Welcome to the Blog of a Skirmish wargamer! I hope you enjoy reading it!

All my rule sets are freely downloadable from our club website's Downloads page

If you need to contact me my E-Mail address is richardbradley5@gmail.com

Saturday 1 April 2023

Playtesting my Fantasy rules

 Today, Phil and Lawrence agreed to let me try my provisional set of Fantasy skirmish rules.

As a lover of John Milius' Conan the Barbarian' (1982) (- and yes, I love the sequel 'Conan the Destroyer' too!) I have been getting a few figures ready!

I must thank the folks on TMP for their help in finding some figures and their advice!! - I promised one person I would do pictures, so here I keep my promise!

As a scenario, I had Conan (Phil), Veleria (Phillip), Subotai (Lawrence) - I was planning to be Valeria , but Phillip unexpectedly turned up, so he got her, and I took Akiro. A good choice as I was trying to keep focused on the new rules!

The aim would be to rescue a Princess from the diabolical Temple of Set!

Akiro, Valeria, Conan, and Subotai, all from Rogue Miniatures

The players thought, when offered, they would prefer the Camo versions!
I had done quick stat cards for the players.
Following the game there will be a couple of changes!
I used my lovely Wizkids Warlock tiles for the game. To start I put 2 tiles - the only things visible in the side of an (imaginary) hill.
Conan pushed through the open double doors on the left.
He then went through a door on the right (Warlock interior doors do not physically open, sadly!)
Subotai covered him with his bow. Valeria seemed unsure what to do!!!
2 Guards came round the corner, Conan, surprised, only wounded his opponent, Subotai shot one!
Another two Guards came down the corridor, Valeria came through the door and engaged one, the other attacked Subotai.
Conan quickly finished his opponent, Subotai dodged and shot an arrow which only winged his assailant!
Conan stepped in!
Valeria had quickly finished off the swordsman she faced.

I even had Akiro come out of the guardhouse as it was safe!
Valeria pushed the door open into a new area!
Conan led the way, several Portal Markers and another Area Marker spotted him.
4 Guards were generated, and they advanced down the corridor towards 'Mr Meat Grinder'!!!
Conan and Valeria moved to meet them.
With the guards dealt with, Valeria checked a storeroom.
As the party went towards a large double door, a couple more guards came from the storeroom neither Conan or Valeria had checked!
Oddly, Conan let Subotai take the lead!
Valeria killed her opponent, Subotai was having a tough fight!
The party went through the large double doors into a new area, a great hall.
Subotai shot one of the Guards there.
The rest attacked!
I had forgotten to do arrivals one turn, so 2 Reinforcements arrived, one with a double move!!
Subotai's next shot was stopped by a shield, Conan disemboweled the guard that attacked him!
The second group of Guards joined in, and this turn Thorgrim and 4 more Set Guards arrived!
Valeria managed to throw 4 '1's in a row, the Guards threw 5's and 6's, Valeria crumpled, disabled!!!!
Akiro dragged her to safety through the doors, Conan and Subotai fought a stubborn retreat to cover them.
Conan cut another one down.
AAGH! the area marker generated 4 more guards in the rear of the Party.
Akiro dragged Valeria towards a potion display while Conan and Subotai held the door.
Conan got another one!
Conan now ran to face the new arrivals, Subotai would hold the door.
Conan kept the guards busy while Akiro cared for Valeria.
Akiro got her walking and they made their way to the exit.
Conan was facing off hordes of guards, but Subotai was wounded by a guard.
Conan took 2 down but got a light wound from the third!
Things were getting....sticky!
Subotai killed one of the guards trying to push through the doors...
...This allowed him to break off and fall back. Conan moved though the melee to a gap between tables, a last stand?
No! He vaulted over the table and outflanked the Guards!
Subotai killed another Guard despite his wound!
Just in time, he broke off and followed Conan...
Conan has left the building!
Well, that was close!

I had a chat with my playtesters and we all agreed the Portal system variant I was trying in this game was in need of modification to limit the number of enemy the system produces - as its impossible to neutralise Portal Markers in a linear set up.
Also both of the combat charts need a little tweaking, and the stats for Valeria and possibly Subotai need modifying as neither performed as well as in the film, even when they weren't throwing awful dice!!!!
I had given the Set Guards padded armour, but I think its not that good in the film, Conan and  Valeria chop through it easily enough!!!

That is the point of playtesting though!!! 'No set of rules survives first contact with the players!!!'


  1. Happy to help ya playtest if you desire.

    1. Thanks, I will leave it for a few weeks probably and try the modified set in a game against Picts with my buddies! I tend not to let them out to others till a fair amount of game play has ironed out the bugs! - If you got the rules at this stage, I think some of it would need a bit of explanation!!!

  2. Writing and testing rules is one of the funniest part of the hobby which I also enjoy. I loved your dundgeon and enjoyed the adventure. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Thanks Mr Blacksmith! - I do like writing rules too! Frustrating as it can be!!! - I have been gathering boxes of Warlock tiles for a couple of years, whenever anyone was selling them cheaper (£86 against £124 ) so they aren't cheap, but they are pre-painted, pretty indestructible and have reversible floors with wood on the other side! It took 3 boxes to make that dungeon, though I could have made it a little bigger with the pieces available.