Battle Game Rules – What would you recommend?

MMP Mithril in Middle-Earth The Playgrounds of Erebor Battle Game Rules – What would you recommend?

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  • #309
    protozeus
    Participant

    Assuming you would use a certain beloved miniature range for small-scale strategic battle games (though it is certainly not intended to do so ;) ), what rule system would you recommend?

    Wiping the dust of my shelves, I see …

    Fantasy Warriors (Grenadier)
    Warhammer FB (3rd)
    AD&D Battlesystem
    Bladestorm (ICE)
    Harnmaster Battle Lust

    But all of those look like there is a lot of conversion work to be done.

    Having successfully avoided the movies and the GW LOTR so far, I am still curious:

    – What do you think of it as a pure rule set, ignoring all aesthetic aspects?
    – Which other rule system could fit?

    Thank you for any insight.

    #3281
    protozeus
    Participant

    Assuming you would use a certain beloved miniature range for small-scale strategic battle games (though it is certainly not intended to do so ;) ), what rule system would you recommend?

    Wiping the dust of my shelves, I see …

    Fantasy Warriors (Grenadier)
    Warhammer FB (3rd)
    AD&D Battlesystem
    Bladestorm (ICE)
    Harnmaster Battle Lust

    But all of those look like there is a lot of conversion work to be done.

    Having successfully avoided the movies and the GW LOTR so far, I am still curious:

    – What do you think of it as a pure rule set, ignoring all aesthetic aspects?
    – Which other rule system could fit?

    Thank you for any insight.

    #3286
    Gavin
    Participant

    Well, I created a skirmish level battlegame ruleset for ICE called “HARP Skirmish” which sort of drifted off into development hell.

    I’m half thinking of remaking it, only without the ICE D100 mechanic (and use a D6 or 3D6 one instead). I’d also tried to create one based on CODA (the Lord of the Rings RPG rules from some years back).

    But I digress.

    Bladestorm is ok in that you can sort of, vaguely, convert stats from MERP to it. It’s not easy, though.

    The GW SBG rules are pretty good for learning and playing, but hardcore players know the ins and outs real well and its kinda tricky to follow their discussions sometimes.

    Battlelust I am only vaguely familiar with.

    Other posters might have more info.

    Gavin

    #3287
    protozeus
    Participant

    Thank you both, very good counsel!

    Gavin, please keep us updated on your own skirmish rules, sounds interesting!

    Estel, this sound tempting. Is the GW stuff always good vs. evil, that is, are there integrated mechanisms which need this black / white approach, or are arbitrary confrontations possible (how canonical or not they may be)? Are there house rules on the Web to fix the imbalances you mentioned?

    #3288
    Gavin
    Participant

    In GW’s rules, they do divide good into evil, but that’s generally more organisational than rule based – so they’ll have one list of stats for the evil guys and one for the good guys. I don’t think there are too many rules which say “effects all evil models” – there are some (I think), but there’s nothing stopping you amending that to “affects all evil models on my side” if you want to have Orcs and Haradrim fight each other.

    #3289
    Kenakko
    Participant

    Having extremely limited experience in these matters, I would tend to agree with Estel on this choice. The ‘bad company’ is not wholly bad. For the small scale skirmish scenarios, this system seems ideal, especially for a novice like myself. I get easily lost in rule heavy systems. I haven’t seen many other gaming systems out there either. By the way, Estel, have you maintained a 25mm base? What about your mounted figures? To me it seems square bases are the way to go with Mithril figures and if one quibbles over a millimeter of two, then the point of the excercise is lost! For larger battles I intend to use another product from said company, WAB, which looks like it will work with minor adaptation and once one substitutes Celts for orcs and so forth. Good topic!

    #3295
    Gavin
    Participant

    I use washers for bases. There’s two ways of doing this.

    a: just bluetac the Mithril base to the washer. This means the Mithril figure works perfectly with the GW rules as written (basically there’s a small set of rules involving how much of an “area of control” each figure has, and how many miniatures can be in “base contact” with the miniature)

    b: cut the mithril base off. It helps to be insane.

    #3303
    protozeus
    Participant

    Thank you all! :)

    I think I will have a deeper look at the GW game, as you recommend …

    [ … just wanted to avoid falling into their traps again, 40K, WFRPG, FB, Epic (great game, btw) etc. And certainly avoid all those movie pictures. But if the rules are decent, hummhommmmm …]

    On another path, I am reading the ICE Bladestorm rules now, and so far I like them, though I have no playing experience, yet. Conversion from MERP should be possible, yes. Probably better for really small battles, needs more detailed book-keeping of endurance (hit points), not the simple “single wound and out” principle.

    #3310
    Gavin
    Participant

    Some people really dig book-keeping and the figures are this sort of pretty placeholder.

    I prefer moving pretty figures around and keeping the book keeping to an absolute minimum: more movement, less stress, more fun.

    Bladestorm (and War Law) use the former concept. GW’s Strategy Battle Game uses the latter.

    My key complaint with the SBG is that it is a GW product (some statlines only appear in supplements) and that there’s very little difference between stats for different troop types – High Elves aren’t a whole lot better than Uruk Hai, for example. And the core design conceit is very much inspired by the way the world works in the movies: heroes make all the difference. So heroes tend to have one set of rules for themselves, and warriors just die. You can’t imagine how the men of Gondor stood against the shadow for so long with stats like that ;)

    Gavin

    #3311
    ddaines
    Participant

    I know nothing about ‘gaming, rules’ etc. Protozeus, but I am not sure why you have avoided the movies.

    Yes, they do have some very annoying changes and omissions (for film adaption purposes I understand in most cases) and not all of the characters may be everyone’s ideal, but overall they have helped bring the books to life for a lot of people.

    I personally feel that Mithril’s Balrog and Shelob characters are far nearer to my visualised expectations than the film, but the scenes where the beacons are lit and the Rohirrim charge are fantastic pieces of filming and get the hairs standing on the back of my neck everytime.

    I guess a reason for no Knights of Dol Amroth :( was so that they didn’t overshadow this charge of the Rohirrim.

    Still, everyone to their own as they say, but PJ has at least kept to the main spirit of the books for me – he just made some needless changes as far as I’m concerned, judge it as a film adaption rather than the books themselves.

    #3314
    protozeus
    Participant

    [ Just to reply to Master ddaines: I am sorry about mentioning the movies with a hint of negative connotation, to make this more precise: It is just my personal preference not to view them, mainly to avoid the probably powerful, moving imagery “super-“imposing on my own, rather vague and fragile visual conceptions of ME and the LOTR, something which does not happen to me with static pictures.

    As movies per se, I am sure that they are milestones, and probably very impressive. Perhaps I will watch the Hobbit, I am very fond of Del Torro’s works so far. :)]

    #3315
    Kenakko
    Participant

    Hello Protozeus, One need never apolgize for one’s feelings. I thought the movies would alter my own personal vision of LOTR (which by the way is fairly close to our own dear Mithrils), but it did not. I think I’ve read the books twice since the last film and my own vision has not been displaced. Something about the original narrative I think, which seems to illicit one’s own imaginative interpretations. Heck, I even integrate some of the better GW minis into the rank and file! The movies stand on their own as fine interpretations, but as often is the case, the book is always better!

    #3398
    protozeus
    Participant

    Hi, thank you for the kind words to which I would wholeheartledy subscribe.

    Here is a bit simplistic practical question as a follow-on. If you would like to put a Mithril miniature onto a round base (to follow skirmish rules to the letter, and also to increase stability during gaming), how would you proceed? Simply glue them onto a GW 40K base, for example? Looks a bit awkward (and ugly) to me, hmm.

    Or are there other solutions anywhere, for example round bases with some sort of inner cavity where the MM base could fit?

    #3399
    Kenakko
    Participant

    If one was to wish to put Mithril on a round base, I would not use plastic. To me, this makes the figure top-heavy. I have agonized over the basing of this figures and settled on square bases made by Litko. These are wooden, but round shapes are available. Ironically enough, I’m kind of opposite of Gavin in that I put my GW figures on washers and then on wooden bases to match the Mithril ones. This serves the dual purposes of lending uniformity and it brings the GW figures, which are closer to 30mm up to height for integrating them with Mithril. It is a pain in the you-know-where;)and that with the limited number of cool figures by them, accounts for their relatively small presence. Mithril figures, as you have no doubt observed, do not come on a standard sized base thus making the size of the base used important whether round or square. After much consideration, I chose to use rectangular bases, 25mm x 30mm for foot, 25mmx50mm for wargs (not the GW ones, yuck!) and 30x60mm for mounted figures. This keeps close to dimensions used in many gaming systems but also accomodates the larger scale of the Mithril figures themselves. I hope this helps; it is a question I still ponder…!:|

    #3400
    protozeus
    Participant

    Thank you, especially for pointing out Litko (http://www.litkoaero.com/), which I did not know before. So many nice options. I will also return to pondering upon this issue – for me it is not really an urgent matter, rather delightfully casual. :) Also still waiting for my GW LOTR battle rulebook to arrive from the UK.

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