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"Return to Beneath the Planet of the Kobolds..." Topic

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1,790 hits since 7 Jan 2021
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kmfrye07 Jan 2021 11:18 a.m. PST

Greetings, One and All,

For your delectation and distraction, I've posted another chapter of 28mm Dungeon Goodness – the further adventures of Esparelda, the Cranky Gnome and Joćo Afonso, the Ranger – beneath the streets of Athkatlos: link

Join Us, won't you?
Keith F.

Sgt Slag08 Jan 2021 11:22 a.m. PST

Fun read, Keith. Thanks for sharing.

For future reference, 2e BattleSystem Skirmish game, is a miniatures game with a thin veneer of 2e AD&D RPG rules over the top. It simplifies combat to 1 Hit per Fighter Level, with weapons doing 1 Hit each time they connect. It may be too simple for low level adventures, but for higher levels, it really speeds up combat. It still has XP and level advancement, it just boils combat down to the barest essentials. Magic works the same, only the Hits are simplified, as well, to keep it fast.

It is only available in used book stores, and on e-Bay, but it is a solid, simplified version of 2e AD&D RPG rules. It just pushes its players to use terrain, and miniatures, as opposed to Theater of the Mind. It is a lot of fun to play mid- to high-level, one-off games with, as magic and combat are condensed, and fast. Cheers!

kmfrye09 Jan 2021 8:53 a.m. PST

Hello Sgt Slag,

Thanks for the kind words and the tip regarding BattleSystem Skirmish. I do have it, and was working on converting my player's characters to it, when, as you say, we found they would be running about with 1 and 2 hits.

I remember when the main rules Battlesystem came out, we were watching some games at GenCon and I asked a friend what the general opinion of the rules was, and was told "not very good".

Sgt Slag11 Jan 2021 9:25 p.m. PST

I have read 1e BattleSystem rules, and I do not like those. I have owned, and played, the 2e BattleSystem mass battles rules, since 1992. They are my only mass fantasy game rules! Them, I love.

I own PDF copies of Chainmail, Swords & Spells, and both 2e BS games; I have hard copies of 1e BS, 2e BS, and 2e BS Skirmishes. I have only played the 2e BS games -- both are quite fun, but they are mini's games, first, and foremost.

The 2e BS rules are the most streamlined of the mass battles rules which TSR produced. They are really quite good. They just did not receive much love, nor support, from TSR, when they were in print. They are a bucket-o-dice game, where players roll a die for each figure which is attacking, but I really enjoy rolling 20-50 dice, at once! I use a Dice Tower and Tray, to keep my dice under control. It has rules for adapting nearly anything to game stat's to play on the tabletop. The Book of Artifacts even lists 2e BS stat's for the Machine of Lum the Mad. The Armor Rating listing is wrong (should be 2, not 6!), but that is easily changed. It has a drawing of it, which should be fairly simple to build a model of… ;-) It is truly an artifact: AC (-6), in the RPG, with 90% magic resistance, which means this thing is nearly impossible to destroy, even in 2e BS rules. Each time an enemy scores a Hit on it, the owner rolls a d10 Armor Check, to see if the Hit penetrates its armor: a 1 penetrates, 2-10 bounces; it has 5 Hits, and it regenerates… It is nearly impossible to destroy, but it cannot win the game for the owner, by itself. I think it will be a hoot to build a model of it, and then to play with it, in a 2e BS game.

Putting together a 2e BS game, in February. A Dwarven army will be attacking a Hobgoblin army, in a wooden palisade fort. I conceived this game scenario, back in 1996, or so. It has taken me this long to paint up the forces I needed! The scenario was born out of my RPG game. A couple of my players from that RPG game are hoping to run forces in the BS game, as they well remember what led them to that fort, and what they found there.

The Hobgoblins have dug pit traps, around the open land of their fort… If the Dwarves fail to recognize the grass turf covering the pits, their Ram cavalry could have a rough go of it! Should be a blast, though.

I have plenty of forces which have been painted to completion, within the past six months, which need to be bloodied on the table of battle. I have a lot of BS games planned for 2021 -- hoping to make up for what did not happen in 2020… Cheers!

kmfrye12 Jan 2021 10:24 a.m. PST

Sgt. Slag,

As it happens, I _do_ have a copy of Battlesystems 2E, and remember, when reading it, thinking "These aren't so bad…" I like the THAC0 system.

I'm not sure if it's the editors, or the graphic designer, but someone deserves a slap across their wrist, with a red pencil, for the layout though. The sidebar profiles are distracting.

That aside, the rules look pretty solid – the sheer numbers of miniatures required could not have helped sell the system. I think I'll stick with the skirmish game.

Looking forward to reading your Hobgoblin v. Dwarves AAR.

Best regards,
Keith F.

Sgt Slag12 Jan 2021 11:01 a.m. PST

At the time of publication (1989), the only mini's available were metal, and a few plastic toys. Per the site's commentary on 2e BS:

…2e Battlesystem (1989) appeared. That's because they'd moved their AD&D miniatures license over to Ral Partha in 1987, and Ral Partha was ready to go with a Battlesystem line.

When I began collecting mini's for my BS game armies, I mined games, when I could find them, for inexpensive mini's: BattleMasters by Milton Bradley, was a treasure trove of mini's! Later on, I began collecting Mage Knight mini's: I built a few armies using these pre-painted mini's. I also collected a number of mini's from the pre-painted D&D mini's lines, when I could get them for an affordable price…

Today, if I were starting out, I would invest, heavily, in 1/72 plastic figures from Caesar fantasy, and Red Box's Alliance fantasy figures -- a veritable smorgasbord of fantastic BS mini's! I have filled in several armies using these, even though they are smaller figures. They are really true 25mm figures. They can be delivered to your door for less than $20 USD per box of 12-44 figures, if you shop carefully, on e-Bay.

Getting/buying the figures is no longer the hurdle to jump over… It is the painting that will slow you down.

I am working through my backlog of figures to paint. I am making progress. I hope to paint the majority of my naked mini's, this year. I also hope to run as many BS games, as I can, this year. Cheers!

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