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Time for a New (Fantasy) World

Sgt Slag writes:

I run large fantasy battles using my 2e AD&D campaign world, which I started developing back in 1983. I use 2e BattleSystem rules, published in 1992. They cover everything… They have rules for converting from the RPG, as well as rules for creating your own units, and monster types. It has rules for combat engines and platforms.

I've been using the OOP 2e BS rules since 1995. We have a blast with them. I use miniatures from a few different board games, Mage Knight, and many different traditional miniature manufacturers. It's all good, it's all fun.

I've played open field battles, as well as sieges, with engines and Towers. Magic is not uber-powerful, but it does make a difference in the game. Undead are a lot of fun, too, as they have no morale checks! They do, however, fall out of command. Non-intelligent undead (Skeletons and Zombies) can be used as land-torpedoes, where you fire and forget (command them to move forward, and they keep going until engaged, or they walk off the tabletop).

Fantasy mass battle games are my personal favorite; a very close 2nd is gaming with plastic Army Men (wrote my own rules, back in 1998, d6-based, fast, decisive, and very fun). It combines multiple hobbies, to create the games. Always a blast. Cheers!


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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian writes:

I've been spending a lot of time lately on my Mighty Armies forces in 15mm, so I decided it was time to 'pivot' and think about my 28mm fantasy armies for a change.

I surveyed the painted hordes, and came up with six armies that hadn't seen battle yet:

Photo blocked by adult filter:
"Six representatives of six armies"

Tribal Amazons
These are the Tribal amazons from the Shadowforge line (now available from Eureka). I'm a huge fan of everything Shadowforge makes. I have enough of these to field several warbands.
The Principate
This is a human-ruled kingdom from the Crucible setting, available from Ral Partha Europe. I have a large force of archers, cavalry, and some characters.
Pirate Orcs
I have a miscellaneous horde of Orcs, in different styles. The pirate Orcs are the largest (and I think Foundry calls them Ogres now!), so I figure they rule over the others. And they've got guns!
I love these Centaurs from Bronze Age, and I hope he expands the line. I have mostly archers.
Gothic Vampires
I have a small and growing number of Gothic vampires, mostly from West Wind Productions. I was going to use them for something else… but might as well use them here, too!
OK, to be honest, I only have one painted Beastman model (Games Workshop). But if I put it on this list, I figure I'll have to get more of them painted.

Starting to Imagine a World

I don't know how your brain works, but for me, the driving force in getting armies painted and on the battlefield is to have some kind of campaign framework.

And it's hard to have a campaign without some idea of the world it's set in. Or piece of world. So I am starting to percolate some ideas:

  • The Tribal Amazons live in the jungle south. They desire peace with their neighbors, but once provoked, they are relentless.
  • The Principate will be an expansionist empire, with walled cities and a powerful merchant class.
  • The Pirate Orcs are a new scourge which have taken over some nearby islands. They are raiders, armed with a powerful new weapon: the blunderbuss.
  • The Centaurs live on the eastern steppes. When they perceive weakness, they raid the borderlands for plunder. They sometimes serve as mercenaries.
  • The Gothic Vampires have slain the rulers of an ancient mountain kingdom, and now rule it mercilessly. They are eager to expand their territories.
  • The Beastmen dwell in Fell Woods where the power of Chaos is strong. They are easily manipulated by opportunistic wizards and minor demon lords.

The Campaign System

What I'm looking for ideally is a system that will let me grow these six armies (and the minor populations and monsters of this world) gradually.

The ruleset I'm thinking to start with is Warrior Heroes: Warbands from Two Hour Wargames. That ruleset includes a campaign system for letting a small warband grow into a larger force, which can eventually be transferred to the sister ruleset for large battles, Rally Round the Kings.

However, there's a third ruleset in the series, Warrior Heroes: Legends, which starts off even smaller – you play an adventuring band exploring dungeons and going from city to city. I don't own that one, but maybe I should… grin