|G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. by Buck Surdu and |
De Bellis Multitudinis by Wargames Research Group
Jan-Willems favourite ruleset is G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. It is straightforward and fast. The game allows for storytelling and is easily adaptable for different settings, something Jan-Willem has done for several participation games.
But he really dislikes De Bellis Multitudinis, often known as DBM. It was a totally regressive development of the ancients ruleset De Bellis Antiquitatis, which was quite innovative. It introduced the now widely accepted PIPs and defined only a dozen troop types based on their role on the battlefield, assuming that weaponry and armour were less important. DBM however, recomplicated the game and reintroduced differences in armour etc, thus negating much that was good about DBA. It also did so in an excruciatingly bad writing style but most of all it was a bad ruleset and no fun.
Note; also check out the excellent fantasy rules Hordes of the Things, which keeps the spirit of DBA and in my humble opinion, makes it even better!
|Black Powder by Warlord Games|
The newish Black Powder ruleset is Jasper´s favourite. It fast and simple. Rather than focussed on tournament battles it aims at scenarios. Jasper likes that it works well as a toolbox for more specific supplements, thus reflecting the character of the period.
|Stonewall Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign by Real Time Wargames|
My favourite is Stonewall Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign. The rules for battles are really simple but try to reflect the main elements of American Civil War combat. But the brilliance of this set is the campaign system in which all players are Union commanders fighting againt the brilliant Jackson. In fact their main objective is not to win battles but to gain the most political capital out of the campaign which can be done by sending off troops to other armies, politicking in Washington and and avoiding being attacked by Jackson. Just reading the rules brings a smile to your face.
|Bag the Hun and Algernon Pulls it Off by Too Fat Lardies|
Another favourite ruleset of mine is Bag the Hun / Algernon Pulls It Off, Too Fat Lardies' WW2 and WW1 Staffel level air combat rules. Lots of focus on experience of pilots, maneouvres and formations, not so much on the technical aspects of the planes. As you play with named pilots, seeing them shot down doesn't feel well. Too bad they added more rules in later editions.
|Muskets & Tomahawks by Studio Tomahawk|
Jasper and I are also impressed with Muskets & Tomahawks. These are 18th century skirmish rules for North America with the emphasis on scenarios and storytelling. The rules are fast and simple (yes, you're spotting a pattern here).
We all agreed that we liked rule sets which paid more attention to the game and historical feel than historical detail and complexity. Easy to pick up and hard to master, but more importantly: fun and with room for story. There are of course people with other preferences, like tournament players and historical buffs who would probably come up with other favourites.
So what are your favourites? And why? Did we miss something? Or do you think these rules actually suck?