Scale of a Death Fields game

  • I was painting some Rebel Yell, and it made me think about the hypothetical Death Fields wargame and scale. I really dig the Rebels, but the set is has the fewest options of any team, with only a couple options for weapons (although several poses for each), which got me thinking about he theoretical scale of an official Death Fields War Game. I had assumed based on th amou t of models in the plastic sets and the amount of options in the previous AD sets, that the average Death Fields Game would have quite a few models on the table. The rebels set being so small makes me wonder if instead if us fielding the equivalent to a football team, or regiment of soldiers, if instead Death Fields might be a Skirmish game with more of teams more equivalent to Curling or Volleyball in size.

    Just a thought.


    Ps: any word on work into the official game?

  • i suspect that lore wise, they'd range across a spectrum of sizes. from small squad sized skirmishes to full onregimental or even divisional sized battles.

    that said, i suspect that the teams aren't entirely mono-source.. that the sources that capture and breed the combatants are not the same as the sponsors that run the teams, and teams will often end up with multiple groups of troops from different origins. i mean loo kat the lore for the Cannonfodder. They are troops who's teams did so badly that they got washed out and sold off as disposable.

    it could be that the 'Rebel Yell" set represents 'ringers'.. mercenaries that can be recruited to try and bolster the capabilities of a failing team.

  • I am also wondering if the Death Fields game is going to be on the scale of something like Kill Team, Necromunda and Deadzone, with some of the sport atmosphere of Blood Bowl and Dreadball. 

    But then, it doesn't stop us using the figures for other games, fortunately WA doesn't have GW levels of draconianism toward how their customers use their models and games.

  • Warband scale of 10-20 miniatures sells pretty well these days, and is ideal for "Oh, I might try that new release" as well as being *achievable* projects for those of us that line up in the conversion/painting part of the hobby more than the "build an army" part.

    North Star/Osprey have done pretty well feeding this for the last little while, either through their own games (Frostgrave, Silver Bayonet, etc) or supporting third party sales (Rangers of Shadow Deep, Congo etc). 

    (I haven't needed to buy or make any new Blood Bowl teams for decades, but I still keep buying minis that "will be useful" for it, as well as two actual GW teams last year...)

    My thought is that it would be better to lead with a Stargrave style warband game and maybe follow up with a company sized one later.

    On the other hand, if they think they can pull in the Bolt Action/40K crowd who are used to company sized games and will either drop cash on multiple boxes at once or proxy their existing armies, maybe that's the best way? 

  • If it was me designing this project, I would start with a warband skirmish game, Stargrave/Necromunda. I would include coop and solo play. I would have stand alone scenarios as well as a campaign mode.

    I would them develop a battle game, meaning platoon+ sized fighting, ie Bolt Action/40k.

  • @Grumpy Gnome 

    Adopt Bolt Action with tweaks for the weapon stats ? That seems to be what Warlord Games did for their Konflikt 47 stuff, dunno if its that popular though.

    Base rules which understand supressive and indirect fire as a starting point though.

  • @Dennis Horne  If WGA were to try to adopt Bolt Action rules they would either need to partner with Warlord (and thereby cut profits) or be accused of plagiarism. 

    And a sci-fi evolution  of Bolt Action, Gates of Antares (both written by Rick Priestly if I remember correctly) does not appear to have sold remarkably well although it does have some very enthusiastic fans. The game is an interesting stage of “non-devlopment” by Warlord although they continue to sell the models and an independent group including Rick Priestly has been approved by Warlord to create the latest edition of the game and continues to suport it.

    But I can understand wanting to see a game do as well as Bolt Action appears to have done. Let me be clear, I am not a big fan of Bolt Action gameplay (I prefer Chain of Command by Toofatlardies for WW2 gaming) but I am impressed by how broadly successful Bolt Action has been. 

    Let me also say Deathfields as a setting does not really excite me but I can see it having broad appeal if the game were to be well crafted as it is a new take on violent organized sports. Think about the success of Blood Bowl and to a lesser degree Mantic Dreadball. 

    Something a Deathfields game could benefit from would be a dynamic campaign aspect reflecting the organized sports management aspect of the setting. Something like how Oathmark did it really bring new battlefield gameplay to the table but it did bring a new, and widely acclaimed, kingdom building campaign aspect for army building. 

    It is an interesting question, will (or should) Deathfields rules support things not made by WGA, ie not every current faction has a broad range of heavy weapons or indirect fire. And no vehicles so far.



  • Get Joseph A McCullough on the line. He doesn't just do work for Osprey...

    @Grumpy Gnome I fully agree on the opportunity to make it a unique blend of shooty wargame and sports. Just making it another Necromunda or Stargrave would be missing that chance. And lord knows we really do not need another 40K/Antares/Warmachine/Bolt Action. Take your pick of alternatives to any and all of those.

  • @Grumpy Gnome Sorry, I meant to say 'something like Konflikt 47', a base rule set which functions with proper suport, suppression, vehicles et al. Never played it as I avoid both BA and 40K rules entirely

    Most of the 40k/Stargrave rules are derivatives of old Sword and Scorcery/D&D rules which emphasise swordplay and spells (sorry abilities). They don't even cope with horses let alone things with wheels, tracks and way off table engagement ranges.

    I remember reading somewhere (it may have been Preistly himself) that Bolt Action was created so that 40k gamers would find it easy to transition to.  That may well explain it's success. Use something similar an entry point for those disallusioned 40k teens ,even though I personally dislike the ruleset myself.

    A dream team of the Tfl Guys and Mr McCullough being asked to come up with a ruleset ? Is there no rule writing talent on the Western side of the Pond or the Southern Hemisphere ?


  • @Dennis Horne I bought and read Konflikt 47 as well as Bolt Action. They just did not do it for me. For sci-fi combat rules Stargrunt is good option that I read, and it is free, but I take your point about the need to cover more than Stargrave does. 

    For those curious about Joe McCullough...

  • @Grumpy Gnome Hmm, Stargrunt 2, just gave it a quick read (I'm normally a Horse & Musket historical type).

    The depth and detail needed to do a near future/mid future Sci-fi justice it needs. The WA Grongard command/support box would find a welcome  home here.  The 75 pages may well scare off those 40k refugees though. 

    Nice concept, something like this would be a good basis for the prospective rule set.

    • Tweak to get it down to 1 dice type?
    • Produce a cut down squad skirmish version?
    • Add some 'Death Fields specific content?


    The Death Fields concept might run around TV ratings, the more blood, gore and heroisim means better ratings for each team. Focus on a single squad per game (look at 'Band of Brothers' or the 'Pacific'- you get ratings boosts for how well that squad perform as well as how well the entire force does.


  • Love to see it styled totally for new a very different game. Forget for now, the D6,D12, or D20 rules, or even the type.Think instead of paintball style games,  their scenerios  even if copying "Warfare"are made up. This is a big difference, it`s Streriolized War, with every move watched by millions of cheering viewers across "Galexies". Every shot analized, every grenade thrown, multi scanned to the most. Just to see who thrown  the grenade the farsest or made that crack shot. How do you turn that into an excential part of "The Game," offer a points for the best "Kill" or charge, system I for one don`t know but This is the first part of the journey. 

    Without solving this, it`s just another Game, to be brought, or discarded. Cheers Geoff.

  • @Geoff Maybury Catan has cards that are worth points that get passed around during the game for who has the longest road, biggest army ect. which allows for real time tracking.

    Death Fields could have a similar score system with tokens that are kept by whom ever has rolled the most 6s on a shooting attack, or charge. Kill counters could work as well, a game like Death Fields will definitely require score cards of some sort.

    The key will be how to make it seem like sport without loosing the war feel, and balancing that with bookkeeping.

  • @Geoff Maybury All games should be bought, played, discarded, subsequently revisited but above all enjoyed.

    Otherwise you become a GamesWorkshop zombie ;}

    In the UK they have infiltrated the scouts, the kids can actually get a modelling badge in conjunction with GW.

  • @William Ings If you like cards, take a look at Sharp Practice by TFL, that is a character driven 28mm Napoleonic skirmish game.  Chain of Command is the WWII dervative.

    It seems TFL do a 15mm scale Sci-Fi ruleset Quadrant 13 I've not played it, but perhaps a Death Fields supplement to this would be a workable answer to the yawning void? 

  • @Dennis Horne A- Men to that, "Long Live all those GRAND SUBSTITUTES", remember a none GW`s game is for "LIFE". None WS and proud of it. Love Geoff.

  • I have just got a copy of Osprey Games Xenos Rampant .

    This handles a roughly company sized battle group with some artillery and vehicle involvement on a 6"*6" table, platoon sized on a 4"*4". It has a psychic add on (in the rules), the addition of a TV/WWE ratings like add-on would make it a shoe in for a default Death Fields ruleset

  • @Dennis Horne 

    6' by 6' sounds about right for a company action.....  But that's not going to be a easy to find table.

  • @Red Bee In all honesty, it woudn't be hard to put together a DF team of ANY size: I'm assuming that Death Fields follows the same format as some sports here on Earth, and have leagues of various sizes: There could be an ameteur division with a max of 10-12 troops on a side. There could be 'farm leagues' sponsored by the major teams (similar to American baseball) who use them as a talent pool and field a few dozen, 'pro leagues' of gradually increasing sizes, and the upper tier 'Champions League' teams could literally be full armies, complete with armor and artillery support!  It's just a matter of what size the players agree to....

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