Help support TMP



38 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Tactica Rules Board

Back to the Tactica Medieval Rulebook Rules Board

Back to the Armati Rules Board

Action Log

31 Dec 2016 6:14 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to Tactica Medieval Rulebook board
  • Crossposted to Tactica board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Ruleset

Current Poll

1,252 hits since 2 Jan 2017
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

robpask18 Jul 2013 10:50 a.m. PST

what the differences between the two rulesets?


Who asked this joker18 Jul 2013 11:40 a.m. PST

Tactica is a figure removal game. Armati is an element based game. Both are pretty easy to play. Just depends on what you want.

Robert66618 Jul 2013 11:54 a.m. PST

Both are boring.

ancientsgamer18 Jul 2013 11:54 a.m. PST

Armati is a bit less granular in its rules mechanics too. Have not played Armati 2 which I hear is improved. Rumor is that there will be a Tactica 2 rules set released in the near future. Oh, I also see more 25/28mm players with Tactica around the country. More 15/18mm in Armati, respectively.

Take a look at Might of Arms. It's a great blend of playability and some details.

If you want simpler but still have a good feel, I would recommend Impetus. link
The Basic Impetus rules are free and are closer to DBA in scope and detail.

Simplest of all is DBA, which is fun but I don't take the rules seriously for the period.

If you want even more detail and don't mind the learning curve, Field of Glory is decent and has a very large player base.

Might of Arms is probably my favorite rules system overall for ancients/medievals. I have not found better. But you do need opponents to play no matter what you choose.

bandrsntch18 Jul 2013 12:07 p.m. PST

Tactica is NOT boring! It used large fixed armies which made it difficult for new wargamers to get into it. It is not a figure removal game. All Units except skirmishers stay on the table until the reach their breakpoint. It used easy mechanics which gave exciting games that went down to the wire, by could be played in 2 or 3 hours. Rules have been completely revised that make it more flexible, but sadly they have not been published yet. There is a support group for them on Yahoo Groups.
Armati used way less figure and is more like DBA. Its still played a lot at conventions.
Tactica in my opinion is the better game. It looks and feels like what one would expect an ancients battle to look like. If Tactica II ever gets published, that would be the way to go.

LEGION 195018 Jul 2013 1:54 p.m. PST

We use Tactica for all our games at my house!!! We have NEVER had a boring game in the last 15yrs !!!!!!!!!!!! I am not holding my breath when number 2 will be released!!!!!! Mike

doug redshirt18 Jul 2013 2:15 p.m. PST

A boring Tactica game? Never had one, always pretty much went down to who won the last battle. Actually the most fun I ever had playing ancients.

Tactica II is great redo of the system. Still need large numbers of figures. Foot units are 24 to 48 figures in size. Massed pike armies are a beauty to see.

Ping Pong18 Jul 2013 2:22 p.m. PST

Large number of figures is almost an understatement.

Yesthatphil18 Jul 2013 3:39 p.m. PST

Ignoring the obvious the 'boring' jibe, old Tactica had some levels of detail which were stripped away from Armati.

There is virtually no difference between Advanced Armati and Armati II (except the points system for the armies and all the advanced rules became part of the basic game) …

Armati is desperately in need or a revamp (so many issues have come up over the years but not been resolved) but it remains, in my opinion, one of the Anc/Med/Ren rules sets in the history of the game (the only game in those periods that I was playing a decade ago and am still playing today other than DBA)

Tactica has had the revamp, but the revamped game isn't 'available'.

Unless players are deliberately going slow, Armati games take, say, 90-120 minutes. I've only seen Tactica II being played with massive armies, and inevitably it seemed to take much longer to play.

Armati is played in all standard scales, and there are some well supported events on the UK calendar (Bournemouth, London, Derby, Glasgow) as well as being a standard game within a number of historical wargaming enclaves.

Ask if you want more information …


ancientsgamer18 Jul 2013 4:02 p.m. PST

Armati has different levels of play regarding figure count. If you saw the DBA like game, this is the lowest figure count mode. Figure count goes up quite a bit.

My problem with Tactica is that certain combats are too predictable. Roma pila vs. Macedonian pike is a prime example. However, it is easier to grasp than WRG 6th which is part of the basis of the game.

If you have not played Might of Arms though, I feel this is the better game of the three.

Marcus Brutus18 Jul 2013 4:35 p.m. PST

If you're seriously looking at Armati then I would recommend Impetus. They share common features but Impetus is offers the players more options and much greater variety of game experiences. And a lot more fun.

Tactica represents two armies just before they come to grips so deployment is super critical and there isn't a lot of manoeuvring around the table.

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2013 5:29 p.m. PST

What size of army are they intended to simulate? My impression has been that rules intended to allow you to field half a dozen legions (25,000 or more men) don't always give you the right feel when you are commanding a 4,000 man Viking army.


Marcus Brutus18 Jul 2013 7:30 p.m. PST

Which rules are asking Grelber about? Armati, Tactica or Impetus.

Keraunos18 Jul 2013 10:38 p.m. PST

same author, totally different sets of rules, but some similarities.

Tactical is mostly aimed for huge figures displays on the table – those figures being contained in large units (between 24 and 48 figure infantry, 12-14 double ranked cavalry, etc) which means not a huge number of units, but still a recognisable battle line, nearer 200 figures I would say per side.

its designed for friends gaming, not for competitions, and works excellently for display and multiplayer participation games, as a consequence.

Armati is designed for one on one gaming, and is very much a competition set.

Armies are smaller, but not small – roughly a small DBM army of around 100 figures per side for infantry heavy armies infantry units are a uniform 16 figures, cavalry a uniform 6 figures for standard fighting types

Neither uses a strict figure to man scale for the reason that both model a full army – which can be 100 000 in the classical ancients period, and 10 000 in the dark ages.

but both are based on fielding a full army deployed for battle at the point when the game begins, not a single legion, or whatever. Neither features approach to the battlefield manoeuvring – the game starts at a bow shot's distance for each.

Both are excellent games, and both are now in need of a refresh (T2 is stuck with Arty – completed except the sending to the printer, but it has been for about 5 years now, so who knows when it will be released. Armati 2 is over a decade old now, and as Phil says, it could do with a refresh too)

Tactica basically focusses on the well known armies of classical ancients – and has little army list or supporting material outside of that – which frees you up to look at it yourself (its dead easy).

Armati, being competition focussed, has a much greater coverage of periods and armies in detail in the lists, and a good set of supporting lists from players that you can ask for on the mailing groups (the web pages failed a few years ago)

Both sets have people active painting new armies for them, which shows that they are still in good health.

If I were to characterise them in simple terms, Tactica is for 28mm and armati is for 15 mm – those are the sales where the figures to table size make the most sense in the game (just as WaB looks stupid in 15mm, and DBA looks stupid in 28mm).

finally, ignore anyone who is now trying to sell you on another set entirely – they have their own threads, and should stick to proselytising on those.

1ngram19 Jul 2013 1:45 a.m. PST

Go with Basis Impetus – don't bother with the longer, more complicated fuller version. The rules are free, there are plenty of army lists for both ancient and medieval period – there is even a Renaissance version called Baroque – also free. The rules are straightforward and elegant and with a few additions such as evasion for light horse and skirmishers they fit my bill. Try them.

Yesthatphil19 Jul 2013 2:16 a.m. PST

finally, ignore anyone who is now trying to sell you on another set entirely they have their own threads, and should stick to proselytising on those.

Indeed … but Armati isn't 'protected' on TMP (unlike Flames of War), so people can hijack whenever they like.

The two games are not alike, and I have to say I much prefer Armati (more straightforward and elegant 'and a lot more more fun').

I took my ECW historical game (Newbury, this time) to COW and Stoke Challenge. It was very well received and stimulated quite a bit of interest. Two-player or multi-player, the full battle takes around 2 hours or so to resolve naturally* which feels about right.



NB for existing Armati enthusiasts … I use full size Armati units combined with the Intro scale ruler this makes the movement norm about the same as DBA and FoG and gives the right balance of approach and action type manoeuvre phases for historical battles in a compact display.

( report: ECW Battles/Newbury)

*slower games are available, to taste …

Big Ian19 Jul 2013 3:26 a.m. PST

I have both, but only ever played Armati which I quiet enjoyed. I like the different scales that you can play at, great if you don't have massive armies.

Marcus Brutus19 Jul 2013 4:39 a.m. PST

No one is hijacking this thread Keraunos. I played Armati 2 for many years but have migrated to Impetus because while they have a similar feel and share a basic philosophy of scale Impetus has evolved these concepts and produced a better game because of it. So where Armati forces players to do certain things Impetus encourages players to do the same thing without overly limiting the player's options.

I disagree with Ingram. If you're goint to play Impetus it's ultimately worthy playing the full game (most players feel this way I should add.) Basic Impetus is a good introduction however.

Who asked this joker19 Jul 2013 5:18 a.m. PST

finally, ignore anyone who is now trying to sell you on another set entirely they have their own threads, and should stick to proselytising on those.

Same old TMP. Ask a question with 2 choices and you will get 6 different answers! grin

Bob Runnicles19 Jul 2013 5:55 a.m. PST

"If I were to characterise them in simple terms, Tactica is for 28mm and armati is for 15 mm those are the sales where the figures to table size make the most sense in the game (just as WaB looks stupid in 15mm, and DBA looks stupid in 28mm)."

And here I am working on a Gallic army in 25mm (from OG's Caesar's Gallic Wars line) that I was planning on using with Armati 2….

Yesthatphil19 Jul 2013 6:31 a.m. PST

Armati looks fine in 25mm. I think Keraunos has a point that with 25 (28)mm you really get a more convincing effect with the bigger figures when you use them en masse (when I did Boudicca's revolt in 25mm I found Armati's Epic scale gave the best visuals) … where as with 15mm, it is easier to create the illusion of massed battle each individual figure has less prominence, so you get the effect of groups rather than clusters of individuals …)

DBA doesn't look stupid in 28mm but again, the good examples of this recently seen at Phalanx used bigger bases with more figures on …


(Ancient Brit 'big base' DBA army seen at Phalanx)

I'll not extend the comment to WAB as I don't find it a convincing game anyway …

In the UK Armati is more commonly played in 15mm but there have been some impressive 28mm games from the West Country shown at Warfare …


(28mm Armati game at Warfare 2011)


DFLange Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2013 7:38 a.m. PST

Tactica II is an excellent set of rules, more complex and detailed than Tactica I. It combines both elements of Armati and Tactica in its approach. With the point system you can field different sized armies rather than a fixed roster like Tactica I. It has been years in development and I look forward to when it finally becomes available to the gaming community.

Lewisgunner19 Jul 2013 7:53 a.m. PST

I have sympathy for Keraunos point of iew. To paks asks a simple question about Tactica versus Armati and Marcus Brutus pops up to say how Impetus is very similar to Armati and yet somehow better/ richer etc.
I do think MB might be aware that other gamers who play a set of rules do find this sort of thing offensive. Rules are la personal choice, bit it is sort of a basic rule of politeness that you don't break into someone else's conversation with what is effectively a sales pitch, particularly when the interrupting product is described as being like the original subject. i think that players would regard this as rather like stea ling a potential pkayer from their group. I have no doubt that Impetus is a good set of rules, on a couple of threads its players have intervened to say how much they love it, but I am becoming suspicious because Impetus does not get many threads of its own here and I do not see it in the glossy magazines or Slingshot or hear of it in competitions. So I am tempted to ask if it is so good then why is it not a bit more widely played? Or am I just missing the evidence of it's existence. By the way, if there are any impetus players in central Souther England, I would quite like to try it.
Meanwhile I would listen to Ceaunos and Phil on Tactica on Armati and Tactica because they both pkay both sets and are knowledgeable guys.

ancientsgamer19 Jul 2013 8:09 a.m. PST

So what's worse, telling people to limit what they say or offering some opinion on choices? :-)

I could easily just say that anyone offering an opinion without backing it up with gameplay mechanics is just as wrong. I have offered my opinion based on having actually played these and other games. Hijacking a thread, IMO, would be to offer opinions on rules outside of the genre mentioned.

I own and have played all of the rules mentioned. I have not played Impetus enough to give a final opinion on it. Basic Impetus is simple enough that I don't need as much play time to offer an opinion. Basic and Full Impetus share some commonality but I do not believe that Basic is as full of a game. I do feel that it is a good basic game and certainly feels good as a streamlined game. The classification of troops takes getting used to since they are abbreviations from Italian. I happen to speak Italian so it isn't a barrier to me.

I have refrained from telling the original poster which to play. I have interjected that I feel that Might of Arms is a better game. It follows along the lines of Tactica to a certain extent. Both Tactica and Might of Arms owe a lot to WRG 6th Edition for much of their mechanics but are certainly different games in the end.

Tactica and Might of Arms, were published within a few years of each other. As another poster mentioned, initial set up with Tactica is critical as you are extremely limited on movement to fix initial unit placement faults. Might of Arms allows you to adjust unit placement as armies start further apart. Having played both, I prefer Might of Arms.

Armati owes some of its direction to DBA in my opinion but is certainly 'meatier' than DBA even though you can play with fewer figures similar to DBA. It is a decent streamlined game. I was fortunate to have played the game with one of the playtesters who is also credited with writing up at least one of the army lists. It did not catch on with our gaming group as WRG 7th was king at the time. It also had some game mechanics that felt like quirks to some of our gamers (new gamers found that they could pin their own units quite easily as maneuver in the rules is quite limited)

I have refrained from mentioning other rules systems other than in passing and offered an opinion based on the type of rules that the initial question asked. As another poster mentioned, Impetus is a viable option and it similar in style to Armati. However, from what I have observed, there is a larger player base for Armati and the rules have been developed to a degree that they don't need a refresh.

Might of Arms is similar to Tactica in many ways and they both share the same influence of WRG 6th. Of the two, Might of Arms was better received by my gaming group but is certainly not perfect. To me, Might of Arms has stood the test of time. It is still supported and has some optional rules that mitigate two of the minor flaws I have found in its mechanics. I have not seen Tactica 2 and can't comment. My subjective non-scientific opinion based on playing both rules and seeing reactions of other players is that Might of Arms is more satisfying than Tactica. MOA is too dissimilar and has a different complexity level to fairly compare it to Armati. You either like more detail in your game or less. If you like less, then you will prefer Armati.

I have not mentioned other rules systems as I don't feel that they share as much similarity in gameplay. In the end, we all have our opinions. Mine are based on actually playing all of the games and being honest enough to mention when I haven't played a particular rules system enough.

Armati can be played with pretty much any army matched up against another. Tactica is meant to be played against historical opponents. Not once did I see this critical feature difference mentioned by any other poster which leaves me to believe that most have not played both games?

Might of Arms does handle non-historical matchups. If you do like a more granular game, then I feel it is a better choice than Tactica but neither system has as large of a player base as the newer games have. Conversely, as another poster mentioned, I lean towards Impetus rather than Armati. Impetus has a decent sized player base that appears to be growing.

Player base is the reason I also mentioned DBA and FoG. DBA has a huge player base and is a level below Armati in complexity IMO. FoG is at least one or two levels higher in complexity than Tactica and has a much larger player base.

Taking another tact, we could look at the GW inspired games of Warhammer Ancients, Warmaster and Hail Ceasar. I don't feel that any of these games share similarity to Tactica or Armati. I have played Warmaster Ancients and find the game to be good. I have been told that Hail Ceasar is the next evolution of Warmaster and most if not all prefer HC. HC has a larger player base than the questioned rules of the moment.

If you feel that offering only opinions about the rules asked about should be offered, my counter would be why shouldn't my answers offer opinion that is still within the implied scope of the question? In other words, I have had the benefit of experiencing more than the asked about rules systems and have opinions that might save the poster a bit of grief. In the end, it comes down to: "can you get an opponent?".

I have also been forthright in saying it is my opinion and have interjected others opinions where warranted about Armati and Tactica. The previous picture shows an Armati game as the 'basic' or limited elements/figures level. A full game would have about 3 to 4 times as many figures.

To summarize my extremely long post:

1. More granular game
2. An evolution based on WRG 6th Edition
3. Was developed to handle historical opponents as the norm
4. Seems to be played more in 25/28mm figure sizes
5. Is awaiting an update publishing with Tactica 2
6. Fixed army lists for this edition

1. Less granular game (more streamlined mechanics, less steps per turn)
2.Shares some similarity with DBA at the basic level but is assuredly a different game as it is a bit more complex.
3. Developed to handle historical and ahistorical opponents.
4. I have seen many more games played in 15/18mm but the above poster shows that currently it is played with larger size figures too in the UK.
5. Is apparently also awaiting some sort of a newer edition as well???
6. Flexible army lists both in size and scope of game.

I can't comment on Tactica 2 as other have as I haven't seen it. I also can't comment on further development of Armati (to include Armati 2 as I haven't seen it either).

If you want more choices outside of the two rules sets you mentioned, re-read my other posts. If not, feel free to ignore my opinions :-) The list of comparisons previous should help you decide between the two ;-) Hijacking over and clear! lol

Marcus Brutus19 Jul 2013 10:40 a.m. PST

Well, some of us are a bit sensitive. If someone gets worked up about offering an alternative to Armati then I think they probably have bigger problems on their radar. I notice that the original poster isn`t the one complaining.

Lewisgunner, the reason Impetus doesn`t get a lot of posts on TMP is because it has an active Forum of its own (unlike other sets.) If you need to find out information or make comments this is the best place to provide information. Armati in that sense is a dead system not actively supported by its author. Tactica is a bit different since Arty Confliffe seems to be a big fan of this set. But it`s been 5 years or so since I began hearing about a 2nd edition.

My suggestion about looking at Impetus as a system revolves specifically around interest in Armati. I played Armati for about 3 years steady (maybe 60-70 games) but the game ultimately didn`t work for us even though it is very well written and has some great concepts. When I migrated to Impetus I did so because the two sets shared many of the same approaches to ancient gaming (even down to basing.) The difference is that Impetus took Armati concepts and continued to develop them along some new, fruitful lines. And it is supported by the author and has a strong following. If someone were asking about War and Conquest I wouldn`t pipe in with suggestions related to Impetus since the two systems are very different. But as I say, Armati is a different story.

Caliban19 Jul 2013 11:10 a.m. PST

Speaking personally, I don't mind seeing slightly off topic posts, including when I start a thread – I see the TMP forum as an ongoing conversation, and so rather unpredictable. What I would say, though, about the topic now under discussion is that both games work well in any scale – my own preference for any set of rules is 25mm because that's my collection. I did move away from Tactica to Armati when the latter came out, mainly because Armati (and then Armati II) gave more playing choice for historical opponents than did the original version of Tactica. I have now moved back to Tactica II because the playtest version gives as much variety in a way that my poor brain cells can handle on a Tuesday evening after a long hard slog working in roasting hot Scotland.

Having said that, my loyalty probably does have limits and I do find myself looking every so often at ARMATI II and other products such as Impetus because at least they are in print…

Cheers, all!

Yesthatphil19 Jul 2013 12:38 p.m. PST

Having played both, I find very few similarities between Armati and Impetus. Additionally, though it has some good ideas, compared to Armati, Impetus is too complicated.

Anyway, I don't think we should greedily keep all the Impetus stuff to ourselves. Armati players are known, worldwide,for their generosity, and I think it would be fine for Marcus Brutus to share his insights with the War & Conquest crowd as well and any of the other rules threads … wink

btw I have also played MoA, but that was in a game at Historicon a few years back. Like many an Historicon game, it was pitched at beginners and was played quite slowly. It didn't really push any buttons for me … but, played at a rattling pace (as I'm sure regular MoA games would be), it might well have been more engaging.

IanB340619 Jul 2013 4:47 p.m. PST

Armati….good and fun game, but doesn't get any play in my area. Neither does tactica.

Impetus in my opinion is a let down. Look at the battle reports. Units seem half-hazardly scattered across the table. It allows for an interesting baseing system which is ruined by many players cutting severely back on figure count such that most of the reports I see here look like skirmishes. Im glad it never caught on big. And my dog peed on my copy.

I have also played moa only at conventions and felt it as wrg 6ed type.


1ngram20 Jul 2013 2:44 a.m. PST

Ah, dog pee . . .the bane of all serious wargamers.

Of course if you were using Basic Impetus you could just print out another copy. We've had a campaign going on for the past three years based on Sabin's Lost Battles boardgame using BI, played tons of battles and while it is true that sometimes your units get scattered across the battlefield this is rarely hap-hazardly. Its true of any (accurate) set of rules. You start off with your army in a solid phalanx/line but as you win or lose in parts of the battlefield, your wings esp. get disconnected and you have to spend moves swinging them round to rejoin the fray. Holes in the line appear where you have lost units and you try to plug them.

Ten Fingered Jack20 Jul 2013 6:22 a.m. PST

Ah, dog pee . . .the bane of all serious wargamers

My friend's cat pee'd on my copy of WAB.

1ngram20 Jul 2013 6:31 a.m. PST

Over the past thirty years or so various of my cats have peed on practically everything up to and including me while I lay in bed reading about the Thirty Years War. I still have a turning curve that one cat shat on spectacularly some years back – but it rarely gets used these days.

balticbattles20 Jul 2013 12:04 p.m. PST

Lewisgunner, hopefully without detracting from the thread but since you ask, I play Impetus and am based in Didcot, near Oxford. Always happy for a game.

Never played Tactica, but enjoyed Armati. Phil, how did you feel Newbury played? I tried ECW a time or two but felt that the brigades that worked so well for ancients and medieval didn't reflect early modern warfare as I imagined it.

Lewisgunner20 Jul 2013 1:58 p.m. PST

That's not impossibly far. Can you PM me an email address?

Yesthatphil20 Jul 2013 2:55 p.m. PST

Phil, how did you feel Newbury played? I tried ECW a time or two but felt that the brigades that worked so well for ancients and medieval didn't reflect early modern warfare as I imagined it.

Good question. I use historical orbats (as far as possible), more generals, and allow generals to create additional controlled divisions by joining units. So the grouping units into bigger formations remains a feature (Brigades and Tertiae), but the framework is less rigid, and commanders can overcome the limitations by direct command.

The consequent feel is quite good. I use the 'direct command' houserule for ancient and medieval historical refights too (and allow attached generals to override Obligatory Charges unless their personality prevents this) – but keep the number of controlled divisions still relatively low for the ancient and medieval periods (so retaining the feel we all like for earlier warfare) …

Not sure how well this approach would work for generic or competition style games as it has only really been tested for historical battles.

The feedback from the game at COW was very positive (and, being COW, it was a well informed audience, albeit one that is willing to follow umpire direction …) …


balticbattles21 Jul 2013 1:07 a.m. PST

I'm highlandbevan at yahoo dott com. Great, look forward to hearing from you.

dapeters23 Jul 2013 7:41 a.m. PST

I Played Tacticia at H-con still a great set of rules. Rules are pretty straight forward and easy to remember so you're not constantly thumbing through the rule book during the game looking for this modifier and that exception to the rule. Unfortunately Tacticia 2 was going to be Tacticia 2000 and ever since then the author has been telling the list for years that it's being "play tested" or "it's at the editor", or "it's at the printer" or other similar final stages and then he will start all over again. I am not saying that Tacticia 2 will not some odd day happen; just don't hold your breath till it does.

Grandviewroad23 Jul 2013 1:07 p.m. PST

I think it's thread-hijacking when a specific question between two rulesets is mentioned and someone replies that they tried them but prefer rules _____________.

'nuff said.

Original Tactica – the only one I know – was a game of limited maneuver. This made setup very important. My club played it for a while and didn't like it.

Armati seemed more traditional to me, a balance of setup and maneuver. No idea where it's happening now.

I dunno about your guys, but it's not as much fun to look at the setup and then have people say – they can't win, let's just setup again. I think gamers generally like perceptible move distances for some maneuver as well as combat.

warhorse22 Aug 2014 10:09 a.m. PST

From what I can tell, Armati II really forces you to think like a General, and actually develop your battle plan (preferably in your tent, with oil lamps burning, and guards at the tentflap) the night before the battle.

It is less granular, but you feel rewarded for having had a good plan. I feel that the movement actually reflects the difficulty in say halting a cavalry division, and communicating a change of battleplan to them on the fly…

It's also a game where good play can eliminate a great deal of the DBA-crazy luck…

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.