Saturday, 25 September 2010

Te Wapen - Fantasy Rules by Phil Dutre

It must have been about four years ago I printed off a copy of a Battle Cry/Memoir 44/Command and Colours derived set of fantasy rules called Te Wapen by Phil Dutre that are available from the files section of the yahoo group of the same name. These came about before the 'official' Command and Colours fantasy game Battlelore was released. With these rules and a large number of unpainted D and D figures and some cardboard scenery I managed, on a rather rainy Sunday afternoon, to have a game using them with my daughter and they were tremendous fun. They use the tried and trusted mechanics from the Command and Colours system but with a simple difference. Rather than using period specific command cards they use a standard deck which for me is a great idea. All the usual fantasy attributes are included – orcs, elves, dwarves, monsters, heroes, wizards, clerics, undead, magic weapons, banners and artefacts – and the system is a quick and simple one to use.

My interest in gaming in a fantasy environment waned at the time simply because it was yet another distraction and would have been potentially expensive given the prices for most fantasy type figures. I ditched the rules and used the plastic wallets and the folder for something more pressing (which is probably still sitting in the back of a cupboard somewhere!). Fantasy gaming is something that I have always fancied tackling but baulked at anything GW based as my own preference is for something a little more, for want of a better expression, mainstream. This means for me the worlds of Tolkein or even Conan. No doubt readers will have noted my recent acquisition of great piles of GW Lord of the Rings figures – not to mention books – and also the Complete Chronicles of Conan and the superb visual guide to Hyboria. I want a quick playing set of rules and had already decided on HOTT when I remembered about the Te Wapen. A quick download from the Te Wapen files section later and I now have a stonking set of rules to use for whatever flights of fantasy I wish to indulge in. All I need now then is a nice large hex grid to fight over. One thing I had not noticed about the rules the previous time I had used them is that there is the option to use a deck of Tarot cards instead of ordinary playing cards. This is a piece of chrome that I think adds immeasurably to the fantasy feel of the rules and such decks are very easy and inexpensive to come by.

For the record, the only game I played using these rules on that rainy Sunday afternoon all those years ago saw yours truly getting thoroughly hammered by his daughter…………oh the ignominy!

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