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Author Topic: Four questions for Oathmark players  (Read 1904 times)

Offline Historiker

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Four questions for Oathmark players
« on: September 13, 2020, 10:11:39 PM »
Hello (or Moin as we say where I live),

though I am not known to be an army-game player for I usually only play narrative skirmish games, I still am quite intrigued by Oathmark. This is due to it being a game written by Joe McCullough and if I understood it correctly there is a strong narrative potential inherent in the game.

Before the game was published I even started building and basing a Goblin force preparing for game release but soon found out that vast numbers of goblins on 25mm square bases actually do no go very well with my rather small dining table which allows a maximum of about 3x4 or a slightly floppy 4x4 feet of play area.

This leads me to my four questions which I want to direct at all somewhat experienced Oathmark players:

1. Would it be possible to play Oathmark with the slight tweak of the bases being 20x20 squares?  To clarify: I do not mean putting 20x20 squares into sabot bases but changing the frontage of a unit of figures from 125mm to 100mm.

2. What is the smallest table size at which Oathmark could be played whilst actually having fun (maybe taking into account question 1).

3. What is the smallest force / number of units (and models) at which one can have a fun game and at which it would still be a "full" game of Oathmark (meaning: using all the rules - I can play Bolt Action : Firefight on a 3x3 table but it is not a "full" Bolt Action game).

4. What are your experiences of the campaign / narrative mode? Did the ruleset succeed in creating an ongoing story for your army? This is a question I am particularly interested in though I think that we will see great continuing support via supplements (particularly interested in the upcoming "Oathbreakers").

Possible bonus question: Has someone tried a different scale? This one is purely out of interest though as another part of the interest in Oathmark is the rather excellent miniature line which I already use for small skirmish games.

Many thanks for any replies. I am not in a hurry though as I am currently on "Project Zero" mode which means: No more new minis until all owned minis are painted :)

All the best

Historiker
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 11:16:21 PM by Historiker »
"The philosopher Didactylos has summed up an alternative hypothesis as: Things just happen. What the hell."

Offline pixelgeek

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Re: Four questions for Oathmark players
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2020, 11:48:28 PM »
1. Would it be possible to play Oathmark with the slight tweak of the bases being 20x20 squares?  To clarify: I do not mean putting 20x20 squares into sabot bases but changing the frontage of a unit of figures from 125mm to 100mm.

As long as everyone plays with that same frontage then it shouldn't be an issue.

2. What is the smallest table size at which Oathmark could be played whilst actually having fun (maybe taking into account question 1).

Depends on the point size. I think you could play a 1000pt game on a 4x4. A 2000pt game will really require a 6 x 4.

3. What is the smallest force / number of units (and models) at which one can have a fun game and at which it would still be a "full" game of Oathmark (meaning: using all the rules - I can play Bolt Action : Firefight on a 3x3 table but it is not a "full" Bolt Action game).

I think 1000 points. Also depends on what forces you have. If you play Elves then you don't want to go lower than 1000pts

4. What are your experiences of the campaign / narrative mode? Did the ruleset succeed in creating an ongoing story for your army? This is a question I am particularly interested in though I think that we will see great continuing support via supplements (particularly interested in the upcoming "Oathbreakers").

I love the campaign system. The kingdom rules really make it fun to create your own region and have the battles resolve around them.

Offline Historiker

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Re: Four questions for Oathmark players
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2020, 04:08:43 PM »
Many thanks for your replies!

Regarding the bases: As I will probably play only within my circle of friends and not publicly, the frontage should then be no problem. I was just wondering if there are any rules specifically demanding that frontage and this does not seem to be the case.

In any case I could still use MDF or plastic sabot bases to boost it up to 125mm. I just find the 100mm blocks more aesthetically pleasing and would like to build an army in that style  8)

As to the table and point size: Good to hear that smaller sizes in both are possible. On the Osprey site it was mentioned that a small game could be as small as 30 figures per side. That sounds maegeable even when using minis originally intended for pure skirmish games!

Thank you very much for giving your very positive impression of the campaign system! As far as I am informed there will be further additions to it (creating individual tales of champions) and I will definitely check the rules out because of it. I seem to have developed a minor addiction to Osprey Hardcover Books anyway  :)

Offline pixelgeek

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Re: Four questions for Oathmark players
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2020, 04:52:18 PM »
Regarding the bases: As I will probably play only within my circle of friends and not publicly, the frontage should then be no problem. I was just wondering if there are any rules specifically demanding that frontage and this does not seem to be the case.

The only game requirement is that the officer units of each unit line up in an attack. As long as you and your friends are happy with different frontages that shouldn't cause a problem.

As to the table and point size: Good to hear that smaller sizes in both are possible. On the Osprey site it was mentioned that a small game could be as small as 30 figures per side. That sounds maegeable even when using minis originally intended for pure skirmish games!

30 figures a side is going to be a lopsided game. Goblins are not good in small units and Elves are expensive so 30 of them is a lot more points.

I think the smallest 'fun' game I have done was 750 points.

Thank you very much for giving your very positive impression of the campaign system! As far as I am informed there will be further additions to it (creating individual tales of champions) and I will definitely check the rules out because of it. I seem to have developed a minor addiction to Osprey Hardcover Books anyway  :)

There is a book out now that adds battle honours to troops as well as a few new units

Offline Ultravanillasmurf

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Re: Four questions for Oathmark players
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2020, 05:50:05 PM »
I think "30 figures" is a points value (but do not start from Elves, that can be equivalent to 75 goblin infantry)!

I am working on some 550 point armies (Gnolls, Elves, various humans). The kingdom nature of the campaign system allow them to be combined into larger armies

Elves will be the easiest, as a box of Elf light Infantry fills 550 points with an option of using a Spellcaster (only one spell).

Your board width probably needs to be  a minimum of twice your army frontage to allow manoeuvre.  Board depth should allow manoeuvring out of initial bow range.

I agree that changing the base size to 20 X 20mm square should not be an issue, as long as all the other bases are similar (20x40 and 40x40). Having sabot bases to hand will be useful for when you have some other players ^__^.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 06:02:23 PM by Ultravanillasmurf »

Offline Historiker

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Re: Four questions for Oathmark players
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2020, 06:25:37 PM »
Thanks to you both!

Yes the "30 figures per side" was probably more of a description of the game at warband level with the actual figure count for a given points value is vastly different from faction to faction.

I have now played around a bit with the Army Planner and points values indeed vary a lot. As they should.

In all honesty I am mostly drawn to the artstyle - these illustrations are just fantastic! -  and the potential of narrative play. This means that huge armies are probably not going to be a thing for the time being.

It's just one of these autumn projects brought forth by rereading the Lord of the Rings  :)





Offline Historiker

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Re: Four questions for Oathmark players
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2020, 06:26:57 PM »
PS: I could not even start the project even if I had not limited by WIP projects because apparently 20mm bases are SOLD OUT where I live. Another strange phenomenon produced by the Corona situation I guess.

Offline fred

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Re: Four questions for Oathmark players
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2020, 07:23:19 PM »
Reading the above makes me think about if you can shrink unit frontages more, and if figure counts matter?

Could you drop to 6cm frontages and half ranges and move distances? Would the figure count matter? And if not them smaller scale figures become an option.

Offline Ogrob

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Re: Four questions for Oathmark players
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2020, 07:38:39 PM »
If you want to tinker with ranges, of course you can tinker with figure size. Oathmark uses invididual casualty removal as each rank of five makes the unit stronger in a fight, but it should play exactly the same with the same proportion of range to frontage.

Offline Elbows

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Re: Four questions for Oathmark players
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2020, 07:47:25 PM »
Also, if you're into smaller games, maybe Dragon Rampant would be worth a look as well.  Much looser rules, not quite as technical - but can be played at any number of scales/sizes, etc.  I'd imagine it's not as deep as Oathmark in some respects (particularly campaigns, etc.)



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Offline fred

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Re: Four questions for Oathmark players
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2020, 09:15:19 PM »
If you want to tinker with ranges, of course you can tinker with figure size. Oathmark uses invididual casualty removal as each rank of five makes the unit stronger in a fight, but it should play exactly the same with the same proportion of range to frontage.

Thanks - it sounds like you want to at least be able to remove ranks - you could track losses within a rank with a wound dice. Which while doable in a smaller scale, starts to sound a bit fiddly. Its always good to know which games are element based, therefore very adaptable to different scales, vs ones that are figure based.

Offline Historiker

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Re: Four questions for Oathmark players
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2020, 10:26:59 PM »
Also, if you're into smaller games, maybe Dragon Rampant would be worth a look as well.  Much looser rules, not quite as technical - but can be played at any number of scales/sizes, etc.  I'd imagine it's not as deep as Oathmark in some respects (particularly campaigns, etc.)

Thanks for the tip! A fellow player indeed has been mentioning Lion Rampant at times and I guess Dragon Rampant is the same... with magic. I will probably end up playing a round at some point but in regards to it being an alternative to Oathmark I would rather prefer the latter. Some reasons for this being entirely irrational, for example me having missed the heyday of Warhammer Fantasy Battles (had too many other hobbies at the time and only returned to tabletop gaming the last couple of years) and now wanting to participate in a ruleset just starting out!

On top of that I think that Osprey and Northstar are very committed to excellent production quality with the Oathmark line and I jus till looking at the illustrations and miniature design.

@fred:

Due to the aforementioned small table I briefly considered scaling it down to a different miniature size but in the end the current official designs and the prospect of having more great stuff down the line made me decide to instead "shrink" the game slightly by using the 20mm bases.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 10:30:01 PM by Historiker »

Offline andresf

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Re: Four questions for Oathmark players
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2022, 05:02:51 PM »
I think "30 figures" is a points value (but do not start from Elves, that can be equivalent to 75 goblin infantry)!

Quote from: ""
Yes the "30 figures per side" was probably more of a description of the game at warband level with the actual figure count for a given points value is vastly different from faction to faction.

Sorry for the reply to a REALLY old thread, but I found this while asking myself these very same questions from the first post.

If the above quotes are correct, then Osprey was misleading. They actually mean number of models, without scaling for effectiveness or anything. They literally mention "the number that comes in one box of plastic Oathmark Dwarf, Goblin, Elf, or Human Infantry"! So no points, but actual models. They do mention players will want to graduate to larger armies, but they truly imply the game is playable with 30 models to a side of those particular factions.

Is this not accurate?

Offline Major_Gilbear

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Re: Four questions for Oathmark players
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2022, 03:47:27 PM »
Sorry for the reply to a REALLY old thread, but I found this while asking myself these very same questions from the first post.

If the above quotes are correct, then Osprey was misleading. They actually mean number of models, without scaling for effectiveness or anything. They literally mention "the number that comes in one box of plastic Oathmark Dwarf, Goblin, Elf, or Human Infantry"! So no points, but actual models. They do mention players will want to graduate to larger armies, but they truly imply the game is playable with 30 models to a side of those particular factions.

Is this not accurate?

I mean, it's playable if you buy one box of Troops models... But not necessarily very representative of what more typical games would be like.

I think as mentioned above, it depends on the points values of the two sides as well. Dwarfs vs Elves is okay as they are both quite expensive in terms of points, and having small units on each side can be workable in a pinch. Humans vs Undead is generally okay-ish too, if a bit stilted. But Goblins do have rather low stats and points for anything like a fun matchup against any other 30 models, although you could have two Goblin armies fight each other? Also, if you keep in mind minimum unit sizes, 30 models may not mean many units per side, which makes any tactical manoeuvring efforts pretty dull.

So yeah. Not really misleading as such, but also probably a bit too optimistic in terms of producing anything that have much longevity game-wise.

My own rule of thumb is 3 boxes of Troops and 1 of Cav is a minimum for most races, but Goblins will need more like 4-5 Troops + 3 Cav (or 4 Troops + 2 Cav if you add in Orcs or similar heavier units). I would also point out that if you use the kingdom builder to mix units (like you're supposed to), then what you could end up buying at the start could vary a lot, and the 30 models a side might just about work out!

Offline jauntyharrison

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Re: Four questions for Oathmark players
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2022, 07:30:12 PM »
At the moment I'm liking 1500 pt games more than the reportedly "average" 2000 pts according to the rulebook. 1500 puts enough on the table to feel tactically satisfying, but cuts the playtime down a bit, because I've noticed Oathmark runs longer than sorts of games I'm usually into. At 1500 points, the smallest figure count warband that I run is 60, so that'd be two boxes. More often, 1500 points is going to mean about 80 figures from me.

 

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