Homemade Fantasy Game with a Difference

Jeremey takes us through an unusual wargaming project from many years ago (2009 to be precise!)

I like a bit of Fantasy wargaming but never really enjoyed the most popular rules Warhammer Fantasy. I tried 2nd and 3rd edition, but soon gave up. I tried a few other fantasy systems but nothing gripped me so I ended up mainly playing Science Fiction games, Space Marine, Full Thrust, Dirtside etc.

But then Warmaster was released and I like the look of the massed battles in 10mm. Rather than buy the Games Workshop Warmaster miniatures i went instead for the 10mm Fantasy miniature from Pendraken Miniatures. I bought enough miniatures to field an undead and barbarian armies.

However on reading the rules I just didn’t feel like I wanted to play a system with rigid rank and file units, needing to move around according to dozens of rules. I hadn’t encountered those kinds of rules and at the time was looking for something extremely simple.

Others would have at least given Warmaster a fair crack of the whip but my twisted approach to wargming meant I came up with my own set of rules and in a radical move decided to base the units on round bases!

Although I really liked the end result and with the round bases meaning units were more mobs and so didn’t need complicated movement rules, basing miniatures in this way was hard work. I had to poke the brush with glue for the flock between the legs. In fact after the first few bases I instead stuck a few on, flock that bit of the base, then stuck on the next group and so on until the base was completed.

But I persevered and completed two complete armies. At this scale it was easy to represent monsters, along with the usual spearmen, archers and cavalry for the barbarians i also had a couple of woolly mammoths and for the undead I converted a couple of 28mm skeletons to act as undead giants.

I took the game to one of the society meetings where a fellow member and I gave the rules a go.

Each unit had a number of hits it could take before being destroyed. To represent this I created a series of flags that were stuck on each base with a number of skulls representing hits remaining. I made lots of flags so that as the unit suffered hits you could replace the flag as appropriate.

The rules worked well enough (Sadly I’ve no idea what I’ve done with them), here the woolly mammoths are attacked by undead cavalry after charging in against the undead giant. The games worked on a fairly basic roll to hit, roll to save using D6’s.

I still have all of the forces I painted up but even if I could find the rules the idea of people rebasing their armies onto round bases was a bit of a non-starter. Practically every set of wargame rules from 15mm down to 6mm are based on rectangular bases which appears to have come from the original DBA/DBM rule sets. Still I thought it was a good idea and still think it looked cool on the table top.

I may yet dig the forces out again and see if I can recreate the rules for another game.

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