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"Conan - Hyborian Wargaming" Topic

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jkavanagh67 Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 3:15 a.m. PST

Hi all,

I dusted off a couple of old conan stories lately, and enjoyed them all over again. And it struck me just how great Hybroria is for wargaming…all those ready made rivalries and conflicts.

Which begs the question. Does anybody out there make Conan miniatures (in any scale) or does everyone just use their historicals (any dark ages for cimmerians, saracens for Turan etc) or am I just speaking greek and noone knows what I am talking about??

And then what rules would you use?

hurcheon Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 3:27 a.m. PST

Royal Armies of the Hyborian Age?

Lord Billington Wadsworth Fezian Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 3:36 a.m. PST

I'm not sure the rule set that we use to play Conan with (Perhaps Conan Battles). All I know is that the rules are my age, or older and I'm 30.

SgtPerry06 Apr 2006 3:36 a.m. PST


Nevertheless I would have considered Aquilonia as a late Roman culture.

Steve Flanagan Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 3:37 a.m. PST

No-one currently makes any licensed figures, though Mongoose (which has the RPG license) has occasionally made soft noises about a possible miniatures game. The last word I saw was that this would be unlikely to appear before the currently-mooted new Conan film (possibly King Conan, if the Governator wants to return to the role, but let's all pray not).

Meanwhile, lots of miniature ranges draw on the iconography of the Frazetta paintings, Marvel comics and Schwarzenegger movies for their barbarian ranges – see particularly Grenadier (now Mirliton or em4), Harlequin (Black Tree), and assorted models scattered through the Reaper Dark Heaven range.

On the other hand, if you want to be true to the Robert E Howard stories, the sort of historical melange you have already suggested would be appropriate.

Rules: at skirmish level, if you don't fancy using d20 (and I don't blame you), 2Hour Wargames' Legends of Araby might be a good starting point.

Gallowglass Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 4:24 a.m. PST

Found a DBM variant which has a set of army lists for Hyborean wargaming – here's the link


Very comprehensive set of DBM-style Tolkien army lists as well.

Patules Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 4:36 a.m. PST

Yes! The Hyborian Age is second to ME only when it comes to depth.

I tend to avoid most fantasy barbarian ranges… Use historicals instead.

"(any dark ages for cimmerians, saracens for Turan etc)"

For Cimmerians, I use Gripping Beast's various Dark Ages Celts, also, Vendel Miniature's Hillmen are perfect.
In addition to Saracens, Mongols and various Steppe dwellers, and even Sassanid Persian cavalry should go well as Hyrkanians.

Germy Bugger Fezian Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 4:47 a.m. PST

Go 10mm and do it as a variant of Warmaster?
Pendraken do a lovely range of Barbarians as well as a lot of historicals that would work for other races of Hyboria.

I have a collection of very old Battlefield mags some where that have a series of articles on Wargaming the world of Conan.


thabear06 Apr 2006 4:54 a.m. PST

i have always wanted to play Conan themed wargames for many years , ive often thought about using WAB historical armie lists as the basis , but using fantasy figures instead . i have a unit of "barbarianised Empire knights " in full plate armour ( if that makes sense ? )that i modelled on Aquilonian Knights . and often though a combination between Khemri undead , Elves and Dark Elves would be great Stygian armies . i Generally play historical WAB but also have a huge collection of fantasy figures i just like the look of, most have been modelled and painted geared towards a Hyborian influence

cheers tom

Lee Brilleaux Fezian06 Apr 2006 4:58 a.m. PST

Ho, why talkest thou like old women, when thou couldst wreak red vengeance on thy foes?

Barbarian Sword and Sorcery has been a secret joy to me since I first read Lin Carter's (much derided) 'Thongor of Lemuria' books when I was 14. They were, of course, bad Conan copies.

Hyborian figures would indeed be largely historical, using fantasy barbarians and sorcerors, but no elves or dwarves etc. You could do either skirmish adventures or big battles. You'd want a really strong sense of great heroes in action, rather than boring old '+1 to unit's melee for having Broot the Mighty attached'.

I keep intending to do more to develop my 'Astounding Tales!' variant, 'Chaimail Bikini' – but I keep intending to do lots of things. Have a look at Bill Kings ideas for Sword and Sorcery components to RPG gaming here -


Personal logo Vis Bellica Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2006 5:10 a.m. PST

There are army lists for Hyboria on the Vis Magica website at


altfritz06 Apr 2006 5:14 a.m. PST

"The Hyborian Age is second to ME only when it comes to depth."

Actually, Tekumel (aka "The Empire of the Petal Throne")fills that spot. Check out for an overview.

But then I'm biased as I am involved in a project to bring Tekumel miniatures onto the market again.


Howard Fielding
The Tekumel Project

timlillig Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 6:06 a.m. PST

Hordes of the Thngs has hyborian army lists on pages 45-46.

aecurtis Fezian Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 6:39 a.m. PST

Another vote for the rules hurcheon mentioned: FGU's "Royal Armies of the Hyborian Age".


dsfrank06 Apr 2006 6:46 a.m. PST

<<Actually, Tekumel (aka "The Empire of the Petal Throne")fills that spot.>>

Who says? – I mean other than those of you involved in the republishing of the game.

There is a substantial list of fantasy "worlds" that have depth and a fanbase that rivals Howard's Hyborian works –

Lovecraft's Cuthulu(SP) stuff
Moorecocks Eternal Champion/Elric works
Herbert's Dune

Just to name a few,

Oddly enough I wouldn't expect to see Tekumel on that list

WeeSparky06 Apr 2006 6:55 a.m. PST

I love Tekumel, second only to Humus. I also like those little grape leaf burrito things.

MongooseMatt Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Apr 2006 7:00 a.m. PST

Hi guys,

A Conan miniatures game could be much, _much_ closer than you might think. . .

altfritz06 Apr 2006 7:01 a.m. PST

I guess it depends upon what "depth" means to you. I would include fully fleshed out cultures and languages in that definition, as with Tolkien's Middle Earth (as referenced by the original post.)

Hyboria, Elric, Lovecraft and Dune are all great works. Hyboria is famous for it's inconsistancies – doesn't make it any less great. I just got back into the comics – now that the orignial copyright has lapsed the stories are all being republished. Picked up issue 26 the other day. :-)


jpattern2 Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2006 7:02 a.m. PST

Yes, if you can find a copy, FGU's "Royal Armies of the Hyborian Age" is a must-have for Hyborian gamers. Not just for the army lists, which are great in-and-of themselves, but also for the descriptions of armor, weapons, color schemes, and even banners. Lin Carter may not have been the best writer out there, but, man, he was a genius at ferreting out details like this.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2006 7:14 a.m. PST

What about the Grenadier (now EM4/Mirlinton) Barbarians?



Steve Flanagan Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 7:30 a.m. PST

FGU spelled it "Hyborean", I see:

TMP link

Robert Crawford Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 7:41 a.m. PST

"There is a substantial list of fantasy "worlds" that have depth and a fanbase that rivals Howard's Hyborian works

Lovecraft's Cuthulu(SP) stuff…"

Actually, the Conan/Hyborian tales are connected to the Cthulhu mythos. Intentionally, by the original authors.

So go ahead — play that Conan vs. the Mi-Go game you've been thinking about!

Warjack Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 7:44 a.m. PST

MongooseMatt: Tell us more! How soon! Skirmish or battle games? Rules based on SST or all new? More! More! More!

"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of the women."


Jonathan Aird Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 7:58 a.m. PST

I think that quote should read "and hear der lemontashons of der wimmin", if my memory serves… :-)

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2006 8:41 a.m. PST

I thought it was "de lamentations uff de vimmin."

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2006 8:43 a.m. PST

Well, now we have the Rumor of the Day to speculate on.

I would much rather speculate on a new Conan game than a new Tom Clancy novel.

altfritz06 Apr 2006 8:48 a.m. PST

Agreed! It seems to me that such a game would have to be fast moving to capture the feel of the stories.

cloudcaptain06 Apr 2006 9:21 a.m. PST

Since most of the battle that occur in the Howard books are small scale…for a skirmish approach, Age of Blood 2 would be ideal.


Just tweak a bit for the various cultures.

KennKong Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 10:02 a.m. PST

By Crom! I'd love a Mongoose mini game on Conan. Let us know more, please.

Gattamalata06 Apr 2006 10:57 a.m. PST

Mongoose released The Free Companies: link

It says the Game of War is a token based mass combat system.

hurcheon Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 11:18 a.m. PST

FGU still have Royal Armies of the Hyborian Age ifor sale.

If you can get hold of them

Anyone here near Scott Bizr's shop?

Spectralwraith Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 12:11 p.m. PST

Demonworld Thain figures are perfect for the Cimmerians. (no helmets) on those chaps. Fur clothing. Also some of those Thain with skull masks and skull helms could be used for perhaps the necromantic Hyperboreans. Royal Armies of the Hyborian Age rules is worth buying just for the national army lists alone. The rules are vintage 1975 style and are really not too complex like the way miniature rules got a few years latter but still have the same basic 70's style ideas. Nevertheless, I highly recommend them. I prefer HoTT rules myself.

troopwo Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2006 1:31 p.m. PST

I thought Quartermaster had some figures?

Patules Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 1:34 p.m. PST

"Hyboria is famous for it's inconsistancies doesn't make it any less great. I just got back into the comics now that the orignial copyright has lapsed the stories are all being republished. Picked up issue 26 the other day. :-)"

Hyboria is also famous for being dreck. And Conan the bone-headed barbarian is a household name. But if you're talking about the proper Conan, Howard's unedited cycle of stories, I have to ask, What inconsistencies?

TomHinshelwood Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 1:35 p.m. PST

By Crom what a great setting for wargaming!

Think I'm going to have to do some addons for Age of Blood…Age of Conan here I come…

Rudyard Kitling Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 1:49 p.m. PST

If I had the miniatures and had to put on a Conan game tomorrow, I'd probably use GW's Lord of the Rings rules.

For me it would capture the spirit of the original stories, small scale battles, skirmishes etc.

Old Dwarf06 Apr 2006 2:40 p.m. PST

We do a "Dawn of The Hyborian Age" Campaign
between the Hyborians & Archeron using 10mm
WarMaster figs & HoTT.


altfritz06 Apr 2006 3:50 p.m. PST

My understanding is the chronology is all mixed up – that Howard was basically just writing stories without any attempt to place them in any time/space. Also, armour descriptions and weapons.

Mostly Harmless Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 4:57 p.m. PST

Ral Partha's old Royal Armies of the Hyborian Age has been reborn. Check it out:

Patules Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 6:28 p.m. PST

"My understanding is the chronology is all mixed up that Howard was basically just writing stories without any attempt to place them in any time/space."

Here's a quote from a letter of his -

"In writing these yarns I've always felt less as creating them than as if I were simply chronicling his adventures as he told them to me. That's why they skip about so much, without following a regular order. The average adventurer, telling tales of a wild life at random, seldom follows any ordered plan, but narrates episodes widely separated by space and years, as they occur to him."

"Also, armour descriptions and weapons."

Do you have any examples?

The Gonk Inactive Member06 Apr 2006 6:38 p.m. PST

Crom, I have never played you before. I have no rules for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we had good rolls or bad. Why we rolled, or why we played. All that matters is that we had many painted miniatures on the table. That's what's important! Wargaming pleases you, Crom… so grant me one request. Grant me some rules! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!

hurcheon Inactive Member07 Apr 2006 12:02 a.m. PST

I flipped through the FGU rules again last night

One of the things Scott Bizar highlights is the inconsistencies that result from Robert E. Howard changing the armour used by characters in the middle of the fight or by having Shemie bows outranging longbows.

he also puts forward the premise that his desire for a morale based game is hampered by the habit armies have in Conan stories of fighting to the last man

I must try playing these again soemtime, see how they stand up

jkavanagh67 Inactive Member07 Apr 2006 12:57 a.m. PST

Wow guys! Looks like I touched a happy nerve. Look at all that pent up Hyborian wars potential. See MongooseMatt…you have customers!

I will have to dredge up a copy of FGU's old rules (ebay anyone?)..and I must say I am torn between LOTR style skirmish and 10mm BIG armies. LOTR I think would work well to capture the flavour of the stories: small unit actions, heroic style moves, a little sorcery and unspeakable monsters.

But nothing beats having hundreds of 10mm for those epic battles.

Decisions, decisions…..And another whole genre to collect. Need a bigger house.

maxxon Inactive Member07 Apr 2006 3:07 a.m. PST

"having Shemie bows outranging longbows"

And this is inconsistent how?

hurcheon Inactive Member07 Apr 2006 4:51 a.m. PST

If we assume the Shemite bow is an artifical composite and that the Bossonians are using natural composites i.e. Welsh/English longbows then the rangfes should be similar.

I wouldn't have expected outranging to be that much of a problem

Andy Skinner Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2006 5:54 a.m. PST

I think big armies of lots of doomed men, plus the occasional truly exotic stuff, would look great at the 10mm scale. I like Warmaster, but I wish Chronopia Empires had come out to add to the 10mm pot. They had some outlandish stuff planned for that.


KennKong Inactive Member07 Apr 2006 6:11 a.m. PST

Rudyard Kitling – I agree: give me the figures (in plastic, please, and lots of them) and I'll use GW LotR rules.

But give me the figs!!!!

Come on, MMatt, what gives!???

Andy Skinner Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2006 7:22 a.m. PST

Thinking about it more, I think my comments about exotic stuff is more about some of the stuff with similar feel or some links. For me, that sort of fantasy blends from costumed ancients-style games all the way across to Lovecraft's Dreamlands. It has been a long time since I've read any Howard, but I don't remember much really strange stuff at the big scale. But if you played with historical figures, you'd want them to look exotic. I'd then go from there and start adding odder stuff.


jpattern2 Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2006 7:31 a.m. PST

Mostly Harmless: Hot dam, I didn't know that line had been resurrected! I have a small Turanian army from way back when; now I can flesh it out and give it some opponents.

One warning, though: These old RP Hyborean Age minis are definitely true 25mm. Puny beside today's 28mms.

RockyRusso Inactive Member07 Apr 2006 8:38 a.m. PST


Nope, wrong. Shem composites outrange longbow. Just as Payne Gallway reports in his book that Turkish composite bows outrange longbows. The only "source" I know of that asserts otherwise is "The Black Rose". Grin.

Back in the 70s, I gridded up the Greg Bear Hyboria map to a finer scale detailing all the towns and villages and actually held a long running "Hyboria" campaign with a Denver Group, 26 players. Huge fun.


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