Two Page Skirmish are a set of free wargames rules for skirmishes in a variety of periods. They look interesting to me because of two features that the author outlines:
The rules have two unusual features.
The first is the use of the action card. You’ll need an action card for each figure in the game. This is a simple, square piece of card; mine are 2 by 2 inches. The possible actions that a character can perform are on the card. At the start of each turn, players rotate the cards to show which action the figure is performing. You could just as effectively have a roster sheet and write the actions on it, or place chits on the table, but I really like the cards because they don’t clutter the table and they’re easy and fun to use. If you put an ID notation in the center of each card, players won’t get confused about which card goes with which figure. I have also experimented with using only one card per squad, on the idea that the card represents the leader’s order and everyone acts in unison on that order. It works OK for the British, less well for the natives. But these rules are flexible enough to accommodate a lot of that sort of modification.
The second unusual feature is the way close, hand-to-hand fighting works. In most games, figures are paired off one-on-one as much as possible and then they only fight each other, no matter how many other figures are battling around them. I wanted to create the feeling of a real, chaotic, swirling melee, where the unlucky get ganged up on and the unwary get speared in the back. So each figure rolls its die and compares it to every enemy figure within striking distance. Get a bad roll and you could be stabbed from two, three, or more directions at once. Get a good roll and you could cut down two or three enemies at once.
Aetherverse is a universal rules system that was a commercial product a couple of years ago. The author writes:
Aetherverse is a miniatures game I published a number of years ago. It was nominated for an Origins Award for Best New Miniatures Game when it came out, though I had to stop working on it due to financial difficulties at the time. I’m casually working on a second edition as time permits, though, with the intent of making it a free digital release with the option to buy a nicely-printed physical copy.
Key features of the first edition:
Highly flexible army design system allowing the use of pretty much any miniatures line in existence (though focused primarily on 25-30mm scale minis)
Keeping character in the player-designed armies as opposed to just creating a bunch of numbers (such as was the case in a number of other games with a similar system)
“Weighted Random” activation system that keeps both players involved at all times during the course of a turn rather than forcing one player to sit around watching the other move stuff around
The Portable Wargame started as a small project to develop a game playable on a checkers board. It’s now become quite the big deal, with versions for a variety of periods. There’s even an electronic version.
Miniature Wargaming is part of the "adventure games" hobby, which includes r ole p laying and board games. Wargamers recreate battles on the tabletop with toy soldiers, like a more complicated game of chess. Models range in height from 6mm to 28mm tall, with 15mm and 25mm being the most popular. There also is a growing interest in toy soldiers and military models, such as the 1/32 and 1/35 scale plastic soldiers from Conte, and Marx.
The most popular miniature wargames are fantasy and science fiction based, such as Warhammer, Warhammer 40K, Warmachine and The Lord of the Rings. World War II games such as Flames of War and Axis and Allies are new favorites. Other favorite historical periods include Napoleonics, the American Civil War, and ancients, such as Romans or Greeks. Other gamers enjoy miniature naval wargames, recreating battles like Trafalgar, Jutland and the Coral Sea.
Hobbyists research historical periods and paint their tiny soldiers in accurate uniforms. Others develop "historically realistic" rules sets or build scale battlefield terrain using model railroad techniques.
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Some of the bigger hobby companies are Games Workshop, which produces Warhammer, Wargames Foundry and Old Glory Miniatures. Wizards of the Coast produces several lines of pre-painted miniatures games, such as the Star Wars and Dungeons and Dragons miniatures games, and a historical game with pre-painted miniatures: The new Axis and Allies game. Wizkids produces a fantasy collectable miniatures game, such as the Mage Knight and Heroclick fantasy games, the science fiction games MechWarrior and Rocketmen, as well as the quasi-historical Pirates of the Spanish Main.