Saturday, July 12, 2014

Song of Hammer and Forge

After years of reading miniatures rules and trying to play them, only to find that the rules were too fiddly or vague and the games too long, I finally discovered it didn't have to be that way. Miniatures games could be fun and fast, and played with any miniatures of the same scale that I had handy.

I was briefly part of a miniatures wargame club and greatly enjoyed the people and the games. But I never did learn how to paint figures very well, and eventually the games were held in homes instead of game stores. Distant homes, and often with cats (allergic) so attending was no longer an option.

Luckily, the club keeps a fantastic blog with great pictures of their work and battles, so my experiences are not lost like tears in the rain, and you can see what I'm talking about.

Here is a recent entry, a playtest of a new supplement for Song of Blades and Heroes called Song of Hammer and Forge. It introduces new rules for dwarves, flintlocks and cannons. Which frankly are three of my favorite things.

As a kid I played hellishly complicated miniatures wargames like Tractics or Engage and Destroy. I tried Chainmail a few times but there were holes and contradictions in the rules. The only Warhammer miniatures I ever played were demos at Games Workshop stores, and my dreams of playing Mordheim never materialized. Battlelore  is fun but set-up and take-down are lengthy.

When the guys at the club told me I could bring my old Grenadier miniatures or HeroQuest figures, my Ral Partha creatures or Warhammer troops, I was excited. They showed me how to stat them up, explained the easy and fun rules, and the games began. We could get two games finished in one night, easy. We used terrain from the stores at first, but the guys in the club are genius and soon had their own terrain created and painted.

The best of the sci-fi miniatures rule sets that I tried.

I was lucky enough to play a few other rulesets with them, a couple sci-fi battles on distant colony worlds (Tomorrow's War and 5150 Star Army) and a fantastic post-apocalyptic game (Wastelands). There was also an epic Halloween zombie battle with multi-story buildings and vehicles, using customized All Things Zombie rules.

A great pic from Chicago Skirmish blog. Killing zombies on Halloween.

Some day I hope to get some use out of all my old 40k figures (a game I played three times) using the rules to In the Emperor's Name:

If you're at all interested in enjoying a fast miniatures game with a maximum of fun, I strongly suggest the Song of Blades and Heroes series and Wastelands. Put those old figures to use!