Monday, 8 June 2015

Favourite Rules

Over the course of my Wargames career  must have tried umpteen set of rules - ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. I have used rules that are incredibly complicated (and have had the headaches to prove it) and those that are incredibly simple - as I suspect most readers of the blog have at one time or another. As part of my ongoing and angst ridden struggle to decide on that which floats my boat in the best possible way from a Wargames perspective it crossed my mind that perhaps this is a question that many gamers can relate to - what are your favourite rules and why?

For myself as it stands at present the two types of rules are probably unsurprising - namely Command and Colours and DBA. It is easy to see why. Both sets are readily usable for a variety of periods and still yield very gameable results - using DBA as an example who would have thought that they could have been used (and abused) for so many different periods? Clearly this is a set of rules of no common clay! The same could be said of Command and Colours.

I am going to put this challenge out into the Wargames ether. I would love to hear about your top 5 sets of rules (and why) and to set the ball rolling mine are listed below. There are no prizes as this is just a little bit of fun. These are in no particular order as this is not a poll as such.

1. Charge! - nostalgic for sure but enormous fun all the same
2. Battle - often imitated but the original probably did more for WW2 gaming than anything other set I could think of.
3. DBA - taking figure gaming into a whole new abstract direction and for the huge number of derived sets
4. Command and Colours - many of the DBA comments could be applied to this system
5. Ship of the Line - these were the rules that inspired Wooden Ships and Iron Men. The combat and damage system for naval combat was absolutely first class and spawned a host of other sets.

Significantly the authors of three of my top five are no longer with us but their legacy lives on. These are very much my personal choices so I am not looking for criticism! It would be fun though to hear about other gamer's choices.

7 comments:

Conrad Kinch said...

I think Command & Colours has probably done more to further my love of wargaming than anything else. I'm very fond of Little Wars as well. Rick Priestly's Warhammer 40,000 launched a thousand wargamers and I'm a big fan of the setting, so there's a third.

David Crook said...

Hello there Mr Kinch,

I suspect that C and C will get a lot of positive comments and whilst for me Little Wars is the quintessential wargame and I am a huge fan of the concept the execution is a little beyond me. I have never been able to reconcile myself to live firing rather than using dice! Interesting re WH40K - I am not a huge fan of the whole thing although Space Hulk is one of my favourite games - especially the version with the timer!

All the best,

DC

Paul O'G said...

I like a range of different rules for gaming different periods and different scales:

The Battlegroup series are probably my favourite company+ level for 15mm games

I really like CoC for WW2 skirmish

SAGA does great things for me even though they have abstractions, but are a lot of fun

EPIC (aka Space Marine) is a classic 6mm SF but I also like the grittier Dirtside II.

IHMN is a very fun VSF skirmish game

Fields of Honour is my Colonial rules et of choice, unless we are playing something more light hearted in which case we play The Sword and the Flame

Aeronef is my game of choice for steam powered flyers

GQ1 and 2 is an old favourite for fleet scale naval engagements in WW1 and 2

WS&IM is my fav naval rules for Napoleonics

...etc

So you can see I'm not much help in this matter!

Kevin Kearney said...

My home-brew rules are an amalgam of Command & Colors, DBA, and Song of Blades and Heroes. There's 3. I struggled to come up with 2 more.

This was a fun question, though, because in my efforts to find 2 more I went back and perused a series on my blog that I called Retrospective (http://warwellwg.blogspot.com/search?q=retrospective). I looked back at the rules and games that most influenced me. Mythic might be another on my list although I really don't play it as written.

Sean said...

Very interesting. A tough question for me as I'm an extreme waffler. Squad Leader and Warhammer Fantasy Battle 3rd Edition had the biggest effect on me although I've played much more of the former than the latter. I've only played Battle Cry, which I believe uses the C & C system, but haven't formed an opinion yet. The last few years I've played a fair amount of Rally Round the King which is a DBA element style game. So many more titles I want to play.

Prince Lupus said...

interestingly the games I play most - Saga, BlackPowder, Fire and Fury Rapid Fire are not my favourite rules but a happy compromise of the "Group".

My personal favourites would be:
Charge
Crossfire
Kiss Rommel
Volley and Bayonet

All simple but subtle

Dick Bryant said...

My favorite for WWII/Korea is Cross Fire. The no measurement, no turns "invention" give a true feel to Company tactics.
Next is CoC for platoon level "skirmish" games.
SeeKreig V for WWII naval games. One has to be a "rivet Counter" to be a true WWII Naval gamer and this fits the bill.
CY6 for air games.
Finally, Column,Line & Square for nostalgia and for Napoleonics. This is the set of rules I was "born" into wargaming with in the 60's and palyed for 3 years before I even knew that there were other sets of rules.

Dick Bryant