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Author Topic: Fantasy Mass Battles with lots of Detail  (Read 2480 times)

Offline mictator

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Fantasy Mass Battles with lots of Detail
« on: July 19, 2019, 04:36:44 AM »

I'm searching for a Rule Set for Fantasy Mass Battles.

I want lots of Detail in Army Bulding for  Equipment.

It must be lots of Differences with  Weapons like your Unity have Dagger and Shield Vs Fullplate and Sword.

Not the modern Rules with lots of abstraction.

Rank and File with individual Miniature Casulties, please.

Any ideas?

Cheers Michael

Offline dadlamassu

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Re: Fantasy Mass Battles with lots of Detail
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2019, 05:55:36 AM »
we use our own home grown rules.  If this is the size of battle you are looking for

Then look at our website:  http://www.morvalearth.co.uk/

specifically http://www.morvalearth.co.uk/me_brief_history.htm

Simplified version of rules but enough for a big battle (PM me for a full set if interested) http://www.morvalearth.co.uk/me_simple_abridged_rules.htm
'He could have lived a risk-free, moneyed life, but he preferred to whittle away his fortune on warfare.'
-- Xenophon, The Anabasis

Online Elbows

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Re: Fantasy Mass Battles with lots of Detail
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2019, 06:32:05 AM »
I'd ask first what you do and do not like.  I mean it sounds like any older edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battles, etc.  What kinds of mechanics do you like/enjoy?

If you wanted a simpler, less...silly basis to start with you could also look up the old Warhammer Historicals rule sets.  They shared the basic components of something like Warhammer Fantasy but included some more grit/detail/realism in maneuvering and equipment/fighting/units, etc.

2020 Painted Miniatures: 01
(2019: 123, 2018: 98, 2017: 226, 2016: 233, 2015: 32, 2014: 116)


Offline Nord

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Re: Fantasy Mass Battles with lots of Detail
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2019, 08:01:47 AM »

Offline Aerendar Valandil

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Re: Fantasy Mass Battles with lots of Detail
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2019, 08:29:00 AM »
Especially 3rd ed. is pretty detailed.

If the later editions of WH are detailed enough, you could try 9th age. Free.

Offline MHoxie

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Re: Fantasy Mass Battles with lots of Detail
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2019, 08:56:31 AM »
"Knights and Magick" is still available on Lulu. It has individual weapon types, but only about 3 different armor types.


It's an oldie, from 1981.

Offline jon_1066

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Re: Fantasy Mass Battles with lots of Detail
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2019, 09:21:11 AM »
I echo a previous comment - 3rd Edition Warhammer sound like it would fit your bill.  It's as detailed as you could wish for, has rank and files and individual casualty removal. 

Offline Ogrob

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Re: Fantasy Mass Battles with lots of Detail
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2019, 01:16:45 PM »
Are you aware of 9th Age? It's Warhammer fantasy reworked by tournament players who didn't want Age of Sigmar, free online on their website. Not quite my cup of tea, but it might be just what you are looking for. Also free. Just google 9th Age and you will find it.

Personally I'm looking forward to the release of Oathmark late this year, but I'm not sure it fits your brief as well as 9th Age does.

Offline Spooktalker

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Re: Fantasy Mass Battles with lots of Detail
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2019, 02:52:31 AM »
1st edition Battlesystem. It meets your criteria in spades. Figure rations and ground scales defined, etc. The math behind the resolution table is the same as for 1:1 in AD&D, scaled up in the correct manner, i.e. you have less deviation from the mean the more figures. I.e., a "real" wargame.  :D Since it's built on D&D, you have the largest selection of non-human creatures already statted, the largest selection of spells, the largest variety of equipment, etc. It has many other great qualities.  I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone, but it has my endorsement, and I recommend it to you.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Fantasy Mass Battles with lots of Detail
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2019, 09:42:57 AM »
As others have said, Warhammer is the obvious candidate. I reckon second edition was the best iteration (it certainly had the best scenarios); third is a bit more cumbersome. And second edition has the points formula that allows you to create a profile for that badger-man riding a terror bird or whatever.

One thing which might be worth bearing in mind, though, is that some of the things you want seem to arise specifically from Warhammer's odd combination of a skirmish game (detailed weapons, etc.) and a massed-battle game (with implicit figure scale): this is something that Rick Priestley has discussed in some interesting interviews.

Distinguishing between individual weapons (beyond spears/pikes and different missile weapons) rather than fighting style is very much an RPG/skirmish thing (and first-edition Warhammer was primarily a set of RPG and skirmish rules, with the massed-battle element secondary to that).

For massed battles, the role of fighters tends to be more important than the actual weapons they carry; if your horde of orcs is sweeping down the slopes towards the enemy, does it really matter that some have two-handed axes, some have scimitars and shields and some have spears? Warhammer actually recognises that by allowing varied weapons to 'average out' across a unit - but it's really just another sort of abstraction. I think that's why most massed-battle systems don't pay much attention to melee weapons beyond long spears/pikes, but do pay a lot of attention to armour and battlefield role.

Beyond Warhammer, obvious candidates might be Chainmail and its retroclones (notably The Book of War). Those games have more detailed armour breakdown than Warhammer, though less attention is paid to non-missile weapons. They're explicit (or honest!) about the figure scale (1:10 or whatever), but they're designed to integrate skirmish/RPG-level heroics with figure-scaled mass battle. So, while they might not be that bothered about whether your heavy infantryman is using a poleaxe or a sword, they will drill down into whether he's wearing leather or chain or plate (vs Warhammer's "light" and "heavy" armour), or whether your light infantry are using slings, short bows, long bows, composite bows, light crossbows or heavy crossbows (slightly more detailed than Warhammer again).

I don't know Battlesystem, which Spooktalker has mentioned above, but I'd imagine it probably has some elements in common with the Chainmail lineage, given the D&D origins and compatibility.

Then there's Nick Lund's Fantasy Warriors, which is supposed to be very good (I haven't played it). It uses singly based figures and has roughly the same sort of weapons and armour distinctions as in Warhammer. It's a rank-and-file game; from reading the rules, I think it's a bit more genuinely "mass battle" than Warhammer, in that it pays more attention to command structures. And it's free!

Fantasy Warriors seems to have lots of devotees who are still playing decades after the rules came out, despite the lack of any further publications. That always strikes me as a very good recommendation (Hordes of the Things is another example, although it doesn't fit your criteria). If a game can last on its own merits without further marketing, it's almost certainly got something to recommend it.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Fantasy Mass Battles with lots of Detail
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2019, 10:23:33 AM »
Oh, and I almost forgot! Ganesha Games' Of Armies and Hordes. It's brilliant, and the massed-battle system I've played most recently.

It was just published this year. You can use multiply or singly based figures, or both, and any scale. It's got huge army lists, a very detailed army-building system and rules for designing your own profiles (though there must be thousands in the existing lists).

It also has magic, monsters and the best set of rules for interaction with terrain elements that I've seen. For example, a village on the table isn't just something that can be defended, but a potential source of levies.

Offline Sir Barnaby Hammond-Rye

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Re: Fantasy Mass Battles with lots of Detail
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2019, 05:56:51 PM »
I'm a little surprised that Fantasy Warriors was mentioned so far down the thread. It has pretty detailed rules and even keeps track of ammo, IIRC.

Offline Pellegrim

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Re: Fantasy Mass Battles with lots of Detail
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2019, 06:09:27 PM »
Our group (and basically scene) switched to 9th Age - which is an incredibly fun rules set. It's free, all units now have a playable rule-set, there are new units to play, and the background is shaping up atm.

The guys from Creator Consortium did a nice two-piece blog on it - see here https://creatorconsortium.com/2019/07/05/the-9th-age-a-new-warhammer-fantasy-battles/ and here https://creatorconsortium.com/2019/07/12/the-9th-age-part-2-a-world-of-story-a-world-of-war/

Online Sinewgrab

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Re: Fantasy Mass Battles with lots of Detail
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2019, 03:18:24 AM »
I actually preferred Ral Partha's Chaos Wars to Grenadier's Fantasy Warriors.  I then started playing 3rd edition Warhammer, and never looked back.

Now?  I actually prefer simpler systems like Dragon Rampant.
"There is no known cure for the wargaming virus, only treatments with ever increasing doses of metal."

Offline DivisMal

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Re: Fantasy Mass Battles with lots of Detail
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2019, 06:03:15 AM »
Here is another fan of Fantasy Warriors! The system has its flaws. Mainly the idea that different weapons affect a unit‘s combat strength (as Hobgoblin has eloquently explained, this is mostly nonsense), but the system of orders and morale checks is still pretty unique. A warning though: it is a late 80s/early 90s system that uses lots of modifiers for the d6.

I grew up with this and kinda miss it in modern games, but others think it’s too complicated.

Anyway: Warhammer Historical is also great, but lacks magick, which you would need to add from somewhere else.

Ganesha Games Of Armies and Hordes. I haven’t played it, bit the rules read very nice, and have a lot of unique ideas.

Warmaster. While not as detailed as Warhammer, I consider it the better mass battle system. Plus it has a very interesting activation system and still differentiates models according to speed, combat and armor plus special abilities.

Demonworld. A highly underrated gem of a wargame. Ral Partha has been translating the German rules into English, but I haven’t had the chance to read them. The original rules however, were among the best, I have ever seen.
You could set terrain into fire (even with flame arrow, like in Braveheart), you had magick items, heroes, a very good artillery system that might result in friendly fire (better than contemporary 40k and WHF), and there were rules for formations and many other things.
Only drawback: you needed hex maps and the game had a rather high model count.
It was played with 15mm, but since the game unit is a base, it could easily be played with other scales.