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"6mm Fantasy rulesets" Topic

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Kealios05 Mar 2011 6:24 p.m. PST

I play Epic: Armageddon, and am slowly getting interested in starting up a fantasy army game. Ive got a fair bit of Epic terrain that could easily double as fantasy, so I figured, why not look into it some?

Ive been reading this forum and others, and looks like there a few really good candidates as far as rulesets go for army-scale 6mm Fantasy:

Pride of Lions
Rally Round the King
Fantasy Rules! 3rd ed
Mighty Armies
Hordes of the Things

Of course there are others…

Pride of Lions looks really fun but looks to have funky basing conventions. Its currently in my top 3 if I can get past the basing problems (they just look really incompatible with other systems, lacking interchangeability).

RRtK looks the most intriguing to me, honestly, which is funny to me because Ive never been excited about THW's ruleset. The reactions look fun.

HoTT looks the least interesting to me because it looks to oversimplify just about everything.

Warmaster is, I have heard from friends who play, simply unbalanced, which wouldnt surprise me coming from GW, but maybe a little since most of their Specialist Games are pretty good. Also, I want more 6mm and less 10mm…

Fantasy Rules! looks like a miniature version of Warhammer Fantasy, but honestly I havent read almost anything about it other than knowing it exists.

Mighty Armies, likewise is a mystery to me.

SO, my question to you folks here:

Im OK with a little genericness to make a game flow well, but TOO much dumbing down of stats seems like it would take away flavor from a game.

A) Is there a community similar to the Epic people over at Tactical Command who maintain/follow a set of rules?

B) Does one of these rulesets maintain/allow army traits more than another? For example, I was thinking about Orcs vs Humans in RRtK, and honestly, I could see arguments stating out a unit of each as the same…and that thought concerned me a bit…

Thanks! im looking forward to delving into the fantastical realms of little puny 6mm warriors playing Fantasy :)

doc mcb05 Mar 2011 6:45 p.m. PST

The only real basing requirement for PRIDE OF LIONS is a standard width base. It really doesn't matter what size it is. Three stands side by side make a unit.

We use 40mm squares because that's what we were already using for FANTASY RULES!. But 40mm by 20mm works just as well, with half the 15mm troops per unit.

If you are using 6mm, I'd just choose whatever size stand suits you and then mount whatever number of minis looks good to you on each.

doc mcb05 Mar 2011 6:52 p.m. PST

MIGHTY ARMIES is a great rules system. The big difference between it and PRIDE is scale. MA uses a dozen or so bases per army, and is playable is under an hour on a card table. PRIDE will have 8 or 10 or so units per army, each of three stands -- so double or triple the number of minis. And it needs, typically, 4' by 6" table and a couple or three hours to play.

MA's rules are maybe 10% the length of PofL's.

FANTASY RULES is really nothing at all like WARHAMMER. Each stand is a unit. FR is a lot of fun; we enjoyed it immensely, but developed PRIDE because we wanted bigger battles than FR could handle.

We've done PRIDE games with half a dozen players per side and 1000+ minis on the table.

MA and FR are MUCH much smaller.

doc mcb05 Mar 2011 6:59 p.m. PST

On differentiating troops, though, consider this from another thread:

HOW MANY variables should rules include? SONG OF BLADES, for example, has basically three: Quality (range 2+ to 6), Combat (range 0 to 6), and movement (short, medium, or long distance). Plus a very long list of special rules.

FR!3 has two movement rates per type, a Combat factor (1 to 10), a Rally factor (3+ to 7+), and a bunch of special rules such as +1 or +2 against certain types, charge bonuses or penalties for difficult terrain, causing Fear, and Support ability.

PRIDE OF LIONS has basically three movement rates (6", 8", 12"), plus a die level for melee and morale combined (seven levels, D4 up through D20). Shooters have a separate missile die level. There are a lot of special rules, including charge and support bonuses and for a number of tactical situations (flanking, planting spears or in shield wall, etc.)

On the other end of the scale, WARHAMMER uses 9 characteristics (move, weapon skill, ballistic skill, strength, toughness, wounds, initiative, attacks, and leadership). There's also armor. Where FR! uses three stats, and PRIDE two, WH uses six or seven.

Every system seems to have a lot of special rules -- almost unavoidable, I think.

doc mcb05 Mar 2011 7:05 p.m. PST

One last thought. I'm an old boardgamer, and there was a time in the 1970's that SPI did a lot of what we called "big dumb games." That meant SIMPLE rules but a HUGE map with a zillion counters.

Although the rules are long because of special rules and the need to explain things, PRIDE is intended to play FAST. Everything is abstracted down to a single die level for melee and morale combined. There are no physical formations, though appropriately armed and trained units can do things like skirmish or form shield wall. We use movement trays that hold the three stands of a unit, so an army only has about a dozen pieces to pick up and move.

It's intended to be a big dumb game.

Kealios05 Mar 2011 7:08 p.m. PST

Wow, amazing responses so quickly!

Pride sounds even more interesting to me now…but does it scale DOWN well as well, ie if I played smaller games, would it play as well as one triple the size of a MA or FR game?

Also, besides who else makes 6mm fantasy?

Pictors Studio05 Mar 2011 7:10 p.m. PST

Other than one thing warmaster is a pretty balanced game. The unbalancing thing is that a high elf 2000 pt army with two dragons in it can pretty much win the game on the first turn against any army by killing the general with their first order.

If you disallow that tactic then it is pretty well balanced. I've played Empire, Elves, Dark Elves, Chaos, Lizardmen, Orcs and Gobbos and my own Ogre Kingdoms armies and have found none of them to be unbalanced. I have played with the Brettonians and they seem not to work quite as well as the other armies.

I've played against undead, all of the above and dwarves and haven't really thought that it was terrible to play against any of them.

The elves can be tough because of their high leadership and tough cavalry but they are beatable because they are so fragile in terms of how much they put on the table.

Warmaster is the best fantasy game I've ever played. When I first played it it was when it first came out and I built and played each new army as it came out except the undead and dwarves. It was a ton of fun and I played no other game that entire summer.

The best thing about it is an answer to your second question and that is that the original 6 armies all play remarkably differently. The brilliant thing is that they are able to achieve this with remarkably few special rules and only 4 different stats. The combination of the various stats with the armies over all general leadership really makes for a game where you need to think about how best to use your army and especially how your opponent is likely to use his.

doc mcb05 Mar 2011 7:19 p.m. PST

I did demo games of PRIDE at Origins a year ago, with 5 or 6 units per army and a smaller battlefield. They were fun, so yes, it can be scaled down.

The magic system is complex enough to make a subgame, if you wish.

Only thing about scaling PRIDE down is, a unit is rolling a single die per melee. (As opposed to WARHAMMER where one is rolling giant handfuls of D6s.) An elite unit may be rolling a D20 and the militia it is facing rolling a D6; but that D20 still has a 1 on it, and the militia could roll 6, win by 5, and kill a stand of the elites. In other words, rolling fewer dice allows a wider range of less predictable results. Larger armies with more units mitigate that to an extent.

Ed the Two Hour Wargames guy05 Mar 2011 8:04 p.m. PST

Here's a review of RRtK.
TMP link

More info
TMP link

Not sure if you'll make it out to Cold Wars but there will be pick up games of RRtK.

John Leahy Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2011 10:31 p.m. PST

Hadn't thought about using RRtK for my 6mm armies. Makes sense. I'll have to pick up a copy now. Been interested. Now I have a reason!




Calico Bill06 Mar 2011 12:43 a.m. PST

A downside of RRTK is that you have to build a much larger army than you'll actually use for a given game. You have core elements, but much of your army is based on random dice throws so could be more lt cav, med can, warband, just about anything the original army might have fielded.
We use HOtT here(with 72 point armies like in BB DBA) having given most of the others you mentioned a good try. Warmaster was great. Our second choice, but their army lists favoured Chaos IMHO.

blacksmith06 Mar 2011 1:03 a.m. PST

I don't see the army lists as an issue, simply ignore the lists random rolls and build your force with what you have.

elsyrsyn06 Mar 2011 6:32 a.m. PST

HoTT looks the least interesting to me because it looks to oversimplify just about everything.

It does look that way at first glance, but you might be surprised at how it actually plays. The biggest problem with HOTT, to me, is the same as with all of th other DBx games – the writing.

Also, besides who else makes 6mm fantasy?

Baccus and Irregular come immediately to mind. Of course, one of the beauties of doing fantasy in 6mm is the ability to use larger scales as well – 10mm orcs become trolls, 15mm humans giants, etc.


doc mcb06 Mar 2011 11:14 a.m. PST

HOTT is the most tournament friendly -- and also the most abstract -- of the fantasy rules. MIGHTY ARMIES would be second, I believe.

Ed the Two Hour Wargames guy06 Mar 2011 11:48 a.m. PST

A downside of RRTK is that you have to build a much larger army than you'll actually use for a given game.

Nah, don't worry about that.
Actually on page 10 we say "Feel free to mix and match or create your own lists as you see fit."

I hate "official" lists, etc. What most people are doing is start with the core list of 200 points that gives you the flavor of the army then buy another 200 points from the recruiting column.

That's how the Tournament Rules work. Oops, looks like the cat's out of the bag now.

Kealios06 Mar 2011 12:04 p.m. PST

I wish I could hug each of you right now :)

Now all I need is the $50 USD for both RRtK and PoL!

doc mcb06 Mar 2011 12:47 p.m. PST

Get the pdf, it's a lot less than $25. USD

Space Monkey06 Mar 2011 12:48 p.m. PST

In the past I've mostly played FR! for 6mm fantasy… but it's been a while. 6mm scifi and WFB (3e) are king at the moment.
No gripes with the FR! rules but since I'm a bit of a THW fanboy I'm gonna have to give RRtK a try.

I think a 6mm 'travel set' for WFB would be fun too… individually mounted figs on magnetic movement trays, a pair of tweezers… a pop-o-matic dice roller. But the rules are too detailed for HUGE battles.

kmahony11106 Mar 2011 4:35 p.m. PST

I play FR!3 as well and really enjoy them. Personally I find it has the right amount of flavour and the Morale clock is a great idea. I hope to revive my long lst LoTR project one day.

I've got some pictures of 6mm figures based for FR!3 here

and LoTR scenarios here

Hope that helps


platypus01au06 Mar 2011 10:30 p.m. PST

If you are starting from scratch, the I'd recommend FR!TCE (the not as complicated version of FR!3).

Given the similar basing standards, you can move on to PoL or another system as you build more units.

I'd recomend HOTT, but you seem to have already ruled it out. No matter, I like FR! as well….

You can only try them! Some of them (like FR!TCE) are cheap enough to buy on spec.


kmahony11107 Mar 2011 12:57 p.m. PST

Yeah I forgot about FR!TCE – definitely a good way to the give FR! a go. Forget about the naff name though… its more a light version.


akudjinn11 Mar 2011 8:48 p.m. PST

Two thumbs up for Pride of Lions!!

I also plan on getting a copy of Rally Round the King soon as well.

I like PoD b/c you can use 20x40mm Warmaster units, and the rules click with me. I like how they divide unit quality but even an elite unit can suffer if faced with several weaker units. It's also UNIT driven and not unbalanced by heroic characters. Highly recommended.

NOLA Chris Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2011 2:23 p.m. PST

Thanks for the input , guys!
Just ordered Pride of Lions and RRTK,
and hope to get the locals back into some Fantasy Mass Combat!
(using 60mmx40mm bases if the rules allow)
some re-basing required, but should look more massive!

Chris the Tall

(gotta go dig out the 10mm and 15mm fantasy figs and get back to painting!)

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