If you have listened to some wargaming podcasts you might have heard that I’m working with Ade Deacon and Jim Ibbotson on a fantasy game that will be released by the Too Fat Lardies sometime in the near future.
Well a few people have heard about it and understandably they are interested in finding out more so i decided to write something up about it, but before I go into too much detail I think I should give a little background to the game to help put it in context.
The idea first came about last year when I was visiting Jim and Ade to play an ACW game of Sharp Practice and we got to talking about fantasy rules, well the next thing you know we are pushing around bases and I went home with about 10 pages of notes. Over the next few months we carried on meeting up and the notes became a rules draft and some ideas came in and other went out and over 3 or 4 months we had something that was starting to come together.
the next step was to show Rich and Nick the game and see what they thought, luckily they both liked it and they agreed to support the rules and publish them once they were finished, this was a major step forward and suddenly the whole thing became very real.
when we started the game we had a very specific set of criteria that we wanted to concentrate on
- it had to be logical and believable, just because it’s fantasy it doesn’t mean the normal rules of nature don’t apply
- we wanted command and control to be important to the game
- it wasn’t going to be a large battle game, but neither was it a small skirmish
- we wanted the core game to have strong combat mechanics with infantry and mounted troops at the heart of the game
If I was going to compare the game to another one I would say the armies would be similar in size to Sharp Practice with around 50 to 60 figures on each side, and so we decided to use the command and control mechanics of SP in our game. in fact we use a lot of TFL mechanics in the game but we haven’t been scared to tweek and change things to match our vision. I think this reuse of tried and tested mechanics has allowed us to get something very mature working in a very short period of time, however I do have to stress that we haven’t just done a fantasy version of SP we have certainly borrowed stuff but we have taken a lot of time putting our own mark on the rules.
Another thing that is important to us is we wanted the rules to be as generic as possible, none of us produce miniatures and so we don’t have a mini range to tie the game to. this means we have started with the concept that it’s the players vision of fantasy that’s important and all we have to do is give the players a toolkit in which they can design their own armies.
However that being said we are producing a background that Rich Clarke (of TFL) is writing up, so this will allow us to include army lists for some of the races that exist in this fantasy setting. this does mean that players can just use them as is, or take them and adapt them to what they want. it also allows us free reign to expand the setting and enrich it with campaign guides and new factions which might introduce new ideas. I’m also keen to get players to write up their own army lists for this setting and share them with suggestions of figure ranges to use.
I’ve really enjoyed this part of the process and I’m already working on 2 factions for the background and using a whole mix of figures to create 2 interesting armies, but I’ve also been using the rules for Lord of Rings style armies and its these armies that I’ll be using to give people an idea of how armies are put together.
in the next article in this series I’ll go into the basics of army creation and introduce the rule of 24