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Author Topic: Elbows does "Imagi-Nations" (Famine, Sword, & Fire)  (Read 2016 times)

Offline Elbows

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Elbows does "Imagi-Nations" (Famine, Sword, & Fire)
« on: October 02, 2022, 08:29:21 PM »
I initially posted this in the ancients sub-forum, but give my main opponent has decided to lean medieval/dark ages...this thread will make more sense in the fantasy sub-section and won't cause anybody heart attacks of the mis-use of respectable historical miniatures.

Concept: just challenging myself to make some fun rank-n-flank rules.  That's it.  Not a commercial prospect, just wanted to justify buying some Victrix and having some cool rank-n-flank lookin' armies.  I've always enjoyed the aesthetic of stuff like Warhammer Fantasy back in the day, but despised the game rules, etc.  I've watched some Hail Caesar battle reports and a few other historical ancients games, and they just didn't intrigue me enough.

So...armed with one buddy who expressed interest, we started collecting and building little armies in secret, on the off chance I ever got around to actually putting something together.

Then the notes started.  I think of all the wargaming "aspects" designing games is definitely the one that occupies most of my time.  So all games start as notes:


Notes eventually become notebooks full of notes...(in the case of my dungeon crawl...it's been a 20+ year project!).

Then I assembled an army, just...ya know, in case the notes became a game.  Can't playtest notes if you don't have models, right?  Seems like solid justification to me.  The first decisions I made was simple; units would be X numbers of bases.  I hate movement trays and casualy removal (I just think its' ugly), and small bases would make units almost as easy to move.  So I opted for 40mm squares and circles for infantry (circles for skirmishers who "cannot" go into Close Order), and 50mm squares and circles for cavalry (and even those are a little small for the Victrix cavalry!)

Light Infantry Unit (units consist of between 1 and 10 bases)


Light Infantry Unit (units would also be more..."Warhammer" scaled than reality.  In theory the game is scale-agnostic so a base could also be 600 miniatures in 2mm I suppose...)


'Berserker' Light Infantry Unit (I chose to use Dacians from Victrix as my base, as I like the look of them.  Being an Imagi-Nations setting, these will be...whatever fake nation or empire I decide to use them as!)


Light Chariots (Gallic chariots convetred with some Dacian figures)


Light Missile Infantry Skirmishers (Skirmishers move faster, cannot fight in Close Order, and provide additional bonuses to an army)


The mini-army before I added cavalry:


At this point, the army is "big enough" for simple play-testing.  We actually ran one play test game using my scribbled notes, and it was fun enough to pursue.

I also painted up some heavy cavalry (Gallic cavalry, again converted with Dacian heads, and some Dacian weapons, etc.)


Within 24 hours of the play-test I'd designed and ordered tokens.  The general idea being that units will draw combat tokens as they suffer casualties.  Tokens will be blind or revealed, and enemy players won't know what some of your tokens are.  Units will have a large variety of impacts from combat, a few good ones, and mostly bad ones.

The tokens will be both 'combat tokens' (each player has a bag of 80 tokens they'll draw blindly when suffering combat results), and a bunch of tokens for simply identifying battlefield conditions and unit conditions (inspiration, wounds, formations, deployment zones, etc.)


Then I got it in my head to design a 16"x10" neoprene mat for keeping score, and monitoring off-table assets (called, simply, Agents).  So I whipped that up, though I have yet to order a test copy...


The idea being a kind of tug-of-war scoring idea.  If you push the scoring token to your opponents Skull, you score a "major victory" immediately, if the game ends while the score token it on your opponents icon or higher, you win a "minor victory".  An army will gain victory points for securing objectives, destroying or breaking enemy units, killing the enemy general, etc.

I will post more as this nonsense develops.  It is likely not a commercial product, but I still want to produce it to the nicest state possible, and have yet another playable, fun game.  It adds some variety to what we locally play, as well.

Oh..and...I'm not saying I already ordered some custom dice...but I ordered some custom dice.  The logo simply came from what I decided to paint on my guys shields - something simple and something I could replicate.  Why not a creepy bird?  Then I whipped up the icon and threw it over to Chessex to get some dice (partially as a birthday gift for my buddy who's be playing with me).



So I had the skeleton of a game...had a cool little logo...had some nice dice.  What would I call this project?  I was thinking on the subject as I was painting and watching Henry the V.  I got up from the table and as I turned off the movie, the last line was one I'd always appreciated:

“…and at his heels, leashed in like hounds, should Famine, Sword and Fire crouch for employment.”

Now, admittedly this is aimed at ancient warfare a bit more than medieval...but the line was too good not to use.  Boom.  Done.  Name acquired.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2022, 08:35:21 PM by Elbows »
2022 Painted Miniatures: 191
(2021: 148, 2020: 207, 2019: 123, 2018: 98, 2017: 226, 2016: 233, 2015: 32, 2014: 116)

https://myminiaturemischief.blogspot.com
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Online Ogrob

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Re: Elbows does "Imagi-Nations" (Famine, Sword, & Fire)
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2022, 10:46:15 PM »
Good luck with the game design, you have certainly made a nice looking force for playtest.

Offline has.been

  • Galactic Brain
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Re: Elbows does "Imagi-Nations" (Famine, Sword, & Fire)
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2022, 03:41:35 PM »
Hope this does what you want.
I'll be watching in the hope of updates. 8)

Offline Elbows

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Re: Elbows does "Imagi-Nations" (Famine, Sword, & Fire)
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2022, 07:58:38 PM »
That makes two of us! :D

This is really just about scratching an itch.  A "cool looking army" itch, and just a "can I design something functional" itch.  I know there are heaps of fantasy and ancient/historical rank-n-flank games out there, I'm just being pedantic.  It's kind of like a hobby challenge to myself.

Offline has.been

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Re: Elbows does "Imagi-Nations" (Famine, Sword, & Fire)
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2022, 05:54:09 AM »
Quote
This is really just about scratching an itch.  A "cool looking army" itch, and just a "can I design something functional" itch.  I know there are heaps of fantasy and ancient/historical rank-n-flank games out there, I'm just being pedantic.  It's kind of like a hobby challenge to myself.

It is a hobby, so feel free to do want ever floats your boat. :D

Offline PineyPhantom

  • Bookworm
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Re: Elbows does "Imagi-Nations" (Famine, Sword, & Fire)
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2022, 12:15:01 AM »
I really dig the idea of random effects from combat. Would more disciplined units get limited redrawn to avoid negative effects initially? That way they can hold on better when they're more fresh and then as the game grinds them down you're sort of guaranteed to drawn worse effects?
"There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is Curiosity.

There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is Vanity.

There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is Love.”

― St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Offline Elbows

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Re: Elbows does "Imagi-Nations" (Famine, Sword, & Fire)
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2022, 02:03:47 AM »
At current, in addition to fighting stats, units will have a Command and Loyalty value based on their level of experience (which can be further modified via traits and Commanders).

Some of the combat tokens will be Command or Loyalty tests to avoid losing a base - so units which are more elite will have an advantage.  Likewise, more experienced units will have more traits, meaning they can select traits which increase their values, etc.

I'm likely not going to do re-drawing, though units will have random commanders, which will also have their own unique benefits (and penalties!), so it's feasible that a trait or commander might simply allow a unit to ignore the first one or two tokens they draw, etc.  Inspiration (which can be drawn as a combat token or generated in other fashions) also let you ignore a "Waver" token (white flag).  This means units which begin with inspiration can avoid breaking...though it will not protect them against actual casualties.

One of the combat tokens is "lose commander" which will slay a general, commander, or hero.  This can then be countered by a unit taking the Bodyguard trait, etc.  So there are lots of levels thus far to problem solve.  I think it will open up the game for a lot of sneaky nonsense.  I also think it will lend itself to seizing moments to deliver game-winning charges, or attacks, etc.  If you can jump on the right set of circumstances and stack everything in your favour, you can really deliver a coup de grace. (in theory...)

Offline Elbows

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Re: Elbows does "Imagi-Nations" (Famine, Sword, & Fire)
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2022, 04:54:32 AM »
While I have more unopened bags of Victrix to deal with, I found myself with a command sprue of Dacians and a bunch of Gallic soldiers which come with the chariots....so I smashed them all together to form a heavy infantry unit.



I then snapped a couple pics of the army as it stands right now.  I think when "complete" it'll be around double this size.




Online Pattus Magnus

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Re: Elbows does "Imagi-Nations" (Famine, Sword, & Fire)
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2022, 05:06:31 AM »
That’s a formidable mob! Great job putting together a coherent looking force  from the different kits.

Offline Elbows

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Re: Elbows does "Imagi-Nations" (Famine, Sword, & Fire)
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2022, 05:59:42 AM »
Thanks!  I've got some kits coming up that may end up being mercenaries, simply because some will not blend, but overall very stoked for something that's come together so quickly.

Offline Grumpy Gnome

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Re: Elbows does "Imagi-Nations" (Famine, Sword, & Fire)
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2022, 06:23:15 AM »
Great work yet again mate, Lovin’Em! 👍
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https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/

Offline syrinx0

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Re: Elbows does "Imagi-Nations" (Famine, Sword, & Fire)
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2022, 02:03:41 AM »
What a fun looking project.  Impressively fast build and painting on the army.
2022: B:168; P:56;

Offline Elbows

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  • Posts: 9047
Re: Elbows does "Imagi-Nations" (Famine, Sword, & Fire)
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2022, 01:35:05 PM »
Well, it's a good thing I moved this thread to the Fantasy section.  I got in a playtest the other day with the newly arrived tokens, but my buddy only has fantasy-related armies.  So he assembled an army of skellingtons.

Punching out and cleaning tokens:


A large kurfuffle:


My chariot, which foolishly charged into combat, tried to withdraw and broke:


Mayhem late in the game:


My archers doing their best to stay safe:

Offline Elbows

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Re: Elbows does "Imagi-Nations" (Famine, Sword, & Fire)
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2022, 06:00:20 PM »
A small unit of skirmish cavalry completed.


Offline Knight-Captain Tyr

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Re: Elbows does "Imagi-Nations" (Famine, Sword, & Fire)
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2022, 08:36:25 PM »
I just wanted to say firstly that this is an astoundingly cool thread and your graphic design skills are top notch. I'm going to enjoy following this so much.

Secondly, although somewhat annoyingly, I've gone and painted nearly exactly the same symbol on some of my guys' banners. Great minds, but I'll have to tweak mine now! Really cool that you went the extra mile and got custom dice sorted out.
" ... the seventh wave of Thrall stumbled and climbed over the slippery, piled dead and Mazzarin saw The Watcher with them and at last knew the number of his days."

-Thrall Flavor Text, Myth: The Fallen Lords

 

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