Home Forums General General Why Do You Change Rulesets?

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    Avatar photoWhirlwind

    Considering one thing and another, I got to wonder about changing rulesets and why people do it.  What has caused you to change playing a ruleset that you were enjoying?

    Avatar photoAutodidact-O-Saurus

    Usually curiosity to see how they ‘feel’. I’m mostly a solo player so I’m not too influenced by the rules du jour.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    Avatar photoRuarigh

    Mainly because we stopped enjoying it. The outcome of the games became too predictable. I cannot discount fads and fashions too though. New shiny rules come along and we have to try them out. I’ve lost count of the number of 15mm sci fi rules sets we have played, but, fads aside, each offers something different. Perhaps it’s a new rules mechanism, or perhaps it’s a different approach or style. I don’t think we have ever found the One True Rules Set that will make all others obsolete.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


    Avatar photoDeleted User

    George Mallory famously claimed he would climb mountains because “I can”.

    I, less famously, change rule sets because I can.

    The power of setting the parameters to suit yourself is certainly an attraction in a hobby that seems to be filled with anarchists and individuals.


    Avatar photoChris Pringle

    My ruleset progression has broadly been away from overly-detailed, fiddly, attritional/predictable rules for small scale actions towards cleaner, faster, streamlined rules that get full battles done in a shorter time and with more entertaining variability along the way.

    I wrote an essay on my blog a while ago that perhaps gives a more general / partial answer to the question:



    Bloody Big BATTLES!


    Avatar photowarwell

    I am not entirely satisfied with my current rules set. Looking for the “Holy Grail” that will make me completely content.

    Avatar photoMr. Average

    The kind of games I play are pretty esoteric – high level company/battalion/regimental tactical sci fi games are not common: you basically have Future War Commander, Iron Cow, Dirtside, Strike Legion, and… that’s it. Everything else is Skirmish these days. Not to kick skirmish, it’s just there are a bazillion skirmish rule sets at the moment – that makes them easier to switch around with, I’d imagine.

    Avatar photoPhil Dutré

    Even though a ruleset might have served you for many years, at some point, it will become old-fashioned. Newer gaming mechanics are introduced into the hobby, and you will not find them in an old ruleset. That doesn’t mean the older ruleset cannot be used anymore, but sometimes you simply want to upgrade to the current state-of-the-art.

    Also, the constraints of the hobby change over time. Once upon a time it was acceptable to have a game for a full weekend, moving 500 figures individually, but if the current constraints tend towards 2-hour games using 50 figures a side, that should translate in the rules as well.

    I use house rules for most of my games, and I tweak them slightly after every game. Hence, my rulesets have changed continuously over the years.


    Avatar photoGrimheart

    As someone mentioned above, always looking for the “holy grail”, the perfect set of rules!

    Interest include 6mm WW2, 6mm SciFi, 30mm Old West, DropFleet, Warlords Exterminate and others!

    Avatar photoMartinR

    Because what I like to do changes, and new and interesting things come along.  Rules are always pretty transient, but the great joy of figure gaming is that you will still have the toys to use with new rules in the future. I shudder to think how many different sets of rules my poor old Napoloenic and WW2 troops have been through.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    Avatar photoNot Connard Sage

    Because otherwise I’d still be playing Grant’s ‘Battle’? Or even worse, those ‘ultra-realistic’ horrors that were the vogue in the 80s.

    Change is good. Variety is good. Despite that, I still tend to be conservative – if I have a favourite set it takes a lot to pry me away from it. I still haven’t found anything better than Might & Reason for WSS, but I haven’t looked too hard. 🙂


    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    In no particular order:

    * The new game has a cool idea or mechanic or does something interesting.

    * I’ve gotten annoyed with something in the current game.

    * I love reading and learning new mechanics.

    * The cover might look really cool.

    * If you never try new things, brain-worms set in.

    Avatar photoShahbahraz

    Main reason? Because the people I enjoy playing with are using something different. I respect their opinion, so if they think a game is worth trying I will give it a go. I also have a range of periods I have an interest in where I haven’t found a ruleset I really like yet. This has changed a little as I have now found rules I like for small actions for WW2, I have found rules for small actions in the black powder era. I have rules I don’t mind for massed battles of the WSS, and I have a few I want to try for Napoleonics or 7YW. No-one locally plays my ancients rules of choice sadly.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.co.uk/ --

    Avatar photoDeleted User

    I’ve only been rules migrating the for last 2 years, I was pretty happy until I found the simpler and elegant NWG rules. Now I’m always on the lookout for new mechanics that fit the feel I had in mind.

    Avatar photoNathaniel Weber

    I like trying out new games and, if I play one game long enough, will probably start to grow tired of it (this happened with Battleground WWII, Arc of Fire, Fire and Fury, and Check your 6–all great games I played a ton of).  But given a break, I’ll go back to old rules after a while and enjoy them again.

    Avatar phototelzy amber

    Mr Average wrote:

    The kind of games I play are pretty esoteric – high level company/battalion/regimental tactical sci fi games are not common: you basically have Future War Commander, Iron Cow, Dirtside, Strike Legion, and… that’s it.

    What about FiveCore Company Commander, FiveCore Brigade Commander, Striker II Traveller (it’s Command Decision/Test of Battle in Spaaace, each unit is a platoon)?

    In general I prefer skirmish, but in the main I’m passive about rules. I play whatever the group wants as the game is a social event for me.

    Yeah, I’m pathetic

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    Nothing wrong with playing “whatever”. One of my old mates just wanted to play. Sure, there were games he liked a bit more or less. Ditto for periods or settings.
    But ultimately, if we got together, rolled dice and had a beer, that’s what counted.

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    I’ve only been rules migrating the for last 2 years, I was pretty happy until I found the simpler and elegant NWG rules. Now I’m always on the lookout for new mechanics that fit the feel I had in mind.

    I’m sorry I broke the tranquility! 🙂

    Avatar photoThuseld

    I want to play different things at different times. I my want to go in a bug hunt a la Aliens one day, but then pit a combined arms force against another to take control of a city. I my then want to play two large WW2 forces one day, and then a squad vs squad another day. It depends on my mood.

    Also the element of “ooh,  pretty”.

    Avatar photokyoteblue

    I buy more rules than I ever play as I have such a hard time learning new rules.  Shrug.

    Avatar photoShaun Travers

    I enjoy playing new rules!  Actually when i was younger with a lot more FTF we only played the latest WRG Ancients rules for ancients., and for 12 years just Armati II.  For WW2, Tractics, then Combined Arms, then Take Cover!! over a space on 25 years.  I flutter to new rules as I am a butterfly and have lots and lots of rulesets and want to play them all (!) as I find it very interesting on mechanisms used and an authors interpretation of battle.

    The rules I play the most for the last 7 years now for WW2 and ancients are my own that I have steadily playtested and modified so in that respect I have not changed rules, just constantly tweaked 🙂


    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton

    I come from the generation of wargamers who had to write our own rules.  To this day virtually all the rules I use are the ones written by wargaming friends or by myself dating back to the 1960s.

    That said I do play games with 3 commercial rule sets even though I am never quite satisfied with them – The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Bolt Action –


    Because our grandchildren like to play them and also they can play the games with their friends.

    Avatar photogrizzlymc

    I write my own rules, and when I find a good set, I modify them out of all belief.


    Because otherwise I’d still be playing Grant’s ‘Battle’? Or even worse, those ‘ultra-realistic’ horrors that were the vogue in the 80s.🙂

    Like you I moved on from Grant and Featherstone to those ‘ultra-realistic’ horrors’ and learned something pretty quick after what passed for my brayn exploded… the KISS Principle.

    The KISS Principle has been the only constant in the last half century of playing with toy sowjers. As we’ve got older myself and the rest of the Dynamic Dunderheads only tinker with old skool rules to make ’em even simpler. Factors, charts and computations to produce a thick or brilliant General… who needs ’em. Dream up a magnificent flank attack with the Hussar Brigade, then declare you’re movement phase over, only to have a brayn fart because, in the heat of battle, you forget to move said Hussar Brigade!

    KISS made easy thanks to senile dementia!!!


    "Wot did you do in the war Grandad?"

    "I was with Harry... At The Bridge!"

    Avatar photoMike

    I generally only change rules when changing genre.
    My 6mm centric sci-fi rules did not translate well to 15mm fantasy.
    Having said that, the rules I first used for 15mm fantasy whilst good, were not quite meaty enough, hence moving away from them.

    Avatar photoJay T

    Usually caving into the hype.

    Then I go straight back to the three sets I nearly always use!


    https://miniaturewar.games - My Mostly Historical Blog

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