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Author Topic: Warmaster vs Mayhem  (Read 2893 times)

Offline Hobgoblin

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Warmaster vs Mayhem
« on: June 16, 2017, 01:23:25 PM »
Has anyone played both of these? If so, how do they compare, and what are their respective strengths and weaknesses?

I've only ever played Mayhem (which I very much enjoyed), in 28mm. I'm basing my 10mm stuff so that it can be used with either ruleset, but I'm curious as to what people who play, or have played, both think of them.

Thanks in advance!

Offline Ragsta

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Re: Warmaster vs Mayhem
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2017, 10:51:21 AM »

I haven't played them myself, but have seen some good write ups on Mayhem that perhaps you might like?

http://anatolisgameroom.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/mayhem-mass-battle-edition-rules-review.html

I think there's also some batreps re. the above but didn't want to spam you with links. Also this one:

http://kealios.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/mayhem-10mm-fantasy-battle-report.html

If I ever take the plunge into fantasy (so many current projects...) I think I would like to try this or maybe Warband by Pendraken using 10mm same as your good self. Assuming you ARE good. You might be bad, in which case I regret attempting to help you  ;D

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Warmaster vs Mayhem
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2017, 11:37:26 AM »

Thanks! I'll give these a good look. I've played Mayhem a few times, so it's really the comparisons with Warmaster that interest me - the respective strengths of the two systems as they appear to those who've played both


If I ever take the plunge into fantasy (so many current projects...) I think I would like to try this or maybe Warband by Pendraken using 10mm same as your good self. Assuming you ARE good. You might be bad, in which case I regret attempting to help you  ;D

Careful! I'm close! ;)

Offline warchariot

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Re: Warmaster vs Mayhem
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 04:38:16 PM »
We are playing Warmaster this weekend, first time in 15 years. :o I downloaded Mayhem and we'll try it with the same forces/scenario in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know how we compare them.

I do "see" some issues with Mayhem, mainly the command points verses the number of units in play. Second the distance moved by units. I realize that the army should be about a dozen units for 200 points and that for 10mm he suggests a 24"x24" board, but its suppose to be mass battle, a dozen units doesn't seem that "mass" to me.

Anyway, we'll give it a go and see if we like it enough to figure out some fixes if needed. Also, we may look at Warband to see how it works. o_o
Larry

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Warmaster vs Mayhem
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2017, 05:51:40 PM »
We are playing Warmaster this weekend, first time in 15 years. :o I downloaded Mayhem and we'll try it with the same forces/scenario in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know how we compare them.

Thanks in advance! I'll look forward to your views.

I do "see" some issues with Mayhem, mainly the command points verses the number of units in play. Second the distance moved by units. I realize that the army should be about a dozen units for 200 points and that for 10mm he suggests a 24"x24" board, but its suppose to be mass battle, a dozen units doesn't seem that "mass" to me.

From the couple of games we played, I think the former isn't really a problem, because you often use up your allocation of command points on just a couple of units (or even just one!) through the overdrive mechanism. That makes it much less IGOUGO than it first appears, and more action/reaction. I liked the way the rules encouraged initial advances and daring flanking manoeuvres. When you combine the overdrive and 'danger' rules, there's real potential for surprise.

I can't really comment on the table size, because we played one battle on the floor and the other on a dining table.

My main criticism of the rules is the weapon breakdown. Some of the classifications are fine, but others make little sense: e.g. blunt weapons ignoring armour and axes ignoring shields. Double-handed weapons require an extra point to use, and so on - which doesn't make any sense to me (double-handed swords would weigh less than a typical sword/spear and shield combo). Overall, weapon effects are a bit too RPGish for my tastes - and not in a simulationist RPG way either!

Another example: longbows have good range but poor damage. That doesn't mesh with historical reality at all: longbows were immensely powerful weapons.

Those gripes aside, though, Mayhem does seem a pretty good ruleset. And there are some fixes for the weapon rules; ignore the odd ones (the spear rules, etc., are fine), or use them in contexts where they do work. So, for example, the "blunt" rule is all very well for giants and ogres, but it shouldn't be used for cavemen with clubs.

I should add that Brent Spivey's other games are excellent. Rogue Planet is a really innovative science-fantasy skirmish game with lots of interesting features. The 'heartbreaker' is probably Havoc - a 20ish-a-side skirmish game that's crying out for a new edition. I think it was the first game he published, and the rulebook is far too long and not properly edited (not a problem with Mayhem and Rogue Planet). But the game itself is really good, from my brief experience with it. I'd love to see him clean it up and reissue it.

Offline Sir_Theo

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Re: Warmaster vs Mayhem
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2017, 06:25:37 PM »
Brent Spiveys games are always interesting. If I were Osprey I'd be getting in touch with him about doing a game.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Warmaster vs Mayhem
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2017, 06:33:12 PM »
Brent Spiveys games are always interesting. If I were Osprey I'd be getting in touch with him about doing a game.

Indeed! That format would be perfect for a cleaned-up, slimmed-down Havoc (or close relative thereof).

Offline warchariot

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Re: Warmaster vs Mayhem
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2017, 07:14:05 PM »
Sorry to go off track a bit, but I'm trying to build units for Mayhem and can't come up with the same cost shown at: http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=50377.0

Did some of the costs changed over time or when the rules were combined with Stronghold?

Here is an example: M-D8, CQ-D12, Cav, Lance, Shield (5+3+4+2+1=15 Crown)

Thantsants has the unit costing 11Crown?

What I'm I missing?

Offline warchariot

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Re: Warmaster vs Mayhem
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2017, 07:36:39 PM »
Sorry to go off track a bit, but I'm trying to build units for Mayhem and can't come up with the same cost shown at: http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=50377.0

Did some of the costs changed over time or when the rules were combined with Stronghold?

Here is an example: M-D8, CQ-D12, Cav, Lance, Shield (5+3+4+2+1=15 Crown)

Thantsants has the unit costing 11Crown?

What I'm I missing?


Never mind, I found where the points and other items have been adjusted when BAR was added. lol

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Warmaster vs Mayhem
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2017, 10:23:30 AM »
Scanning the Mayhem rules again last night, I remember the weapons rule to which I perhaps take the greatest exception: swords are a soft counter against all infantry units. This, to me, makes no sense, as swords were historically a sidearm in most battlefield contexts. They weren't the primary weapon of choice for most warriors and were generally a back-up to spears, other polearms or whatever.

I think it also adds an unnecessary layer of complexity (you have to remember who has swords and who hasn't - which can be tricky with typical fantasy miniatures). The classic "hand weapon" as default (whether those are swords, axes, maces or whatever) is a better option, I think.

One possibility would be to use the sword rules for polearms other than spears (poleaxes, halberds and bills, for example), as those did fulfil the "anti-infantry" role that swords get in these rules. Halberds could also be given the spear rule (as they were longer and more effective in formation against cavalry than the knightly poleaxe).

Again, this isn't a criticism of the system itself, which is innovative and - from my couple of experiences with it - gives a very good game. But it is one area that needs a bit of tinkering, I think, especially if you want the rules to "ring true".

Offline warchariot

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Re: Warmaster vs Mayhem
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2017, 05:02:57 PM »
I pointed up the two armies we are using Saturday to play Warmaster for Mayhem. I would surely change the mix and add a few units, but we'll want to play basically the same armies to get a good feel for a comparison. It worked out to be roughly a third to a quarter of the points.

I do wonder with the point changes in Mayhem if 200 points is enough. We are use to stretching the limit of games. I know (remember) that 2000-3000 points is what Warmaster suggests and that playing bigger didn't work well for us. It seemed that the larger you went, the shorter the game, as far as turns anyway. It was too easy to kill stuff as it is a target rich environment.

Thanks again for the weapons pointers, this will help us to look at some fixes if need be.

Offline warchariot

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Re: Warmaster vs Mayhem
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2017, 04:44:03 AM »
We did play a close game of Warmaster today and plan on replaying it with Mayhem on the 22nd. I forgot to take any pictures as usual, but it was fun.

Reading in Mayhem, it sounds like there is/was a skirmish version? Anyone know anything about that?

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Warmaster vs Mayhem
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2017, 01:21:46 PM »
I don't think so (there are the rules for skirmishers in the Stronghold expansion, though).

Havoc is the same author's fantasy skirmish game. It predates Mayhem and is very good (though the rulebook could do with an edit, a condensation and a tidy-up).

There's also Rogue Planet, of course: it's science-fantasy, but would work fine for "heroic" fantasy skirmishes.

Offline fred

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Re: Warmaster vs Mayhem
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2017, 08:37:03 PM »
I have experience of both Warmaster and Mayhem. Far more of Warmaster, and neither particularly recently! I think Mayhem has had quite a few updates since the version I played, but much seems familiar from what is mentioned above.

To me they weren't really the same scale of game - we played huge games of Warmaster with dozens of units on a side. But with Mayhem I didn't quite see how to scale it up to such a big battle.

Warmaster - command is quite random, its very easy for a Brigade to do nothing, and its also possible for one to zoom around the battlefield. Both of these can make a game frustrating. I do like uncertainty in activation, but eventually found Warmaster too swingy.

Warmaster's combat can be far too fiddly and time consuming. There are also a number of combat rules, that are a bit weird, and depend far to much on geometry and precise positioning.

Mayhem - I liked the activation mechanism - and the way of generating command points. I liked if you had 3 (IIRC) of the same unit you then got 1 veteran. I liked the idea of soft and hard counters. My mate didn't really like the roll a 1 and you kill the opponent. I think this was because his heavy cavalry charged one of my units, he got to roll 5d4 and failed to get a 1, I rolled a single d10 and got a 1. He didn't like this - but to me it just felt like fluky dice, which can happen in any game.

I liked Mayhem - but as said at the start, I couldn't really see how to scale it up to playing a really big game.

Ultimately I think they are very different games. I'd probably pick Mayhem over Warmaster if I had to play one of them tomorrow.

Offline warchariot

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Re: Warmaster vs Mayhem
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2017, 03:46:54 AM »
I pushed around some units with a buddy to see how Mayhem works to be ready for the test game next weekend. I really like what we found with the game. I see fred posted some about Warmaster combat:

Quote
Warmaster's combat can be far too fiddly and time consuming. There are also a number of combat rules, that are a bit weird, and depend far to much on geometry and precise positioning.

There are weird things in combat, but I found it easy to charge in as you line up, not square up, with the other unit. Part of the oddity has to do with the three stands of the unit and how and where you must place them, this could be the fiddly part fred mentioned. The best/worse part of combat is almost always one unit dies and the other is beaten up. This is because the game is based on D6s only so a unit rolls a number of D6s, average of three per stand, and need 4+ to hit. If you charge in, you need a 3+. Both sides roll then save and the loser falls back with the winner pursuing in most cases. Then another round is fought. This can, and usual does, continue until one unit is dead. The winner can actual fight a second unit to the death by "advancing" after eliminate the first unit.

Another difference is that WM is based on IGO/UGO with phases for moving, shooting and combat, not all mixed together as in Mayhem. As you mentioned, Mayhem has set "turns," but they don't feel at all like a turn, more like a phase of a turn.

We did have a few odd things happen like fred, I had a spear armed unit lose to a cavalry unit and was driven back, disordered, with it's back to the cav. The cav walked in, paid for melee and rolled 4D10cq. I didn't think I should get the extra die for spears, but couldn't find anything to stop me from using it so roll 1D10 and 1D12 for the second rank of spears. I rolled a 1 with the D12 and killed the cavalry.

At this point, I don't think we would go back to WM. Mayhem is much more of a game with all the decisions. I think we can house rule the few things we found to be odd or unrealistic.

I'll let you know after next weekend. ;)

 

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