**Editorial Note** Since its initial posting, I have modified a few things and added some scenario details to this post. I also moved the Narrative section to a separate post all together, combining it with the other narrative sections. That can be found HERE
I've got a little something different for you all today...rather than the latest figures I've painted I'm going to share with you my recent exploration of the new set of a Fantasy Mass Combat rules, Oathmark: Battles of the Lost Age.
This new set of rules is put out by Osprey Games and written by Joseph McCullough (creator of Frostgrave). While I am a die hard WFB 3rd edition fan, I do have interest in a set of mass combat rules that are more simplified and fast moving. I've dabbled with Dragon Rampant, and Donnybrook but was not over joyed with either and they both had more the feel of a large skirmish game rather than a small unit battle. Oathmark is the first new set of rules that I've tried that I think will "feel" more like what I'm looking for.
I love a good skirmish game...but for me personally...there is nothing like a well organized, painted, and based army of ranked units on a table. I've even gone so far as to say that my collection is not of individual figures...but really it is a collection of units.
So a couple of months ago Dustin and I started to hear some chatter about this game and started to pay attention. I think we were both getting interested separately...and then when we found out the other was also interested, we both jumped in!
The rule book was released right before the whole world went upside down...and sadly physical copies of the rules did not make the jump across the sea to the states in any numbers due to the reduction in international travel. So...once it became available (April 30th) for digital download I bought a copy and downloaded it onto my iPad. I love a physical book. And if I like this game enough I will probably still buy a hard copy...but for now this will have to do.
After sitting on the rules for a couple of weeks...reading a little here and there, I finally puled my thumb out and created a couple of small army lists and set about picking figures for my first game. I opted for one army of all human troops and the opposing force was a mix of dwarves and Elves. As this was my first try with the rules I picked only generic troops for each unit. I did not pick characters (champion, general, king, spell caster) or any monsters or magic items.
...this was just going to be me getting a feel for the basic mechanics of the game. The rest I can add in later.
I am also not looking to give a complete run through and analysis of the games minutiae. If you are looking for that detail there are plenty of videos and blog posts with that granular detail. My intention is to provide my impression of the game and rules and hopefully use them to craft a bit of a story around the game and the way it played out.
The Opposing Forces
For troops I will use figures from my 5th edition WFB Bretonnians for the human army. I will use some classic Jes Goodwin Wood Elves from the late 80s, as well as Imperial Dwarf sculpts by the Perry Twins as their opponents. All of these I have been painted from previous projects and are ready to go.
- 15 Human Spearmen
- 15 Human Linebreakers
- 10 Human Archers
- 10 Human Archers
- 5 Human Cavalry
- Total: 940 points
- 15 Dwarf Soldiers
- 10 Elf Soldiers
- 10 Elf Archers
- 5 Elf Mounted Rangers
- Total: 940 points
I was quite surprised by the points cost of elves in particular...they are spendy! The human army contains 55 figures...while the Elf/dwarf army contains only 40! that is something to keep in mind. Also I don't really fully understand what these unit types mean at this point...but that will become more obvious as the game plays out.
...One issue I ignored for this game, but will rectify for the future, is that Oathmark bases all its infantry figures on 25mm square bases. The figures I had chose to use for this game are based for WFB on 20mm squares....and since they were all wrong...I just went for it and decided it wouldn't really affect game play. In the future I will get these figures onto movement trays that make their frontage correct, but for now this will work.
For a gaming surface I employed four of my 2'x2' modular terrain tiles giving the armies a 4'x4' area to fight over. I placed a couple of houses, a hedge row, a stone wall and some trees around the table and attempted to make it look as nice as possible.
The Run up to Battle
War has once again broken out on the frontier. The Grand Armee' of the Marquis d'Sodor is now tied down to the east in a campaign against the Wood Elves and Dwarfs. Reinforcements are needed, and they are needed NOW!!
A Relief Column is rushing to the aid of the Marquis, and the Elfs and Dwarfs are determined to stop them from combining their forces.
As the Human march column passes through a small village about a 1/2 a days march from the Grande Armee, they are attacked by a small warband of Elfs and Dwarfs.
Below are the initial dispositions of the opposing forces.
That seems like enough for tonight! Next post we will get into the first few turns of the game and see how Louis and the rest of the Marquis' relief column fare.