Saturday 2 February 2013

Can you recommend a tabletop skirmish game?

I've always been a dabbler in wargaming, whether it was when I played Warhammer 40,000 at The Lord of the Rings Fantasy Battles when I was younger, or more recently a stint playing 15mm Napoleonics.

However, these days I find that a) I'm too busy to paint the buggers, and b) the hobby is pretty expensive if you want to play on larger scales, which I prefer.

So I've found myself drawn towards skirmish games like A Song of Blades and Heroes and to some extent Chronicles of Blood. I really adore ASoBaH for its simple mechanics. I've also had a flick through Chain Reaction and found that to be pretty cool as well, and while I never played it properly, I was always fascinated by Mordheim.

The main draw for me is whether a game can be played effectively solitaire. My friends and I generally play roleplaying games and board games, but not really miniatures games, but I like to crack out a couple of warbands when I have a spare 20 minutes and have a quick game of ASoBaH. However, I would, in the future, like to dabble more in group play.

I think the perfect game for me at the moment would be an English Civil War ruleset. I love this period of history and while it's a popular area for mass battles, I think skirmishes could work just as well. At the moment I use A Song of Drums and Shakos as a general template for an ECW game, but if one of my valiant readers could recommend a simple ruleset for me that would be awesome.

However, if you're itching to recommend any other skirmish game, please go ahead and let me know.


  1. Have you seen this site?

    1. I haven't! Thanks so much, this looks like just the ticket for me.

  2. Might be worth looking at Two Hour Wargames, I really like their rules. Built for solitaire play, with a reaction system based on reaction tables, and they often have nice campaign stuff.

    I'm in a similar situation, just wanting to dabble a little so I've grabbed a few of their rules, though I'm probably just going to build some paper miniatures.

  3. user@example.com2 February 2013 at 14:51

    Not ECW, but the various Two Hour Wargames wargames are excellent. There are two free games, one for modern/SF and one for stuff with swords. The full games take the basic rules and expand/modify them to fit a genre, and usually have extensive campaign systems that are a joy to play.

    The games work just fine competitively, but are best co-op or solitaire.

    Warrior Heroes: Legends is a small-group skirmish system, with a neat abstract dungeon crawling subsystem and all sorts of quests in the campaign rules. It doesn't have firearms, even ECW-era, but it'd be easy enough to add them in, and you wouldn't break anything. Swordplay, one of the free sets, does include them. is the site. They're an acquired taste, but I've acquired it.

  4. user@example.com2 February 2013 at 14:52

    If two people say it, it must be true~

  5. :) Indeed.

    I did remember reading someone who had modded one of the rulesets to do ECW. Might have been the French and Indian war one?

    1. user@example.com2 February 2013 at 15:01

      Probably. I've only played Long Rifle out of the F&IW rules, and only really as a hunting/trapping/trying not to get caught by enemies or dragged into a war/taking my fur down the river to sell/see how much profit I could make game. I think my party never had more than three members.

      The description has this to say:

      "Long Rifle is the black powder period immersion game centered on the French and Indian War. Your role is to gain fame and fortune while leading a small band of men through encounters and adventures. You will gain fortune by hunting and trapping wild animals and fame based on your exploits and success. During your adventures you will meet friends and confront enemies. You start out independent not taking sides in the conflict but staying that way may be a challenge.

      Long Rifle is compatible with Muskets and Mohawks, the unit based game of the French and Indian War. When combined think of them as the movie, Last of the Mohicans. For the large battle in the field where the Indians ambush the British you would use Muskets and Mohawks. For the smaller actions such as the ending of the movie Long Rifle is perfect. Both sets may be used for the American Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars and any other period that used black powder."

      I don't have my copy handy on this computer, so I can't say which weapons are included and how suitable it would be.

  6. SBH can be played solo using Mats Lintonssons solo rules that can be found here:

    As you are Napoleonic war fan, try Song of Drums and Shakos, and appropriate solo rules by yours truly (sorry for self promoting), that can be found here: