Monday, March 2, 2020

Wargame Design: Rampant Swords- Fantasy Model vs. Model Skirmish

My goals for 2020 has a long section about Wargame Design.  This is common from year-to-year.  I always want to get more games out for you to play.  This makes me very happy.  That is why I put games up in the Work-in-Progress section as well as the Wargame Vault.  I want games in your hands. 

I looked at my portfolio, and realized I had a gap in the games I was offering.  I had Sci-fi of various stripes, I had skirmish games, I had ancients, I had dexterity games; but I did not have much Fantasy stuff.  This was a gap for me and I saw that it would be easy to fill.  I wanted more Fantasy in my life! 

That caused me to sit down and think about it.  I was working on a few other games such as Wars of the Republic and a couple other games in pre-production.  I was also working on updating Turf War.  This game served as a nice palette cleanser that allowed me to re-charge between other projects.  In retrospect, Rampant Swords came together really fast.

Rampant Swords had a couple of ideas that I wanted to represent.  I am finding these ideas are pretty common in my wargame designs:

1.       I wanted a scale and model agnostic Fantasy model vs. model skirmish game

2.       It needed to have the ability to build custom characters for your warbands from lowly goblins to powerful warrior-mages

3.       Scenarios, complications, and campaigns so you never have to play the same game twice

4.       Simple and quick play rules that are consistent that build off of successful mechanics from my other game

5.       Make it accessible to all player types

With that in mind, I set out to build the rules.  They borrowed heavily from Rampant Stars and Rampant Sun rules.  The biggest change was modifying the scenarios a bit, making Fantasy Traits, and tweaking the combat a bit. 

For example, with the low model count I decided it would be extra fun to have activation flow between players when Order rolls were failed.  That means you could get a pretty dynamic game going.  This is a bit different from how I have approached other similar scale games. 

In addition, I de-emphasized ranged attacks by not making them a default in a model’s profile.  The ability to attack at range can only be added by using Fantasy Traits.  Since there is a cap to how many traits you can spend on a model, making ranged attackers could get costly.  Therefore, melee models would be more prevalent.    

Combat itself is very quick, and either involves death or retreat.  It resolves quickly and easily and is not a grind.  The speed of combat combined with the size of game will lead to players able to play multiple games in a single evening.   

On the scenario side, I removed Location in the Scenario generator and just stuck with a 3d6 scenario generator roll. The Complication roll was also modified so that it could account for up to 3 complications in a single battle or no complications at all.  There is very little reason to fight the same battle more than once.  Plus, to add even more spice I put in an easy to follow and simple campaign system based on the popular GW Specialist Games model, but even easier.   


If you want a quick and easy Fantasy Model vs. Model skirmish game, these rules have you covered.  I don’t think I need to belabor the point any further.  You will be able to find these HERE, in the Complete Games section at the side of the blog, my Wargame Vault page, or a link to them in the MessageBoard.     

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