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

Have you played Sharp Practice? Any idea how Infamy Infamy compares?

I wish I could get my group into one of the TFL games, but it seems like most are not that interested in skirmish-level historicals.

The people I were playing with both had, and I’ve played Chain of Command a fair bit, so you can see the DNA in the rules (variable
movement and card-based activation rules) but it’s got its own flavour

Interesting video about the current state of historical wargaming:

Any thoughts?

I think its the healthiest its been for decades. But I dont gauge the health of wargames by retail or whatever conventions those gents are interested in.

Wargamers have been desperate to declare wargaming dead since I started playing in the 70’s. Because we are all grumpy sods :)

I have just seen steady progress and growth with lots of fun on the way to todays awesome hobby. Maybe other peoples preferred scales or periods are in decline, but mine are not. Shrug.

From my perspective, as someone who has only started getting into historicals in the last few years, I think there is a pattern among gamers that we will continue to see in the near future. Gamers in their mid-late 20s get into Warhammer, play for a while, then start looking for other alternatives eventually. People who have even a passing interest in history start playing games like Bolt Action, which serve as a “gateway drug” so to speak.

I think there’s one point in particular from that video that stands out to me — historical wargames often have a hard time putting out products that allow new players to easily get into them. I think Warlord and Battlefront have gotten much better at this in recent years (though Warlord needs to find a better way to get people into their Black Powder-series of games).

Also, I think newer players coming from WH expect certain things that many historicals lack, like point systems and generic scenarios with missions/objectives. They also don’t want to be limited to playing against certain armies or during certain eras (MeG does a good job of allowing this).

I agree. I remember it was supposed to be dying in the 80s and it seems to be in better shape now. As someone who started then I miss some of the companies, but it seems like gmt and others are doing a great job.

So I wrote a post in the MeG Facebook group asking a rules question, expecting to get a half dozen people replying “uh duh, its on page xx, stupid” (ok, maybe i’m exaggerating a bit). Surprisingly, the designer sent me a PM basically telling me that I had found some missing rules that none of his proofreaders had noticed. I guess he will be issuing an FAQ to address it. I’m happy that he was so responsive, but at the same time I am a bit disappointed that the rulebook I have is basically incomplete. That said, I blame PSC more than the designer, since as publisher, they should have caught this.

In case you’re curious, the rule is related to how generals move into, participate in, and move out of combat. Its weird, cause there are rules mentioning that the generals can provide bonuses and get injured in combat, but nothing actually explaining how combat with them works.

Dipping into this wonderful thread to appeal for a hivemind recommendation . . . .

I am looking for a fantasy or sci-fi miniatures tabletop game to break into. I am a grizzled old world Warhammer Fantasy battle veteran (4th edition or so, dated to 1990s) and nothing has ever ‘beaten’ that in appeal to me. I did recently divest myself of a big Runewars army collection with regret but driven by the relative death of that game.

I want something with a healthy, thriving playerbase that is likely to enjoy a nice long life so I can find new opponents. I live in London UK so doing so (after, you know, Covid) should be pretty easy. What should I consider? Anything other than Age of Sigmar and Star Wars Legions?

I know there are two big WFB alternatives (fantasy tank-and-file wargames).

One if a community driven, feee game with apparently a lot of content:

The other is Kings of War, and the seem to have a pretty big range of miniatures:

Haven’t played any of them, but I know they are decently popular. For sure the most popular will be AoS, though.

Of course, GW is about to resurrect old style WFB rules soon with Warhammer Old World, but nobody really knows when that’s coming out or what exactly it will be (99% chances it’s WFB, but it would be Warmaster -one can hope-). It’s also probably going to be stupidly expensive to make an army in, since it]t’s a Forge World initiative.

Honestly, if longevity and finding players is your biggest priority, Games Workshops games (AoS and 40K) are your best bet. Even though they are some of the most expensive miniatures games on the market, they are by far the most popular.

Another new rank-and-file fantasy game that has been released recently is Oathmark, though I have no idea if it has caught on or not. Its by the designer of Frostgrave, a popular fantasy skirmish ruleset.

Otherwise, if you want to find a rank-and-file game and don’t mind giving up the fantasy theme, there are some popular historical wargames that you can check out, such as Mortem et Gloriam or Arte de la Guerre.

As for sci-fi games, nowadays most of them tend to skew towards smaller-scale skirmish games (40k being the exception, kinda). Infinity is releasing a new simplified ruleset recently that is probably worth checking out.

So how were people playing the game without those rules and not noticing it? (other than the rulebook being so confusing people are still struggling with it)

From my understanding, it was included in the original (non-PSC) version of the rules, but was accidentally omitted later when the rules were “streamlined”. Because of the pandemic, not as many people have been able to play games with the new rules, so I guess no one has really noticed yet.

Also, apparently some people had inferred the rules through watching the designer play the game on his Youtube channel. But again, I don’t blame him, I blame the publisher who should have proofread the rules better.

Got to play Victory at Sea last week. It’s a WWII naval wargame originally released by Mongoose and recently re-published by Warlord games.

I’ve only gotten to play one game so far, but I already have many thought about it:

  • The overall production quality seems a little lower than recent Warlord games. The rulebook included I the starter is an abridged “QuickStart”-esque guide to the rules which is very lacking compared to the full manuals provided in Black Seas and SPQR.

  • The models are a mixed bag. The destroyers in the starter box seem to be made of an inferior material, but the expansion ships all look great. The bases are a little big, but they are very practical.

  • The rules are pretty simple, but some things seem a little weird. Torpedos are like super weapons, and do significantly more damage than other weapons. Some of the rules around movement are not written clearly.

  • Warlords game components in their recent naval games have been a bit lacking and this is no exception. At least there are no wake markers to worry about.

  • The ship cards are fine if you just want to play with generic versions of the ships, but if you want to play with specific year models, then you have to manually adjust the stats and points. Luckily, Battlescribe already has a module for making lists, which should help.

  • There are no markers for distinguishing between different same-class ships and their tracking cards. Not a bit problem(you can add little marks on the bases), but annoying.

In addition of VaS, I also bought the first Mortem et Gloriam supplement from PSC (“Age of Attila”). Haven’t finished reading it yet, but overall it is disappointing when compared to other historical game supplements that I have bought from other companies.

Have to say I jut find the Victory at Sea models quite ugly- it’s a combo of the bases and the slightly deformed scale on cannons, etc.

Yeah, the models are definitely not for everyone. I do think they look better on the table than they do in Warlords marketing materials.

I finished painting my 3500 point Mortem et Gloriam pacto army last night (don’t mind the unpainted generals, they’re not part of my list). Really wish there were more 15mm plastics for ancients, they’re much cheaper and durable than metal minis.

Played a couple games of Warcry yesterday. I have a gaming buddy who is really into the GW skirmish games lately, especially Warcry and Warhammer Underworlds. I had played the original Warcry starter with him about a year ago, and remember liking it but not loving it. After our two matches yesterday, I kind of still feel the same way.

This time, I managed to pick up the Skaven warband cards and so I could bring my own models. However, my friend had bought one of the specific Warcry warbands (don’t remember the name), which ended up having much more interesting abilities than my little ratties. I lost both games, both because of poor planning and bad luck. I think some of the objective cards are significantly more fun than others (the objective we drew for our second game ended up being really lame). Also, the game is much more fun when you can play four or five rounds instead of three (which, again, depends on objective).

Overall, I think its a more enjoyable skirmish game than Underworlds (which is more of a card game than a tactical minis game). Still, I’m not going to spend the $200+ for the new starter set when it comes out later this year. Its still weird that it doesn’t have any saving rolls (is it the only GW game that lacks them?).

After we finished our games, we played a quick game of Lion Rampant. I really enjoy Lion Rampant’s quick and easy medieval skirmish(ish) rules – however my friend didn’t seem to care much for them. Lion Rampant’s unit activation system, in your tend ends if you fail an order roll, really seems like a hard sell for someone who is used to GW-style games (where there are virtually no command-and-control mechanisms).

In addition to playing games, I have been reading Tabletop Wargames: A Designer & Writer’s Handbook by Rick Priestley (who designed the original Warhammer 40k, as well as Bolt Action, Black Powder, Hail Caesar, and many other games). If you have any interest at all in miniature wargaming mechanics, you really need to get a copy of this book. It also includes a very interesting argument for Bolt Action’s weapon range scale, which is something that gets a lot of criticism.

Hi there… picked up a huge box of heroscape terrain and miniatures on the way to the airport in new Zealand… it’s all in the car but took a couple of photos… can’t wait to see what I brought… some interesting stuff

Much jealousy. :)

Any idea of the set?