The Normans in Southern Italy and Sicily in the 11th century

The Norman Saga



The Anarchy

Ager Sanguinis

BoardGameGeek Forum

The Game


GUISCARD simulates the epic conquest of Southern Italy and Sicily be the Normans, led by Robert Guiscard ("the cunning" or "the weasel"), in the eleventh century. The game will boast the various factions of the time as the Byzantines, the Arabs of Sicily, the Lombards and the Normans of course, who came as mere mercenaries in the middle of this mess of conflicting interests and who decided to seize power by arms.

GUISCARD is intended for those who want to play Cry Havoc but can no longer get an original box. Unlike other proposed extensions of Cry Havoc Fan, GUISCARD is a complete boxed game with counters, maps, rules, scenarios and playsheets.

Guiscard 2

This new version includes all the materials of the original game, but with counters printed on much thicker boards, new additional counters and a campaign game. New scenarios feature the Varangian Guard of the Byzantine emperors.

Box Contents:

> 7 full-color maps, giving a possibility of many different terrains;
> 2 campaign maps,
> 1 overlay sheet;
5 sheets of playing pieces printed in full color;
> 1 36-page rule booklet;
> 1 36-page booklet including the historical background, a guide to the playing pieces, 14 tactical scenarios and 6 campaign scénarios;
3 dual-sided play sheets for handy reference;
> 1 10-sided die.


Guiscard: Skirmish medieval game, from age 14 and up

The Characters

The 6 playable factions are displayed through counters using the Outremer/Croisades format. A 3-letter marking system will enable easy differentiation of the various playing pieces on the maps. 

Counters are available on (5) A4 sheets:
The Normans, Front & Back
The Byzantines, Front & Back
The Arabs, Front & Back
The Lombards, Front & Back
The Germans and the Varangian Guard, Front & Back

Note: Click on the counters below to see the various stances of each character (wounded, on foot, stun or dead).

The Normans

Roger de Hauteville, Norman count, 11th Century

Drogon, chevalier normand 11e siècle

Arthur, Chevalier Normand 11e siècle

Tancrède, chevalier Normand 11e siècle

Chevalier normand Stone throwers, 11th Century

> Counts

> Knights 1

> Knights 2

> Knights 3

> Knight 4

> Stone

French medium infantry, 11th Century Norman medium infantry, 11th Century Infanterie moyenne normande

Infanterie légère normande

Norman javelinman, 11th Century Norman archer, 11th Century

> Medium
   Infantry 1

> Medium
   Infantry 2

> Medium
   Infantry 3

> Light

> Javelins

> Archers

The Varangian Guard


The Slavs

Officier varangien Garde varangien 1 Garde varangien 2 Garde Varangien 3 Croatian mercenary, 11th Century Serbian mercenary, 11th Century
> Officer > Varangian
   Guard 1
> Varangian
   Guard 2
> Varangian
   Guard 3
> Croatian
> Serbian

The Byzantines

Byzantine cataphract, 11th Century Byzantine Koursor, 11th Century Koursores 2 Byzantine horse archer, 11th Century Greek fire, 11th Century Byzantine pope, 11th Century
> Kataphraktoi > Koursores 1 > Koursores 2
> Horse Archers > Greek Fire

> Priest

Byzantine hoplite, 11th Century Byzantine skutatoi, 11th Century Byzantine peltastoi, 11th Century Byzantine archer, 11th Century Byzantine noble, 11th Century Byzantine lady, 11th Century
> Hoplite > Skutatoi > Peltastoi > Psiloi

> Noble

> Lady

The Arabs

Arab emir, 11th Century North African cavalry, 11th Century Khurasani cavalry, 11th Century Cavalerie légère arabe Berber light cavalry, 11th Century Berber Infantry
> Emirs > North-African
> Khurasani
> Arab Light
> Berber Light
> Berber Infantry
Arab heavy infantry, 11th Century Nubian infantry, 11th Century Arab medium infantry, 11th Century Arab light infantry, 11th Century Arab javelinman, 11th Century Arab archer, 11th Century
> Heavy Infantry > Nubian infantry > Medium
> Light Infantry > Javelins > North-African

The Lombards

Lombard noble, 11th Century Lombard knight, 11th Century Lombard knight, 11th Century Lombard dog, 11th Century Wild boar Scaling ladder, 11th Century
> Nobles > Knights 1 > Knights 2 > Dogs > Wild Boars

> Ladders

Lombard medium infantry, 11th Century Neapolitan medium infantry, 11th Century Lombard light infantry, 11th Century Lombard light infantry, 11th Century Lombard archers, 11th Century Lombard slinger, 11th Century
> Medium Infantry > Medium Infantry > Light Infantry > Light Infantry > Archers > Slingers
Javelot lombard Lombard nun Lombard peasant woman Lombard lady Lombard shepard, 11th Century Sheep
> Javelin
> Nun > Peasant > Lady > Shepherd > Sheep

The Germans

German ministerialis knight, 11th Century Swabian knight, 11th Century Swabian knight, 11th Century Chevaliers souabe 3 Infanterie lotharingienne  
> Ministerialis > Swabian foot
   knight 1
> Swabian foot
   knight 2
> Swabian foot
   knight 3
> Lotharingian

The Maps

The game includes 7 maps : 3 full size maps, plus 4 junction maps to add more tactical situations (island, river side, etc.). The Eagle Nest maps displays a Byzantine tower protected by a wooden palisade and located on a rock overlooking the nearby coast. The Lagoon map displays a marshy area by the sea. The Chapel is used to connect a coastal map to any standard map. All 4 junction maps can be used as substitutes to the now defunct Cape maps of Vikings.

> The Eagle Nest

> A2 (60 x 40 cm)

The Reef 1

> The Reef 2



> The Lagoon

> A2 (60 x 40 cm)

The Jetty

> The Staircase



La Chapelle
> The Chapel

> A2 (60 x 40)

> The Passage

> A2 (60 x 40)

This map is sold separately and is not included in the boxed set.

The Overlays

The game includes one sheet of overlays: Elements of a military camp with tents and a terrain which hides the castle to transform the Eagle Nest map into a simple terrain map.
Overlay for Guiscard 2    
Below are several examples of map assemblies:

Example of map assembly for Guiscard
> The Eagle Nest with the Overlook overlay

Example of map assembly for Guiscard
Example of map assembly for Guiscard Example of map assembly for Guiscard
Example of map assembly for Guiscard Example of map assembly for Guiscard
Example of map assembly for Guiscard Example of map assembly for Guiscard
Example of map assembly for Guiscard  
Composition avec carte La Chapelle

> The Chapel and the Passage maps are used to offset any coastal map by one level using one of the small junction maps. They can then be used next to any standard map. 

The Campaign Counters
The campaign counters represent the factions at war: Normans, Byzantines, Lombards, Arabs and even Germans.
Norman commander Norman combat group Byzantine commander Byzantine cavalry group Lombard commander Lombard combat group

> Norman

> Norman
   combat group

> Byzantine

> Byzantine
   cavalry group

> Lombard

> Lombard 
   combat group

Arab commander Arab combat group German commander German combat group Mercenary cavalry group Convoy

> Arab

> Arab
   combat group

> German

> German
   combat group

> Mercenary
   cavalry group

> Convoy

The Campaign Maps
The campaign maps display two portions of Southern Italy: Apulia and Sicily. They are designed to play several campaign scenarios. These maps use hexes which are the same size as those of the tactical maps.

Les Pouilles - Apulia

> A2
 (60cm x 40cm)

La Sicile - Sicily

> A2
 (60cm x 40cm)

The Rules

Compared with the original game, the GUISCARD rules bring 2 major changes: 
> The fire sequence is now broken down in 2 phases: Assessment of the impact hex and casualties);
> Combat is resolved as the difference between the Attack and Defense potentials to enable one-to-one combat, which was impossible before.

Version 1.2 (rules, scenarios and play sheets) fixes some bugs and provides clarifications following comments from the community. The combat tables are similar to that introduced with THE ANARCHY (deadlier for large differentials).

Version 2.0 of the rules brings many clarifications on obscure or contentious points, thanks to contributions from the gaming community; and adds campaign rules similar to other games in the series.

GUISCARD 2 (2021)

Rulebook PDF
> Rulebook v2.0 - 3.5 Mb - Aug 15, 2022
Historical Background & Scenarios PDF
> History & Scenarios v2.0 - 4.2 Mb - Aug 15, 2022
Play sheets (Tactical game):  PDF - 5/18/2022
> Terrain Sheet - 1.9 Mb
> Fire and Combat Sheet - 250 Kb
> Siege Record Sheet - 236 Kb
Play sheets (Campaign game):  PDF - 5/18/2022
> Campaign Game - 378 Kb
> Campaign WorkSheet - 136 Kb
> Headcount Worksheet - 302 Kb

GUISCARD (version 1 - 2013)

Play sheets:  JPEG
> Terrain Sheet - 873 Kb
> Fire and Combat Sheet - 1,041 Kb
> Siege Record Sheet - 1,500 kB
Rulebook PDF
> Rulebook v1.1 - 3,525 Kb
Historical Background & Scenarios PDF
> History & Scenarios v1.1 - 4,438 Kb
Scenario Balancing Utility:
This Excel tool will help you build balanced scenarios using the Purchase Table included in the Scenario booklet. All the characteristics of the various Guiscard characters are also included in various tabs. 
ZIP (Excel)
> Scenario Balancing Utility - 38 Kb

Vassal (on-line game)

This tactical module includes all the counters, overlays and maps of  the game (as well as those of DIEX AÏE). Additional maps were added to let you play all the scenarios included with these 2 games.

The user interface boasts several neat functions, like the ability to move a belfry (overlay) with characters on it as one single piece, or manage several levels (a character under a hoarding for instance). 

To play this module, you must first download and install the Java software as well as the Vassal engine.
> Norman Saga Tactical Module v2.0 - 43.2 Mb
   Sep 29, 2015