Sunday, 21 May 2017

Dragon Rampant shortlisted in Origin Awards 2017

Back in 2015, I found out that Lion Rampant was shortlisted for the Origins Awards. I knew I wouldn't win, when comparing my modest efforts to some of the other games listed, but it was very flattering to make the list.

Well, at the end of last week I received the very unexpected but very welcome news that Lion Rampant's fantasy spin-off, Dragon Rampant, has been nominated for the 2017 Origins Awards! How very exciting!

You can see the list of all shortlisted games HERE.

Once again, I am very realistic in knowing that I won't win - those are some pretty impressively popular rulebooks I'm up against. Although my rules were published by Osprey, I'm just a part-time, independent designer working on whatever takes my fancy; those other rule sets are - I think - all supported by (or published in support of) ranges of miniatures so are all in a much bigger league of gaming than lil' ol' me. They're also all sets of rules that I see being played quite often, so they must have made a bigger impact on the gaming hobby than I ever expect to. So just making that list is good enough for me!

The winner will be announced in June.

Monday, 8 May 2017

+Strongsword+ preview pages

The ever-helpful Kawe at Westfalia Miniatures has put up some preview pages from the +Strongsword+ rulebook.

You can view them HERE.

These aren't the very final, proofread pages, but there's enough there to give you a feel for the rules and decide whether you want to grab yourself a copy.

If you do like what you see, join the Kickstarter HERE. It's already funded, so there's no doubt that you'll get your rulebook, plus any minis you fancy adding to your hoard. The PDF-only rules are £10 and the printed book is £15.

Why not make Kawe a happy man and head on over :-)

Thursday, 4 May 2017

+Strongsword+ Kickstarter is now live...

Westfalia's Kickstarter for +Strongsword+ is now open for business.

Not only are my upcoming fantasy skirmish rules on offer, but you'll find a whole host of superb little figures up for grabs too! Please head on over to the Kickstarter page and get behind the campaign HERE.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

A Wargamer's Guide to the Anglo-Zulu War publishes today

Publishing today and available from your favourite online bookstore - and if you're lucky, a real-life bookshop close to where you live!

If you do buy this book, I hope you enjoy it! It's written as a guide to playing games set in Zululand, and focusses on gameplay, rules, scenarios, and how best to represent the battles on the tabletop more than the history (although there's a bit of that included too).

EDIT: The pub date has moved around a bit in the past couple of weeks. I have no idea why that is. Anyhow, it seems that the book published on 5 April without me knowing!

Friday, 21 April 2017

If you're off to Salute tomorrow...

Keep your eyes peeled for the University of Edinburgh game of Lion Rampant!

Friday, 14 April 2017

A little bit about +Strongsword+

For quite some time, I've been working quietly in background with Kawe from Westfalia Miniatures to flesh out some of his ideas for fantasy games. In May, he's putting the first of these into his next Kickstarter...

+Strongsword+ is a slightly quirky but simple-to-learn set of rules designed for playing tabletop fantasy wargames, written by me and published by Westfalia Miniatures. 

Many fantasy wargames place in your command of a huge army divided into tactical units or just a handful of models acting independently of one another. +Strongsword+ places you at the head of a mob of ferocious frothing fighters, be that a large or small mob of them! 

The style of play is quite straightforward, but the real challenge is working out how to use the simple rules to command your warriors in battle as effectively as possible. This is because, although all of your models act independently from one another, your whole force is guided by the single tactic or ‘Battle Stance’ you set each turn.

Your Battle Stance is a simple order that’s either shouted by leaders over the tumult of battle, indicated by flag waving, horn blowing, or similar battlefield communication. It tells each of your warriors how to act this turn – maybe they’ll be ordered to be defensive, or aggressive, stand back to catch their breath, or go completely nutty and charge at the nearest living enemy. 

The key focus of commanding your warband in this arena of mob warfare is that you must choose the single Battle Stance that strengthens to your current situation – you can’t go giving differing, complex orders to different warriors under your command because you’re too busy fighting and simply don’t have that luxury of time. Instead, shout your commands as loudly as you’re able to and let your warriors do their best!


Combat and morale is kept pretty simple, as are the spells you can cast. This means that the game is driven by your Battle Stance choices, which I hope presents players with the feeling of really commanding a smallish group of warriors on a low-tech battlefield.


The rules are written with Westfalia's excellent little Halfmen and their new Kobolds in mind, but you'll be able to field pretty much any type of models you desire with a little bit of tinkering of the army lists included in the book.

Monday, 10 April 2017

+Strongsword+ ... my fantasy rules for Westfalia

More news coming soon...

+Strongsword+
A Fantasy Skirmish Wargame
By Daniel Mersey for Westfalia Wargames




Monday, 3 April 2017

Dragon Rampant: Dwarves of the Gleaming Hills Warband

Here they hide heroically behind a wall
Many moons ago, I posted a sample Dwarf warband for Dragon Rampant, to demonstrate how you could build a Dragon Rampant force with very few models.

I included a few other suggested options there, too. You can read that HERE.

Well, I have a nice collection of old Grenadier Dwarves, which I've thought have just the right look since I first got some in the late 1980s or early 1990s (at a guess), and so I have built a variety of Dragon Rampant warbands using them.

However, here's my current favourite line up for these short-legged little fellows:

The Dwarves of The Gleaming Hills

Jarl: Elite Foot, Leader, Fear @ 8 pts 
6 models - the Jarl himself plus musicians, banner men, and a champion.

Huscarls: Offensive Heavy Foot @ 6 pts
12 models

2 x Thanes: Heavy Foot @ 4 pts each
24 models in total

Thralls: Scouts @ 2pts
6 models

And here they poke the eye sockets of some skeletons
For larger points battles than the standard 24-pointer, the Huscarls can be broken down into two Elite Foot units (6 models each, at a cost of 6pts per unit).

There's nothing pretty about the tactics of the Dwarves of the Gleaming Hills. They waddle forward into close contact and hit things as hard as they are able to.

The Thralls provide a limited amount of missile support - against more mobile enemies they are placed fairly centrally in my battle line to give them good all-round range. The Jarl isn't afraid to roll up his sleeves and get stuck in - along with the Huscarls, he's the main threat in this force.

Of course, whether they are successful or not depends on so much more than this fine yet theoretical tactical explanation!

They have an Anglo-Danish feel to them, certainly in terms of unit names, but I think this suits the sculpts too. As there's little difference between the models used as Thanes and Huscarls, I distinguish them by kitting the Huscarls out in gold-plated armour and brightly coloured helmets (as does the Jarl and his bodyguards, who like a bit of shiny metal!).

Thursday, 30 March 2017

What are my favourite games of all time?

Apropos of nothing, here's a little widget from Boardgamegeek that shares my top 10 games (at the time of writing). Recognise any of them?


Tuesday, 28 March 2017

My games as rated on Boardgamegeek

The website Boardgamegeek is an excellent resource for gamers. Although mostly focused on 'true' boardgames, there's plenty of crossover with miniatures gaming and some RPG stuff too.

One of the best features is the rating system, allowing gamers to numerically assess the various games they've played. Once ratings start rolling in, you can build up a good idea of a game's relative value: a handful of ratings means little (and unfortunately, some of my games have very few ratings, but there's probably because few people have played them), but once you're over around 30 votes I think you can form a fairly clear idea about the majority decision.

I thought it was interesting to take a snapshot of my games as listed on BGG (a bit earlier in March, when I made the screen grabs) and share the ratings (the Average Rating is the one to look at), and relative popularity based on copies owned/games played.

I think it's fair to say that my most popular rules - in terms of ratings and copies owned - are Lion Rampant and Dragon Rampant. Dux Bellorum is second highest with regard to copies owned, but that's been out so much longer. A couple of old magazine articles have been added somewhere along the line, but I'm not sure either really warrant being counted as 'games' (well, Beowulf maybe).

Head over to Boardgamegeek to explore more. Click on the images below to see larger versions.