Wednesday, 13 January 2010

The Most Influential Set of Rules of the Millenium...

Over the years I've been a bit of a rules magpie, buying sets that I never play, looking for ideas and the holy grail of sets. This week two new sets arrived at snow covered Blease Towers; Warlord's Black Powder and Black Hat's Martian Empires.

What both have in common is the obvious influence of Warmaster, probably one of the best sets of wargames rules ever written and sadly allowed to sit in a dusty corner by Games Workshop who continue to champion mechanisms in their core games that went out with the Ark.

However, Warmaster's influence is such that it transcends this mistreatment and also periods, Blitzkrieg Commander et al all have it at heart, Black Powder unsurprisingly does (as it was written by Rick Priestly) but so does Martian Empires.

Black Powder is the latest in the search for the holy grail of
a playable set of Napoleonic wargames rules and something I can use with the ACW stuff I bought from Perry's. I haven't had a chance to read them yet (I keep getting distracted by the pretty pictures), but so far so good and the mechanisms I am familiar with from Warmaster are here so they should not be too hard to pick up...

Martian Empires was an impulse buy as I have no real wish to do 15/18mm VSF but I read an interesting report on the Warlords of Mars blog that that resulted in me sending off an order to Black Hat who currently have them at a reduced price. The rules show definite Warmaster influences in the issuing of orders etc but this is what attracted me to them. Production is good, full colour but copied rather than printed by the look of it. The photos are nicely inspiring, I don't like the idea of VSF hover tanks (and have discounted the models to date) but a bit of conversion could add some wheels or tracks underneath... I did start a small 10mm VSF force for Land Ironclads on Mars and as the base sizes are the same (Warmaster size!!) I might use the figures for both. My only bug bear is the inclusion of the Prussian army in 1880 in the game, surely they should be called Germans by then!

Painting is currently in that mid way "I don't like it" phase on the Mantic Elves, hopefully the dip will work some miracles because at the moment they look bloody awful...


  1. In terms of most influential rules of the decade etc you may wish to add DBA/HOTT - now there are some rules that have been morphed into an enormous number of differing periods!

  2. Whoops! I only just noticed the millenium reference.........D'Oh!!

  3. I'd be comparing any set of Napoleonic rules to Empire Total War which is pretty good as computer wargames go. My only quibbles so far are: No land in naval battles so no costal actions; and cavalry and artillery units destroying themselves on obstacles rather than having an option to have them automatically go round them. Big down side is after 6 weeks of play I'm only 80 years into a 100 year game which makes even Civilisation look like a quick pick up game.

  4. Might I suggest checking out the Song of Drums and Shakos, Napoleonic skirmish rules set and the winner of Best Historical Rules at '09 Origins. There is also a rules set for larger battles in the late stages of preparation as we speak.