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"Battlesystem in World of Greyhawk?" Topic


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418 hits since 11 Aug 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Albus Malum11 Aug 2019 9:32 p.m. PST

Has anyone here ever run a campaign in Greyhawk, as Greyhawk was originally set up inspired during the time of Chainmail. It seems to me that Greyhawk would be a natural place for fantasy wargaming with this system but cant find much about people having done such.

Im in the process of paints several armies of 15mm miniatures, ( fantasy, medieval etc) and am interested in finding a setting, that I can bounce back and forth between Miniature wargaming and AD&D.

If anyone still visits this Battlesystem board, please share your thoughts/ ideas / experiences.

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2019 4:31 a.m. PST

You could get one of the Greyhawk Wars wargames (I think there are two?) to use as a campaign system. On of my favorite games was Divine Right by TSR in terms of inspiration. But, I agree, Hreyhawk lends itself well to war gaming.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2019 7:42 p.m. PST

The 1983 version of The World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting, frequently, but not always, discusses the military forces of many of the countries and free cities, in the Gazetteer. They almost always list the population of each entry, though this is primarily civilians, from which the military will draw upon. Remember that this number includes non-combatants, as well as those able to serve in the nation's military.

I remember reading both the 1980 version, and the 1983 boxed version, and I wondered why Gygax listed the militaries of so many nations, as to how many troops they could field, or how many they had in their navies. At that time, the 1e BattleSystem game had not yet been published! I was not yet a student of how D&D came into existence, nor what its progenitors had been.

With regards to using a setting to play both RPG sessions, and tabletop wargames, I use my own fantasy world which I began developing, and using, back in 1983. In the late 1990's, I had a civil war occurring within a Paladin King's nation, involving a traitorous Duke, who sold his soul to an undead god. Unfortunately, we only played out one battle in that civil war, before the campaign group split apart. It was fun, though, as the Duke had a unit of Skeletons, hiding in a river, under water (they don't need to breathe…). The Skeletons came up, out of the river, completely surprising the King's forces. To borrow a phrase from a Star Wars Admiral: "It's a trap!"

I recommend you recycle figures, assigning them to this or that army, as needed… Even with 15mm figures, building up every army separate from all others, will bankrupt you!

In my campaign world, there are mercenary armies belonging to the Steark Order. To show different Units, perhaps fighting against one another, I swap out their unit flags, to show which Steark Order Unit they are. I printed up a flag design, changing the Roman Numerals on the flag, as well as the background color of the flag, to demonstrate different Units. This easily allows them to fight on opposite sides, if necessary. To be honest, this has never happened yet, but I like having the option. I just plant the appropriate flag on a base stand, and go…

I would highly recommend plastic figures, to build your armies with. They're amazingly affordable compared to metal. The details are superb, as long as you do not want extremely high details -- they're far better than they were 10-15 years ago!

I game in 25mm scale, as much as possible, mixing in 28mm figures, as necessary. I use a lot of 1/72 plastic figures, as they are properly scaled with my other figures (mostly Humans), per the 1977 1e AD&D Monster Manual. You may want to investigate using 10-12mm figures, if possible, to represent the shorter races, such as Elves, Dwarves, and Goblins.

I would recommend 2e BattleSystem rules, rather than the 1e version. The 2e BS rules are much more streamlined, and easier, IMO. It is a bucket-o-dice game, where you roll one Attack Die for each figure fighting. I enjoy rolling handful's of dice in my games, but that is my preference. The rules allow for anything to be adapted to the game, they cover skirmishers, archers, siege engines, mining, aerial combat, and so very much more. They are quite comprehensive, with rules for converting RPG PC's to heroes to play in the battles.

Sound off on any other questions, or issues you might encounter. I've been playing 2e BS since 1995. I love this game, and I have all kinds of plans for future games. Cheers!

Timboslice13 Aug 2019 9:45 a.m. PST

Hi Albus,
The World of Greyhawk works pretty well for a miniatures campaign. My son and I have been doing some battles in the post Greyhawk Wars period because the cannon is pretty loose. For example, our Great Kingdom is modeled on ancient persia and there is no plate mail or firearms. We are more dark age and chainmail kind of fantasy.

We have done some big battles in 15mm using Fantasy Rules!3.My 15mm fantasy is all multibased so I can also use them for DeBellis Fantasticus, Sword and Spear fantasy or warband.

We use Battlefinder (Free!) from the perfect captain to manage a lot of the campaign issues and battlefield selection.The terrain cards allow some strategic elements and make setting up a table easy and more realistic. (I also love Kings of War but some of those tables are crazy)

Lastly, Battlesystem 2ed is a pretty solid set of rules. It covers all of the elements you need like magic and sieges. It is also fast to pick up and after a few games all you really need is the quick reference sheet.

Battlesystem Skirmishes is much closer to an RPG and allows you to convert existing characters for use in the game. It works great for small actions and specific tasks like characters raiding a tomb etc.

Albus Malum15 Aug 2019 3:05 p.m. PST

I have the old Greyhawk boxset with map, from back in the day, never could get the people I was D&Ding with to want to play in the world, mostly did homebrew worlds ect. But I always thought that Greyhawk would be fun. Also picked up the 1st ed Battle system shortly after it was published, but I could get no interest in it either, of coarse back then I couldn't afford enought miniatures to make it worth while even if I wanted to, so I guess it would have been a moot point, unless we could have played with the Cardboard figures included. I have relatively recently picked up the second edition battle system and played a could small games with it with my children.

For wargaming, I have bought into 15mm, and have acquired a fairly sizeable army or two, but need to paint, paint, paint, if you know what I mean. I primarily have Demonworld, Splintered light, battle valor, and Museum miniature,plus a few others, heavily weighted to the Fantasy Armies. I need to expand my human collection a little though. Currently I am individually basing on mostly washers.

I havent dug into the Greyhawk world for quite some time, but my recollection was that it was heavily human based, if one was going to wargame, other then the area near Iuz. So I'm not sure what area to use for wargaming, and which factions or countries to use. I know there was written in some major changes into Greyhawk after TSR was sold off, etc, and not sure how I would want to deal with that either, especially as I dont have all that info. Ideas about these issues would be welcome. I did pick up the greyhawk wars set a couple months ago, but havent had a chance to look at it at all, but seem like an interesting idea, Ive considered using the game Risk or castle risk as a background campaign system also, possibly using a homebrew world, but if Greyhawk would work it might be easier, as well as a great way to introduce the my kids to this historic setting.

I have done a couple smaller sample battles using battlesystem 2nd ed, and it seems fairly robust, but dont have much else to compare it too.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2019 3:35 p.m. PST

I would recommend simple block painting, followed by The Dip technique. It is a super-fast painting method, and they look fine, at arm's length.

I am an unabashed army painter, using 25-28mm figures. I have numerous armies painted: Goblins (150+ figures strong), Lizardmen (50+ figures), Humans (200+), Centaurs (30+), Hill Giants (40+), Frost Giants (30+), Ogres (MK Kruug -- perfect Ogres!), and others.

The advantage to using 28mm figures, is that I can incorporate many of the now OOP Mage Knight (MK) figures, as well as D&D pre-paints, and the Pathfinder pre-paints, as they are the same scale. They are also quite affordable, considering that they are already painted…

I base all of my mini's on rectangular MDF bases, these days. I base them on single stands, double's, and triples, to aid in removing casualties, and to speed up formations and movement of Units. I also use movement trays, to really speed up movement of Units, in the game.

Some of the MK figures are too small, but they might work for you. I collected a number of MK Gnolls, but they're decidedly too small for my D&D-based games. They might be perfect for your 15mm games, though. Send me a PM, if interested, and I can shoot you a low-ball price for my Gnolls. They have been sitting, collecting dust, for many a year, in my collections.

If you cannot PM me, then contact me through my other account: plasticwars<at>gmail[dot]com. I do not know how many Gnoll figures I have, at the moment, but I'm happy to find them a good home, for shipping costs. They have been removed from their MK circular bases, but you will likely need to re-base them, yourself. I can send photo's, as well. I will shoot you a photo with a ruler, so you can see how tall they really are. Cheers!

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2019 7:06 p.m. PST

Greyhawk has plenty of demi-human kingdoms and such, but it is somewhat humanocentric as Albus recalls. Part of that is if you review the Greyhawk glossary, many of the kingdoms have mixed races, with "70% human, 10% elf, 10% dwarf" or similar combinations. It suggests armies with mixed race units, or units of different races in the same army. Similarly, many of the non-good kingdoms have mixed-race populations, like the Bandit Kingdoms evoking images of stockade forts with mixed half orcs and evil human garrisons.

I like the idea of inventing some more exotic ideas for the Great Kingdom and perhaps some others, to give yourself more options.

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