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A Clash of Kings

Started by Rob Farley, December 15, 2016, 11:54:26 pm

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Rob Farley

Ok, so as I mentioned elsewhere I've had the idea of doing a campaign based around the War of the Five Kings from the Song of Ice and Fire novels (or the Game of Thrones TV series if you prefer). I'm still working out details so absolutely nothing's decided yet, but I wouldn't be looking to start this straight away in February so people would have a chance to get an army together.

There's plenty of cheap army options out there, plastic medieval and/or fantasy ranges that would work great (Fireforge, Conquest, Perry, Gripping Beast, LotR, Frostgrave etc).

I'm still deciding on which ruleset to use. The current contenders are
- Some combination of Lion Rampant and/or Dragon Rampant (an option I'm hereby referring to as Direwolf Rampant)
- War and Conquest, which would require writing some army lists
- A variation on God of Battles, since I have the text for the two unpublished historical editions

I'd like to run with God of Battles, since it's one of the best rulesets I've ever played. It would be a hybrid of the fantasy and historical versions with customised army lists, and I'd provide the rules for everybody, but it'll take a fair bit of work to get it all sorted out. There's a good chance I'll wind up running with Direwolf Rampant as the easy option. ::)

I also need to figure out a campaign system, which would have to be very different to the Warhammer/Kings of War system I wrote. What would people want from the campaign? Maps? Plotted army movement? Or something more abstract, just an excuse to play games?

Let me know what you think, and if you'd be interested.
Current games (and armies) played: Gaslands, Direwolf Rampant, Frostgrave, Bolt Action & Operation Squad (Desert Rats, Communist Chinese, Russians, partisans, Americans, Finns, Italian Paras), In Her Majesty's Name, Judge Dredd Miniatures, Dreadball, Deadzone, Mobile Frame Zero, Uncharted Seas (Orcs), Necromunda (Pit Slaves, Escher), Wings of War (WWI and WWII), Mordheim, Alien vs Predator, Warpath

Current Projects: Brotherhood Without Banners, Jomsvikings, the Blaine Legion, Gaslands vehicles, WWII Danish

Carl Fisher

Certainly the Osprey rules are easy to play. See my other post - I have just ordered Dragon Rampant for Christmas reading!
Games Played (Armies): WAB + WaC (IER Roman, Early Saxons and variants, Normans), WFB (Empire), 40K (Spacemarines), Uncharted Seas (Empire, Shroud Mages), WAB English Civil War (English!), Operation Squad (British) SAGA (Normans, Jomsvikings), Mordheim, Wings of War/Glory WWI, Dreadball, Chain of Command (British), Frostgrave, Sails of Glory and many others!!

Pippa Peile

Osprey rules are a good option as cheap, easy to play and easily accessible. Also don't require huge model counts so there's a possibility we may actually be playing with fully painted armies  ;)
Having said that, I'm quite happy to try any rules that suit you but if there are rules that less people are familiar with or are less easy to get hold of, it will probably put more work onto your shoulders.

As far as campaign rules, I think it lends itself to a more narrative style of campaign. I'd be interested to see something perhaps with multi players allied to each other, similar to how historical campaigns like Gary's Waterloo campaign are run, but that of course depends on how many want to take part. I'm far less interested in league tables of who is the best player etc as it can get very boring when the same people win or lose all the time (It works fine in stand alone games to have a league table like BA, I just see this as being more about the story, probably because I love the books) The other advantage to running it more like a historical campaign is it is easier for people to dip in and out if there is the odd week people can't make and having multi players per "team" takes the pressure off less experienced players so they can just concentrate on enjoying the game. I do appreciate not everyone thinks like this though!

For myself, I see campaigns as a chance to play a ruleset regularly, so that I get to know some of the more subtle points, really just an excuse to play games! But of course what you are proposing here is games tied together by probably my favourite books as a theme, and that's pretty damn exciting whatever you decide to go with  ;D

Daniel Phillips

Love to play something Game of Thrones. Maps with plotted army movement would be great. Would work with either the normal "pins in a map with with set movements" style or alternatively doing it narratively like we did in Gary's campaign.

As for the rules I've never played War and Conquest (heard some good reviews though). Out of the others I'd say God of Battles is by far the better choice as it's a good game and it avoids Dragon Rampant's appalling activation rules - Each unit must test to act each turn but if you fail any activation roll your turn ends which means with a bit of bad luck your whole army does nothing for 3 turns.
Warning: This post may contain sarcasm.
Current games & armies played- Gaslands: Idris. Full Thrust: NAC & NSL. Bolt Action: Late war German. Judge Dredd: Justice Dept & Renegade Robots. Kings of War: Dwarfs & Kingdoms of men. Mordheim: Skaven & Marianburg. Uncharted Seas: Iron Dwarfs. Necromunda: Orlock, Redemptionists & Van Saar. Direwolf Rampant : House Mallister.

Pippa Peile

Quote from: Daniel Phillips on December 16, 2016, 01:49:41 pm
Each unit must test to act each turn but if you fail any activation roll your turn ends which means with a bit of bad luck your whole army does nothing for 3 turns.


Like Black Powder then. Oh the frustration! We could always house rule on this if we do end up using rampant.

Daniel Phillips

December 16, 2016, 02:04:44 pm #5 Last Edit: December 16, 2016, 02:07:16 pm by Daniel Phillips
Worse than Black Powder, at least with that you could still role for another command after a fail.

A house ruled version could be good, other than the activation Dragon Rampant is a nice system.
Warning: This post may contain sarcasm.
Current games & armies played- Gaslands: Idris. Full Thrust: NAC & NSL. Bolt Action: Late war German. Judge Dredd: Justice Dept & Renegade Robots. Kings of War: Dwarfs & Kingdoms of men. Mordheim: Skaven & Marianburg. Uncharted Seas: Iron Dwarfs. Necromunda: Orlock, Redemptionists & Van Saar. Direwolf Rampant : House Mallister.

Rob Farley

Quote from: Pippa Peile on December 16, 2016, 11:50:02 am
Osprey rules are a good option as cheap, easy to play and easily accessible. Also don't require huge model counts so there's a possibility we may actually be playing with fully painted armies  ;)
Having said that, I'm quite happy to try any rules that suit you but if there are rules that less people are familiar with or are less easy to get hold of, it will probably put more work onto your shoulders.

My issue with Dragon Rampant (I still need to get Lion Rampant to compare and contrast) is that there's no real variety, every force is made up of skirmishers of one kind or another and it doesn't quite fit with what I imagine for the background.

War and Conquest is the other end of the scale and is most suited to big battles with massed armies. Perfect for what I'm imagining, but it's a big outlay for people to get those armies together (and, as you say, painted). Plus, the rulebook is more expensive (£20-25, depending where you get it).

God of Battles fits in the middle, model count is slightly higher than [insert animal here] Rampant (but not by much) but it has a mix of formed units and skirmishers that would help capture the differences between the kingdoms. Forces from the Iron Islands, the North and the Reach should not look or play the same way. The rules would be free, as I would be supplying a substantially modified version. But that's a lot more effort on my part, so it may come down to just how lazy I'm feeling. ::)

Quote from: Pippa Peile on December 16, 2016, 11:50:02 am
As far as campaign rules, I think it lends itself to a more narrative style of campaign. I'd be interested to see something perhaps with multi players allied to each other, similar to how historical campaigns like Gary's Waterloo campaign are run, but that of course depends on how many want to take part. I'm far less interested in league tables of who is the best player etc as it can get very boring when the same people win or lose all the time (It works fine in stand alone games to have a league table like BA, I just see this as being more about the story, probably because I love the books) The other advantage to running it more like a historical campaign is it is easier for people to dip in and out if there is the odd week people can't make and having multi players per "team" takes the pressure off less experienced players so they can just concentrate on enjoying the game. I do appreciate not everyone thinks like this though!

For myself, I see campaigns as a chance to play a ruleset regularly, so that I get to know some of the more subtle points, really just an excuse to play games! But of course what you are proposing here is games tied together by probably my favourite books as a theme, and that's pretty damn exciting whatever you decide to go with  ;D

I do want to run with a more narrative campaign, as most of the big events in the war actually happen off the battlefield and it should be possible to win every battle but lose the war. It's a fine line to tread though, I don't want to eliminate players just because they chose to attend the wrong wedding. :o

Not familiar with Gary's Waterloo campaign, in fact I've not really taken part in any purely narrative campaigns before so this is new territory. Happy to accept suggestions.

A lot of it is going to come down to how many people are interested. Multiple players per side sounds great, but it does mean we need a lot more players.
Current games (and armies) played: Gaslands, Direwolf Rampant, Frostgrave, Bolt Action & Operation Squad (Desert Rats, Communist Chinese, Russians, partisans, Americans, Finns, Italian Paras), In Her Majesty's Name, Judge Dredd Miniatures, Dreadball, Deadzone, Mobile Frame Zero, Uncharted Seas (Orcs), Necromunda (Pit Slaves, Escher), Wings of War (WWI and WWII), Mordheim, Alien vs Predator, Warpath

Current Projects: Brotherhood Without Banners, Jomsvikings, the Blaine Legion, Gaslands vehicles, WWII Danish

Gary Martin

I would be keen to play. I also prefer the narrative campaign as this means each decision made by all the players has an impact. Army lists can't be stock full of elite hard to beat infantry or cavalry because outside of the set piece battles a greater variety of capability is required.
I didn't use too many campaign defined set rules for the 100 day campaign. The key was always the quality of orders submitted, with clear objectives linked to a well defined overall strategy. The allies fought a number of good battles often at difficult odds, but because they lacked a clear strategy, the results rarely achieved what the outcome deserved.
There was no real set distance a force might move per day. I judged that from the clarity of a forces orders against weather, geography and enemy activity. Eg blue force wants to move along a main road to seize a town on a major road junction which the CinC has identified as a key part of the strategic plan. It is 20 odd miles away but the force is led by strong cavalry elements which could be able to counter enemy cavalry. I would allow the blue force to reach the objective. If the red force had sufficient force to make a battle and indicated a desire to fight then that would be a battle to be fought on a campaign night. Alternatively if on route there were a couple of defendable points, such as river crossings, a small village, and red had a clear plan to fall back in bounds, maybe gather sufficient force to defend a point, then I would delay the advance and either use the defence as a battle or just state the blue had halted for the night. Again this decision may be influenced by how firm the blue orders were framed and the personality of the generals. The numbers of cavalry available, the level of interest shown by the generals in the gathering of intelligence, both tactically and strategically. What this does mean is a lot of work for the person running the campaign. It also precludes that person participating as a player.
Because the generals in the 100 days are reasonably well defined in terms of personality this makes life easier, although I did try a little to manipulate which player got which general to play. However as the players in the campaign weren't really on any extreme of the scale, ultra aggressive or ultra cautious, this didn't really apply. I did try to make sure that the army CinCs had a reasonable knowledge of the period and tactics.
Gary Martin
'I do not fear an army of lions led by sheep, I fear an army of sheep led by a lion'. Alexander the Great

Figures: 28mm Imperial Roman and Ancient Britons 700 figures ish, 28mm Napoleonic French, Brits, Portugese and Dutch-Belgian, several thousand based for General de Brigade but work for most rules, 28mm WW2 German, Russian, British and US about company of each with vehicles 1 to 1. Large army's of 15mm Napoleonic most nations based to Napoleons Battles but fairly flexible.

Mike Whitaker

Quote from: Daniel Phillips on December 16, 2016, 02:04:44 pm
Worse than Black Powder, at least with that you could still role for another command after a fail.

A house ruled version could be good, other than the activation Dragon Rampant is a nice system.

Blitzkrieg Commander. *twitch*
Blog: http://troubleatthemill.blogspot.com/
Games (currently) Played: IABSM, Dux Britanniarum, Sails of Glory, Gaslands, What A Tanker!, SW: Armada
28mm: Parthians, Early Imperial Roman, British Tribes, Saxons, Norman/Christian Spanish, English Civil War Royalists; WW2 Wehrmacht, Red Devils, Home Guard; Judge Dredd Judges, Dreadball Void Sirens. GoT Night's Watch
15mm: WW2 US, British/Canadian and Heer infantry companies + support
54mm: HYW French and British
1/1000: Sails of Glory (lots)
WIP: 28mm WW2 British Commandos; 28mm War of the Roses, KoW Elves, Peninsular British/French/Spanish; 28mm Coalition Wars SF; 15mm Fallschirmjaeger and US Paras, lots of 15mm WW2 vehicles. 1/2400 WW2 Naval

This sig is a GW- and Flames of War-free (except for the figures I own!) zone.

Andy Mellor

Why not use two rule sets, one month you could have skirmish one on one games, with simple missions (capture watch tower, retrieve documents etc) then have a bigger multi-player using different rules.
The results of the skirmish games effecting the big battle? (note before the battle to a sub commander - "this cause is lost, preserve your force and withdraw" or any other underhand political backstabbing)

Daniel Phillips

Quote from: Rob Farley on December 17, 2016, 12:45:56 am
War and Conquest is the other end of the scale and is most suited to big battles with massed armies. Perfect for what I'm imagining, but it's a big outlay for people to get those armies together (and, as you say, painted). Plus, the rulebook is more expensive (£20-25, depending where you get it).


Thinking of the battles in the book I'd say a massed battle game is more suitable than a skermish system. To bring the cost and painting time down we could always go with a scale smaller than 28mm.
Warning: This post may contain sarcasm.
Current games & armies played- Gaslands: Idris. Full Thrust: NAC & NSL. Bolt Action: Late war German. Judge Dredd: Justice Dept & Renegade Robots. Kings of War: Dwarfs & Kingdoms of men. Mordheim: Skaven & Marianburg. Uncharted Seas: Iron Dwarfs. Necromunda: Orlock, Redemptionists & Van Saar. Direwolf Rampant : House Mallister.

Rob Farley

This is going to be 28mm, or I'm not taking part. :P
Plus I'm assuming Pippa's Lannisters are that scale.
Current games (and armies) played: Gaslands, Direwolf Rampant, Frostgrave, Bolt Action & Operation Squad (Desert Rats, Communist Chinese, Russians, partisans, Americans, Finns, Italian Paras), In Her Majesty's Name, Judge Dredd Miniatures, Dreadball, Deadzone, Mobile Frame Zero, Uncharted Seas (Orcs), Necromunda (Pit Slaves, Escher), Wings of War (WWI and WWII), Mordheim, Alien vs Predator, Warpath

Current Projects: Brotherhood Without Banners, Jomsvikings, the Blaine Legion, Gaslands vehicles, WWII Danish

Rob Farley

OK, two things regarding Direwolf Rampant.

Firstly, prospective house rule. If you fail an ordered activation test your turn will end immediately if either of the following conditions have been met:

  • You have already failed two ordered activation tests

  • You have already successfully activated three units


If you've managed to activate three units then you've had enough of a turn to have an impact. On the other hand, I figure that if you have managed to fail three activation tests then your dice really do hate you and you may as well write the turn off as a bad idea.

Secondly, I've attached some first draft army lists for the various kingdoms, designed using Dragon Rampant. Let me know what you think.
Current games (and armies) played: Gaslands, Direwolf Rampant, Frostgrave, Bolt Action & Operation Squad (Desert Rats, Communist Chinese, Russians, partisans, Americans, Finns, Italian Paras), In Her Majesty's Name, Judge Dredd Miniatures, Dreadball, Deadzone, Mobile Frame Zero, Uncharted Seas (Orcs), Necromunda (Pit Slaves, Escher), Wings of War (WWI and WWII), Mordheim, Alien vs Predator, Warpath

Current Projects: Brotherhood Without Banners, Jomsvikings, the Blaine Legion, Gaslands vehicles, WWII Danish

Pippa Peile

Quote from: Rob Farley on December 17, 2016, 11:55:19 pm
This is going to be 28mm, or I'm not taking part. :P
Plus I'm assuming Pippa's Lannisters are that scale.

Yes to 28mm, mainly made up of Fireforge models

Carl Fisher

Those list look good - what figure number per unit?
Games Played (Armies): WAB + WaC (IER Roman, Early Saxons and variants, Normans), WFB (Empire), 40K (Spacemarines), Uncharted Seas (Empire, Shroud Mages), WAB English Civil War (English!), Operation Squad (British) SAGA (Normans, Jomsvikings), Mordheim, Wings of War/Glory WWI, Dreadball, Chain of Command (British), Frostgrave, Sails of Glory and many others!!