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09 Jan 2021 7:29 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Albus Malum08 Jan 2021 10:07 p.m. PST

So It's been a while since I've gotten a game in, Like since last year actually, but I finally got another game in with my son, now 9 years old. We did a similar battle as last year, with elves against orcs. I'm not sure what the point total would be but it was a come with what you have ( what I have painted) type of battle, a little bigger then last years. We had about 300 miniatures on the orc (including Goblins) side and about 200 miniatures on the elf side.

Visually, the game was a little nicer then last years, I had just completed making a wargaming mat about a month ago for our playing area, which happens to be quite large, Its a ping pong table. So the mat is quite large. I made the mat on a large canvas painting cloth from Homedepot, and used quite a few tubes of caulk. This is my first wargaming mat, and it measures, ~7'x12 so it will be large enough to cover the pingpong table plus a foot of overhang. I ended up making my own flocking to glue on also, I had to make my own sawdust first, ( I tooks several scraps of 2x4 lumber ( probably used the equivalent of about 2 full 2x4's) and started chopping with my mitre saw, 1 sawblade width at a time to generate my sawdust.).

Not knowing whether the sides were balanced, I placed all I had painted on the table, put a target on each end of the table to be victory conditions, a orc tent on one side, and a ent and dryads on the other with the goal of destroying the opposing sides tent of dryads.

The game did not start out well for my son, he made a tactical error, and drove his (freshly painted) orc/worg archer calvary unit, into one of my elf infantry units and quickly lost is mobile archery. I moved my Heavy elven infantry units ( which he feared from last years battle towards my right flank , started peppering some of his units with my elvish archers, and drew his main army into a congestion, which made it so he could not maneuver his troops, then I moved in with my heavy infantry and his orcs started falling. I did during this process, make a mistake with my unicorn calvary, and ended up teleporting them away before they were completely destroyed. I then advanced with what I had left on my left flank towards his heavily guarded orc tent, ( guarded with 2 hill giants, ogres and such(he should have been using these to bust up my infantry units)) but by that time, it was approaching dinner time and my son decided to call it my game, We had been at it for about 5 -6 hours, including set up. We both had quite a enjoyable time.

The miniatures on the table were mostly Battle Valor, Demonworld, and Pendraken orc( as goblins). The Battle system rules are great, We did a slight change this time, and did not did individual figure removal, but keep track on some unit sheets of unit strength. I think I like removing the figures better though, but , all my figs are single based, and it makes cleanup and reorganizing a little more time consuming.

All of my mini are single based on washers, and I am using magnetic movement trays.

The battle forces as the battle began

My sons forces drawn to my right flank

His hill giants guarding his tent

All the forces posed at end of battle

USAFpilot09 Jan 2021 12:07 p.m. PST

Looks like fun. I bought a ping pong table recently because I like to play ping pong but also thought it would make a good sized Wargaming table also.

Albus Malum09 Jan 2021 12:59 p.m. PST

Actually, I wish the ping pong table was bigger. 5'x10' hardly seems big enough, I really dont know how people play with larger miniatures on smaller tables. been playing the long way across the table, but if we played the short way, one would not have the ability to manuever. I have considered building a couple extensions so that my table could be a foot or two wider, its one of the reasons i made my mat bigger so if I did make my table wider, or longer, it would still be useable.

cfielitz10 Jan 2021 2:19 p.m. PST

What scale miniatures did you use?

Albus Malum10 Jan 2021 2:34 p.m. PST

15mm

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2021 9:38 a.m. PST

If your 9-year-old son was happily engaged in the game, for 5-6 hours, I would say that was an incredible success! Your game was ambitious, based on the size of the armies involved.

Did you use 1e or 2e BS rules? I have not played 1e BS, but the 2e rules are my only rules, for fantasy wargaming.

I used a Ping Pong table for wargaming and RPG play, for roughly 25 years. I had to replace the undercarriage assembly, after five years, using folding table leg assemblies, purchased from a local hardware store. I used brass latches to secure the two halves, together, during play.

I finally replaced it with a custom gaming table, last year. I love the size: 5 feet by 9 feet. Any bigger, and reaching the center of the table becomes a challenge. A friend had a 6-foot wide table he built. That was the very limit for reaching the center.

Good luck with your son, and your games! Cheers!

Albus Malum12 Jan 2021 10:13 p.m. PST

We played the 2nd edition rules of Battlesystem, but I would like to give the first edition rules a go. ( Of coarse, I also intend to give the Chainmail, and Swords and spells, rules a go also, … and… my son has been reading the Rules Set from BattleValor Games, and he wants to give those a try also, and I just started running my two children through Keep on the Borderlands, … so… when It happens will be a mystery. Having read the 1st ed rules there are some things I like about them, which I would consider using. One issue with the 2nd edition rules, which the 1st edition rules would resolve is with larger creatures. 2nd edition has weakened the larger monsters. 1st edition gives you the option to change the men to figure ration, such as 10:1, 5:1 ect, and what the 2nd edition rules have done to such things as giants is reduced the "giants" per figure ration to a lower amount, there by weakening them quite a bit ( they just didn't tell you how they got there). In essence, the 1st edition rules appear to emulate the results if you were using combat straight from the DMG,( I think this is similar to what the BS Skirmish does) ( which is exactly what the Swords and Spells ruleset essentially does (with no randomness at all) and adds a slight randomness to the result. The 1st edition Battlesystem rules appear to me to be about halfway between Swords and Spells and 2nd edition Battlesystem rules. Anyway I want to give the both Chainmail and 1st edition a try. Probably end up combining the two (1st and second edition BS). The 2nd edition is written much more clearly.

One small issue I have been having with the ruleset is the Moral rules, maybe I'm not reading them correctly, but I am having units fight what I consider to be long past where they would run or flee. Perhaps the 1st edition rules would give me results more to my liking. I would love some thoughts on Moral systems.

I love the customization of the Battlesystem rules. A person can pull any Monster or even soldier type, even from historical situations, and the game easily accommodates it, as well as doing the same with Weapon types, Armor types, spells or not ect. Just a easy plug in.

Its good to know about table size, I think 5x9 would work really well. I know that if I extended the Pingpong table to 6 feet wide, it would be about the max at useability. ( way to long for my sons arms)
I have long arms, but 5 feet wide is likely more convenient since battle would tend to take place near the middle. Im not sure if you ever saw the episode of the Simpson, where Homer designed the car, that's the kind of person I am, where practicality sometimes takes a back seat to feasibility. Maybe I can just be happy with a 5 foot wide playing table. Maybe my units will have to have more ranks, instead of files.

Anyways, we had a great time, and he wants swap sides and see if he can do better with the elves. ( I need to paint more orcs… to give myself the advantage again) hehe.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2021 11:18 a.m. PST

The Morale rules have worked rather well, for me, in my 2e BS games. Each successive Morale Trigger, is a minus one, on the single Morale Check given a unit, per Turn. The penalties/triggers can be quite severe, so as a Unit gets smaller, due to casualties being removed, the chances of them continuing to fight, get smaller and smaller.

I've had Morale Checks fail by 7+, more than once, resulting in routing of the Unit. Sometimes they rally before they reach the end of the table (they're destroyed, if they run off table), sometimes they are destroyed, within the context of the battle.

I have only read Chainmail, Swords & Spells, and 1e BS. I should play them, to really gain an understanding of them.

In 2e AD&D RPG, the Giants were given a 3 HD boost, so in the RPG, they are much tougher than they were in 1e. I do not know how that plays into 2e BS rules, however.

I built a 2.75D model of The Steading of the Hill Giants, and I ran it with mini's. I tried 2e AD&D RPG rules, but that required a 3-level boost, because of the Giants' HD boost, so the PC's had too much magic, making it too easy. I thought about using 2e BS Skirmishes rules, but that was too much work to teach the rules to players! I ran it using 1e AD&D RPG rules. It was a blast. The 2e BS Skirmishes rules would have made it much faster. Planning to do the same for G2 and G3: building 2.75D and 3D terrain, painting up mini's. Will likely run these using the 1e AD&D RPG rules, as well. The G2 project is around 80% complete; the G3 project is around 20% complete.

Hoping to take the G-series with mini's and terrain, to some conventions. I ran G1 at a small convention, several years ago. A dream, but fun to work at. Cheers!

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