Tuesday, November 3, 2015

My Own Ring Cycle

So as you’ve seen in some recent posts, much of my painting focus and output lately has been from the GW Lord of the Rings range.   I’m not especially wedded to this particular range, though it was rather exciting when it launched a decade or so ago riding the coattails of the SPJ movies.   I realize there are lots of other fantasy or dark ages figures out there which could stand in quite effectively for Tolkienesque armies, and that is probably a subject for another post.  

While I first bought into the GW range as a way of getting my young teens into gaming, truth told I had visions of fielding large armies of doughty Men and fell Orcs since I was myself a kid and my older brother bought me some figures from the old Minifigs range of not-quite Tolkien figures, called Mythical Earth.  Some of these figures are preserved here. They don’t look like much now, but back then they inspired my young self to spend many hours poring over their mimeographed catalogue imagining huge battles.   Now those huge battles are possible   But what set of rules to play?     I have some options.

I have decided, rather sensibly, not to bother with the GW rules, rather laughably called the “Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game”.   So what are my options?

1) GW’s War of the Ring.

 Published I think in 2009 by GW as their attempt to get LOTR players to buy lots of their figures to fight big battles.   I bought these rules at full price when they came out, but never had enough figures painted to really try them.   IN the last few years I’ve seen a few copies in the fantasy/SF section of used book stores, so I don’t know what sort of following these rules have now.

 

A big book, though over half of it is composed of army lists, scenarios and painting tips.   The rules, in so far as I’ve read them, require movement trays.  GW made some of these trays (2 cavalry and 8 infantry per stand) but I don’t think they’re still in production.   So a big book, and very attractive, but I have no idea what the rules are like.

 

 2) Variant on Lion Rampant

The second option is a fantasy variant for Osprey’s medieval rules, Lion Rampant.  I came across them when I was lucky enough to find WSS Issue 79 (two issues back now, I think) in my local chapters.

This fantasy variant is written by LR’s author, Dan Mersey.  It looks quite simple, converting the medieval troop types of LR into fantasy equivalents, so for example Foot Serjeants become armoured orcs (e.g. Saruman’s Uruk Hai).   I bought the Lion Rampant rules for my Kindle, though I’ve never tried them.   

 

 

3) Dux Brittanorum

When Richard Clarke of Too Fat Lardies published his Dark Ages rules a few years ago, I don’t think he had Middle Earth in mind.  These rules follow the card-driven system used by many TFL rules.  I took advantage of TFL’s October sale to buy a set of these rules.

Fortunately the ingenious and slightly mad modern day Viking and gaming magpie Thomas Nissvik has written his own adaptation of these rules, Dux Gondorum, aka Dux Rohirrim, or Lard of the Rings, and Thomas has kindly sent me a copy.  Now that I have the Lardy rules, I’m in a position to try Thomas’ adaptation.   Today we exchanged emails and Thomas threw down the gauntlet Let us have a small competition about who will be the first to give the rules a go and report on the blog”.

Thomas, my friend, you’re on.

Blessings to your die rolls!

MP+

20 comments:

  1. Today is a red day,
    When dice will be shaken
    And swords broken!
    Ride now!
    Ride to the tables edge
    And the world's ending!

    ......or something like that. :-)

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  2. I can recommend Lion Rampant, great fun. In fact my teenage son & I played our first game with them using mostly GW LOTR miniatures as I didn't have enough historical minis. My project for this year has been to collect and paint up 28mm Anglo-Saxons for Lion Rampant or "Wyvern Rampant" (for the house of Wessex). :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, sir, that's good to know. I have a whack of medievals that I can play LR with, but good to know you had good results with LOTR. Some of the Dark Ages figures, like Anglo-Saxons currently on the market, would do well for things like Rohan or Gondor militia. Lots of options there.

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  3. There must be something in the air as I have been thinking about my Middle Earth gaming a lot these last few days. I have re-collected the Mythical Earth figures of my youth which are based on 50/60mm square bases to use with Ross macFarlane's fantasy rules.
    However I have been itching to do some smaller games and have just decided to give dragon rampant a go when it comes out. I sent off for some Vendel miniatures ( as was) elves to start a small wood elf force. I have looked at Vendel range for years and finally have taken the plunge.
    I will be very interested to hear how Dux Gondorum plays and hopefully see some pictures of your games.

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    Replies
    1. My good Duke:
      Surely a case of bright minds thinking alike. Or ships crashing in the night. Or something.
      I should look at Ross' fantasy rules. I notice he was too modest to plug them in his comments.
      I also need to look at Vendel. I have my eyes on some Footsore Miniatures Goths that would be perfect for Rohirrim. You have lots of other options for elves as well.
      Cheers,
      MP

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  4. OOps I forgot to ask are you going to give them a go solo or with others?

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    Replies
    1. Solo for now, although there are some fellows at the local gaming club who might be talked into helping me. The problem with a gaming club which meets weeknights is that there is little actual gaming time, so a skirmish game like Dux or Lion Rampant might fit the bill nicely, and as Dai says below, LR is designed as a skirmish game.

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  5. So, it's on then! I can't bring minis on my vacation next week but I can certainly spend a lot of it thinking and planning games to come.

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    Replies
    1. it's on like Donkey Kong, my dear Penguin.

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  6. When I saw the post title I thought you were going to tell us that you had finished writing an epic 200-hour (or maybe 20 hours but feels like 2000 hours) opera in the Germanic style based on northern European mythology :)

    The full-blown Dragon Rampant should be published in December if you can wait until then, although it should be easy enough to work up something from Lion Rampant and Dan's WSS article.

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    Replies
    1. Trust me, Tamsin, you don't want to see me in a chainmail bikini and a horned helmet or hear me sing.
      I am quite liking what I've read of LR so far, and should get a good feel for its usefulness from theWSS article.

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  7. So you are in fact looking for the One Rule?
    One rule to ring them all
    One rule to define them
    One rule to bring them all
    And on the table guide them!

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  8. I shall certainly be watching with interest, particularly at what you and Thomas get up to.

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  9. I remember those Minifigs figures. I especially liked the goblin with spear, shield, and bow. I think some of them are buried in my garage of holding.
    Good memories all.

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  10. So you are in fact looking for the One Rule?
    One rule to ring them all
    One rule to define them
    One rule to bring them all
    And on the table guide them!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I really enjoy Dux Brit - that would be my rule set of choice from those 3
    Good luck!

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  12. You have open my interest again for Lord of The Rings!! I bought lots of stuff several years ago, painted a significant amount of minis buthaven't played much since then
    Looking foirward to your comments on the DB adaptation

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  13. All depends on how large a game you're wanting to play Mike. Lion Rampant is a very simple and fun game, though is more on the larger skirmish size, with each side having typically 30-40 models using the points values given. And like Tamsin says, the same author is publishing a fantasy specific rules set strongly based off of Lion Rampant in December called Dragon Rampant that I think (Should you pick these rules) would suit better - though Lion Rampant certainly works fine also as it has a short section in the back of the book on how to convert the units listed into fantasy versions!

    I've found the GW LotR rules to be rather bad. Typical of GW really, which is sad.

    The other option, I am not familiar with, so look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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  14. I thought there was also a fantasy version of basic impetus which might work for larger battles
    Iain

    ReplyDelete

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