So I’ve got an idea of what I want from a new game, now I just need to find that game. I started with Mordheim as the closest game in my experience, and then went to the ancient finding system that is Google to research other options. Starting with some variation on ‘skirmish miniatures game with progression’ I then proceeded to spend some time on Board Game Geek and Reddit establishing a shortlist…
So, after some quick reading, the shortlist looks thusly:
- This Is Not a Test
- Rogue Stars
- Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago
- Song of Blades and Heroes
- Empire of the Dead
- Two Hour Wargames Warrior Hero Legends
- Strange Aeons
I also had a chitchat to several people about various options and ended up with Coreheim as another option as well.
Narrowing It Down
In my gaming journal I’d noted down a
ll the above games, and started jotting notes next to each one based on the comments about them in the various forums I’d read. From this, a further shortlist was developed including Frostgrave, This Is Not a Test, Rogue Stars, Song of Blade and Heroes and Two Hour Wargames Warrior Hero Legends.
Of the others, I forgot to write down exactly why I decided not to pursue them all, but I think Ghost Archipelago was ruled out as thematically I felt I’d prefer the original Frostgrave (as a high fantasy setting), Strange Aeons was out as it looked closer to an RPG than a miniatures game, Empire of the Dead missed the cut for unrecalled reasons.
The Short List
So this is the basic decision making among the games on the shortlist.
High fantasy with low model count. Rules focus on the warband Wizard. High random factor involved, and rules aren’t super tight but fairly straightforward.It’s a D20 system, which I don’t have much experience with, except for demoing Infinity once. Ruins and high fantasy mean that I won’t have much to purchase or do to get it to the table quickly.
This Is Not a Test
Post-apocalyptic theme, similar to Fallout (definitely a plus), which features several different warbands and scenarios, but limited progression mechanics. The system is D10 based which I like, as you can easily calculate the odds of something coming off. I could use my modern terrain or 40k ruins for the terrain, but it’s really a new table of terrain and I’d also need to buy models.
Generic sci-fi themed game with significant flexibility and a low model count. The flexibility comes with a rules system that is apparently very complex, and very granular. On the plus side, I’d likely be able to use my 40k terrain and models so it would likely mean no purchases or modelling (the later may be a downside though!). Also, I have my fully painted Doom Board Game set which could get a new lease on life…
Song of Blade and Heroes
I was initially interested as this was a fantasy theme with relatively straight forward rules system, however it is a D6 system and as I discussed in prior posts, I find them frustrating.
Two Hour Wargames Warrior Hero Legends
The reviews I read characterised this as a very complex game with confusing rules. Thanks but no thanks!
Well, Frostgrave it is for now
On balance, I figured dropping $45 on a rulebook, making some generic ruins and finishing off a chaos sorcerer conversion I’d been planning for some time wasn’t an excessive investment even if we were done in three months. The people I’d talked to and videos I watched on YouTube seemed to indicate that the game was outrageous and fun, so I took the plunge. We’ve gotten a few games in (as you may have seen over on my Insta account)and it’s been just as fun and silly as expected, and even the abysmal performance of my dice so far hasn’t dampened my enjoyment too much. Expect some Frostgrave battle reports soon!
That said, I’m certainly interested in revisiting some of the other games I shortlisted to check out, especially This is Not a Test. Of course, it all comes down to time, as the list of games is long and there’s plenty of others to be gotten on with (like Marvel!).
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