Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Martin Hackett, Fantasy Gaming, and a Chimeric Wurm

Okay, so it's been months. You'll get over it.

Last year, almost this time, I purchased a book written by Martin Hackett called "Fantasy Gaming: A Guide to Fantasy Role Play and Table-Top Battles" and it is a fine book in my opinion. It does not get the best reviews but I think they are comparing it to inappropriate measuring sticks and commonly lack what I would dub intellectual individuality but I digress. This book has an interesting set of war game rules in it and for the past year I have had the desire to give them a go. So, finally, i'm getting on it.

Hackett encourages the use of any and all figures one might be able to obtain for the play of his rules. He sees no reason to limit your choices or be loyal to a specific company and I can't help but see this as a wonderful idea that most fantasy war gamers really don't take advantage of.

Well, seeing as how I have a HOST of fantasy miniatures I have come to realize I have an opportunity to put these rules to use while at the same time doing some game recycling if you will.

Any one here familiar with Mage Knight by the now defunct Wizkids Games? Yeah, I thought so. Well I have a hugeassload of these miniatures TOO and have been wondering how best to get my use out of them. I was teasing with their application to the Warhammer Fantasy Battles rules set and will still likely do some incorporation into said rules BUT Hackett's system (thusly dubbed by him as Magic & Monsters) fits this bill quite nicely indeed!

I will endeavour to pass on posts about the going of this project but tonight I want to regail you with the creation of the army lists and the conversion of the Chimeric Worm to the M&M rules set.

First, the army lists...

Good Army: I looked through my pile and pulled out the Draconum Guardian a figure I have always liked from the set. Ironicly I never got to play it as the game was starting to die a slow and terrible death in my area by the time I obtained one. Well he immediately became a hero in the M&M rules. I had decide at the outset that I would build two 400 point forces with at least 1 hero and 1 caster each. Equipping him appropriately he came to a nice 86 points. Not too much, not too little...mmm that is some good gaming poridge I tell ya.

He will be accompanied by the following:

* an Elf Religious Wizard with 5 MA of spells, magic chain mail, and a magic staff (108 points)

* 3 Eagles (84 points)

* 8 Centaurs (120 points)

...all of which weighs in at a nice 398 points.

So with the design of the Good Army done I turned my mind to constructing something villianous!

Now, if you know me, you will know there is a requirement for the exsistance of a Dark Army, specifically there has to be UNDEAD if possible. I love the rotting little bastards. Don't ask me why I don't know I just know it is so. Also, there is another model I have always wanted to use that has always seemed to me to be the flip side of the Draconum Guardian, the Vampiric Draconum!

This model just screams fantasy action to me. Doesn't it to you?! Well he would be the commander of the Ebil Army, and he had to be a necromancer didn't he?

Okay so this is what it turned into:
* Vampiric Draconum as a Necromancer Wizard with 4 MA of spells, magic robes and a magic staff (99 pts)
* a Chimeric Worm (107 pts)
* 20 Zombies (80 pts)
*5 Wolves (55 pts.)
* 6 Human Mercenaries with bows (60 pts)

Now, a couple of...okay THREE things...

1. The stats for the draconum models were based on the LIZARTOLE in the book with the ability to 'hop fly' with their wings. The -tole ending after the lizar- is Hackett's way of saying "man" such as in Lizardman without being sexist. So this could be a lizardwoman and I say why the hell not eh?
2. All of the army is being built with now defunct Mage Knight models. I've based their purchase off the appearance of the model and I will be poping the son-of-a-bitches off their bases (with some finger cutting effort I am sure) and attaching them to bases that are in the 1" range (either square or rectangle). When it's done i'll take a picture and share :)
3. You'll note the entry Chimeric Worm up above. Well this guy is what the rest of the post is about...

I did my best to stick to the M&M rules but Hackett has done a good job making it easy to add new new models and adjust stats. So I decide to exercise this with the worm. I wanted to include it as a 'hero' soldier, meaning it fights alone and doesn't have to be grouped up. After some comparison with the Troll from the book I came up with these stats...

  • Ratio of 5; this means one Chimeric Worm fights as 5 soldiers.
  • Alignment that is evil; alignment has effects on various factors of the game. Oddly enough it finds its way into several areas from melee to magic.
  • Move of 6; this is in inches and is the same as a human, trolls moved faster at 8.
  • DF (defense factor) of 10; this is like a human in plate armor and is lower than the troll's 12 mostly because I judged the troll was a human in plate armor with a large shield and the worm has no hands to defend itself. This is one of the most important stats if not THE most important stat.
  • Power of 60; kinda like a strength score that is rarely used.
  • Agility of 50; again, like Power.
  • MF (morale factor) of 1; judging it to be a beast that is blood hungry the morale of 1 means it will nearly never flee.

As for abilities both special and combatitive I judged it to have three bite attacks (which means three combat rolls if I understand this right) and the ability to breath fire. Now it is worth noting that this is NOT based off the little blurb in the Mage Knight figure index. It says the worm attacks with only one head at a time and has magical power. I scraped that and did my own thing ;)

Hopefully with the next post i'll have the army all assembled. Wish me luck.


  1. Have you played the Roleplaying aspect of the game? I am trying to convince my amigos to give it a go but they are die hard Dungeons and Dragons guys.... -William G, San Antonio, TX, USA

    1. I have not, no, but I think it mostly has some great potential. Some of it is a little too "thick" for my opinion but over all I think it is a very playable game. The magic system is a little wonky, but meh not a big deal.