Help support TMP

"Best Ruleset for Introducing Someone to the Hobby?" Topic

34 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Wargaming in General Message Board

Action Log

04 Aug 2017 5:27 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to Wargaming in General board

02 Mar 2018 5:46 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Showcase Article

Lemax Christmas Trees

It's probably too late already this season to snatch these bargains up...

Current Poll

1,284 hits since 4 Aug 2017
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian04 Aug 2017 5:26 p.m. PST

Imagine that you're young, you're single, and the person you've been dating shows an interest in learning more about your hobby. Which miniature wargaming ruleset works best for an introductory game?

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Aug 2017 5:35 p.m. PST

Forget the rules. Hook them with the terrain and figs. Then pick a suitable simple set of rules. I usually take GW's Lord of the Rings, simplify it, and adapt to my genre.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2017 5:38 p.m. PST

I don't think there's an abstract answer, but
It needs to be something you have on hand. Given that:
Attractive figures and terrain--large scale if possible.
A period she knows something about--especially in pre-modern, so the tactics are comprehensible.
Rules simple enough that she can read them and play.

In horse and musket, you'd be hard-pressed to improve on Blasthof Bridge straight out of the box, but it won't work if she can't understand why everyone isn't hiding behind rocks..

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2017 6:18 p.m. PST

The Rules According to Ral.

Winston Smith04 Aug 2017 7:13 p.m. PST

The Sword and the Flame.
Nothing is outrageously complicated, but gives a nice game that is difficult to predict.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2017 7:36 p.m. PST

Both of the above are excellent choices. We use Rules by Ral for our 25mm medieval battles and, having helped Larry developed TSATF, use them for almost anything from FIW to futuristic sci-fi ("Frogs in Space").


Rich Bliss Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2017 8:07 p.m. PST

Either a simple fantasy set like Rules according to Ral, HoTT, or Dragon Rampant, or, if they are interested in History, Volley and Bayonet or One of the Command and Colors games.

Personal logo Dentatus Sponsoring Member of TMP Fezian04 Aug 2017 8:09 p.m. PST

I agree on the nice terrain and painted figs but it really depends on her preferences. She a history buff? A Lord of the Rings/Tolkien gal? Into The Walking Dead? Or keen on cyberpunk or Star Wars?

I'd look for a suitable board game with miniatures first. Ease her in with something familiar.

Lucius04 Aug 2017 8:13 p.m. PST

A cooperative board game with miniatures and a cool board, with a female character. Space Cadets, Away Missions springs to mind.

Toy Soldier Green04 Aug 2017 8:14 p.m. PST

One Hour Wargames

Tiberius05 Aug 2017 1:15 a.m. PST

Junior general Web site

CATenWolde05 Aug 2017 1:24 a.m. PST

Well, young woman or no, she may or may not be a gamer of a different sort, or have an interest in history or not, so there will always be a lot of variables. My current favorite would be Lion Rampant (but without the rules for activating normal moves or charges) – quick, intuitive, and each unit performs its actions in complete before others activate. Depending on the period, though: Ancient & Medieval Wargaming, The Sword and the Flame, maybe Volley & Bayonet for horse and musket?

To be honest, with a complete neophyte, I may well just use "Let's roll some d6's and see what happens" house rules! ;)

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2017 3:08 a.m. PST

DBA, HOTTS & TSATF would be my suggestions. I introduced a friend to DBA & he picked it up very quickly.

sillypoint05 Aug 2017 4:03 a.m. PST

Buy figures to paint.

nsolomon9905 Aug 2017 4:51 a.m. PST

Empire IV

davbenbak05 Aug 2017 5:53 a.m. PST

"Introduction to Wargaming" by Neil Thomas

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Aug 2017 6:13 a.m. PST

QILS, of course, but it's really about the scenarios you choose, not the rules.

Lots of collaborative play scenarios where the two of you play against the game rather than "me vs. you".

Or player/team vs. the "referee" (so distinct from playing against "you" and "your forces" they are playing against a broad array of different possibly unrelated "challenges"), so more of an RPG flow of play. Naturally, start that out heavily favoring the "hero(es)" to win.

Super spy games are probably the genre I would go for with either of those types of scenario.

Ooh Rah05 Aug 2017 7:50 a.m. PST

Imagine that you're young, you're single, …

I tried to imagine…nope, not happening.

Red Dragon 4405 Aug 2017 7:57 a.m. PST

A ruleset that YOU know very very well.

Personal logo Gonsalvo Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2017 8:09 a.m. PST

To the Strongest! would actually work quite well.

Dynaman878905 Aug 2017 8:25 a.m. PST

There is no best, what works great for one person will send another one away shaking their head.

coopman05 Aug 2017 8:33 a.m. PST

I would go with "Memoir '44" myself.

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2017 9:22 a.m. PST

I started both my boys with TSATF when they were 4-5 years old. Over 30 years later, they're both still active wargamers.

My eldest son still remembers the details of his first game, since he had a critical shot wth a Gatling gun that passed its die roll not to jam, eliminated a native unit, and saved a British unit from annihilation.


Ottoathome05 Aug 2017 12:36 p.m. PST

Wait till you put the ring on her finger and then see if she's still interested.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2017 3:23 p.m. PST

Something like X-Wing or Wings of Glory, probably played co-operatively against a solo system?
That is if you want to still be talking afterwards!
These games have the advantage of her being at least a little familiar with the 'history' behind them.

fredavner Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2017 6:01 p.m. PST


TMPWargamerabbit05 Aug 2017 8:17 p.m. PST

I will bite:

The Battle of Little Big Horn by Waddington's. Here is link to this 54mm (approximate height) old board and miniature game. The firm produced other board and miniature games. For this game…. before I found a booklet on actual miniature gaming, was my youth introduction to "using miniatures" in a game.


Note that the blogger is a lady discussing this game.

alphus9906 Aug 2017 10:19 a.m. PST

I just ran a game of Battle Cry with some friend's three boys (aged 7-11) they absolutely loved it. I was going to put in on ebay but decided to give it to them instead.

Their mum has told me they've been playing it non-stop including with elaborate sound effects!

I think I've made some new converts :)

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2017 6:33 p.m. PST

Can I be old and single? I would do HG Wells little wars with shooting cannon.

If I were young, then we would play that each hit on a figure requires the other to remove an article of clothing. "Strip Wargames"

Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2017 10:04 p.m. PST

I have used Junior General, mostly because I am trying to introduce youth 11-17 yrs old.

Another set that I start my boys with was "The Wargame" by Grant. Classic old school.

Hey You10 Aug 2017 2:04 p.m. PST

I remember using the older Full Thrust with Star Trek micro machines at a convention once. It was easy to teach and the players seemed to grasp it quick.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2017 5:48 p.m. PST

Assuming you mean the historical miniature gaming hobby.


huron72521 Aug 2017 3:07 p.m. PST

Ok, wait there is something fundamentally wrong here. Why in the world would you want to game with your wife/girlfriend!?


That's my alone time. Leave me alone!

USAFpilot In the TMP Dawghouse21 Aug 2017 5:51 p.m. PST

I got my brother hooked on Command & Colors Napoleonics, but I can't get him to try any tabletop war games. I guess he is not interested in minis, as he plays C&C like it's a game of chess. He's gotten pretty good; I think we've played over 200 games.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.