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"Battle Masters game converted for smaller scale minis?" Topic


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Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2021 9:44 a.m. PST

Hi All,

I was wondering if anyone has done a ground-up conversion of the old Battle Masters game, but with smaller scale minis like with 10s, or 15s?

There's many resources available for Battle Masters over on Board Game Geek, like for the cards, a digital version of the mat, counter sheets, etc., that cobbling together a user made version of the game would seem pretty doable, but instead making this as a project meant for using smaller scale fantasy figures/units, and with a mat/board made with smaller size hexes.

I must admit I'm not a fantasy minis expert, and so I'm asking here for recommendations from any of you for what currently available 10-15mm lines might do justice to the old "Warhammer/Battle Masters" style, and maybe in context of such a smaller scale, retro-freshening conversion idea?

Btw, I'm casting this question out here on a range of related TMP boards (your ideas and input most welcomed).

Thanks, Dave

Hydra Studios Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Dec 2021 10:40 a.m. PST

I actually saw some people on the Battlemasters Facebook group who are doing this smaller scaled approach. It appears that they are using 3D printed 10mm Warmaster models on 20mm x 40mm bases. They are using a standard hex map with hexes printed on them. The effect was stunning and looks like it takes up much less room that the original. I am very intrigued by this approach.

-Matt Beauchamp

John G20 Dec 2021 10:41 a.m. PST

Easily done with Kalistra Hexon hexes.
Thought of doing it myself, but never got round to it.
Or adapting Battlore.

Regards

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2021 11:05 a.m. PST

Matt & John, thanks for the tips and suggestions here.

I'll see if I can find and view the FB page (I'm not a FB user, so depends on if's a private group too).

Edit – the FB group I found Matt is private (unfortunately for me).

Griefbringer20 Dec 2021 11:50 a.m. PST

For figures for the Empire side, you could try looking for 10-15 mm historical ranges (late 15th and early 16th century) as an alternative source for figures. Essentially, the troop types in Battlemastets were:

- men-at-arms (halberds and shields)
- archers
- crossbowmen
- knights (regular and lord types)
- cannon with crew

The chaos side gets more complicated, since you would need:

- chaos knights (mounted)
- chaos warriors (foot)
- chaos thug archers
- beastmen
- orcs
- goblins
- goblin wolfriders
- ogre (could use a giant instead)

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2021 12:12 p.m. PST

Have not but I have many of the old Battle Master figures in my medieval armies – especially loved the knights

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Dec 2021 1:59 p.m. PST

In 15mm you have loads of fantasy choices, so I'm sure you could build armies that would suit.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2021 2:13 p.m. PST

GB, Frederick, and Mark, thanks for your input also.

As an example of some of the [DIY] resources available, here's a low-res image of the BM battle mat, from a user-uploaded file at Board Game Geek.

Smaller, retro-redo versions could be made with reduced hex sizes for using with miniatures like the Warmaster 10s.

Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2021 2:50 p.m. PST

Interesting idea. I like it. (Though I have two of the original sets so I haven't ever tried it- the space savings would help- it would be cool if they did a smaller scale reissue of this).

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2021 6:41 p.m. PST

Well, made an improved version I think here. (this one I've eliminated the half hexes as movement spaces)

The intended size of this version would measures 52 X 44 inches for 4 inch hexes, but it could be resized as desired.

If printed out on fleece fabric, those edge-bordering hills could actually be represented by stacked foam underneath (then a real "valley of death" would materialize).

Griefbringer21 Dec 2021 11:41 a.m. PST

Have you given thought to the size and shape of the bases you want to mount your figures on?

The original bases were rectangular, but you could also try using square, rectangular, round or hexagonal bases. If you are going to use the bases also for conventional tabletop gaming, rectangular/square bases might be the practical choice, though if you are only going to use them on hex maps then round or hexagonal might be interesting choice. Since a single hex can only hold a single unit, you could make the bases almost as large as the hexes.

Besides the figures, the original bases also featured a sticker with the name of the unit and their attack/defense value, and a little flagpole with a sticker flag on it. Except for the attack/defense value (which are probably better handled with a separate cheatsheet), these were purely cosmetical, so you do not need to take them into account with your base design.

However, you need to be able to track damage for the units, and the original stands had a space for placing damage markers. After taking three damage markers, unit would be removed – except for the ogre which could take up to six damage markers. Also, if you are using the campaign rules, you need to be able to track which units have become veterans.

As for figures to use as the ogre, Copplestone has a small 15 mm fantasy range with three giants (around 40 mm tall) that could look sufficiently impressive:

link
link
link

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP21 Dec 2021 3:14 p.m. PST

GB,

I'm also keeping 3mm in consideration now too, for that look of greater mass, but within a small footprint (and then with smaller board/hex dimensions allowed) -

link

I might end up having to make my own activation cards, and if diving into that, it won't be an issue of using 3mm units, such as the 3mm elves for "Imperial" or such (as everything could be appropriately labeled, and the unit factors still preserved as the default game or add-ons created).

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2021 5:39 a.m. PST

Christian Sperling has made a board game conversion of Battle Masters which can be downloaded here -

link

This has also been made into an online game that is up on Steam now -

link

Besides all his good work in doing this conversion, is the transition he made to a chit pull activation of units, as a way to duplicate, but move away from the need to have the game's original card set for this function -

Not only does the conversion from cards to chits allow any user to easily replicate the game's activation mechanic, but the unit symbols on the chits could be attached to unit bases or as labels, if someone wants to use their own fantasy figures as alternative scale units for their own 3D conversion of the game.

Andy Skinner23 Dec 2021 10:39 a.m. PST

I had a Warmaster set for most things. I think I used skeleton archers instead of chaos archers, but most things were available. I used one of the Command and Colors boards and terrain, I think.

Figures are gone now, but doing some 3d printed ones sounds fun ….

andy

Griefbringer23 Dec 2021 12:00 p.m. PST

Those chits look pretty good, and actually clearer than the original cards, as they have simple, clean symbols instead of the rather "busy" looking artwork of the original cards. Those cards were certainly pretty, but not the most pragmatic.

You will also need chits/cards/counters for the artillery. The original round counters had some very nice artwork, though in practice they could again be replaced with rather simple chits.

As for the damage, instead of using counters you could also try using multiple stands (3-4) to represent a unit, and then remove one stand everytime a unit takes damage. This might look particularly effective with the smaller scale figures (3-10 mm), as you could still have a number of figures per base.

One component that I had forgotten are the special dice, which might not be straightforward to find. I presume that there is a source of blank dice somewhere that can be then decorated appropriately with shields and skulls, or whatever symbols you might prefer.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP23 Dec 2021 12:40 p.m. PST

Andy & GB, that's for giving me your feedback!

GB, I like your idea about removing the stands to denote the unit losses, and that could be done by removing blocks of multiple strips of 3mm miniatures, like the ones pictured above, or with stands of other scale figures, as you've mentioned (definitely something to think about).

In the meantime, I've changed the color of the Chaos activation chits to their [proper] black ;) ….

Also, cleaned up a picture of the game's tray labels to make a unit reference card, that players can use to key the stats for their unit types (the artwork of these various symbol types could also be mounted on the unit stands, to denote what a unit is, for activating, and for quick stats referencing) -

Logain24 Dec 2021 12:31 a.m. PST

Strangely enough I had the same idea and spent sometime looking at 3mm, 6mm, 10mm and 15mm options. In terms of sourcing everything from one supplier I decided Magister Militum in 10mm was the best fit having good proxies for everything in affordable packs, and Microworld in 6mm a close second.

I was thinking of using 2 inch/50mm hexes giving 2x2 foot playing field. Gamecraft Minis and old heroscape tiles seem like good sources for hexes, and mounting everything on 10x30 bases, so that a unit would be three bases with 30x30mm foot print. Six cavalry or 9 infantry per base.

Board game geek has great resources including some advanced rules that improve activation.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP24 Dec 2021 6:25 a.m. PST

Logain,

I appreciate you relating your conversion decision making ideas here! (sometimes this is the most enjoyable part of the process, and maybe only 2nd to getting a project done)

Today I'm thinking of tinkering with the map image, to make the board more generic looking, and also more to scale with the 3mm units I'm going with now (with narrower roads for instance). This map rendering will function more like a basic board, following the game's grid pattern still, but more on the order of a Commands & Colors game board.

If I get something finished, and good-looking from this tinkering, I'll post it here…..if it looks crappy you'll never see it. ;)

Logain24 Dec 2021 10:17 a.m. PST

Thanks FlyXwire, it would be cool to see what you come up with.
I'm especially interested in how you will handle the balance with card/chit draws and units that differ from the original game if you go that route.

There is a nice, generic Command and Colors style board on bgg called Battlemasters Lite. I was thinking of making a modular board, and using the variant where players hold and hand of chits/cards each turn.

Griefbringer24 Dec 2021 10:57 a.m. PST

I tried to think of alternative ways of representing veteran units (other than counters), but so far the only idea I have come up with are flags. Placing separate flags to the corners of stands could be a bit tricky, but if you are going for the multiple stands approach (3 per unit), perhaps you could do an extra one for each unit (with flags and other coolness) that you could swap for an ordinary stand when the unit becomes veteran. This of course adds to the number of models you need to purchase and paint, so maybe not the most pragmatic approach for getting everything game-ready.

For the terrain, you will also need a tower. And it needs to be large enough to fit a whole unit on top, so you need to check carefully the dimensions of commercial ones. For starters, you could try building one out of cardboard or plywood.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2021 10:04 a.m. PST

Guys, here's what I've done so far with the map remake….a little less cartoonish and maybe more *small scale* miniatures style -

Detail section from the 4-inch hex version artwork (I'm thinking of going with 3-inch hexes at the moment) -

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2021 1:36 p.m. PST

….and finally, I think I'm close to "Final" here.

This one has a few roads removed, but still pays homage to the original map's layout.

What do you guys think of this one?

Logain25 Dec 2021 3:52 p.m. PST

Looks really good. I think it does a great job of paying homage to the original, but it is much cleaner. I think removing some of the roads also breaks the repetition of the original… which is a good thing!

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP26 Dec 2021 6:06 a.m. PST

Thanks Logain!

I'm considering doing a new river texture that'll look more natural, and will traverse only a single row of hexes across the board (so no bends).

That could conceivably change some of the board's game play mechanics (the opening up of the hexes for occupation around the fords), but I don't think this will be too impactful to the flow of the scenarios in the rule book for instance.

Thoughts?

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP26 Dec 2021 10:06 a.m. PST

Finished up the map artwork here.

This version should work ok as a legacy variant, and well enough with the original Battle Masters game scenarios, but with a nod towards using it with smaller scale miniatures……so to look more like a miniatures game map, but still playing easy like a board game.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2021 10:29 a.m. PST

Some of the fun conversion stuff here, and these have a real nice feel to them too, so think pulling these Great Cannon shots could be a fun thing for players to do -

These are one inch laminated and punched printouts, glued onto Crystal Fortress 3mm-thick acrylic bases.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2022 8:02 a.m. PST

First 3mm test unit completed here (I went through at least 6 stand colors before I got one I liked) -

Total 3-stand frontage for a unit is 60mm, or about 2-3/8 inches, so I've gone with a fleece mat ordered with 3 inch hexes. This will bring a side's units fairly close together on the game board, and so they'll look more "army-like" than if playing on a bigger hex-size mat, where a side's units would separate more and then look less "linear" deployed for battle.

I'll rack this up as tiny progress, but to the naked eye these little 3mm formation stands look pretty neat!

On the other stands I'll mix up the lines, have some wheeling, some in phalanx blocks…….to give them "motion" and subtle differences (the Chaos Army mountings will look, well, more chaotic, and less formed up).

Just waiting for all my metal stands to arrive now, then the real production begins.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2022 11:46 a.m. PST

Mat is back from the printers.

Logain10 Jan 2022 6:49 p.m. PST

That's going to look awesome when it's all together!

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2022 7:15 a.m. PST

Thanks again Logain!

I figured getting the mat printed (and being able to see the units on the map) would help keep me moving on the painting side of the project. ;)

Here's the full map view (the repetitive road network and river bending has been abbreviated, but the same number of fords are still there, so the basic game scenarios can still be set up).

I can use hill pieces and some other terrain made for a Battle Cry 3D conversion completed years ago on this Epic Battle Masters mat too, but the exposed hex hills can now work underneath the fleece!

Capt Flash30 Jun 2022 2:29 a.m. PST

Just saw this! Any in game pics?

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP10 Jul 2022 9:08 a.m. PST

Capt Flash, just saw your reply here!

The game conversion turned out great, and I've enjoyed playing about 6 scenarios with it now (a couple scenarios I've made up based on the evolution of the previous "campaign" game results see last pic below).

Doing the 3mm [total] conversion allowed me to throw in more terrain types as I worked up the set, like woods hexes, real hills, and more keeps (not being confined to the distribution of the original game pieces).

After playing Baby Battle Masters here, it really feels just like a little Medieval battle generator actually, but with Green Skins, Beastmen, and Chaos units as opposition.

cooey2ph20 Jul 2022 7:37 p.m. PST

pretty interesting!

MG Lawson22 Jul 2022 5:58 a.m. PST

That looks really awesome! I would totally invest in something like this.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2022 6:05 a.m. PST

Cooey2ph and MG Lawson, thanks for the kudos!

Matt, with your 3D printing capability, you could do this or something similar.

I got motivated to try this project as I waited for Mark Backhouse's Strength & Honour rules for epic ancient battles to come out, and so was shopping around for 2-3mm figs and a game I could convert in the meantime, to dabble in the "10,000 feet above the battlefield" look.

There's some excellent 2-3mm armies molded or laser etched in strips, blocks, or ragged lines now, to provide gamers with units for the S&H rules, and what I continuously find amazing, are the 3D Print miniatures that are available, which could be used for a host of board game conversions or tabletop gaming.

Check out Project Wargaming here, and these 3D files to print ancient army units from, and these could probably be painted up to resemble Medieval armies too

link

MG Lawson26 Jul 2022 12:33 p.m. PST

Great link FlyXwire. It does look like person(s) have scanned the original BM minis and uploaded the files to Thingiverse. I may download them, re-size and attempt mass formations like you have done. Of course that would add another project on my table, haha. And they still wouldn't look as great as your set up!

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP29 Jul 2022 5:14 a.m. PST

Matt, that would be an awesome 3D-Print project accessing the original figure sculpts [style], but then downsizing and reassembling them into these massed formation units.

Retro-Rebirth!

MG Lawson02 Aug 2022 6:39 a.m. PST

FlyXwire:
Can you shoot me an email at brown.water.miniatures(at)gmail.com? I'd like to pick your brain about this.

Thanks,
Matt

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2022 4:26 a.m. PST

Matt,
Email sent, and looking forward to talking with you.
Dave

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