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Author Topic: Large Skirmish Rules recommendation needed.  (Read 1940 times)

Offline racm32

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Large Skirmish Rules recommendation needed.
« on: January 26, 2021, 08:31:08 AM »
Hello all.
While mostly a historical wargamer I have enjoyed deviations into small scale fantasy and sci-fi games. For fantasy that has been mostly D&D, Frostgrave, and Relicblade. I have been getting the itch to start a larger fantasy army that I could match against my Anglo-Saxon or Norman armies. To this end I am working on an alternative history setting where in 1066, instead of passing harmlessly by, Hailey's Comet brakes apart and big paces rain down over the earth. The impacts seriously disrupt the world order and the fragments imbue those that carry them with magical powers. To see this out on the tabletop I am looking for miniature agnostic fantasy skirmish rules. I have played lots of SAGA and have the Myth and Magic version but I don't feel the rules give enough flexibility to army composition and narrative play.
 
Here is were I would like recommendations. I am primarily considering one of the following 3: Oathmark, Warlords of Erehwon, or Dragon Rampant. What are the differences in these rules and what do you like/dislike about them? Are there other rules sets you'd recommend?
« Last Edit: January 26, 2021, 05:11:34 PM by racm32 »
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Offline Ogrob

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Re: Skirmish Rules recomendation needed.
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2021, 08:48:15 AM »
Seeing as how you mention Oathmark, what do you mean when you say skirmish? In my mind as a fantasy gamer skirmish can be either small skirmish (say Frostgrave, ca 10 figures per side) or large skirmish (say SAGA, 50 or so figures per side) with individual basing.

Oathmark uses square formations and would usually be called a mass battle system, even if you could play with pretty small armies. I can see it referred to as a skirmish game from a historical perspective because you have fewer troops.

Don't know much about the other two, but I do really like Oathmark anyway. It has a built in campaign system where you build a Kingdom which unlocks different unit choices in your army. It is very flexible and easy to adapt to different themes of army. Campaign games then impact these kingdoms as you can expand with new regions, occupy enemy territory and so on. It has a dark age theme to it as far as equipment and troop options, so your historical armies should fit in pretty easily.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2021, 09:28:31 AM by Ogrob »

Offline BZ

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Re: Skirmish Rules recomendation needed.
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2021, 09:03:08 AM »
I never played Warlords of Erehwon (Bolt Action) or Dragon Rampart (Lion Rampart), so I cant really compare them to each other, but I really love Oathmark. Its a fantastic system, its very easy to learn and use, the rules make a very fluid gameplay, the army lists are flexible (because you can mix every unit in one army) and its kingdom and campaign system is perfect for narrative play. And as a bonus, its dark age / tolkienesque style wopuld fit perfectly for your setting.
But I dont know if it can be referred as a skirmish game. Its flexible in army sizes, so you can make skirmish sized games, but the units are in square ranks.

Update: Basically I totally agree with Ogrob. :)
« Last Edit: January 26, 2021, 09:05:43 AM by BZ »

Offline zemjw

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Re: Skirmish Rules recomendation needed.
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2021, 09:40:04 AM »
Another warband skirmish set to look at is Mantic's Vanguard. They seem to be aiming at the same type of game as Warlords of Erehwon and Dragon Rampant.

Mantic's stuff tends to favour their own figure ranges, but worth a look.

Offline Wellington

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Re: Skirmish Rules recomendation needed.
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2021, 10:25:22 AM »
Warlords works perfect for historical and fantasy skirmish, we use it for Warhammer Fantasy style games and historical games, like HYW. You have to work a little on the lists, perhaps add some options for certains type of troops, but there is a pdf with all the point cost on the website.

So if you plan to let loose Catweazle the Mage at Hastings, its perfect. 
« Last Edit: January 26, 2021, 10:29:23 AM by Wellington »
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Offline racm32

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Re: Skirmish Rules recomendation needed.
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2021, 11:47:04 AM »
I think large skirmish would be more accurate for size of game. Something between 50-100 models a side.

Offline gibby64

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Re: Skirmish Rules recomendation needed.
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2021, 12:35:05 PM »
I think large skirmish would be more accurate for size of game. Something between 50-100 models a side.

I think Dragon Rampant is what you're looking for... it's my go to one size fits all fantasy wargame... oathmark is also great, but it's rank and file and you have to be in the mood for that. Give it a read, I think you'll like it.

Offline fred

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Re: Skirmish Rules recomendation needed.
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2021, 12:36:34 PM »
I was going to suggest Saga when I started reading the request - but youíve already tried that!

Dragon Rampant forces will be very much the size of Saga ones. And uses a similar idea around larger models having more wounds, and therefore fewer figures in a unit. DR is very generic, you will have to put quite a bit of effort into building units to represent your ideas - but that sounds like it may be a plus. Iím not a fan of the activation - in that a failed activation ends your turn.

Online pixelgeek

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Re: Skirmish Rules recomendation needed.
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2021, 02:33:04 PM »

Online pixelgeek

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Re: Skirmish Rules recomendation needed.
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2021, 02:36:10 PM »
Oathmark is more of a rank-and-flank game and won't really give you the skirmish feel you want.

Warlords has a much looser feel and you can play it with smaller units to give you a more skirmish-like game. It also has a publicly available point system so you can build your own units.

Given what you seem to want I would go with WoE

Offline racm32

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Re: Skirmish Rules recomendation needed.
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2021, 03:00:49 PM »
I'm not opposed to rank and file games I just dont have a collect that can quite support ones like Warhammer Historical, FoG  or Hail Creaser in number/size of units. Thats why I chose the term skirmish.

Offline racm32

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Re: Skirmish Rules recomendation needed.
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2021, 03:01:53 PM »
Dragon Rampant is a horrible fantasy game

https://zacgaming.wordpress.com/2020/12/14/stop-recommending-dragon-rampant/

Thank you for the review. I won Lion Rampant but hadn't had the opportunity to play, though that activation mechanic was a concern.

Online pixelgeek

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Re: Skirmish Rules recomendation needed.
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2021, 03:56:52 PM »
I'm not opposed to rank and file games I just dont have a collect that can quite support ones like Warhammer Historical, FoG  or Hail Creaser in number/size of units. Thats why I chose the term skirmish.

I think that WoE is called a "warband skirmish" game in the rules. It certainly does feel like a bit of a hybrid game. Especially if you keep the unit sizes down to the minimum size or thereabouts.

It does use the order dice from Bolt Action though so you will need some of those or just use regular d6s and map the faces to an order

Offline AdmiralAndy

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Re: Skirmish Rules recomendation needed.
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2021, 04:22:12 PM »
Thank you for the review. I won Lion Rampant but hadn't had the opportunity to play, though that activation mechanic was a concern.

The Rampant Activation system is a bit marmite love it or hate it.

As its representation of Fog of War, and historically there were plenty of battles where units would sit around on the side-lines and slink off having done nothing the whole battle when people started falling over in the bloody fashion they tend too. I think it works fine, and have enjoyed the games of Lion Rampant and Pikemans Lament I have played.

But if you've played Saga and liked it then the idea that you don't always have the dice for your units to all do what you want when you want is not so different.

There are a number of ways around it anyway. Such as having an average dice worth of rerolls at the start of the battle (kept secret under a cup till the end from your opponent) so they can't entirely be sure that just at the critical moment you'll get a unit moving in after a few trys, just when you need it.

Or you at least try to activate all your units without it being an instant turn over with a fail.

If you've the ruleset anyway give it a go. There was also a Dark Age Variant Mr Mersey has posted up on his blog page, so you've half your army lists ready to go with just a few tweaks on options that differ between LR and DR. Just need to tweak the fantasy bit to suit.

Also a Light Infantry Unit, or group of archers etc will work much the same in whichever army there in.



As you've mentioned about a narrative aspect though Oathmark does have that in that the result of a battle will have some bearing on your next and so forth. It also has an activation method but less brutal, if you succeed your unit takes two actions, fail and you still get to take one action. Try and google for some Oathmark Reviews on Blogs or youtube.


I would also point to the Lion Rampant series having been well received enough to have 5 subsequent rule sets derived from it and a number of articles in Wargames Illustrated, Wargames Soldiers & Strategy and recently Miniature Wargames to expand on it. Which I think is substantively more than most of the Osprey Blue Books, and that many have found it a rule set that works.

Oathmark has also been generating some interest with ideas put forward for Battles in Middle Earth in Miniature Wargames as well.

I have seen less said about WoE, although there may well be some background and expanding articles on the Warlord Games Website. So other than its a Fantasy version of Bolt Action I can't say much about it.

Offline Elbows

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Re: Skirmish Rules recomendation needed.
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2021, 04:46:08 PM »
At the very least I can say Dragon Rampant is worth a try simply because it's a $15 book.   I can definitely agree it'll be a love or hate thing with many people. 



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