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

I played a couple small games of 40K yesterday with some of my wargaming buddies. We tried out the new Crusade narrative campaign system. Its an evolution of the campaign rules for other GW games, such as Blood Bowl and Kill Team. It seems to work pretty well and it is not too punishing. However, I wonder how much staying power it will have, since it doesn’t seem to have a well defined end point.

As I’ve already said before, 40K is a solid system, but its not my preferred style of game. Its fun to play with people who (like me) play casually and don’t take advantage of too much meta. But playing against a more serious player who has the time and energy to research powerful combos and synergies is just not fun. Its the same problem that I had playing Warmachine years ago.

In other news, I’m trying to decide which war game to try next. I got the rules to Never Mind the Billhooks, a large-skirmish style game in the War of the Roses, in the last issue of Wargames Illustrated that looks quite fun. Also, Warlord games is having a sale on a bunch of starter boxes, and the Hail Caesar ones are very tempting.

If you are looking at Roman, I can recommend the Infamy, Infamy rule set from TooFatLardies

Yeah! I took a look at that the other day. I have Sharpe Practice, but I found it very difficult to teach. I think the asymmetrical focus of Infamy Infamy looks really interesting though. The Hail Caesar starter bundle would be perfect for that.

I played a game of Black Powder last weekend. We’ve played about 4-5 games of it already but this is the first time that I actually made an effort to prepare a battle scenario. Turns out that it makes a huge difference! I created a simple crossroad defense scenario inspired by Quatre Bras (but on a much smaller scale). If you’re interested, you can view the Google Docs [here]
( Also, some blurry photos below of my forces:

I ended up winning, but only barely. My friend decided to focus on on his center and right flank and didn’t deploy anything on his left to start. This would have been great for me, since I could easily swing the Hanoverian brigade on my right around unopposed and flank him. However, it seems like the continentals were not very reliable, and I failed almost all their command rolls during the first few turns! The French broke through my center early and almost took the crossroads when reinforcements from my left flank helped to provide a rear defense until his main foot brigade broke on the second-to-last turn. God save the king!

Black Power (and its related Warlords game kin) is really more of a gaming sandbox than a competitive wargame. I guess that many historical wargamers already play like this, but its new to our Warhammer-obsessed group. Also, I’ve found that the limited army building is also a big turn off to some of my friends (though I think the meta in 40K is bonkers).

I ended up picking up the Hail Caesar discount deal on the Warlords website (the Black Powder deal is also a steal, BTW). I also ordered a copy of the Infamy, Infamy! rules from Too Fat Lardies and am excited to try that out. Any asymmetrical wargames make me really excited!

But who won?!

Ha, I realized that I forgot to write an AAR as soon as I posted it. Added :-)

Also, though I took more pictures, I don’t think I’m going to post them. Barely any of my friends miniatures are painted and so it looks like the British are fighting grey and white ghosts!

Infamy, Infamy is pretty much entirely scenario based with some clever campaign rules included as well

If anyone is interested, Warlord Games just announced a line of plastic 15mm-ish ACW miniatures. Right now, there is only generic infantry (with supporting cannon), but apparently cavalry and additional artillery will be releasing later. I really like the look of the minis (though I wish they had separate union/confederate sculpts) and have already preordered a starter set. They’re also probably the cheapest way to play this scale of miniature wargame.

I don’t know how I missed this thread, but I’m on board with this sort of thing (as my Little Wars battle report over in the Grognard Wargamer thread might indicate).

Thanks for the original post, cpugeek—it’s given me a few things I might like to dig deeper on.

It is not army men rules, but Larry Bond has come out with yet another edition of Harpoon in the past year it seems.

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.