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Please help me start 15mm Fantasy Wargaming

wirecrossing

illegal jokes
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#1
I have been a wargamer for many years, but I have usually stuck to 28mm stuff. Recently my wife and I started playing Tanks! and so as a result I have been making terrain of that scale and I am absolutely in love with how it looks on the tabletop. However, neither of us are much interested in pursuing FoW or Team Yankee at this point.

I would love to have a similar experience to playing Warhammer Fantasy back in the day, though hopefully faster and on a larger scale. I have looked at a lot of 15mm Fantasy manufacturers and some of the minis are pretty damn good.

I suppose I am looking for advice on things like rulesets and basing. I think the only small scale ruleset I own is Warmaster Historical :/ and I haven't looked at that thing for ages. What should I be looking for? Where should I get started?
 

Aesthete

A for Aeffort
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#2
It kind of depends on what you're looking for...

Lots of games are explicitly scale agnostic - you could for example play Dragon Rampant with 15 mm miniatures. I believe (but am not sure) that Hordes of Things is explicitly for 15 mm. There's also Demonworld, which is (from the reviews I've read, I've never played) an attempt to do a 15 mm WFB heartbreaker back in the 90s or early 00s. They have a pretty full minis range.

There's nothing that stops you from playing your favourite edition of WFB in 15 mm either - if you Google minihammer you can find some folks who did it in 10 mm. Chiefly it's about converting the scale down, really.

Then only issue is if you're hoping to plug into am existing ecosystem of players in the Games Workshop vein - there I'm afraid I can't really help you. 15 mm fantasy warming is, I believe, well into the realm of idiosyncratic enthusiast projects of the war gamer old school. I.e, you're sort of on your own so good luck (and please post pictures, because I love that sort of stuff).
 

Oedipus Dex

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#4
If I ever get around to doing fantasy wargaming again, I intend to use Mayhem by Brent Spivey. Of course my scale will be 6mm but the rules themselves are scale agnostic. Generally they seem pretty well received for a system that maybe doesn't get as much hype as Dragon Rampant or scaled down Kings of War.

It reads as a pretty quick system with a unit creation system so you can stat up your little dudes however you like. Basing is whatever you like, so long as there is consistency in your basing (and when I think about basing for fantasy I look at the HotT guidelines). So overall I'm very positive on it since I can make everything as aesthetically pleasing to myself as possible.
 

Scutarii

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#5
If you already have Warmaster ancients you could look for Warmaster Revolution which basically updates the fantasy version to ancients plus magic and monsters. It’s online for free, legitimately (GW put their specialist stuff online free ages ago)

The basing is on 20*40mm bases so you could probably fit 4 15mm figures on each base.

You could go to 30*60mm instead for a bit more room and the rules would handle it without issue
 

Gideon

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#6
I got into Sword and Spear and Sword and Spear Fantasy using my existing 28mm models, and introduced it to my club. It was very popular but to my disappointment, they all got out their old 15mm armies to play with. I was a bit reluctant to bother changing scales, but in the end I made a 15mm army, and similar to the OP fell in love with the scope and scale of the games, so am now making a second 15mm army, and already planning a third.

You might want to check out S&SF to see if it is your thing. You can use any size bases you like (and define the Distance Unit accordingly), but everyone had existing Hordes of the Things and DBA size bases (40mm frontage) so we have adopted 40mm as the unofficial club S&S Distance Unit (for 80mm frontages).
 
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RSDean

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#7
I believe (but am not sure) that Hordes of Things is explicitly for 15 mm.
Almost; Hordes has three key dimensions: base width, base depth, and a 100 pace unit of measure. There are recommendations for 6mm, 15mm, and 25mm, so it’s functionally scale agnostic. In 15mm, btw, you end up with 1” measurement increments and 40mm base widths, played on a 2’ square table. (We play with 6mm figures, and with 1/72 scale plastics using the 25mm dimensions.)
 

Narcisista

Social Justice NPC
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#8
Most 15mm mass battle rulesets seemd to have gone with a element based approach which is scale agnostic (though the basing may or may not be pratical).

"Popular" (for a given value of popular) rulesets these days seem to be:

Hordes of the Things.
Dragon/Lion Rampart (which seems to be fairly close to what you want and can be element or individual based).
Mighty Armies.
Warmaster.
Whatever GW is calling their LoTR game these days (miniatures are 28mm though and individual based). There was a mass battle version but it had little support and I don't see much talk about it anymore.
Kings of War. The official miniatures are 28 mm but it is element based so you can use any miniatures and there is a historical supplement you can use to reverse engineer anything you want. Personally the the very strict IGOUGO structure turns me off (which is odd as Warmaster is probably my favourite and it's also IGOUGO, it seems the armour saves are enough to satisfy me).

To these I would personally add:
Pride of Lions. I only played the first edition which has some very cool concepts. The magic system is barebones, which might have been expanded in the 2nd edition.
Rally Round the King. Allows solo and co-op play.

Others you may want to consider:

There is a fantasy conversion of Hail Caesar but I don't know how good it is.
There used to be a free fantasy version of Impetvs but I can't seem to find it, and it no longer seems to be discussed.

Song of Blades and Heroes has a mass battle version in playtest.

I also remember enjoying Fantasy Rules! but I lost them some eight years ago, and the company has closed down, Recently however those rules have been revived for ancients as Age of Hannibal, so I wouldn't be surprised if there is some revival in the works.

If you own Warmaster Historical I would just plugin the magic from the Fantasy version. GW released it for free, so with the unit bulding rules from the end of the Ancients book and the magic rules, you can pretty much design army lists for any setting you wish.
 
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