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What should miniature wargames have more of?

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  bvandewalker 2 days, 15 hours ago.

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    Cult of Games Member

    Recently I’ve got weirdly fascinated with wargame design. I enjoy reading new rules, sifting through them for exciting new mechanisms in search for the promised land of tht perfect game. I like downloading random PDFs from Wargames Vault, some of which look  like a bloke typed them out in Word one rainy afternoon. It’s a hobby in itself!

    Anyway, I was thinking about what I would like to see more of in miniature wargames. Here is one of mine…

    Battle generators. It’s nice to have a point to the battle you’re playing, and it would also be nice to be able to influence this in cunning ways to suit your army. Most games don’t seem to bother with this. Star Wars Legion has quite a nice method of laying cards to generate your scenario. My favourite one is the Scharnhorst mini campaign system in Sam Mustafa’s Blucher Napoleonic rules. You literally play a 20 minute campaign before each battle. You march your armies around a grid map until they meet and one player “locks” the battlefield – the six surrounding squares on the map become the 6 by 4 battlefield. Other armies get one more turn to rush towards the battlefield to join in – if they can get adjacent to it they may enter the game part way through as reinforcements. Best of all, this system naturally creates an attack and defend scenario. Whoever took more objectives in the campaign phase has an incentive to sit tight and defend what they’ve got, whereas the opponent knows he needs to take back the high ground and village (or whatever) during the battle, because he is behind on points from the campaign.

    Anyway what would you like to see more of in miniature wargames?







    Cult of Games Member

    2 player starter box sets with everything you need that allow you to get playing straight away.


    Cult of Games Member

    What @noyjatat said. Or at least some “get started” bundles where you choose two factions to get.

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 5 hours ago by  sundancer.

    Cult of Games Member

    From memory  most  of the Peter Pig rulesets  have interesting pre battle setups



    Yup! Lot of two player starters are half an army each at best.



    – solo mode for the game

    – factions to choose for starter sets

    – complete rules in starter sets

    – long-term availability of miniatures from the manufacturer (not all ranges match)

    – organic changes when further developing the game

    – scenario and campaign generators

    – people like avernos, john tanks, warzan and the like to play with/against


    Cult of Games Member

    – people like avernos, john tanks, warzan and the like to play with/against

    If they could add such things to a box…. that would be weird XD


    Cult of Games Member

    Another thing I’d like to see more of …

    Hidden information. This is hard to achieve without an umpire, but can be fun and help make a realistic fog of war. You can use blind tokens and decoy tokens to deceive your enemy. I guess most games don’t include this because not many people want to spend a lot of the game moving tokens around instead of their lovely miniatures. True enough, but the odd sprinkling of blind tokens for units behind hills etc could be nice I think. You could also have a system to keep true unit strengths secret until the unit is engaged (bit like Stratego). This may work best for historical periods where troops may look similar at a distance, but have varied strength. So you can see that infantry is advancing through woods towards you on your left, but you don’t know exactly how much of a threat they are until you scout them out or get stuck in.

    Some games do include these things I realise, but it’d be nice to see new innovations in the area.


    Cult of Games Member

    (1) Civillians, neutral 3rd party, animals, zombies, npc’s, random events, etc.
    Something to stop the battlefield from being so empty and force you to think about how  and where to use those big area effect weapons ….

    ‘The Walking dead:All out war’ did it, but Corespace does it even better with neutral npc’s that can be persuaded to join your side as well as 2 types of enemy/neutral factions that can appear on the battlefield. Conflict rarely happens far away from actual civilization …

    I’d love to see more games find a way to add this kind of thing into the game with minimal effort and maximum effect.

    (2) more miniatures agnostic systems …
    Historicals tend to have this a lot, but it’d be nice if fantasy and SF managed to make this happen by not having so many incompatible ‘scales’ (reminder : a unit of distance is never  a good indicator of scale)

    (3) support all factions equally all of the time
    Yes … I get it. Making more new shiny helps keep people buying stuff that can only ever be used for your specific game.
    But please think of the poor folk who are late to the party or want to start a new faction.
    Faction starter sets  go a long way, but at the same time they sort of make everyone use the same force.

    (4) beyond the starterbox …
    Starter sets are nice, but unless they are a tournament ready army there is a need to expand that rarely gets official help.

    (5) weather / interactive terrain / show the destruction
    It’s weird to see an army with monstrous machines and infantry armed with earth shattering weapons … and yet all buildings are still fully functional by the end of the game …


    Cult of Games Member

    More rules designed to be scale and miniature agnostic would be nice. Have a terrain generator that is appropriate for the type of game with associated meaningful mechanics.



    Miniature agnostic I agree with as it breaks the need for updating (and making shiny but expansive to produce core sets) and was part of what attracted many to Frostgrave in the first place, though it does tend to limit the amount of story building the writers can add to fictional settings unless they are using famous historical fighting forces as a base for their factions (say a magic using diesel punk kingdom that fields rifle troops in red and blue colored WW1 Germans uniforms alongside mongol style horse soldiers and uses Shermans as it main battle tanks).


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