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Albus Malum12 Jan 2022 9:21 p.m. PST

So me and my son ( now 10 years old) got in what is turning out to be our a annual New Years BattleSystem battle. This year was have a couple new armies that entered the fray.

This years contenders was a new Army. UNDEAD. My son has wanted to play a undead army, and I have gotten another army painted since the last time. You guess it, Undead. The undead miniatures, 15mm, include miniatures from Demonworld, Battle Valor, and Splintered light, as well as a few 3d printed miniatures from Forest Dragon ( 10mm scaled up to match my 15mm miniatures.)

Also new to the field, several units of humans which include miniatures from Battle Valor, Museum miniatures, and I think, splintered light.

Another army that showed up for battle was part of my elf army which included Demonworld miniatures, BattleValor Miniatures, and Splintered Light.

This years scenario, was the the Undead army was marching towards a small human town, with the goal of infesting the town and swelling its ranks from the dead. It was lead by a necromancer, and included a undead dragon.

This battle was 2 pronged, ie it played out over 2 separate games. On 2 separate days.

The set up… I had my army split into 2 forces, the Elves and the humans. The Elves would engage the undead host several days march from the town, and attempt to weaken it. Part of its goal was to bring down the dragon, as they had a flying unit, composed of elven pegasus riders. If they could bring down the dragon or even kill the Necromancer, the the towns forces may have a chance. They also were hoping to possibly stop the undead at a river bridge crossing.

If the elves were unable to stop the Undead army at the river, the Undead could then freely march towards the town and the town militia would have to do its best to defend it self against the hoard

The first battle did not go as well for the elves as they had hoped. While they had almost contained the undead at the bridge, fear set into their ranks as the hoards of skeleton and ethereal hosts pounded into them. Then the dragon took flight, and the elven Pegasus riders took to the sky in their attempt to bring him down but the awe of the dragon drove them away, Before long the dragon was back across the river and terrorizing the elves. Fortunately for the elves, a couple of mages went to work, both against the Dragon the the undead host. But before they could finish him off, he flew back across the river and was rejuvenated by that fell necromancer. But the elves still had a few surprises to spring. Hidden in the forest were a brave unit of elven archers that came out in just a nick of time, but unfortunately for them, their arrows did little harm to the ghostly apparitions that they were fated to have to battle. After a short but deadly battle, that entire unit of elven archers, lay dead in their tracks, having done little damage for their unwanted sacrifice. Seeing that they could not hold the bridge any longers and the powerful elven mages having already unleashed most of their powerful spells, the elven host regrouped with hopes of at least weakening the undead hoard. But many paths existed, and the horde just bypassed the elves, which was fine with them, for they really did not want to sacrifice any more of their forces anyways, and with there great mages having left the battlefield after doing all they could. The town would have to fend for itself.

A couple days march for the undead, and there Dragon now back up to full strength, they finally approached the town. A unit of heavy infantry, some heavy archers, and a cavalry unit engaged the undead in advance of the town, while a unit of heavy calvary and the town militia crossbowmen and a couple of clerics of the holy order would do their best to defend the town, if the undead got past the advanced force. But since the elves had failed to down the dragon, things did not look hopeful. One brave unit if men stood their ground against the dragon, and even lightly wounded it, but it just flew off and started terrorizing the other units, which were both fearful of the dragon and the host of undead. The advanced force quickly crumbled but not befor one lucky unit almost destroyed the host of ghostly apparitions. Then the horde, and fear, and the dragon. The priest did what they could, but before long…. They too had to abandon hope, and another town fell to the hosts of the undead, swelling its ranks once again.

The game played out well. My son won his first battle against me in a fairly decisive victory. Everything was played out using the 2nd edition battlesystem rules. And was the first time we had added spell casters into the mix. The fear and awe caused by the skeletons and dragons was rather difficult to overcome, and I hadn't quite planned for it. Initially my son in the first battle got a little distracted and attempted to chase after and try to engage, my elves, but after a couple reminders to him that his goal was not to kill elves, but bring his forces intact to the second battle against the town he quickly got back on task. He enjoyed using the undead army and that dragon, so it was a good game for all. The first battle, took a full afternoon and a hour or so after dinner to complete, and the second battle was a little shorter. He did real well, and we both had a enjoyable time.

Albus Malum12 Jan 2022 9:41 p.m. PST

A couple more photos ( most not all very good ).

Undead army bypasses the elven army

Start of wnd days battle

the undead take the town

John Leahy Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Jan 2022 4:28 a.m. PST

Nice looking armies! I'm sure your son loved it. This will likely be one of those things he always remembers. Gaming with dad!



Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2022 9:29 a.m. PST

The 2e BS rules are comprehensive, even having conversion rules for using the Kitchen Sink in the game… Just kidding, no sinks will ever be harmed by the rules. Ha! They do, however, cover pretty much everything you can think of to add to the game. Been playing these rules since around 1992.

The Horror/Awe effects of Undead and high-level Wizards and Priests, are really tough to stand against. Morale is critical in 2e BS rules. I assume the Necromancer had spells to restore lost Hits on the Draco Lich? That makes it one tough nut to crack.

I am planning a very large game for next month, with a Great Blue Wyrm: 10 Hits, Armor Rating of 2 [AC of (-5) to (-10), in the RPG!]. It has the Horror/Awe power, which can trigger a Morale Check by defenders, just for the Dragon coming close to them on the table! I hope that power will wreak havoc on the defenders…

I also recently re-learned of the aerial attack forms a Dragon can perform (pp. 72-74), like Vertical Envelopment! Looking forward to using that on the unfortunate Humans the Blue Wyrm will be driving its Humanoid armies against in the battle. With an AR of 2, Armor Checks will need to roll a 1, for any Hit to penetrate, harming the Dragon. She will likely not take too many Hits, outside of the spells hurled by the Human Mages. Should be challenging, fun, and it will feature more than 1,000 mini's on the tabletop.

Remember that flying creatures cannot fly when their Hits are reduced to 1/2 of max. They must land, immediately. I found the reference to being grounded in the description of DRAGONS, third paragraph, in Appendix II: Troop Type List, p. 114. There should be a rule detailing what causes them to fall (Falling Damage, p. 74), when they reach 1/4, or less of their maximum Hits, but that is an interpretation from the RPG rules.

I also recently re-discovered the Melee Advantage rules, p. 41. We've been ignoring these rules for years. It always bothered me that there wasn't such an advantage, as it is alluded to in many a book. Glad to re-discover it, as it will give an edge, making some humanoids more powerful, like they should be. It might be a little gamey, but I'm willing to give it a try. Cheers!

McWong7313 Jan 2022 1:55 p.m. PST

What are your thoughts on how the upscaled Forest Dragon sculpts look?

Albus Malum13 Jan 2022 6:32 p.m. PST

So for upscaling the Forest dragon sculpts, I usually print a test model and then compare it to my current miniatures as per its size. Since I have lots of Demonworld, and Battlevalor metal miniatures, I try to get it so scale the best I can with them. Most of the Demonworld and Battlevalor miniatures should actually be called 18mm ( which I actually like better then true 15mm ). I have some Forest Dragon elf spearmen I am currently painting and for them I scaled them to x- 165% Y 165% anc the Z axis to 170%, where as some of the Forest dragon calvary (elf or undead) I print at 140 or 145% and my undead dragon and some of the other vehicles, I usually print at 145%.

My biggest gripe about the Forest Dragon sculpts is the weapons. some of the swords and such are so huge it almost make the sculpts un-useable. Not all of the Forest Dragon stuff will be used.

I have also printed other miniatures that were designed for 28mm and printed them to match my 15mm army. Some of them look quite good, but can be hit or miss, as some have parts that are just too thin. If I was good at 3d software, I would go and thicken the thin parts up and leave the rest alone. but for now, I have such a back log to paint, that if they dont print, they will have to wait.

Another patreon to consider for upscaling is Green Skin Miniatures, I actually upscaled their Night Goblins to 28mm for use in D&D

Here is a example of a heroforge cleric my son designed for himself, which I printed in both 28mm and 15mm, the 15mm version was involved in the above said battle. Heroforge is to expensive, for stl's other then something like the black friday sale they have. they could make a lot more money if they lowered the price of the stl creation ability, and I would guess, that as more and more people get resin printers, if they don't lower thier price they will go out of business.

‌"TMP link

Sgt Slag, looks like you have fun day planned with that dragon. I knew of the rule about wounds and flying, but I could not find them at the time, so I ignored it, to my sons advantage. As it was a couple days march between the first battle with the elves and where the town was, I allowed him to heal his dragon, as his necromancer was a clerical necromancer. I had considered allowing him to re-animate his skeletons, but thought better of it as, I initially had not even looked at my sons skeletons ability of awe/fear, so it kind of took me by suprise. I knew I would have to deal with Dragon Fear, but wasnt considering that being associated with skeletons, as 1st edition Ad&d skeletons done cause fear. I was figuring on the 1/2 damage but not the fear factor. In the second battle, I did not effectively use that above cleric either.

McWong7314 Jan 2022 3:59 a.m. PST

Really appreciate the details, I'm a Forest Dragon patreon supporter, and printed loads of his 10mm Wood Elves. I'm struggling to paint them however, just too small, so have been toying with upscaling them and using them for 15mm gaming.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2022 1:56 p.m. PST

Morale, in 2e BS rules, is king! The Terror/Awe abilities of Undead, Dragons, and high level Priests and Wizards, is very powerful, if the enemy Units fail their Morale Check because of it.

One rule we overlooked, for far too long, is the option a Unit's player has to withdraw 4" rather than make a Morale Check. That is fantastic! It means you have to withdraw, but it also means no chance (normally) of going Shaken, or Routing! Have to be careful with it when the Unit is close to the table edge, though… The rules are complex, and re-reading them is something I need to do more often, as I keep finding nuggets I've been missing -- sometimes for many a year.

The terror of undead was loosely implied in 1e RPG rules, but there has never been much in the way of concrete rules for it. The 2e BS rules really give Undead their just terrors, for zero-level Units of Humans, Demi-Humans, and Humanoids (they will scare their own Units, if not kept far enough away). They really are something in a 2e BS game: Terror, half-damage from edged weapons for Skellies, and they never make a Morale Check. Ever!

I think most DM's fail to understand the importance of Morale rules in their RPG's, for NPC's. Playing 2e BS has really made me conscious of Morale in my RPG sessions. Undead can really scare off non-hero types, and I think that is the way it should be, in the RPG.

I've run Vampire Heroes who ran around commanding Skellies and Zombies (Land Torpedoes, fire and forget, letting them run off the table if they miss their targets…). The vampire Heroes worked superbly to re-direct the Land Torpedoes, as needed. Undead can be a lot of fun, but control can be a bit of a challenge, with mindless creatures who need to be carefully managed to get their full measure within the game. Cheers!

Achtung Minen01 Feb 2022 12:35 p.m. PST

Great looking battle. How did you determine the base sizes for 15mm figures? The rules mention 25mm models as the default, even though they released 15mm models for Battlesystem back then.

Albus Malum01 Feb 2022 11:04 p.m. PST

So I single base everything on washer and use magnetic movement trays to move them. Most normal troops are on 5/8 inch fender washers, but smaller things like goblins are on 1/2" (actually no 10) washers. I just put things on washers based on how the model fits, but occasionally I will put some mini's on the smallest washer it will fit, it I am sure I want it in a tight formation.

During game play, I just simply move using inches for measurement, and for basing, I just stick how many miniatures on my movement trays that fit. Many of my miniature trays are random size also. What ever the front row is, thats what it is. and since they are single based, if during the coarse of battle it needs to change, then it does. there is a lot of advantages to singlebasing on washers, it gives so much versatility.

I play on a pingpong table, so using inchs for movement makes good sense, but if one was using a amsll table, them maybe making moves based on centimeters would be ok.

Just do what makes sense for your conditions. I have a very small few of the Battlesystem Miniatures, but they are to expensive to buy off ebay, and there are a lot of great miniatures in 15mm, with the advent of resin printers, I am even starting to print miniatures for 15mm including scaling 10mm miniatures up, and 28mm miniatures down.

Achtung Minen02 Feb 2022 7:55 a.m. PST

It's annoying that they made the rules explicitly for 25mm models but then they released 15mm models for it… it leaves me really perplexed about what to do about base sizes. There are a lot of different possibilities but none is really satisfying:

1) One could assume that the base sizes simply remain the same, but then the models just look too spaced out… a 15mm model standing alone at the center of a 25mm square base is just way too empty.

2) Or you could assume base sizes stay the same but you just put multiple models per base and still count the base as a single model. This also doesn't work because the smaller standard base sizes are really not big enough for multiple models… even the standard trained man-size base is 20mm, which doesn't really fit three or four 15mm models. When you get to the smallest base size of 15mm, there's really no chance to multibase on a base that small.

3) You could scale down the bases according to the new miniature scale. A ratio of 25:15 results in a 60% smaller base (e.g. 12mm square for a single trained, man-sized figure). This is an OK solution but then the question becomes do you change the other measurements and ranges in the game? If we assume that the new 25mm base (now 15mm square) still represents 10 yards, that means an inch on the tabletop becomes 50 feet… a nice round number I suppose, but not that easy for quick conversion of missile and spell ranges from AD&D.

4) Or you can scale down the bases appropriately but just keep all the measurements the same. This is probably the best solution, although it is a bit of a kludge and probably results in improbably tightly-packed formations. The smallest bases also look… very small. A trained unit of halflings, for example, would be mounted on a 9mm deep base. This seems very prone to tipping over and being generally top-heavy, without much of a platform to keep them stable.

There's also just weird aspects of the rules regarding bases. For example, the standard base is three models wide, but when you fight in combat, you can only fight with those models who are touching enemy models. If you have a three-wide base that is overlapping the enemy formation, I would imagine it gets quite difficult to tell which individual model is actually "in contact" for the purposes of making melee attacks. Do you have to put notches in the 3-wide base frontages to indicate where each model's frontage begins and ends?

Albus Malum02 Feb 2022 8:16 p.m. PST

Ok, so here is the deal, Battlesystem is not a base based game. If the figure doesnt fit on a small base, then you put it on a larger base. It is not like so other games where your bases must stack up in a perfect row or be a certain size, like some other games.

You put miniatures on the appropriate size of base for the miniature. Obviously one would not want to put small creatures on large bases, such as goblins, as that weakens their fighting capability.

Read the rules page 10 & 12 (assuming 2nd edition rules). Its quite clear I though, If you are making a unit that is ment to be regular units, put more to a base, which will pack them closer giving them more combat capability. If your making a mob, or skirmishers, put them on a little larger base, you will not be able to pack them as tight, and instantly, the unit behaves like it should based.

So here is the beauty of single basing on washers, on magnetic movement trays. If you want the unit to be regulars, put the miniatures washers touching each other on the movement tray, if you want them to be irregular, space them out a tiny bit, you can even have them go back and forth between regular and irregular, both in game, and different games, single basing is SO versatile.

Take a look at the picture examples, they even show units expanding their line.

What to do about base sizes? One again, as the rules suggest, put the miniatures on bases that fit the miniature. most of the examples they show also show this, and most of the miniatures are also single based in the pictures,

BattleSystem is about the number of figures in the front line, not the size of the base.

As per movement, even though I play with 15mm miniatures, moving in inches works just fine, no problems, no issues, but if you wanted to reduce it, that not hard but dont think you will gain much.

I mount my goblins on #10 washers, which are 1/2", most of my other troops are on 5/8" washers, but if they are bigger I put them on 3/4 or what ever size needed.

The only issue with the number 10 washers is some miniatures are harder to glue onto the washer. as they are not fender washers and so the whole is a little big compared to the miniature size. If you are using washers and a magnetic base, even overly tall units on a smaller base are not a problem as you can hold a magnetic base with miniatures on it upside down, and the minatures will not fall off ( unless you shake it to hard or bump it to hard)

anyway, read the rules again, you will realize battlesystem is figure game, not a base game. Ultimately it doesnt matter what size miniatures you use, It just doesnt matter. it would work just as well in 6mm as it would in 54mm I assume, only you would need a quite huge table for 54mm.

Albus Malum02 Feb 2022 9:21 p.m. PST

I have a picture of the mini's upside down in this post
TMP link

Take a look.

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