Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Wargaming on the cheap: 1/72 plastic soldiers
A couple weeks ago I picked up a big pile of 1/72 scale plastic medieval soldiers and cavalry on eBay for $5. I've dabbled in 1/72 scale figs before, primarily for WWII wargaming, but these guys look pretty sharp (and the price was definitely right). Check out my preliminary color schemes above. I could drop another $30, I think, and get all the miniatures I'll ever need.
So that's got me thinking about rulesets for medieval wargaming. I don't necessarily want to do full-on ancients, because I'm not interested in the historical stuff whatsoever. That rules out De Bellis Antiquitatis, but I'm still keen to take a look at Hordes of the Things, the fantasy spinoff ruleset.
But really, I think my search is at an end, because I just found out yesterday that Games Workshop's Warmaster rulebook is available free on the Web. While the magic stuff and esoteric races probably won't hold much interest for me right now, I think Warmaster's core mechanic is fantastic. It really reflects the ebb and flow of battle on a strategic scale, and it doesn't bog down with tactical minutia (which is better handled by other rule systems). Instead, it's a clean-flowing game that simulates the movement of hundreds of troops on a battlefield.
Plus it's free.
And while it's designed for 10mm scale gaming, I'm guessing it'll scale up just fine for 1/72 (which is 20mm in scale). And I've got a fair collection of terrain for my kitchen table.
What I'd really like to do is use this ruleset to play out some grand battles in George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire setting—his books were full of such clashes. To that end, I'll be painting up my 1/72 dudes in generic-looking paint schemes that might pass for the noble Houses of Martin's Westeros.