Rivers are divided into four types: Paltry, Banked, Difficult and Impassable. To determine river type, roll 1D6: 1-2 (Paltry), 3-4 (Banked), 5 (Difficult), (6) Impassable. Paltry rivers are too shallow and low banked to interfere with movement or aid defense. Banked rivers slow crossing and aid defense (+1 to close combat tactical factor if the defending element is on land with its front edge or both front corners touching the adjacent river edge). Difficult rivers function like banked rivers but are also so deep, rapid or rugged as to put the crossing element(s) at risk. An element attempting to cross a difficult river must roll roll 1D6. On a result of 4 or higher, the element is destroyed in the attempt to cross and no further attempts may be made to cross at that point during the same bound. Impassable rivers are too deep, difficult or steeply banked to be crossed except by bridge or established ford.
A river may be crossed without risk at any point that it intersects with a road (representing either a bridge or a well-established ford).. If there is no road, and the river is not paltry, then the defender must place one marked ford (known to both players) at a point somewhere along the length of the river, at least 600P from any board edge. A ford is an area of paltry river at least one base width wide and no more than two base widths.
A Banked, Difficult or Impassable River will usually also have one or more other fords elsewhere along its length, but these must be searched for. To search for a ford, move an element into contact with a river edge at least 400P distant from an existing marked ford and then expend an additional PIP to conduct a search. To search, roll a 1D6 search die and modify the result cumulatively as follows: +2 if there is a BUA (or Village) within 400P of the search point, -1 if there is an enemy element within 400P of the searching element (on either side of the river), -3 if there is bad going terrain adjacent to the river on either side of the area searched. On a result of 5 or higher, a marked ford (one base width wide) is placed on the river at the spot adjacent to the searching element. On a lower result, the search fails and may not be repeated in the same sector within 400P of the area searched (on either side of the river).
An impassable river may unbalance a battle. While this is appropriate in a campaign game, it may run counter to the spirt of a tournament game. If this variant rule is used in a tournament game, it is suggested that an impassable river be treated as a difficult river.
Last Updated: July 13, 2002
Variant by Chris Brantley. Picture of Alexander the Great attacking across the Granicus. Comments, suggested additions, and/or critiques welcome. Direct them to Chris at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.