Wednesday 13 May 2020

A Necessary Evil?

As every wargamer knows, regardless of how much you defer it, how many figures you paint or discussion you have, at some point the lead hits the tabletop and you need to decide what rules to use. Preferably of course, you will have decided much earlier, and sorted out basing... a whole other issue.

I was having a chat with some wargamers, one of whom I was meeting for the first time, and as he lives nearby, I was trying to figure out whether we had any rules/scales in common, so we could play a game. I was trying to remember just what I had played, had thought about playing, played and hated, or conversely, always wanted to try and never got round to it.

Being a confirmed tragic, I thought a spreadsheet would be ideal to track them. Plus, with lock-down, I am getting fed up with DIY, and after strenuous effort my muscles ache too much to hold a paintbrush steady. I've re-organised my DVD & book shelves, I'm replacing the sink taps, I've resurfaced tables, painted doors, stripped varnish, worked in the garden...  etc. so this is by way of amusement.

So these are all the rules I currently have in hard-copy on my shelf. There are actually a few more, but they form part of a book, such as Lost Battles, or Little Wars, so I haven't included them. I got to a nice round 50, of which I have actually played about 30 or so. I reckon a 60% Purchase to Play (PtoP) ratio would be pretty high for a wargamer...   so what's your PtoP ratio?

(NB- the term scale is an entirely subjective view of whether the rules play for a small, medium or large engagement.)

Name Scale Period Theatre Played It
DBMM  Large Anc/Med Land Y
DBM Large Anc/Med Land Y
WRG 7th Edition Medium Anc/Med Land Y
Crusader Ancients Medium Anc/Med Land Y
FoG Medium Anc/Med Land N
DBA Small Anc/Med Land Y
Dux Bellorum Medium Dark Age Land N
Dux Brittaniarum Medium Dark Age Land N
SAGA Small  Dark Age Land N
Lion Rampant Medium Medieval Land Y
Tercio Medium 16-18th Cent Land Y
DBR Medium 16-18th Cent Land Y
Gush WRG Renaissance Medium 16-18th Cent Land Y
FoG - Renaissance Medium 16-18th Cent Land N
Galleys & Galleons Medium 16-18th Cent Naval Y
Principles of War Large 17-18th Cent Land Y
Polemos ECW Large 17-18th Cent Land Y
Maurice Large 17-18th Cent Land N
Horse Foot & Guns  Large 18-19th Cent Land Y
WRG 1685-1845 Medium 18-19th Cent Land Y
Sharp Practice 2 Small  18-19th Cent Land Y
General d’ Armee  Large Napoleonic Land Y
Age of Eagles Large Napoleonic Land N
Grande Armee Large Napoleonic Land N
Polemos Napoleonics Large Napoleonic Land N
General d’ Brigade Medium Napoleonic Land Y
Song of Drums and Shakos Small  Napoleonic Land N
Langtons SCA Quick Play Small Napoleonic Naval Y
Principles of War 19th Cent Large 19th Century Land N
Polemos FPW Large 19th Century Land N
DBSA (Pre-Dreadnought) Large 19th Century Naval Y
Age of the Dreadnought Medium E. 20th Cent Naval N
Blitzkrieg Commander Large WW2 Any Y
Airfix Battles Medium WW2 Any Y
Rapid Fire Medium WW2 Any Y
Chain of Command Small  WW2 Land Y
What a Tanker Small  WW2 Land Y
Cold War Commander Large Modern Any Y
Force on Force Small Modern Any Y
AK47 Small  Modern Land Y
Shipwreck Medium Modern Naval Y
Future War Commander Large SciFi Any Y
Full Thrust  Large SciFi Naval Y
Aeronef  Large Steampunk Naval Y
Imperial Skies Large Steampunk Naval N
[RPG removed]

Fear & Faith Small  Horror Any Y
Warhammer (1st Edition) Medium Fantasy Any N
HotT Small Fantasy Any Y
Geezers Small Street Land Y


  1. I dread to think of my P to P ratio and yes I have quite a few rulesets myself - all ancients!

    1. I don't think you would be the Lone Ranger :) There are plenty of wargamers who seem to hoard rules like others hoard figures.

    2. or even those that do both....ahem, oops

  2. This gets a bit definitional, but counting as seems right to me, I seem to own nineteen sets and have played thirteen of them.

    (Chief assumptions: a single set counts only once no matter how many editions of it I've got, electronic rulebooks count if I've either paid for them or bought other official stuff for the game. So frex I've got the free pdf rules for Infinity, but I've got a collection of the official minis, so the rules count as bought, but umpteen free historical sets I've DL'd do not because the minis I've got for the periods in question are not tied to those rules.)

    1. Oh, and when I spot Call of Cthulhu in your list, I should mention I only counted miniatures wargames rules. I've got a bunch of RPG rulebooks too, of which I've played a somewhat lower proportion.

      Also got a collection of boardgames, which I've played almost all of.

    2. Hmm.. I might edit out call of Cthulhu. I also have a bunch of (loosely) RPG stuff and others such as Warhammer I didn't include. :)