Saturday 29 June 2019

Re-Exploring Old Rulesets


I can't believe it's almost the end of June and I've not posted anything here for almost a month!

Saying that, I've been rather busy both with my lovely wife's birthday, two weeks holidays and organising our spare room/man cave/library. This has given me the chance to finally have a bit of a sort through my old ruleset collection which has given me the urge to have a good rummage through the books and have a peruse!

I'm often struck by what a shame it is when great games vanish or are left in a zombie state where they are still available but never get any support, be that new releases or indeed anybody playing them. It's doubly so when some of these games have a fascinating setting with some great ideas that really lend themselves to brilliant fun gaming possibilities.

Take a look at Kryomek for example. It's never been out of production, the rules are freely available to download and the miniatures are still being made but it gets very little attention these days. I must admit that I'm just as guilty as any as I originally picked up the books back in the 90's from the long lamented Mac's Models in Edinburgh as well as a handful of miniatures but never seriously tried to play a game.

Similarly, Void 1.1 is still readily available, the rules are also free downloads and the figures are still available. I even had a VASA force fully painted back in the day but sold it off when I went off to uni and never really got back into it which is a real shame as the rules are really good and the setting is rather enjoyable!

For fantasy gaming, how about Crucible by FASA? While the company is long gone, the core rule book is still available from Ral Partha Europe and the forces are generic enough to allow proxy games without too much issue. The rules themselves are actually really good and the setting is brilliant but nobody plays it.

I think part of the issue with these games is that they are aimed at the GW sort of large scale gamers with multiple units, large gaming surfaces and infinite time to paint stuff for them whereas my interests have moved onto smaller scale skirmishing with at most a couple of dozen figures a side. But should this stop me from incorporating the settings, forces and ideas into the sort of games I play now?

No! Having re-read quite a few of my old books, I'm sorely tempted to put together some small skirmish bands and explore the settings. Imagine a UNION marine squad from Vor: The Maelstrom being dispatched to scout a new world and encountering some unfriendly Growlers or Nexus Marines being tasked with searching a hulk and discovering a Kryomek infestation. How about Principality adventurers exploring ancient ruins for artifacts of power in Crucible or grim survivors fighting over precious supplies in the endless wastes of Leviathan's Aeroth.

The list is infinite and the possibilities for some really fascinating games are out there and it's well worth having a peek at some of the old, forgotten and unappreciated rulesets that are sat in many folks collections.

These possibilities are even greater when using 15mm scale figures as it's possible to create a decent sized skirmish force for under a tenner. For example, Star Mogul only requires about a dozen figures and a vehicle a side while Nuclear Renaissance only needs a handful plus suitably converted vehicles.

With this in mind, I hope to use the opportunity to put together some small forces by rummaging my leadpile of 15mm gubbins to see what I can put together. I will be using the month of July to see what themed forces I can clobber together and see how feasible such a scheme would be.

A good example of this is my Bauhaus Jaeger squad that I put together a while back:

Bauhaus Jaegers

They are Ground Zero Games miniatures with added shoulder pads which gives them the suitably 90's Warzone vibe and with a few additions, I have a Warzone 1st edition force ready to rock!

It's going to be an interesting process and we shall have to see what I come up with but hopefully I will resume regular posting here and I even have a couple of batches of 15mm stuff that I've finished off over the last couple of weeks that needs posting up so watch this space!