30 September 2010


The game that got started in miniatures games:


AD&D Batttlesytem. As I remember (this was a loooon time ago) it was essentially a clumsy adaptation of the already clumsy AD&D mechanics to large scale battles. The box came with a large number of cardboard counters for troops. Our first games were on a friend's basement floor, the borders of the battlefield and all of the terrain being marked out in masking tape on the tile surface.

Eventually we discovered miniatures and terrain building. From there, things evolved. I still occasionally talk to some of those old friends. I'm the only one who still plays with toy soldiers.

The reason I was thinking about my start in the hobby with Battlesystem is recent discussions around the internets on the visual aspect of the game. The thing I don't understand is paying boatloads of money for figures, then not painting them, or using construction paper terrain. If the visual aspect means that little, why not stick with cardboard counters. They certainly worked as well back then. If I only wanted the game, with no visual "theatrics" that's probably what I would do.

Speaking of board games, we received a wedding gift from one of my fiance's out of town friends. I've never met him, but he's my new hero. We got...


  1. That's funny, I totally picked up Battle System when it first came out. The whole reason I had gotten into D&D was the miniatures. So when battle system came out and promised mass battle (with you characters potentially leading them) I was totally stoked. I may have bought a two packs of samurai at the same time to start building my legions around the same time.

    It has always been a dream of mine to play a role-playing game where characters eventually rise tot he position where they are leading commanding armies and determining the outcome of battles between countries, etc.

    I never actually played it with miniatures, however. I know I played it a couple times, solo, with the card counters that came with the box. I don't think I was ever able to convince any of my D&D pals to give it a try. Was there a lot of record keeping? I can't remember... Gave up on it pretty quickly.

    A year or so later I met some new folks through the local game store who were getting into Warhammer and I got on board with that. Then There was WFRP and I thought THAT might be teh system that would allow me to run an RPG that led to characters leading armies, etc...

    Things went downhill with the addition of Warhammer Armies, and further with the first boxed set (4th edition?) - but by that time DBA was out and I was fully into historical miniature gaming... Later tried piles of different systems... But AD&D Battlesystem was the first miniature wargame I owned...

  2. Sounds a little similar. We were coming into it as straight RPG players, but like you we had ideas of having characters from a long running campaign involved in larger battles. We did a few, as Battlesystem (as I remember it) accommodated using your RPG characters.

    As far as RPGs go, I liked WFRP better. But we never used it in conjunction with WFB.

    I think my evolution of wargaming was Battlesystem --> Chaos Wars (Ral Partha, a decent game as I remember it) --> WFB. From there I branched out into other games, and I think HotT and DBA (and then DBM) were among the next steps.