Saturday 25 March 2023

Empires of the Fantasy Kind

Plenty of potential in a ‘Mighty Empires’ kind of way - along with HOTT and the Portable Wargame

Many years ago, around the turn of the century, I came across a fantasy game system produced by Hobby Products in Germany called Daemonworld. The range of figures that supported the rules were 15mm, sold in blister packs or boxed sets and the whole thing had a very ‘GW Warhammer-like’ feel about it. The initial release featured Humans and Orcs and expansion incorporated all the usual fantasy types - elves, dwarves, undead etc. The whole thing is now owned by Ral Partha Europe with the rules and expansion books available via PDF. 

The boardgame you see above was released as a standalone game designed to support the figures from a campaign perspective - similar in concept to the GW game Mighty Empires. There are a number of additional maps available to download so that the choice of terrain can be varied if required. Essentially the game features resource management so that you can build an empire complete with villages, fortresses and even fleets. Armies are raised and heroes and wizards etc can also be acquired and used to add extra firepower in combat.

The back of the box. The two ‘cities’ at the bottom of the picture ACW metal castings that come with the game.

As seen on the back of the box the idea is that figures are used to represent the units and needless to say my first, second and third thought was very much Command and Colours/Portable Wargame or HOTT related. The map for the game looks like this:

The map. The hexes enclosed within the dark boundaries are provinces - apologies for the poor quality of the picture.

The map is quite usable at a strategic level for pretty much anything pre mechanised - the absence of villages and towns etc is due to the fact that these are ‘built’ from a player’s treasury and deployed where needed. These can also be upgraded and fortified in time. 

The two metal castles, a deck of cards with artefacts, units and other game related stuff, dice and red hit point markers.

The human counters - painted examples of the figures available to support the game.

The Orcs - again using painted examples of the available figures.

I had a quick scan through the rules and it is all pretty straightforward. Units have a number of hit points - these are what the red counters are for - and roll a number of combat dice equal to the unit rating for the type. The Combat dice have three shielded sides and three hit sides and opposed rolls are used. Typically troops have an attack and defence rating against missile and melee combat and this varies depending on the type. I have yet to look at the magic section.

The game is currently unpunched with the cards still in shrinkwrap. Similarly the two fortresses that serve as the players capital are still sealed in the blister pack. The cost of all this? A mere £10.

I am thinking that the map could easily be replicated using Heroscape or Hexon and also with figures and in fact from my perspective the potential for this is huge. I am already thinking about something Samurai related but reckon it could easily be used for other things - especially as the other maps are available to download and print.

Apart from Samurai I have a feeling that something in a small scale would look really good - perhaps 2 or 3mm with some of those lovely buildings etc from Brigade Models.

My plan is to produce a quick play sheet for the tactical rules and see how the units can translate into historical types. The game is good to go as is and so I would not rule out using some fantasy figures - one would certainly not need many of them. All in all then, for a tenner I reckon this is a great little purchase that I am sure will get lots of use - once I have worked out what for that is!


Donnie McGibbon said...

That is a great find for £10, have looked at the figures before but never knew that there was a tory behind them. I like your idea of 2/3mm as I think that the scale could be made to form an interesting game. It will be interesting t see where this one takes you!

David Crook said...

Hi Donnie,

I saw it on a Facebook group and it piqued my curiosity so I took a quick look on Boardgamegeek and then remembered about the whole Daemonworld thing. I remember seeing the figures at a show many years ago and it looked good but at the time I was pretty Meh about the whole idea.

Nowadays I am far more relaxed about stuff and can see the potential beyond the subject matter of the game. I need to think about how I can use this but make no mistake - it is a cracking tool to use!

All the best,


Mark Cordone said...

Looks very interesting.

David Crook said...

Hi Mark,

It is crying out for something pre gunpowder as well as fantasy based and the combat system certainly ticks a number of boxes. I am thinking that the Portable Wargame would work really nicely with this as well.

Needless to say there are plans afoot….

All the best,