About the Society

The Society of Ancients is an international amateur society for the promotion of the study of ancient and medieval military history and wargaming the period 3000 BC to 1500 AD. It is run by volunteers for the benefit of its worldwide membership. The Society publishes a bi-monthly journal, Slingshot, and sponsors various events, including wargames tournaments.

The Society was formed in 1965 by Tony Bath with 20 or so founder members. Our membership is now over 1100 worldwide. Membership is open to all, and lasts for 6 issues of Slingshot. Most of the content is contributed by Society members on a wide range of items related to Ancient and Medieval military history and wargaming.

An introduction to the Society is also available on YouTube.

The Society also publishes a number of games and booklets which are available from our web store below:


 

 

Front cover of the Call It Qids rules booklet

Call it Qids

£7

The SoA 2012 bonus game is now available for separate purchase. Call it Qids is a fast paced, highly replayable game based around the Battle of Qadesh. By Graham Evans and Ian Russell Lowell.

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Call it Qids is a stylised, fast-play, refight of the Battle of Qadesh between the armies of Ramses II and the collected forces of the Empire of Hatti, played out on a square grid with special rules for ford-crossing and the Egyptian camp. The Hatti army is entirely chariotry (the infantry in the historical battle seem to have remained east of the river and so are not featured in this game) while the Egyptians are split into four contingents (Amun, Ra, Ptah and the 'Nearin') in different locations. The Hatti player is after the Egyptian baggage, and clearing away the Egyptian troops is merely a means to an end. The Egyptian player is trying to kill Hatti chariots, and his trump card here is Ramses himself, whom the designers have granted the combat capability apparent in the Egyptian accounts of the battle. He can kill an opposing unit on a near-certain basis, but has to watch out in case he is surrounded and overpowered, an event that boosts the Hatti player's victory total considerably should it occur. Egyptian and Hatti chariots fight at par, their respective advantages and disadvantages being assumed to cancel out. Infantry is at a stiff disadvantage in the open, but able to fight at par in the camp, which is a great equaliser.

Picture of the various components of Call It Qids

The game requires players to balance boldness against risk, and the range of outcomes rewards repeated play. The Hatti player has to choose between an early assault on the camp, which cuts the strength of the Nearin contingent when it appears, but brings it on early, or a later assault, which is more likely to clear the camp but allows a stronger Nearin division to arrive. The Egyptian player has to watch his infantry, who are dead meat in the open but can give a good account of themselves in camp. Baggage is taken around by infantry (only); a Hatti chariot unit that captures a baggage unit promptly leaves the board with it to enjoy the dividends forthwith (and racks up a victory point) and never returns. Obviously, if after the initial panic the Egyptian player can slip his baggage-tending infantry into the camp, he can go some way to denying the Hatti player victory, though this is easier said than done.

Victory compares Egyptian kills of Hatti chariot units with the number of baggage units the Hatti troops have seized, giving grades of success for either side. All in all, this is a fast-moving game with opportunities for both sides, and a slight bias in favour of the forces of Hatti is countered by the Poem-of-Pentaur-like exploits of Ramses.

The booklet also contains an assessment of the sources and forces for the battle.

 

The Society needs you!

The Society of Ancients is a volunteer organisation, and relies on its members.  It's very easy to join -– just go to the join page, add a membership to your cart and check out using Paypal.  You can alternatively download a postal membership form here.  Membership costs £27 for 6 issues of Slingshot (normally a year).

Renewal

Membership now runs for six issues from the point that you subscribe from, rather than annually.  The Join page will tell you the first issue you will receive and your membership number will tell you the issue after which you need to renew.  Renewal is easy - just purchase a new subscription in the webstore and the membership secretary will match up your details.