Forum Replies Created
15/10/2021 at 12:22 in reply to: Fantasy harder than History? (alt title: “Fantasy harder than you think?”) #163292
Etanger, for generic Fantasy you could try Thud & Blunder by the Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare 😉15/10/2021 at 09:22 in reply to: Fantasy harder than History? (alt title: “Fantasy harder than you think?”) #163261
Of course, with fantasy, you could just abandon all that existing lore and create your own, for despite what the various fan groups say, it is not sacred.
So decide how you want your games to go, grab some figures, a set of generic fantasy rules, and have at it!
Let’s try this then…
Damn, why did that not work? I put in the picture’s instagram address 🙁
GW are rapidly restoring their reputation as IP hounds and proving to be a complete bag of d*cks about it.
That said, once you buy a set of rules you can do what you damned well please.
Authors like Andrea Sfiligoi, Joe McCullough and myself, actively encourage players to have at it and enjoy the game in any form they see fit.
It seems that you have a problem mark:
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This reads like you were using the IHMN rules?
We’ve pretty much given up on ‘rules’ for RPGs. There are one or two (basic success score of 7+, with mods) and some character class restrictions, but otherwise it is just the story and player interactions. That is what a good GM and decent players are there for.
I am with you there. I do write and publish (for free) my own RPGs, and they each have a single core mechanic which is a single die roll with a few suitable modifiers. For most tasks or challenges I expect players to work through them rather than point to a skill or ability and ask to roll.
I think that we need to accept that ‘old-school’ is a marketing label. It seeks to attract people of a certain age through making a link to a time that did not exist, except in their minds.
The term ‘narrative’ is increasingly becoming just such a label.
One of the ways we humans manage data is to categorize it and give these categories labels. These can be very useful, but they can also be exploited.
Anyway, if I were to define the term ‘narrative’ in a way that avoids simplistic categorization, I would say it is a game where afterwards the players do not talk about dice rolls, but the decisions and actions their units or figures took in emotive terms (heroic, tragic, doomed, glorious, sad, amazing etc…).
Brass sheeting was commonly used in the Victorian era to sheathe items, like we use plastic today. It was easy to work and waterproof.
And these are examples of the sculpt realized:
I’m loving every minute of it. I do like to watch character-led comedy.
IHMN2 – Contents Page 4
So, dear readers, we are moving onto the last page of our contents review of IHMN2. This is a bit of cheat because it also contains the last part of page 3.
In this article we shall be looking at Scenarios, Complications, Landscapes and Campaigns. In other words, the where and the why you play your games. As with all parts of these rules these are just examples, as we always encourage players to be creative.
The first part of chapter 10 deals with potential Scenarios. Detailing how to set the scenario up, what the objectives are, and how you score Victory Points (VPs). We have worked to provide a wide range of scenarios, each which presents its own challenges. Many of them come from the first edition, reworked to fit the updated rules. So, favourites like Bad Jack and Catch the Pigeon are in there, alongside new ones like ‘The Q-Bomb’ (fan points for anyone who can say what inspired that one).
The second part is the Complications, things like The Cloak off Night, Crumbling Ruins and the ever popular The Authorities. Each of these apply extra conditions on the game, that make it more challenging. There are seventeen of these, so if you apply one complication to each scenario, that increases your number of possible games to two-hundred and seventy-two.
As with all these rules, it is best to agree the scenario and any complications with your comrades before the game.
Now we understand that not everyone has a terrain collection the size of our friends Shaun and Terry. Also, that people might want to set their games in many places around the world, and often to suit their figure collection. In IHMN we have always detailed possible landscapes for games to be set in. This includes a general description, a list of the benefits such terrain brings, the hazards it may pose (including suitable complications), and the terrain types we suggest you may wish to deploy to represent it. There are four categories of landscapes including Urban, Rural, Ancient, and Fabulous Vehicles, which between them cover thirty-nine landscapes. Now who doesn’t want to fight through ancient temple ruins in old Siam, or aboard the Hindenburg far above the castles of Bavaria?
Overall, that is about ten thousand game combinations, and these are just the examples. We are sure that you can create many more. Over the last nine years I have only explored around two dozen of these.
The final chapter in the book tries to encapsulate the holy grail of wargaming, the functional Campaign. We did touch upon this in the original IHMN book, but only had space to fit in a few paragraphs over a couple of pages. This time we have given it the space it deserves.
The secret to running a functional campaign, i.e. one that works, is that the mechanics involved in planning and maintaining it are as simple as possible. KISS being one of our core design principles we applied it with gusto. We still produced over two and a half thousand words on such subjects as Structure and Narrative, Points Pools, Captures and Ransoms (what does happen to chaps you leave hors-de-combat on the field?), the Rewards for Success, Grand Finales, Victory and Player Awards and the Campaign Journal. We even included an example campaign straight out of Kipling; The Green-eyed Yellow Idol.
The word we would like to highlight in that last paragraph is ‘Narrative’. When you run a campaign with your friends, you are embarking on creating a compelling story of derring-do, foul villainy, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, and heroism. Every decision and roll of the die, weaves a web that you shall remember for years to come. In this regard, we hope, we have given you the tools to achieve it.
There you have it, one hundred and ninety-six pages, over eighty-thousand words, lovingly crafted to produce a game we have always wanted to play ourselves and can now share with you all. This journey has taken us nine long years and we regret not a single step.
As I write this, the first delivery of books is heading across the Baltic Sea and should be with our distributors in fair Nottingham next week. VSF is coming home.
This is the first Battle of Cable Street in 1894. The second was in 1936 🙂
Two small announcements.
The first is that NorthStar are now taking pre-orders for the rules. You can find them here: https://www.northstarfigures.com/list.php?man=148&page=1
The second is that we have now released three documents to support the launch of IHMN2:
1. the in-game Reference sheet,
2. a five page pamphlet describing the key rules changes between the first and second editions, and
3. a twenty-seven page pamphlet that brings IHMN Gothic into line with the new edition.
You can find them here:
In Her Majesty’s Name
Just scroll down to the bottom of the section on IHMN2.
You will note that this page also contains all the original supporting material for the first editions.
We hope that you find this information useful.
The third contents page features the Menagerie, Talents, Powers and the Companies. So, without further ado, let us dive in…
6.0 The Menagerie. This chapter did not exist in the original edition, and the only non-human creatures in the book were described under 5.4 Personal Transportation or in the companies themselves.
In our later books we quickly discovered that players needed detailed and costed descriptions of a wide range of domestic and wild animals. In IHMN2 we have added twenty-two animals from horses (three types) to lions, bears and crocodiles. These then can add flavour to your game as beasts of burden, objectives, company ‘pets’ and hazards.
We have also drawn together and defined a number of exotic creatures such as great apes, demons and mummies. These are generally much more dangerous or capable than ordinary animals and their attributes reflect this.
Finally, we come to Automata. The term “Automata” encompasses all artificially constructed creatures. There is a variety of mechanical automata and more horrific ones, like zombies and skeletons. This section was one we have been asked for many times by players of the original games, so we happily obliged.
7.0 Talents. These are special abilities that any figure may have, and they give the game much of its flavour.
Most are appropriate to the setting such as Erudite Wit, where one distracts one’s opponents with witty banter. Others give figures abilities they might have from their background or training such as Bayonet Drill or Medic. There are certain bits of equipment that are difficult or impossible to use if you do not have the appropriate talent like Steersman, Pilot or Engineer. A few reflect the innate capabilities of a figure such as Fanatic, Fearless or Impervious.
Most of the Talents listed come from the original edition and its supplements. These have been rewritten and re-costed. A few of them have been dropped entirely as they proved to be virtually unplayable. Again, player feedback was central to our decisions.
One of the Talents that first appeared in Blood Eagle, proved to be both popular and robust in play, so then appeared in Thud & Blunder, and now we are introducing it to IHMN. This is the Hero talent, that allows important figures a few die rerolls per game. This can be used to save their skin with a Pluck Roll or turn a miss into a hit on a vital strike. We think that shall prove popular in this game too.
The Companies lists show what Talents are standard and optional for each figure type.
8.0 Mystical Powers. This is possibly the chapter that has the most thorough overhaul. In the original edition we included these to reflect the supernatural beliefs that were commonly believed in the late Victorian period, but both the costing and execution of these was not up to the standards we now hold to.
In the books that followed IHMN, we wrote a series of books in which we explored how to organise and cost such powers. It is from these we have now created a range of powers that keep to the original intent and are useful in the game. Powers are now divided into lesser and greater and costed accordingly.
We have found that having these powers allows us to field companies whose focus is not on the high science and engineering of the period. It also gives more ancient and native peoples an edge by which to resist the relentless advance of Western powers.
Again, the Companies lists show which can have these powers and to what extent.
Of course, if you want to run a more ‘historical’ game you could just ignore this chapter altogether.
9.0 Companies. This section is the beating heart of the book, for it contains the balanced costing system that underpins all the others.
Unlike some organisations the Ministry believes in having a completely open approach to this, thereby giving you the power to develop your own content. We also believe in a rational approach to costing. Note that this mays seem a little complex at first but, as we have done with each of our books, we shall be publishing a system for automating this process on the Ministry blog.
Each of the companies has been chosen from the original three books, or those published on the blog, both for their enduring popularity and to give a wide range for players to choose from. We could not possibly have included every single company we had ever produced, or the book would be a 300+ page leviathan. But fear not, many of those companies that did not make it into this book may feature in future supplements or be released for free over the coming months.
Every company has been given a thorough overhaul, both in terms of costing, and to allow it to take advantage of all the new elements in this edition. For example, many can now field mechanized walkers. We were acutely aware that we needed to make these changes in keeping with the spirit of the original companies, but no company was left behind in terms of its equipment or capabilities.
This chapter also includes what had been originally a blog article on how to create your own company from scratch. We have always been supporters of player creativity, especially through having a comprehensive and open costing system. This section shows you in detail the steps to go through to make your own forces.
The original article has been much improved and features as an example the villainous Kentish Men. So altogether the book has twenty-four companies.
In the next article in this series we shall finish our journey through the contents pages with the Landscapes, Scenarios, Complications and Campaign chapters.
So, onto the second of the four contents pages.
These cover all of Chapter 4.0 and most of Chapter 5.0 and contain many new delights for veteran players of IHMN.
Starting with 4.0 The Playing Area we have the usual, though improved rules on Terrain, in all its deadly forms. Difficult and Impassable will seem familiar, but in Dangerous terrain we begin to see changes such as giving various types of this terrain Danger Ratings which, in turn, have Pluck Modifiers.
Active terrain is that which come at you, such as the Clapham Omnibus, cattle stampedes, avalanches etc. These do not sit around for you to interact with them but make it their business to wreck your best-laid plans. These arose through playing city games, where we had to devise what happens when the numerous steam trucks, hansom cabs and omnibuses came into contact with the player’s figures. I once watched a brewery dray sort out a vicious fight between Black Dragon Tong members and Brick Lane Communards, by simply running them down.
Then it is on to traps. They have always been a home brew rules thing, until we formalised them in Thud & Blunder. Now we have updated them for the late 19th Century and put them in this book for your devious delight and delectation. A mite ungentlemanly if you ask me.
For many years, you have asked us questions on how you can break into or out of buildings and other structures. What weapons are suitable for this? What happens if we set them on fire? So, here we are, an entire sub-section dedicated to this, along with the new term ‘Resilience’ – which is essentially Pluck for structures. Examples of several structure types are also given to assist you in play.
The rules on visibility have been existed since the very beginning, but we have taken these back into the workshop, sharpened them up and given them a new layer of rules varnish.
Sea State and Wind Force are factors that will affect games set upon the high seas or far above in the skies. Not all maritime encounters will take place on a calm sea, nor aerial combat take place in a windless sky. These two subsections show how you can make things much more interesting.
So, Chapter 4.0 brings you many options. As usual you should remember 1.5.3 The Power of Rules and use them as you see fit.
Chapter 5, The Armoury, has possibly undergone the widest range of changes in the book. Most of these have come from your feedback and, the many battle reports that we have read. We have also pooled most of the equipment from the armouries of all the three original books and, made some hard thought through decisions.
Let’s have at it then. Armour will not seem too different, though a number of armour types have been modified. The Magneto-static waistcoat/bodice is now the Magneto-static Repulsor and can be added to most armour types from civilian clothing all the way up to the Patent Kelly Suit.
We have introduced Armour ‘Properties’, and the Faraday and Vulcan armours are now something you add to armour.
We have spent considerable time rationalizing the Fighting and Shooting weapons tables. As you may know we work on the principle of generic weapon types, rather than having hundreds of different sub-types. In addition to these main types, we have added some new definitions such as Wrecking and Precision, which affect how they can be used and allow certain Talents to affect them.
Grenades and, their use in thrown and rocket form, are now better defined. Something we used to get many questions about in the first edition. Similarly, we have carried this new clarity forward into Shells and Bombs as well.
The Equipment section has had a complete overhaul and we have finally clarified the various power sources for weapons, armour, equipment, weird science, vehicles, and mechanized walkers. This shall make it so much easier for you to cost your own weird and deadly inventions.
Some items of equipment and weird science have been sent to the IHMN Museum of Curiosities as being overly complicated, unplayable or never seen played. A fine example is the Edison Beam Translator. We have only ever seen this used once, and it was a game breaker, so now it is an exhibit of our creative hubris.
Those who get to the end of the Weird Science section will find Mystical Wards. These are one of the few items to make it into the main rules from IHMN Gothic (with a nod the Thud & Blunder). You will find truly little kit from Gothic because we still consider that to be a separate game. IHMN is Science Fiction and, Gothic is Horror. Do not worry though because we shall continue to support Gothic and have prepared a pamphlet to guide Gothic players on how to use their game with the changes within IHMN2.
The section on Vehicles has had a major rethink, as we recognise that many of you want to include more of these in your games. There is so much improvement we are not going to go into details regarding all of them here. Just that the design and costing of vehicles has been made much more robust., so you shall be able to create anything you like.
There are eighteen fully developed and costed land vehicles for you to use, thirteen maritime vessels, and four aerial ones. As with the rest of this section we provide generic types but also the rules and options for you to modify them if you so wish.
We shall not be surprised to see high points armoured vehicle clashes in future games.
Well last, but by no means least, is the section on mechanised walkers. We essentially took everything we had written previously on walkers, put it in a wastepaper basket and set fire to it.
The whole concept has been rewritten from the ground up, as we recognised that many of you wanted to play games with walkers, but what we had written before did not give you the tools to do so in a satisfying and logical manner.
Now there are complete rules on how to design, equip, crew, armour, arm and cost mechanised walkers of your own. There are subsections on how to use, damage and, even repair your walkers in the field. In addition, we have created twenty-one example walkers serving each of the Great Powers, and other nations. Many of the companies in the book also list appropriate walkers as options they can deploy on the tabletop.
To give you an idea how excited we are about this, I currently have seven mechanised walkers on my craft bench in various states of assembly and painting, and our friend Duncan has created two 3D print designs I shall shortly print off. Expect to see these dangerous figures featured in future battle reports and at Show participation games.
And that is it. Next week we will reveal more about the Menagerie (which includes Automatons), Talents, Mystical Powers and finally, the Companies.25/01/2021 at 09:00 in reply to: Do I Really want to Pay More For Wargames Figures? #150005
Gentlemen, ladies and Mike 😉
A fascinating discussion to be sure, but I think we need to, as my old grandma used to put it – calm the feck down a bit.
This debate about overpricing figures is a bit like the endless ‘edition wars’, where some gamers lament that they have been priced out of their favourite game by companies who keep changing their rules and the figures required to play them.
If a company wishes to charge what the market will bear, that is not an unethical business practice. This is a hobby, not a pharmaceutical necessity.
Consider this instead. We are now in an absolute Golden Age with such a range of games and figures as honestly beggars all understanding.
When I started if you want to play ACW you had to modify Airfix Napoleonics. If you wanted to play fantasy pretty much the only manufacturer was Minifigs micro-blobs. Every lead figure had moulding flash and I have over thirty, worn, specialist files and dental tools to prove it
Now we have an embarrassment of riches in every scale and at every price point imaginable. They are having to invent gaming genres just to keep selling well-produced, full colour rulesets, and new figures.
You can pick up decent figures for pennies on Ebay and similar sites, and even 3D print your own at cost.
I think it is time we counted our blessings rather than harping on about some manufacturer’s business practices. There’s enough stress going around in the world at the moment, let’s keep our hobby stress-free.
Volley fire has been part of the game since the very first book. It allows troops who are faced by a well-armoured opponent, to group their shooting together and give them a better chance of taking that opponent out.
As a narrative skirmish game with a very low figure count, true volley fire would be impractical.
IHMN2 – Contents Ppage 1
The next thing we shall reveal about the new book are its four contents pages.
As we done in all Ministry books we do not have an index. Instead we have a highly detailed set of contents pages and hundreds of numbered cross-references in the text.
To make finding things easier we not only have clear page numbers at the bottom of each page, but a section heading at the top on the outer edge. This allows you to quickly flick through pages to find the page you need.
In the digital version all the cross-references are hyperlinks making it even easier to navigate through the book.
So, onto the first contents page, covering sections 1.0 to 3.7. If you have read our recent books – Blood Eagle and Thud & Blunder – then much of this is very familiar. However IHMN players may notice a few extra or different items.
Cast you eyes down to 3.2 The Movement Phase, and you shall see that there is more detail here including extensive rules for flying, climbing, crossing gaps (perfect for those rooftop chases) and getting on or off mounts and vehicles. This last pone is important because we have a larger section of lad, sea and air vehicles in the Armoury (5.4).
In 3.3 The Shooting Phase we have added clearer rules for grenades, shells and bombs as well has how to deal with structures, vehicles and mechanised walkers. We repeat this in 3.4 The Fighting Phase for attacking vehicles and mechanised walkers.
3.6 is a completely new rule – Heroics. We found in both Blood Eagle and Thud & Blunder that players liked their heroes and leaders to have hero points, which can be spent to give the option of die rerolls.
3.7 Aftermath has been alsoy extended to cover animals, exotic creatures, automata, vehicles and mechanised walkers.
Well, there we are the first page done. Watch this space for more on the other three contents pages.
As always you can fire questions at us on our Facebook page, the Lead Adventure forum, and other fora which we regularly appear on (OnTableTop and The Wagames Website, to name but two).
Thanks Mike 🙂
Thanks for that – bought the bundle and downloaded it 🙂
Cool. The green one looks like it has a floral pattern on it, brush strokes?
Using a green wash over a thick white undercoat I’m afraid – not clever painting from me 🙂09/09/2020 at 09:05 in reply to: In Her Majesty’s Name – Second Edition, Design Note 4 #143791
I think that it is also worth noting that The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare is just a two-man operation, with Charles down in the Home Counties and I in deepest, darkest Mid-Wales (it’s like the Congo, but wetter).
This is why our books take longer and we are not pumping out material every week 🙂09/09/2020 at 09:02 in reply to: In Her Majesty’s Name – Second Edition, Design Note 4 #143790
Hang on, this game is pointless! I’ve just read down the list of companies and seen ‘The Mounties’ – they must win every time as they always get their man
Especially when their Cree Allies bring a Sasquatch to the party 😀
For mass battle rules you could try One Page Rules: Age of Fantasy: https://onepagerules.com/portfolio/age-of-fantasy/
Easy to learn and core rules are free.
- The Brick Lane Commune for the IHMN2 participation game,
- Frostgrave metal female warriors, because they’re cool,
- The new Oathmark Ogre, because its awesome,
- 30+ stacks of crates and boxes for the IHMN2 participation game,
- A light mechanized walker for the IHMN2 participation game,
- A Saxon Warband for Blood Eagle, as my Vikings are getting stale, and
- The walls for a Victorian Warehouse for the IHMN2 participation game.
I have several wagons and carts inbound from Sarissa for the IHMN2 participation game.
And I’m thanking Covid-19 for the opportunity to get into all of this 🙂
I have always printed them myself on light card. Dave Graffam’s buildings are the best and I use quite a few of them.
Afterwards I adhere coffee stirrers inside to provide structural strength and make sure the base is glued to hardboard or thin MDF. This makes them really quite robust. I have such buildings I have used monthly for some years and they are still great.
Earlier I used to print them on good photo paper. Then measure them and construct an internal structure from 5mm foamcard. This two proves to be pretty robust, but use PVA not other glues, as they can peel over time.
Tea, Earl Grey, hot. Oh, and a Mark II Matilda tank, 1/56 scale, colour Italian campaign 1944.
Is it? Or is it just what happens if you have big glossy rules to go with your figures and have a large online presence and sell 28mm/32mm figures?
It is very difficult for us producers of smaller games and figures to compete with the big boys, simply because we do not have the marketing presence that they can deploy. Their scale of production also means that their figures are usually cheaper, and they not averse to giving their rules away for free.
However, there are still creators and producers who spend a lot of time promoting their wares through forums, blogs, websites, Facebook groups etc., and building a loyal following. Annie Norman is the obvious example, but you could include the Too Fat Lardies amongst others.
The key is get known by the big review websites, the key fora (like this one and Lead Adventure) and the physical and digital magazine editors. These are the influencers in our hobby. Provide content for the magazines, send copies of your rules or free figures to the reviewers, and good photos of well-painted miniatures and terrain in an actual game, catch people’s eye. Record games on YouTube, offer yourself up for podcasts.
Also it is very important is to appear at shows and run games for the punters with your figures/rules/terrain, or engage friends to do this while you flog stuff from your trade stand. So many people these days take photos and videos for the blogs, and this is the modern equivalent of word-of-mouth.
Every week, without fail, google your name and the name of your products. This leads you to blog articles/reviews, where you can leave positive comments, and fora you never knew existed.
Even if you are a one man band, if you are not spending at least a third of your time doing this sort of personal marketing, then you will eventually just fade away or end up eking out an existence between bills.
Even after seven years I am still learning this and it is an art, not a science.
Or you could try Thud & Blunder 😉
I wonder if the current trend of skirmish games isn’t helping here.
I believe quite the opposite Roger.
One of the big barriers to entry in wargaming has been the sheer cost of buying rules, terrain and figures. Big battle gaming is beautiful but it is often complex and time consuming. Whereas skirmish rules are usually quite simple to pick up, if not immediately master, and buying the necessary figures and terrain is a lot cheaper.
I believe that the big growth we have seen in the hobby has come as a result of smaller ‘scale’ wargaming, and the diversity of opportunities for new people to play.
A lot of people would no doubt love to field armies with hundreds of figures and spend all day doing it. However, they also appreciate games you can set up and play, in full, in a club evening. They also cannot afford it in terms of investment of time and money.
If Craig’s point is that we can all make this hobby stronger, I think he is right.
It was, but it has gone a wandering as these things oft-times do 🙂
It was written with my friend John Lambshead.
There was a section that drew a lot of unwelcome attention. Their intention was not bad, but the delivery of that section was poor.
The rest of the book is pretty sound.
Sounds very much like Warhammer 40K to me. I have seen many games where the initial salvo by the side that goes first wrecks the enemy’s chances of winning. It is one of the reasons I stopped playing, that and the ability to outspend their opponent to victory.
Asymmetric scenarios can be fun, if people know that they are unbalanced to start with and accept the challenge that offers.
Kobayashi Maru eh?
I have placed a fair number of counters randomly across the battlefield. Each is numbered on the underside, and once placed I then generate a series of random numbers that indicate hazards and treasures/bonuses. So when a counter is encountered the person who does so can look at it and check the list for the result.
I have a very twisted imagination Mike…
Thud & Blunder? 😉13/01/2020 at 11:47 in reply to: Help me find a replacement fantasy rule set please #129433
If you want a large scale, grid based battle game I suggest To the Strongest!
Although it is focused on Ancient and Medieval warfare, it is the work of moments to knock up a fantasy army list. The author, Simon Lewis, frequently uses these rules to play battles in Glorantha after all.
The key advantage of the game is that you can play a humongous game in just an evening, so perfect for club play.
Have a look here: https://bigredbatshop.co.uk/pages/about-to-the-strongest
Which rules set were you using?