Theoretical WGA rulesets

  • I've heard plenty of requests for a pre-made ruleset for death fields, and a handful for generic rules for the others. So, I'd like to list a few of my opinions on the matter.

    1- We don't really need rules

    There are hundereds of excellent rulesets out there, and it's hard to make something novel. Plus, any ruleset would leave some people unsatisfied. This forum represents a small fraction of the customer base that WGA has, so if WGA doesn't think rules are a profitable venture, I can't blame them.

    2- Setting

    One of the best ways to make a game good is with a fun setting. I wouldn't have checked out a set of WW1 skirmish rules, but I did check out Ryhfler. The modern space marines might look generic, but I love them because they're space marines. Death Fields has a lot of potential as a setting, from a look into the state of the human sphere, to the ethics of  a galactic state-sponsored bloodsport. Plus, the possibility of species like the lizardmen who lie far beyond the reach of the alien game runners, and what happens when wider humanity finds out. But fleshing out the setting massively will be required. (This section doesn't apply to generic rulesets.)

    3- Scale

    Although in the past, GW held a monopoly on large-scale battle games, now the scene for smaller publishers in mostly narrative skirmish games. Both offer interesting possibilities, but the nature of WGA kits is much more suited to larger (Platoon, I think is the term most often used) scale battles.

    4- Terrain

    Although a number of partnerships and digital files have been made, proper, WGA, physical terrain has yet to exist. Time after time, plastic has been proven unsuited to terrain-making, and I think it's best left to the players.

    5- Detail

    Finding a balance between ease of play and detail is hard, but I think a system akin to the original necromunda (excluding the progression system) is quite nice. lots of potential to expand it, but not overly complex.

    6- Balance

    I've played warhammer 40,000 9th edition, even semi-competitively, and Age of Sigmar 3rd edition, but both felt lacking in that magic that makes the older editions (8th and second respectively) really feel fun. And based off of how horrible the competitive games were, and how much fun I've had treating the rules as a loose framework, I think it's balance.

    6.5- Tangent on video games.

    I feel like a good analogy for overly balanced wargames is the recent overwatch "sequel". All of the heroes (factions, in a wargame) feel the same, and playing some roles isn't fun anymore. Plus, reaching "ranked", where you're placed against others in your league, takes 50 wins. 50! I can't win one game against bots, let alone 50 agasinst people.

    On the other hand, Counter Strike: Global Offensive is a perfect example of a well balanced game. Sure, every mistake is lethal, and sure, soem weapons are better, but I can have fun carving my own little niche. The game is hugely popular in E-sports, but it's still fun for a casual player (although I've stopped playing until I can get a headset. It's really hard to win uncoordinated.)

    6- Okay, back to balance.

    So, how do you balance a game right? Well, with smaller games with a focus on story, it's possible to not do so at all. Balance is only fun when both parties are equally matched. But if you do insist on balance, here's a few tips. Number one: keep point updates easily acsessible. If you have to buy a new book every wednesday, it won't be fun to play casually.  Number two: Keep rules loose. Don't force people to use your specific models on your specific bases in specific poses. Number three: Keep competitive balance optional. from abstract points values to asymmetric battles, there are plenty of ways to spice up casual games without hurting competitive ones.


    I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on this.

  • I found Deathfields as I was trying to expand my wargame horizons out of the one sci-fi universe I had supported for decades (Battletech). Death Fields caught my attention because of its unique blend of Scifi and historical wargaming elements for thr miniatures. The setting hooked me by blending sports and battle. It's a unique stew that got my imagination going. The line has a strong identity and I think a game, or series of games could carve out a niche in the hobby all its own, and I really want to explore the potential the unique elements hint at. Would it be successful? I have no idea, but it has potential.


    But what do I know, I live in an area with a strong Swords of Ice and Fire scene, and I have no problems finding opponents for Battletroops, a tiny niche game that has been out of print since the 90s. Gaming in my area is strange.

  • Here's my pitch: the LGS friendly One Page Rules. I'm sure everyone here is aware of One Page Rules, it's a light ruleset that evolved out of a want to reuse Warhammer models without bringing all the rules bloat. It's not the first game to do this, but part of the reason it got so popular is because they expanded the options for proxies for the game with affordable 3d printed miniatures. Sound familiar? Now the model isn't without its problems, and one I've noticed in my area is that it circumvent game stores entirely. People are playing with either ages old Warhammer armies, or miniatures they print themselves and they are playing with rules that the didn't buy in stores. Without stire support you don't have a tournament scene, which can slow growth down. Now OPR seems to be doing great, but this would be a weakness that WGA doesn't necessarily have.WgA already sells in stores! WGa sets are also competitively priced enough that they aren't too far off from buying stls.

    So my proposal is that we ape this model, and use the resulting game as to advertise the miniatures in the game shops, hopefully resulting in an increase in profits that exceeds the cost of development, publishing, and support.

    Phase one: develop a universal rules light system that uses a small Stat line, and is able to be expanded upon to support each model line. Well xlcall this Atlantic Wargame Core, or Core for short. Each model line I'll get a micro expansion to flesh out any period specific rules or equipment. Core and the setting supplements will be available on the website and on MMF's page (maybe have the Tribe have access to it early for testing purposes as a perk?).

    Going forward printing boxes for sets will include a mention of the rules on the back of the box, but still encourage using them as proxies for other games. Inside the box Stat lines for the miniatures and equipment would be printed either on a single sheet, or on the interior of the box, depending on what is more cost effective to print and pack. Hopefully the rules additions will be enough to get people curious about the game, and if people get invested thy will be encouraged to buy more boxes of minis.

    Keep he game development going on online, and if it looks like the game builds an audience large enough to sustain it do a Kickstarter or other fundraising to see if releasing a physical edition of the Core Rules with a chapter devoted to each period as a deluxe edition that could maybe be sold in stores eventually. Something along the same complexity as One Hour Wargames. Physical publishing is very expensive and has a lot of unseen hurdles,  so going the Kickstart route and waiting for an audience to iron out any kinks in the rules might be the safest plan.

    Promote the game on social media (the WGA team seems to do pretty good at this), and maybe the occasional tournament prize pack sent to LGSs that have a decent order (maybe voting ballots/ coupons for Vox?)

    If the game fails to capture an audience then slowly discontinue it, or rely on community support for it before it gets to any major printing cost. Art assets, development time and editing will still incur costs, but hopefully you'd be able to head the costs off before it got to be catastrophic, and it would always be anninteresting bit of trivia down the line.

    I don't think anything I'm saying here isn't obvious, and I'm sure I'm missing some large hurdles that I haven't thought of, but. Do think it could be done, and might even be something that could be successful and help grow the brand.

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