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"Rules recommendation please" Topic

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Bozkashi Jones15 May 2019 8:39 a.m. PST

Sorry to start another rules recommendation thread, but I am struggling here.

I am considering collecting some medieval miniatures and wonder if I could tap into the collective TMP expertise.

My period will probably be centred around the reign of Henry I of England, maybe going on to The Anarchy, so from about 1090 to 1150.

Here's what I'm looking for:

1) A command and control system to introduce friction and ensure units don't always act as the player would wish (so something like Hail Caesar, maybe?)

2) Armies of around 100-120 figures; this will be a solo project and I intend to do it in 28mm, so big armies will mean I'll never finish (so I think this rules out HC). Although I don't want big armies, I'd prefer not to have the small armies of DBA (though I like DBA, but prefer it in 6mm)

3) Something that gives a 'flavour' of medieval warfare, especially the role of personalities and commanders, and also the importance of divisions/wings/battles

4) I don't mind casualty removal; I'll be basing the figures individually so I can player skirmish games too

5) I have 6' x 4' table

6) Decent army lists for the period, though as this is a solo project, I'm happy to research and come up with my own

7) Something that is fun to play! I'd prefer not to be having to work out complex mathematics and faster play is better – slow moving games, for me, distract me from the tactical picture and so pull me away from the immersion of a game, if that makes sense

Grateful for any advice.


mad monkey 115 May 2019 8:54 a.m. PST

Lion Rampant. Hail Caesar could work too. In HC units can be as big as you want them to be.

Days of Knights by Chipco. I'm partial to them. Flowers of Chivalry by the Canadian Wargames Group. Both of these set are more for bigger battles, but hey, scale'em as you want.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP15 May 2019 9:30 a.m. PST

To the Strongest. Plays on a grid and units are a single base of any size you like, it just has to fit in the square. The nice thing about this is you can start with 4 figures/unit and add more as you paint more.

Plays on a grid so easy to adjust to larger and smaller tables. We play on an 8x6 with 6" squares. Here is a picture of a game (my 15mm Vikings and Saxons). We couldn't find our gridded mat so laid out bits of foliage to mark the squares.


Using 4" squares gives you a 24 x 16 square grid which is plenty of room for a game.

Units must make an activation score and being close to a commander makes that easier. Commanders also give some bonuses for rallying and in combat at times. They can also get killed and bum your troops out.

Lot of army lists and an active user forum on the Tapatalk platform. They have a Pike & Shotte version as well.

Uses playing cards, not dice. Interesting mechanic. Easy to tweak rules and unit values.

Condottiere15 May 2019 10:00 a.m. PST

Another endorsement for To the Strongest.

Mick in Switzerland15 May 2019 10:26 a.m. PST

Lion Rampant is very good and easy to learn.

The same author wrote The Men Who Would Be Kings which includes rules for solo play. I think they could be adapted to Lion Rampant.

Gone Fishing15 May 2019 11:05 a.m. PST

I was going to recommend Lion Rampant also. Loads of fun, unpredictable, and because of a clever activation system they work very well solo, with a good "fog of war" feeling.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2019 11:48 a.m. PST

I've played both "Lion Rampant" and "To the Strongest!" Both would fit your requirements.

In "Lion Rampant" the units are either 6 or 12 figures, with 6-figure units being more commonly mounted and 12-figure units being foot. As Gone Fishing stated, can be used solo.

As Extra Crispy stated, in TtS!, units can be of any size. Plus the advantage to it is that you can use your DBA forces as well. Also playable solo due to the card activation system.

Plus we also use the venerable "Rules by Ral" which has 6 figure mounted units and 12 figure foot units, individual figure removal , and uses D6 for firing and combat. It is a fun, quick game that is much more "beer & pretzels" than the other two. You can access a copy here: link


jefritrout15 May 2019 11:51 a.m. PST

To the Strongest really has it set up with the 3 commands. I will recommend it with no hesitation. Similar to Lion Rampant, activation is not guaranteed it is done by drawing a card. Each command goes until it fails an activation. So if you have a poor run of cards, then you don't activate very much, just like if you roll poorly in Lion Rampant.

Both choices are solid, but I feel that TTS is a better intro.

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2019 12:09 p.m. PST

I don't know any rules that meet all your criteria together, but I second the suggestions to try Lion Rampant and To the Strongest.

Lion Rampant is a very beer-and-pretzels game, and it's written as a mass-skirmish game rather than a big battle game, but I find it has the most "Medieval" flavor of any game I've tried, so I've stopped looking for other options and now I just write house rules for Lion Rampant (including rules to give it some more big battle flavor). The game is easy to learn, easy to teach, easy to modify, and it can be a lot of fun thinking up new unit types and scenario conditions. The rules were written for 28mm figures, units are all 6 figures or 12 figures, and a fun game is probably about a half dozen units per player, so 100-120 figures is right in the sweet spot. There are nothing like real army lists for this game, but in 2017 a local gamer used Lion Rampant to refight Hastings 1066, and it worked so well I decided I could also use it to refight Verneuil 1424 and Charles the Bold's debacles (stalled projects sitting on my shelves for years).

To the Strongest doesn't require tons of figures, but because of the way the cards work, you really need at least 2 commands per player with at least 3-4 units per command to avoid frustration and boredom. With the three traditional Medieval divisions (battles) per side, it's really a 2-player game. My favorite TTS games have been big spectacle games with large units like Mark pictured above, but you could play with DBA-sized units on a card table if you wanted to scale it way down.

You said you like DBA, so I'll make a third suggestion: use DBA with the Big Battle rules. That should give you the traditional 3-wing Medieval army at your specified figure count, and it's not hard to add personality to commanders with house rules influencing combat, PIP dice, movement, etc.

- Ix

Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP15 May 2019 1:03 p.m. PST

To give some new ideas:

Steinhagel, if you can read German.

Phillius Sponsoring Member of TMP15 May 2019 1:07 p.m. PST

To The Strongest is a great game, and can easily be played solo.
The 40mm forces I am building I will aim at TTS and Lion Rampant as well. Using individual and sabot group bases.

Thresher0115 May 2019 5:08 p.m. PST

Impetus seemed to have a very strong following not too long ago.

Always wanted to try them but haven't yet, so no idea on how they meet with your criterion, but they were quite popular.

Bandolier15 May 2019 7:43 p.m. PST

Also check out Poleaxed 2 and Mortem Et Glorium.

Poleaxed 2 is written for medieval wargaming. It includes rules on treachery, too.

Mortem Et Glorium is for Ancients to late medieval. It uses customised cards and dice – which puts people off – but it gives great games. I have had much fun and success with my Lancastrian army! Free army lists on the support website.

To The Strongest are excellent but at 100-120 figures your games would be on the small side.

platypus01au15 May 2019 9:25 p.m. PST

Another option is Chipco's Days of Knights which are specific to the period.

They would certainly tick your specificiation (3).

You will need to contact the Chipco people by Email for the PDF. Details here;

TMP link

Normally I would recomend DBMM, but they are a more generic set.


ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2019 1:43 a.m. PST

Lion Rampant gets the vote from me.

IUsedToBeSomeone16 May 2019 1:49 p.m. PST

Another recommendation for Days of Knights – they give an interesting game with period feel and don't need that many figures.


Bozkashi Jones18 May 2019 1:32 a.m. PST

Woah, many thanks guys it seems I have a lot of googling to do!

I do have a copy of Lion Rampant, so I'll re-read and see what can be 'house-ruled' to give a set battle feel, rather than a skirmish.

To the Strongest looks interesting too, but so far it seems to be Days of Knights armies organised into divisions, importance of characters and leaders, armies that can't 'troop the colour' in the face of the enemy… that really seems to hit the spot. For those who have played, how many figures? From what I've read so far, they seem to be element based, so I imagine I can scale them as I want, just using sabot bases?

Ideally, TfL need to come up with a medieval set based on Sharp Practice :)

Thanks for all the replies, oh and lovely looking game Extra Crispy


MrZorro27 Apr 2020 10:10 a.m. PST

Another vote for Lion Rampant.

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