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"Any RPGs which are good for wargaming?" Topic


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1,116 hits since 8 Aug 2012
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evilleMonkeigh Inactive Member08 Aug 2012 6:02 a.m. PST

I noticed the Savage Worlds RPG make a decent skirmish wargame set (weren't they based on the Deadlands miniatures game?).
I know very little about RPGs – and I'm sure there are lots of other RPGS with slick combat mechanics that would make a good "skirmish-platoon" level wargame – i.e. handle 10-50 figures a side easily in a sensible amount of time.

Q1: Does anyone know of any RPGs with combat mechanics that can handle large amounts of miniatures (any genre – fantasy, sci fi, modern etc)

Q2: Are there any good RPG settings that would make a good wargame that could be played using existing miniature lines?

Only Warlock08 Aug 2012 6:05 a.m. PST

Yes, actually! Diaspora by VSC publishing has a whole section on wargaming military actions on the ground and in space.

Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2012 6:09 a.m. PST

IIRC, Savage Worlds was expressly designed to straddle both worlds. Good game, too.

MajorB08 Aug 2012 6:13 a.m. PST

I'd put that round the other way – what skirmish level wargames are good for RPGing?

Answer – probably most of them.

evilleMonkeigh Inactive Member08 Aug 2012 6:19 a.m. PST

Margard, why would I want to put it the other way? I want to try out good combat mechanics (from RPGs, which I know little about) to wargame with, not complicate my skirmish games (which I do know a fair bit about) with RPG aspects.

I'll check out Diaspora.

People refer to the Traveller universe a lot – are the rules any good for wargaming?

Only Warlock08 Aug 2012 6:30 a.m. PST

It depends, regarding Traveller. I have the old Striker rules but they are rather Grognard-ish. ( I still love them!). I think Traveller as a whole is better than most but VERY lethal.

Jovian1 Inactive Member08 Aug 2012 7:08 a.m. PST

Heavy Gear Blitz is a good skirmish game for mecha combat and armor with good mechanics – and it links right into the RPG. Same system, smooth transition as the same mechanics are involved, characters are simple to generate and you don't roll, you "build" the character with a specific amount of points GURPS style, depending on the level of cinematic action and heroism you want in your games.

MajorB08 Aug 2012 7:30 a.m. PST

Margard, why would I want to put it the other way? I want to try out good combat mechanics (from RPGs, which I know little about) to wargame with, not complicate my skirmish games (which I do know a fair bit about) with RPG aspects.

In my experience, a lot of RPG games have either rudimentary combat rules or very complex combat rules. Neither are very suitable for skirmish gaming.

OTOH, it is fairly easy to graft RPG aspects onto existing skirmish rules.

evilleMonkeigh Inactive Member08 Aug 2012 7:42 a.m. PST

Margard I totally agree with you, but you seem to have missed the point of my OP (which I perhaps worded badly)

I am not at all interested in grafting RPG rules to an existing skirmish game to complicate it.

Rather, I am wanting to pull the combat system out of a RPG game.

1. RPG rulesets are extremely numerous. Some of them must have simple, fast to play, yet solid combat rules (though the majority of them, I agree, do not)

2. RPGs have well-developed worlds and settings which would provide fertile grounds for wargaming scenarios

My problem is I know very little about RPGS (besides Savage Worlds, and have tinkered with free versions of FUDGE and GURPS, and the D20 system). Only Savage Worlds seemed promising from a wargaming point of view.

I am certain there are TMPers who have played a zillion RPGs since prehistoric times and can pick out a few good 'uns for combat mechanics… hence my questions

Personal logo flooglestreet Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2012 7:49 a.m. PST

Try Chain Reaction 3. It is the combat mechanics for several RPGs. You can find it here. twohourwargames.com/free.html

THW Makes games set in WW2, Korea (NUTS) and VietNam (FNG) as well as Colonial, SF Medieval and Wild West settings. Navigate around the Two Hour site starting with the link I sent above.

MajorB08 Aug 2012 7:49 a.m. PST

1. RPG rulesets are extremely numerous. Some of them must have simple, fast to play, yet solid combat rules (though the majority of them, I agree, do not)

I have not come across any with combat rules such as you describe (with the possible exception of Savage Worlds).

2. RPGs have well-developed worlds and settings which would provide fertile grounds for wargaming scenarios

You don't need the combat rules from the RPG to do that.

You mention Traveller. As other posters have said, its combat rules leave a lot to be desired. However, there are a number of wargame rules that work well in the Traveller universe.

MajorB08 Aug 2012 7:50 a.m. PST

Try Chain Reaction 3. It is the combat mechanics for several RPGs.

What RPGs use the CR3 mechanics?

Personal logo flooglestreet Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2012 8:00 a.m. PST

Marguard. The RPGs are listed on the RPG tab of the Two Hour Wargame site. They all use Chain Reaction, I believe.

You mention Traveller. Here is a WW2 Traveller spin-off link

skippy000108 Aug 2012 8:10 a.m. PST

Savage Worlds Showdown is for skirmish-they have numerous 'toolkits' for many genres.
Silhouette Core Book is a good start for Heavy Gear, Jovian Chronicles or Gearkrieg.
Fudge, the 10th anniversary hard cover is good.

I have used them all and had no problems.

timlillig Fezian08 Aug 2012 8:12 a.m. PST

West End Games' Star Wars RPG could handle a large group and is very easily integrated into their Star Wars Miniatures Battles. You could easily use the Miniatures battles rules in conjunction with the generic or other licensed RPG that use the same system.

White Wolf's RPGs have a pretty solid combat system, but it often requires a GM to interpret the effects of special abilities.

Tales of Blades and Heroes is the RPG interpretation of Song of Blades and Heroes. The combat system is equally good, but for more than a handful of figures, I would just use Song of Blades and Heroes.

Personal logo Who asked this joker Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2012 8:18 a.m. PST

Dungeons and Dragons 4e I thought made a much better table top game than an RPG WRT combat mechanics. It would definitely be rules heavy but as a battle game it was pretty fun.

optional field08 Aug 2012 8:31 a.m. PST

Who asked this Joker has a good point. 4th edition of D&D is more like a table top version of a MMORPG in many respects. When used for series of small battles it is, effectively, a wargame that requires a referee. I don't care for it for that very reason, but for some people it may be exactly the thing.

MajorB08 Aug 2012 8:47 a.m. PST

Marguard. The RPGs are listed on the RPG tab of the Two Hour Wargame site. They all use Chain Reaction, I believe.

Or a variation thereof. E.g. Six Gun Sound was one of the early sets of rules from THW so the combat meachanics in it are not as refined as in CR3.

Personal logo Inari7 Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2012 9:42 a.m. PST

When used for series of small battles it is, effectively, a wargame that requires a referee

I think with D&D 4th they use a "sorta" points system for balanced encounters.

No reason for a referee.

Personal logo richarDISNEY of the RDGC Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member08 Aug 2012 9:47 a.m. PST

Rogue Trader can be played as an RPG.
We did it …
beer

Mako1108 Aug 2012 9:52 a.m. PST

Yea, Snapshot/Striker/Traveller would probably work. Certainly a lot of RPG supplements, rules, and scenario booklets for them.

Snapshot is primarily for man-to-man combat in spaceships, but may be adapted to other things.

Striker uses the same basis, and then adds in vehicle design and combat rules.

Traveller is the RPG for the whole system.

As mentioned, some of the more recent releases may be a little better, and provide more combat flavor, but less on the RPG side of things, e.g. CR3/5150.

The Star Wars Miniatures Rules are pretty decent, and have an extensive RPG background as well. It's pretty easy to come up with scenarios for them, if you've seen the movies.

There's also the Mythic RPG, which is worth checking out.

Their Mythic Game Master Emulator provides a system for GM-less gaming, and/or for enhancing your GM-driven campaigns, and for answering questions on the fly.

corporalpat08 Aug 2012 10:31 a.m. PST

The Traveller skirmish game Snapshot is much simpler than the Striker rules. We used to use those a lot in the old days. It is quick and deadly and I have played some fairly large (30+ per side) skirmishes with these rules.

The Rolemaster system Arms Law & Claw Law that I use is highly detailed and best for 10-20 per side. I have run larger games, but these took much longer to play. The guys in our group, which include several ex D&D players, won't let me replace them with something simpler. They love the detailed nature of the rules, and the goriness of the critical tables. Wounds range from simple hit point damage, to bleeding and stun results, all the way to instant death. It can make for some tense combat situations! We also have used their 10 Million Ways to die which is a modern variant.

Farstar Inactive Member08 Aug 2012 10:43 a.m. PST

Traveller's older boardgame systems (Snapshot and Azhanti High Lightning) are refereed systems, as is Striker.

Striker differs from the traditional skirmish games in that it is a command & control engine with combat rules attached, instead of the other way around.

Striker 2 is based on Command Decision, and not really a skirmish game in the sense gamers use the term.

Traveller's basic 2d6 mechanic has been adapted to pure skirmish gaming before, but the results are nearly unrecognizable as Traveller. The combat rules of Classic Traveller are just a good movement system away from being a decent, if stilted, skirmish game: Weapon X at Range Y vs Armor Z gives Roll Q. Here's your dice.

Whirlwind08 Aug 2012 10:49 a.m. PST

Recon and Advanced Fighting Fantasy would work. At the lower end of the figure numbers I reckon WFRP 1st edition might be okay (using the sudden death critical system).

Regards

Dynaman878908 Aug 2012 11:22 a.m. PST

Any of the GDW house system games (Twilight 2000, Traveller 2300, cadillacs and Dinosaurs) would work very well. We used T2K for miniatures battles all the time.

Note – NOT the new versions of those rules, I have no idea what they are like. The versions produced by GDW are the ones I'm talking about. They are available in PDF form from wargame vault or RPGnow (or one of those types of places).

Striker 2 was the miniatures rules specifically for Traveller TNE, those rules play very much like Command Decision.

napthyme Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Aug 2012 2:08 p.m. PST

Legend of the five rings had a mass combat system to resolve it in the RPG without needing the table top mini's

The Red Baron08 Aug 2012 2:32 p.m. PST

Revised Recon: link

000 Triple Aught Inactive Member08 Aug 2012 2:56 p.m. PST

Many good answers posted already and after thinking about it, I'll add Terminus V, which can handle both Q1 & Q2 easily.

Lesack08 Aug 2012 4:09 p.m. PST

I'm going to second Diaspora. I just bought it last week, and was very pleasantly surprised to see wargaming rules included. You're probably limited to company size at most for land warfare, and small fleet actions for space. You did specify platoon, so they should fit the bill.

There are no naval rules included, but either the land or space versions could be massaged to work.

The SRD is available online, so you can see how it all works with no expenditure except time:

link

Katzbalger08 Aug 2012 5:56 p.m. PST

The various Hero system rules work well for skirmish gaming--or at least seemed to 25 years ago.

Rob

Farstar Inactive Member08 Aug 2012 6:23 p.m. PST

Hero has a stronger than average combat engine that can be tuned to user preferences. That tuning requires a dive into the character creation rules, though, at least for the designer. The final players need see none of that.

Personal logo Landorl Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2012 7:53 p.m. PST

Harnmaster RPG has a skirmish game that fits in with the main rules called Battlelust. works for about 20-40 figs per side.

evilleMonkeigh Inactive Member09 Aug 2012 2:13 a.m. PST

There's quite a few RPG rules I'm checking out now – thanks for all the responses!

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