Tag Archives: rules

Osprey’s Rogue Stars: Is it any good? Give me your recommendations?

5 Sep

So, been browsing about, and I’ve noticed Rogue Stars: Skirmish Wargaming in a Science Fiction Underworld (Osprey Wargames), which has caught my eye with a prospect of getting it. I absolutely know jack s**t about it, only that it seems like an attempt at a mini skirmish game attempt from Osprey to get some of that sweet Star Wars/Guardians of the Galaxy/Marvel Cosmic type of vibe going on! Which is exactly why I’m attracted to it in the first place.

Thing is, I’ve got a habit of collecting miniatures that don’t really fit anywhere else, just loads of weird and wonderful little lead men (and creatures) that would seem that I could actually put them to use in a game of this. I’ve got CP models Avians that spring to mind to start with, but just looking at my lead piles, I could easily find a shed load of possibles. Only thing is, is Rogue Stars any good? North Star is doing a funky looking mini line, which a few of them look pretty cool

It’s got ok reviews, but some are not so good. Some say it’s got a Rogue Trader-esque feel to the whole approach, so that keeps me interested, but I’m still sitting on the fence about it.

If you have any info, or have played it,  let me know your views on the game, and see if you’ll persuade me to buy it, I hope so, I do love making sci-fi scenics and terrain. I can see it now…A new series of terrain tutorials, “Grim’s Dark Futures…”!

Crowdfunding Spotlight: Ghetto Miniatures 1970’s New York Gang Skirmish Kickstarter

26 Sep

If your a fan of the movie “The Warriors” which follows the a gang trying to reach their Coney Island territory on a fateful night amid hostile NY gangs trying to kick their ass for the murder of unifying gang boss Cyrus (etc), then this is the KS for you!

Whilst not being 100% the licensed property, these “not” minis are a perfect match for some of those bat shit crazy gangs from the movie. Not only are minis on offer, but a skirmish game system too. The miniatures are the stars here I think, and would make great additions to your collection if your into moderns/pulp/horror etc in 28mm games. Tis’ a shame that there are no 15mm versions available here as they’d be a great fit in my zombie games, but perfect if your zombie fun is in the bigger scale!

My only reservation is that the limited edition “Caesar” figure, seems to have out of proportion hands and arms, which is only a small criticism providing that “You can dig it?”

Ghetto Miniatures are still a way off the £10,000 goal, so not quite there yet, but as usual please show your support to the independent miniature sector and  back this project, or at least share this with others you know who might be interested in getting their hands on some of these fine miniatures! The KS can be found on the link below, so get your empty bottles on your fingers, clink them together and chant: “Warriors, come out to play-ay….”


Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: Kicking it old skool, Fighting Fantasy…

30 Jul


PART 2: The skirmish engine.

Before I get into the tutorial mode for the basic dungeon construction, I want to go into a bit about what system I’ll be using to run the games with (which will factor greatly on how the build goes and which monsters to use etc)

Deathtrap Dungeon

Deathtrap Dungeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I intend to run most of the games with my kids in mind, I wanted something not as detailed as a traditional RPG (Such like D&D and others) the emphasis is not on the roleplaying aspect, but more of a skirmish fought in a dungeon environment. Sure there will be all sorts of RPG-esque flavors to it, but I want it to be as simple as possible for them to pick up.

If you can remember, back in the day when there was a craze for all things Fighting Fantasy related, we were promised a miniature battle game to use with their line of masssive plastic figures GW/citadel. I waited for this to be made available in my local games shop, but it never came. Why? I dunno,but it always made me wonder.

So, I’ve had the books for too long to remember, but it always struck me how easy it was as a system to create a mini game around it. Resolution was easy, just three stats, all based on D6’s (Well 2D6 for the most part, but all you need is a few good old six siders) So the idea has been mashing around my brain to create a decent homebrew version.

The 3 main sources of info I’ll be using to base my 100% unofficial Fighting Fantasy Dungeon skirmish miniature rules on.

So, the entire thing will be played out as faithful to the old school system as possible, using these three very same books. I know that I’ll have to introduce more definitions, movement, plus many other bits (making magic work in the limitations of a miniature skirmish game rather than an RPG, missile weapon ranges, converting traditional monsters found in miniature ranges to FF versions, Dealing with traps, and so on…) but I’m sure there will be a quick fix somehow.

The original fighting Fantasy Miniature line from last century!

I’ll be putting out some PDF versions of my homebrew rules as I collate them, so that everyone who’s interested can have a go, they will of course be free and a labor of love, so please no C&D letters please, although if I thought they were decent enough I’d be tempted to approach the rights holders to see if they’d want me to write it into a proper book to release (I know, but I can dream!!)

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To be honest so far, there are very few things needing doing to the system I’d  need to address. Skill, Stamina, and Luck need no changes for a characters  transition to a skirmish game, a tweak of the character sheet will do too. The  damage system will be changed to accomodate faster play (I’m thinking that  maybe a critical on a six that allows another damage roll on top, without a  ceiling that is, providing you keep rolling 6’s!)

Advanced FF is handy, since while not being as basic as normal, we have  more options for game definitions that I can pick and choose and I’m sure  that adding movement wont be too hard either. Ranges will be shortened for  playability, and magic will be streamlined to fit the environment of the game,  some bits will be chopped completely as they are not needed at all.

No doubt I’ll be able to mine the gamebooks too, for traps, monsters and all sorts of ideas, and I’m sure there will be lots of you sending me suggestions and ideas too. Please do, any little helps!

Don’t forget, Pure Evil miniatures has got some lovely licensed fighting fantasy minis out, so I’m going to have to get me some of them (especially the blood beast from Deathtrap Dungeon!!)

Like the dungeon construction, I’ll address each bit in an article to define  them as I go along. I already have a book of notes ready, I just wanted to give  you the thematic flavor before I go into all the core rules, additional stuff and  optional rules I have in mind, that way if you read all the articles in order,  it’ll build up a cohesive overview of my project, and maybe inspire you to try  it too!

Ok, so that’s out of the way, next time I’ll be starting the build run through with how to make the baseboard and the process and materials I used to do it.

Remember guys, YOU are the hero(s)!!

Zombie Dawn USE ME 15mm Rules Review

4 Nov

Zombie Dawn Use Me 15mm rules Review

Recently, I got hold of the zombie Dawn set of the Use Me rules by 15mm.co.uk.
Up till then I had been using a homebrew ruleset based on the old Fighting fantasy system, but as we kept playing them I had to keep making up rules on the spot every time my players needed anything out of the ordinary to allow them special actions and such while in play. I will eventually set everything down for that, but they are a little unpolished, so I thought it was  time to invest in a simple set of zomer rules that kept the game going so we could concentrate on the action.
The little A6 print book is not fussy, and isn’t filled with uneeded fluff and just focuses on the mechanics of the sysytem.
The whole system revolves around the ELAN score, which is essentailly your action score for combat and any other action that the
model may use, initiative is worked out using the ELAN as a modifier to D6 rolls, as is shooting/melee. Movement is taken as any other action, of which you can choose two actions usually, so you declare what actions the character will perform in your turn (there are a list of possible ones as well as just movement, like hypertense and such) after all the players have taken their go, other than that there isn’t much more to it, I won’t go ito a full break down of the rules, but they look pretty smooth and understandable, and above all, Simple!
After reading it through a few times, I thought it was best to have a game to test it out in action.
We set up a simple scenario, with two players in two teams of three survivors against me playing all the undead I have availabe (about 45+) Even so there is a full even points system behind the rules, allowing even play, this first game would be a test, still my idea of zombie apocolypse type situations aren’t usually what I would class as fair! Part of the fun of the genre is the overwhelming odds of Zombies Vs Humans.
Anyway, the main set up was, the human players had come to the edge of the city parked the vehicle and then proceeded to loot the various shops/buildings for food and suppies, a gun fight had broken out, attracted more undead and now at the start of the game, had been stranded atop of two adjacent buildings, while the car (the only working vehicle on the streets, all the rest were either crashed, been syphoned of all the petrol, or just knackered!) was parked on the other street. As play began the players had to try and get to the car and drive away through the unblocked road way. Easy?

As play progressed, the first team suffered two casulalties just attempting to get off the roof! jumping 30-40ft isn’t wise when they could have just taken a couple of turns to get through a roof hatch or open window!! Player two fared better, loosing just one of thier characters to a zombie skirmish while the other two got separated and went in two directions. Player one’s remaining character managed to get to the car and pick up one of player two’s survivors. Instead of trying to pick up the stranded survivor, player one drove off in the car, leaving player two’s last survivor alone with the zombies, winged but unnoticed. Player two was a little miffed about the ordeal and a heated discussion ensued about the events, and yours truely decided it was time to end it there! This was provided that the next game we played was to take place directly after the events of this game, now dubbed “Chapter One”!
In all honesty, we all really enjoyed it, the rules didn’t get in the way of the action, and allowed us a smooth 2 hour game. Obviously we didn’t implement all the alternate rules in the book, and stuck to the basics, but it was a good game with plenty of options for more zombie fun in future “chapters”

At £3.50 for the rulebook, its pretty good value, and I will be investing in a few more of the other rulesets for other genres as well in the near future.
If you need a good and simple system for 15mm zombie wargames, you can’t go much wrong with it. Its cheap enough for the most tightfisted wargamer (and I should know, I’m one!)
Get your hand in your pockets and get a copy from 15mm.co.uk




Enhanced by Zemanta

REX BELLATOR 15mm Medieval rules from Black Mouse Games

5 Oct

Today, we have a guest writer. Mick from Black Mouse games has done us a write up of the progress thus far on their Medieval 15mm wargame rules “Rex Bellator”. I know that like myself, a lot of our readers enjoy historical stuff in 15mm(gods own scale!) and 28mm, and I must admit I think I’m going to get my 15mm medieval’s out and have a few games with the rules when I get a bit of spare time!

REX BELLATOR 15mm rules

By Michael Callan

As an active wargamer I have been exposed to a range of rules, many of them ranging from home grown right through to the professional publications. As with most wargamers I built up a body of troops over the years which have been based to meet the rules de jour rather than personal taste.

Some of these rules have been fabulous fun to play, while others have become torturous paper driven exercises. I like most rules I have played but I found over time and as I have gotten older I wanted something easier to play but still pushed my tactical thinking during the game. So along came De Re Militari series of rules, with Rex Bellator being the first in the series

I decided to write rules that were simple, forced players to make decisions throughout the game not just at the beginning, and didn’t rely on a single die roll to win but also didn’t have to roll a bucket of dice to win a single fight. I also wanted there to be some relativity between differing forces, taking into account the defender and attackers ability. Most of all I wanted it to be speedy and easy to learn

Hence, I focussed on a series of building blocks for the game that allowed the player to be challenged to make sound tactical decisions in circumstances where they didn’t control the entire situation.

I also wanted it to be comprehensive in that there was a consistent manner in which decisions could be enacted. Whether it is to change orders, rally troops, fight in combat, conduct a difficult or complex manoeuvre the mechanism was the same.

So to the basics. For starters I used the term Spear to indicate the elements of play. Much like the current set of popular rules troops are based according to their type, with a clear delineation of which Spear is a command Spear. Spears (or Lances or bannerettes- take your pick) made up the basic element of a Medieval Battle. The game is based on a minimum of three Battles per army with a commander for each battle. The only thing that players have complete control over is the makeup of their army. After that random factors come into play.

Setup is highly randomised with a series of die rolls for terrain, with time of day and weather. There are some aspects that can change and players can move terrain to suit themselves but only in limited situations.

The biggest difference in setup is the introduction of the concept of a mission. Players come to the table with an army, then roll for the mission. Winning in any game is now based on the particular mission, not just crushing the opponent’s army. In some respects this is a scenario generator by default.

Next came command and control of the army. Command control aspects of the game are played out through the command rating, the command radius and command points. The one figure covers all of these aspects of the game, reducing the complexity of the issue while the use of points increases the complexity of decision making. Of course, rolling for a decision introduces an element of luck into the command system but with a 2D6 die roll for all command rolls and combat this tends to be smoothed out statistically.

Movement is not reliant on the number of command points or the command radius but on the complexity or simplicity of the manoeuvre. Some movement will require a command roll because it is complex or because it involves combat, but in the main every Spear will be able to move in a turn. Cross a river which is not fordable – you need to make your command roll for every Spear. Decide to withdraw from combat in good order – you need to make a command roll.

The combat system works on there being only three possible outcomes. The Spear is reduced to ineffectiveness (Killed), it is shaken to the point that it breaks and runs (Morale Check) or the weight and effectiveness of its opponents forces it back.

The game also move away from geometric approach and allows movement out of and around combat. There are no zones of control, but some tactical moves require a successful command roll. Spears can force their way through gaps and flank other troops or make a run for an objective. Indeed that was the whole idea of medieval combat and one I wanted to simulate.

As a feature I decided to add siege rules which can reflect the long siege times by breaking sieges into phases where opponents can make repairs and refit for the next phase. And finally there is a set of campaign rules for those either want to recreate history or make their own using the same system.

I have avoided Army lists which provide minima or maxima. I am not sure that every army followed a set of lists in real life but I am developing Army Lists that provide the options that were available to certain nations as well as national specific capabilities. Some nations used their troop capabilities in certain ways, such as conducting strategic manoeuvre to be in a position of tactical defence.

In future Black Mouse Games will also develop a set of fantasy rules based on Rex Bellator, as well a Dark Age Army Lists to expand Rex Bellator back into that period. On top of which will be scenario book next year.

Over the next few months I intend to run a series of playtesting rounds with local players but I am looking for anyone who would be interested in conducting playtesting for me and answer some questions on the rules themselves.

If you are interested in learning more please visit the Black Mouse Games Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BlackMouseGames?ref=hl or a grab a set of the draft rules at http://www.scribd.com/michael_callan_7

Any comments please send me a message via Facebook

Mick Callan

Black Mouse Games

Enhanced by Zemanta
%d bloggers like this: