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Any 1-to-1 Historicals?


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I'm looking at Field of Glory as a possibility for something I'd like to play, but the idea of four or so miniatures representing 250 men kind of annoys me. As does having long bows with a 6" range. I'm more of a WFB player who likes to see things as they are, not what they represent. Anyway, I would love to play a game with some great depth and rules like FoG promises, but I'd also like to use the models for smaller scale games from time to time. Are there any good rules systems for historicals that would do this to some degree? Is Warhammer Historicals any good? I have a MBA castle that I would like to put to good use someday so something with a good siege rules-set would be good too!

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Hi. I agree that the conventional basing does seem a bit strange. In this case, you really have two options - either drop the scale, or switch to individual basing.

 

Probably the most popular individually based ancients set is Warhammer Ancient Battles. This uses the Warhammer Fantasy rules engine. Alternatively, there is also Warrior 7th edition. This is a lot more complex and detailed, so it depends on what you are looking for. Unfortunately, many rules sets use the DBx element basing standards (one of my biggest problems with DBx's contribution to ancients gaming is this basing system!). However, even with individually basing at 28mm, most 'real battles' will require serious numbers of troops!

 

Alternatively, what I do (initially with Vis Bellica but I will also carry this over to Field of Glory) is use a smaller scale. I use the 28mm basing sizes and measurements (FoG), but I put 6mm troops on them! This means that the usual base for four 28mm miniatures now has around 25 6mm troops, and form these up into battle groups and you have a much more impressive looking game.

 

Good luck with it.

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I agree with Lars in that most games with multiple figures on a stand or a movement base (as with WAB) will not truly be 1-1, although WAB with units of 20-30 certainly feels a lot more like it to me than when I have tried basing 3-4 28mm minis together to make a "unit."

 

In the end, though, I think the issue is complicated and may not be solvable. First of all I think that warfare is very different in different periods, so a ruleset meant to cover multiple periods tends to get tricky. Second, I think that for any 1-1 warfare that you might try to approximate a skirmish system will be the only choice. While it seems like folks would have fought together in something like ranks and files in many periods, the whole idea of maneuver (wheeling, etc.) that comes with true rank and file units comes from nineteenth century historians and their experience with warfare. While I claim only a little knowledge of a fairly narrow period (mostly medieval), it seems that medieval and classical warfare depended to some degree on the "get to the spot and then set up" model of fighting, especially in smaller engagements where a 1-1 representation would be possible.

 

Because of this, a skirmish game seems like what you want, I think, esp. one that allows for folks with spears to attack over/support models in front, and one which rewards getting set up in order to fight (more on this below). The problem is that larger skirmish games tend to move really slowly because each little feller needs to be moved individually, and this takes some time.

 

So: I really like some of the systems in which multiple basing is the rule (Might of Arms, DBx from the few times I have played - a new game produced with Osprey is coming out soon as well), but I want to be able to use my minis both for skirmish games when I can, and for larger engagements when I really want the feel of a large battle. This is all a long way of introducing the rules I like, which are:

 

Battlelust for small skirmishes (this is actually a fantasy set, but tech level is high medieval and I think it works well for this)

 

Pig Wars for larger skirmishes (but I have found that the rules need both editing/clartifications as well as some reworking, like using dice instead of cards, making formations work for everyone, etc.). I ahve found this to be a fun game and fairly fast even with a bunch of models on the board (mayeb 40-50 per player).

 

WAB for larger games, although _Crusader_ by Crusader minis seems like it has some potential and can use the same basing as WAB (not 1-1, but close enough that it seems to work). WAB is also really well supported, unlike some of the other games, which can be hard to find. I haven't tried it, but I was thinking that this might be more 1-1 with a house rule that every unit can use skirmish formation (but not benefit from other rules for skirmishers).

 

Might of Arms for projected (never tried) larger games: while this uses DBx basing, stands are grouped into units that don't change. As a result, 28mm minis could be used with a standard unit size and you would never have single or double stands running around (i.e. it would looke more like WAB with wider units).

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I'm just having issues invisioning how terrain works and the like. Do you have a bridge that is supposed to fit 100 men abreast? Just seems weird.

 

As for longbow range, I actually think 30" works fairly well as an "effective range". The 200yd long bow range is only really handy if you're talking about a 1000 guys pumping arrow out into the ranks of another 1000 guys. I think a standard unit of 20 guys in WFB would have a hard time getting an arrow to hit the proverbial broad side of a barn at that range. Least not on a regular basis. I'm good with it...

 

Anyway, maybe I'll just use Savage Worlds or something. Heh. Seems to work for most things... I'm sure I could tinker with some rules set until it worked out ok.

 

Thanks!

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Obviously in both WAB and WHFB things are abstracted because we like to play with nice terrain. While in truth there is no set size in either game (for you it could really be 20 guys standing around...) but at that scale, a longbow FREX is going to have an "effective" range of 150ft??? Especially when you consider that the average unit moves a 4" per turn (or, at a scale of 1"=5ft or 28mm scale), turns would only be 1.5seconds long (assuming someone running)! Obviously highly abstracted, just like having 7 abreast on a bridge is abstracted (though I would argue if you're using a bridge that big, then the terrain needs to be adjusted). It all works better if you go with the 1"=10yds standard...

 

Damon.

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I'm looking at Field of Glory as a possibility for something I'd like to play, but the idea of four or so miniatures representing 250 men kind of annoys me. As does having long bows with a 6" range.

:blink:

WTF???

 

FoG has DBM/DBA style shorty range for it's bows? tell me that's just a range increment, and you can shoot farther by some kinda negative...give me faith...

 

*very ****** cross*

 

 

oh, well. hope Wargames factory stays long enough to pump out medeivals and samurai...

:angry:

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Sorry. Maximum range for short bows is six inches, effective range is four inches.

 

I agree that this is irritating.. another plus for dropping the scale and keeping the measurements!

:devil:

 

I find this same frustration even with 1-1 historicals. Pig Wars, for example, seems to have really limited ranges, esp. with javelins. I guess the question is about "effective ranges," but sometimes it seems like throwing a javelin means getting right on top of someone. The modern stuff I have played seems the same, esp. when MGs are involved, although it does change the game when an Maxim can basically control the whole board.

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The problem is that, historically, these type of weapons were a 'softening up' attack, launched before the main close combat. Therefore, they really would be used at very short ranges. It wasnt really until the long bow and other developments that actual distance missile fire became viable. This is made worse by a traditional 'I go you go' wargame, allowing a charge range to often be longer than a missile range, and not giving the target time to throw spears and retreat, which was a standard practice.

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That is one of the really satisfying things about battles in Rome: Total War. I love using archers as well as pilum armed roman infantry before charging. You march them up and put your missile armed skirmishers out in front. The next ranks are your fighting infantry and then some troops and cavalry in reserve. Even better if you can swing some light cavalry out on either flanks.

 

Then the missile infantry fires into the oncoming enemy and starts to shake their morale. Even better if you can use flaming attacks. Once they get close enough, the missile troops fall back behind the infantry who let lose with their pilum causing more of a morale hit, and then charge in. Usually it is enough to break the enemy infantry attack and you can unleash the cavalry to run down all the fleeing men, usually catching and killing their commanders.

 

:D

 

It never gets old.

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I actually prefer keeping my cavalry in reserve behind the front line, so that when the enemy breaks I can let loose with the cavalry and utterly destroy their battle line. This works well if the enemy doesn't have any cavalry, or only has light cavalry.

 

Another Rome: Total War tactic I get no end of amusement from is dancing light cavalry in front of the Gauls to tempt them to charge. Quickly retreating the cavalry back behind the battle line means they impact my formed infantry, which usually slaughters individual units. Then let loose the dogs of war!

 

Damon.

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Yes, dogs are good to keep missile launchers you cannot otherwise reply to busy. So if FREX you have a unit of slingers slowly decimating your line, send the wardogs after them to keep them busy.

 

Flaming pigs, no, but no matter how effective they are I'm sure its hilarious!

 

I wish I can actually play the original Rome: TW; I can't find my disk, so for any Rome action I have to play Barbarian Invasion (which isn't bad, but a whole heck more difficult, especially playing the Barbarians...)

 

Damon.

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