With It Or On It is the first game in the Shields & Swords Ancients Series. Like its medieval era cousin Shields & Swords, this series takes a broad brush approach to simulating battles, this time of the ancient period, with an emphasis on speed and playability. While the basic philosophy and the core system of using Command Markers to activate Wings remains the same, each game in this Ancients line is designed from the ground-up to incorporate elements specific to its period and style of warfare.

This first game looks at six battles fought during the Greco-Persian and Peloponnesian Wars. Hoplite units that are attacking may use the Combat Class of the best hoplite in the line, giving them an advantage over heavy and light infantry formations. As a result of combat, units become exhausted, but these results may be distributed elsewhere in the line – a break occurs when there are no fresh units that can satisfy the result. Break the enemy line at the right time in the right place, and it will crumble in a disastrous rout. Maintaining pressure on the enemy while managing the morale of your own men is crucial to deciding the battle, and with it, the fate of empires.

We wrote a series of Action Point posts on this game and you can read those at the following links:

Action Point 1 – Basics of the system and unit types

Action Point 2 – Command Phase and how the Command Chits are used

Action Point 3 – Phases of the Sequence of Play with a focus on Skirmish and Move Phases

Action Point 4 – Combat Phase taking a look at the Unit Type Modifier Matrix and how it works with the Combat Results Table and then take a look at a few examples