Archive for the ‘wargames’ Category

Dungeon Tactics – A light one-page skirmish wargame

August 18, 2019


I’ve been on a wargaming kick of late.  I particularly like skirmish wargames, mainly because they’re easier and cheaper to get into and require less hobby work to prepare.  They play faster, too.

The wannabe game designer in me is still there, and has been chomping at the bit to design a skirmish game of my own.  After a few aborted attempts, I think I’ve come up with something decent.  And it’s inspired by the wannabe RPG designer in me, by way of one-page RPGs (ala Nicolas Dessaux’s Searchers of the Unknown).

The intent is to create an easy to play wargame requiring as little additional buy-in as possible.  Many gamers probably already have everything they need to start: dice, miniatures and some kind of 1-inch grid playing surface.  Tokens or glass beads are also handy.

Dungeon Tactics can be played using any miniatures in the 25-32mm range.  One could also use cardboard pawns (say from Pathfinder) or even the cardboard counters WotC put out for 4th edition DnD.

For the playing surface, both Wizards and Paizo sell affordable (well, affordable by wargming standards, at least) dungeon tiles which are still in print.  Or you could dig out your old HeroQuest board, or use tiles from another dungeon crawl game, or use your Space Hulk tiles, or a Chessex battlemat, or one of many different pre-printed maps.  Or go down to Staples and get an easel pad with a 1-inch grid on it and draw your own maps.

Next up I think is Advanced Dungeon Tactics, with rules for campaigns.  Plus, magic items, and maybe races and classes, as well.  The concept is readily expandable.  Cheers!



April 1, 2019



Catalyst Games released a new starter box set last month for the venerable BattleTech board game.  I remember looking at BattleTech back in high school (a loooooong time ago), but we never really got into it.  I think we may have thought it was too complicated.

The components of the new box set are fairly high quality.  The plastic mech models, especially, are very nice.  They’re high quality unicast model’s using new designs.  They really look the part of robust mechs striding the battlefield.  The set also comes with a number of cardboard stand ins, a pair of nice paper maps, some dice, a really well designed cardboard reference sheet and, of course, the rules.


All the mech miniatures from the core box and the beginner set box, primered in sand color

So we gave the new BT box set a try a few weeks ago.  At first glance it seemed way more complicated than I like, and I wasn’t sure this was going to be the game for me.  However, the core rules, despite appearances, are actually fairly easy to work with.

It probably helps that the rules have been gradually refined over the last 30-ish years, so that they are basically consistent and they make sense.  This is unlike a certain British game company that shall go unnamed (Games Workshop 😉 ) that basically rewrites their rules sets every few years.


Awesome and Battlemaster assault mechs painted up in camouflage pattern

Right now I’m still playing at what is considered Level 2 rules, which don’t include things like artillery, infantry, tanks, aircraft, as well as some of the more complicated situational rules.  However, the nice thing about BattleTech is that it’s designed so that you can layer additional complexity as you’re ready for it.

Nor have I tried my hand at building a custom mech yet, which is a huge part of the game.  I’ll give that a try once I have a better grasp on the important concepts of the game.


The rest of the gang, painted up.

A friend also started a Savage Worlds BattleTech campaign.  It uses SW rules for the RPG bits, and BattleTech for the combat bits.  The hybrid rules have been working pretty well and the game has been a blast to play.


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