Miniature Wargames: My Never-ending Search for the Ultimate Army Men Ruleset

I picked up the pdf for the just-released Stargrave, the sci-fi follow up to Frostgrave. It looks like very much the same system with some tweaks, from an initial skim. Apparently, official solo/co-op campaigns (the reason I got into Frostgrave) won’t be out until September or so, though they did put out a little free solo system at release to tide the pandemic-stricken world over. I’ll probably toy with a little he-conversion like it did with the original, and a I have a bunch of AT-43 and the more scifi Heroscape minis I can use to play. Should be an entertaining time waster.

My ‘O Group’ rules arrived a little while ago from Reisswitz Press, Batallion scale WWII, they look a really good set focussing on C&C. My Victrix 12mm Germans arrived at the same time, but now I have to wait until they release some Soviet stuff or source it from elsewhere. The Victrix 12mm WWII stuff is really lovely by the way

Did you get to try Infamy, Infamy cpugeek?

No, unfortunately I recently had a bad experience teaching Sharp Practice to my group and have decided to put Infamy Infamy on hold for now. I wrote a blog post about it here.

Will probably use the minis for SPQR for now, might look into Clash of Spears as well.

I haven’t played Sharp Practice but I have a couple of learning games of Infamy, Infamy solo under my belt and I think those criticisms / drawbacks are entirely valid. I’m due to teach someone II next month so I’ll let you know how it goes, what worked and what didn’t!

Anyone here play Age of Sigmar? What do you think of the new 3rd edition news lately? Personally, I am a bit disappointed that GW keeps on pushing command point abilities in their flagship rulesets. I feel like adding more and more strategic abilities is lazy design and de-emphasizes the traditional on-table aspects of the games. I understand that if you play often and can internalize these abilities and learn the synergies for your army, then they are probably very fun. But for casual play, I want to just put some models on a table and roll some dice – I don’t want to five minutes each turn deciding which strategic abilities to use.

Also, don’t know what to think about reactive command abilities either. As much of a pain the down-time can be in wargames, it can also be great for socializing or just relaxing. Also, worried about “take that” mechanics that can arbitrarily throw a wrench in others plans and ruin their experience.

That said, I still think AoS is in a better place overall than 40K. Neither are really great rulesets (were they ever?), but hey, those models are pretty nice though!

Anyone have any other thoughts about AoS 3.0?

I know it’s been a while since I posted, but thought I’d give some quick AoS 3.0 thoughts. The base rules are still pretty good, and the hero-phase actions are not as cumbersome as I thought they’d be. However, the competitive game mode is clunky as hell and really needs some streamlining. Still better than 40k though.

I’m playing a learning game of the new Kill Team this weekend. To be honest, not super excited about the new rules but still want to give it a shot.

Instead, I’m more excited about Deadzone v3, which comes out next month. I haven’t played Deadzone before, but after watching some videos of v2, it seems much better than Kill Team. Kinda wish the models were a little nicer, but you can’t really compare Mantic miniatures with GWs. Anyone play Deadzone?

Sorry to keep reposting in this old thread, but I just needed to express my recent love for Kings of War. It has taken over our wargaming club lately and is probably one of the most enjoyable rulesets I have ever played. It is the streamlined WHFB that Games Workshop should have delivered with Age of Sigmar but didn’t.

Say what you will about Mantic’s miniature lines (though they’ve improved a lot lately), their game rules are very good.

I just started building a Kings of War army (Forces of Nature) and am excited about being able to dip into the world of 3d printed minis to put the army together. Lots of cool treants and elementals out there.

Also, currently painting a GW Spirit of Durthu as Wiltfather (the evil death treant), which has been fun so far.

I want to get my local group and actually play, but pandemic. Looking forward to the decline of Omicron here (or my kid gets old enough to get vaccinated) to push some minis around for this.

If you have Tabletop Simulator, there are some really good modules for KoW on it. They’re really good at teaching people how to play, since you can setup everything ahead of time and load it up when needed. Of course, it’s still not as good as pushing around physical models on a table, but it’s a decent substitute.

I’ll check it out. Let me know if you ever want to beat up on a newbie. I’d prefer to take my lumps from someone here than randos at the game store.

Don’t be–I, at least, enjoy living somewhat vicariously via this stuff. Can you say some more about Kings of War? I’ve never heard of it.

Kings of War is a rank-and-file-style fantasy wargame which is superficially similar to old Warhammer Fantasy but is actually closer to something like Black Powder or Hail Caesar. It uses block formations of units, but there is no fiddly model-removal mechanics and the movement rules are heavily streamlined. Unlike modern Warhammer games were a lot of the strategy is related to list-building and combos, KoW is more about manuevering units efficiently, punching holes in the enemy line with strong units, and then exploiting them to gain powerful flank attacks. It feels more like you are actually using battlefield tactics instead of just countering the other player’s “deck”.

It is super easy to learn and teach, and you only really need to memorize a handful of special ability keywords to play most armies. It is also a relatively quick game, even large games played with many units (like Black Powder). We played an over-sized four-player game on New Year’s day and finished in about 2.5 hours.

Miniwargaming did a nice demo of a KoW game that I highly recommend watching if you’re interested. Their armies are about half the size of a standard 2000pt army.

Heres a quick photo from our New Years game:


Really quick other game I want to say a little about. My wife bought be Deadzone for Christmas and I’ve been playing a lot of that with her lately. It’s a fantastic small-scale sci-fi skirmish game, similar to 40K Kill Team. It is actually even more easy-to-play than KT and doesn’t even require ruler measurement. In fact, I really love how you measure distance in “cubes” (basically grid squares on a board) instead of inches but the actual models position within the square is important for LoS. The models are a mixed bag (toxic space rats - GREAT, generic soldiers — MEH), though I really like Mantic’s official terrain system which is modular and designed to fit in the board grid.

The game also has some clever mechanics that board gamers will appreciate, such as special command dice that you can roll (and reroll) each turn that give you extra actions. Also, exploding d8s!

Hey, sorry to necro this thread (I usually read the forums, but don’t post much), but I wanted to write up what I’ve been playing this my last post.

I’ve been getting into more Mantic games the past year. Deadzone is great, and my wife and I have been having fun with the recent official campaign rules. A few friends and I briefly go to into Kings of War, which quickly became one of my favorite wargaming rulesets. It is a perfect example of a very streamlined game that has plenty of depth without resorting to rules bloat (I’m looking at you 40K). I recently also bought the starter box for Firefight, which is their sci-fi game that is pretty much a combination of Deadzone and Kings of War. Only played one game so far, but I’m impressed with it.

The other big elephant in the room recently in miniature wargaming is the imminent release of new GW Horus Heresy rules and models. Having bought Firefight recently, I wasn’t planning on buying-in to this system as well, but it turns out that most of my gaming group is interested in this and not so interested in Firefight (sad face). Though I am not a fan of modern 40K, I am even less of a fan of 7th edition (which is what HH rules are based on). However, in retrospect most of my gripes are based on army rules from back then instead of the core mechanics (which I’ve been told have been tightened up as well).

Also, I know there has been much said about the price. However, $300 is actually not that much for what is like 80% of a full Warhammer army plus the big core rulebook, dice, and templates. That said, you can buy a full army and rulebook in Firefight for less than $200, so everything is relative (though Mantic miniatures are vastly inferior to GW).

Anyone else play any miniature wargames lately? Anyone else planning on getting into Horus Heresy?

I don’t have anything to add to the thread, but I enjoy reading it very much. Please keep posting!

My son got into WH40K recently, so I play that occasionally and mostly got involved in assembling and painting. I don’t have any qualified insights about whether it’s good, I’ve never played any wargames before, but I do have a nagging suspicion that it’s more about the dice roles and having the right units, rather than tactical acumen. It’s still fun though, albeit a little too long for me.

We went to Warhammer world last weekend for an event where my son played with other kids and it was a great day.

They had some amazing tables arranged (although those weren’t used in the event).

Yeah, I would agree with this. Warhammer 40K is sometimes compared to Magic:TG – they both have a strong emphasis on deck/army building. I’ve seen games of 40K that were pretty much decided on the first turn due to this. I have some friends who absolutely love this aspect of the game. Personally, I don’t have the time (or money!) to get this deep into the army building, so I’m not a huge fan.

As for dice rolling, at the end of the day pretty much all miniature wargames are beer-and-pretzel affairs. Though some people do play competitively (though they’re not fun to play against!), most people just want an excuse to move little plastic figures around and chuck a bunch of dice. That said, there are definitely plenty of tactical decisions to make, especially spatial ones. Even deciding where to deploy certain units at the beginning of the game is very important. However, in the end it is really about optimizing your probability of winning, and even if you do everything right there is still a chance the dice gods will smile upon your opponent instead of you.

As for the playtime issue, my experience is that most downtime in wargames is due to checking rules. This is especially true in games with heaps of special rules, like Warhammer 40k. I’ve found that it really helps to prepare cheatsheets for the armies I play and also print out any reference sheets that you can find on the internet for the game. Some newer rulesets, like Firefight, have mechanics that are designed to speed up play (like only measuring for leader units instead of each one individually).