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15XX Skirmish Report - in the Vale of Ancient Castles (Renaissance Europe)  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
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Made in us
Newb



Pacific Northwest

While I still dabble in GW minis and rules (see that pile of Drukhari I have yet to paint), my main focus has gone historical.

I'm currently working on writing and playtesting a set of narrative skirmish rules for Renaissance-era Europe called 15XX.

Having got both of my COVID-19 shots, I was able to at long last get a real human being playtest game in last week with a longtime collaborator. Here are some pics of how the game played out.

More can be seen over at my blog: https://tabletop.willphillips.org/2021/04/21/15xx-playtest-battle-report-the-vale-of-ancient-castles/

My opponent's party: composed of hardened and trainer mutineer mercenaries out to pillage:


And my party: a group of refugees caught in the countryside:


The game is played out on a 6x6 grid. I'm using 15mm scale figures, which gets me a very nice and compact 2x2ft table that still allows for plenty of terrain. This is how the initial "fog of war" played out as we maneuvered out of our deployment zones to initial contact:


The toughest fighting played out around the river ford, but there was plenty of action along the bridge and woods, as well.





But the tower on the bottom edge of the map became a real death trap for me, as my opponent got real lucky with his mortar's rolls.



More pics and a write-up on my blog:

https://tabletop.willphillips.org/2021/04/21/15xx-playtest-battle-report-the-vale-of-ancient-castles/
   
Made in us
Battlefield Tourist




MN

Thanks for posting. I saw this on Instagram and was curious.

Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
Made in us
Newb



Pacific Northwest

 Easy E wrote:
Thanks for posting. I saw this on Instagram and was curious.


Yeah man. Happy to answer any questions you may have!
   
Made in us
Battlefield Tourist




MN

Give us your elevator pitch or back cover blurb for the game if you don't mind....

Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
Made in us
Newb



Pacific Northwest

 Easy E wrote:
Give us your elevator pitch or back cover blurb for the game if you don't mind....


Sure! Not in a place to have a proper back cover blurb, yet, but here's the tagline I've been using:

Narrative skirmish rules inspired by the pike & shot Renaissance era of 1474-1651

I'm both an RPG guy and history geek at heart. So, my desire is to bring that sense of story you get in Mordheim, Frostgrave, Necromunda, etc. to the historical context I find so fascinating.

Things to note about these rules are:

  • These rules are designed to fight the smallest actions of the era - that multitude of raids and skirmishes lost of history.

  • So, the narrative is designed around a "band of brothers" at a party level, rather than individuals.

  • List building is designed to be pretty quick and easy: approx. 10-27 figures multibased onto 4-12 bases (but basing is very flexible).

  • As you may have guessed from the battle report, the rules are built around a grid. This is, of course, a somewhat controversial decision, but playtesting has shown it really speeds up play, and given the nature of the rules, we don't find we're sacrificing much in the way of tactical options. YMMV!


  • Because there may be a publisher involved, I'm doing closed playtesting, but I just released the fourth playtest this weekend and am certainly open to more testers!
       
    Made in us
    Longtime Dakkanaut




    South New Jersey

    This looks awesome!

    And I've come to appreciate grid systems in wargaming. You don't lose any of the tactical complexity, you can still make an awesome looking table (as you've demonstrated) and grids remove any of the measuring ambiguity that can slow play.

       
    Made in us
    Battlefield Tourist




    MN

    Yes, grids in To The Strongest are great. I personally have not cottoned to them yet.... but I see the appeal!

    I am really interested in this. How would you say it compares to a game such as Pikeman's Lament?

    Do you like Free Wargames?
    http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
       
    Made in us
    Newb



    Pacific Northwest

     infinite_array wrote:
    This looks awesome!

    And I've come to appreciate grid systems in wargaming. You don't lose any of the tactical complexity, you can still make an awesome looking table (as you've demonstrated) and grids remove any of the measuring ambiguity that can slow play.


    Yeah, that's my take - especially for the casual - collaborative, even - nature of these rules with the narrative focus.

    I'm okay with the hemming and hawing over half an inch here or a CM there in a tourney setting, but it doesn't personally hold much appeal to me.


    Automatically Appended Next Post:
     Easy E wrote:
    I am really interested in this. How would you say it compares to a game such as Pikeman's Lament?


    Here are the contrasts I would make (as a guy who likes the various flavors of the Lament games!):

    Warband Size: PL floats out on the end of larger sized skirmishes with, what, an average of 5-8 units per warband and approximately 30-45 figures. 15XX is a smaller commitment: always 4 units averaging 18-24 figures.

    Narrative Focus: The lion's share of PL's narrative hooks are in its officer. 15XX spreads that out to all units and zooms out to focus on the warband as a whole. Campaign advancements will attempt to tell a story about this warband and their place in the world - those advancements are framed as key people and places important to the party.

    Unit Diversity: PL uses the standard trained army and mercenary mix of units common to other pike and shot era rules. One of the criticisms I've heard about historical gaming is the homogeneity of forces stifling creativity. I think that's a fair critique for those people wanting to get into historicals from fantasy and sci-fi. I've tried to be as diverse as historically plausible in unit choices for 15XX - ranging from foot and shot and gendarmes to looters and livestock. You can see some of those different types at my blog, where I've been posting things.

    Footprints: In 28mm PL is supposed to run on a 4x3 table, but most folks I've seen go larger. You can run 15XX on a 3x3 or 4x4 table, depending on how you base figures and size your grid. I'm going with 15mm, and I love the smaller footprint given the rules and the scale. Being able to get in a fun game in a 2x2 space is cool.

    This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/05/11 22:19:56


     
       
     
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