Jeffrey Layton
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Nebraska
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Printed in 1985, the 1st edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Battlesystem is a stand alone mass combat game which can be integrated into 1st edition era AD&D and D&D games.

The game is designed to be played with 25mm miniatures (before scale creep increased them to today's 28mm to 30mm giants) but even true 25mm figures are a bit large for the recommended base sizes. Players may have better luck with 15mm models, or using flat counters instead of miniatures.

(The 2nd edition Battlesystem rules switched to metric base sizes and increased the sizes slightly. 1st edition Players wishing to use 25mm figures may wish to consider increasing their base sizes by approximately 1/4 inch: i.e. 3/4" for small creatures, 1" for medium, etc.)

The Battlesystem boxed set contains a 32-page rule book, 24-page scenario book, 16-page guide to painting miniatures and making terrain, some cardstock terrain sheets, and 800 counters/card bases. Note that it's possible to play with only a copy of the rulebook, as it contains illustrations to scale of unmarked counters/bases so players can easily make their own.

The rules are divided into basic, intermediate, and advanced sections, with the basic section containing the rules for initiative, morale, movement, and melee combat. The intermediate section adds rules for adding in heroes (including D&D player characters) and missile and artillery fire. And the advanced section adds rules for weather, magic, flying creatures, and campaign play.

The combat system is moderately complex. You subtract the target unit's Armor Class from the attacking unit's Attack Rating, then add a 2d6 roll. Then you cross index the result on a Combat Results Table, multiplying the number found times the number of bases attacking to get the total damage done. Finally, you compare this total to the target's Hit Dice per figure to determine the number of bases killed and wounded.

The rules for movement, morale, and so forth are pretty standard for miniature wargaming, and the big draw of Battlesystem is the ability to use Dungeons and Dragons characters and monsters in large scale combats without the need to convert any stats.

When my son and I first decided to try the Battlesystem game, I'm afraid that I approached the experience with some negativity, with an "I don't want to play some old fashioned rank and file CRT game" attitude. Thankfully, I was able to overcome my prejudice, and we went on to have a great gaming session. I was taken enough with the game that I've decided that I'll be using it the next time I run a D&D campaign, as the ability to include the PCs in a really big battle is pretty awesome.
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Richard Galati
United States
Manalapan
New Jersey
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I believe X10 Red Arrow Black Shield is a Battlesystem compatible module.
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Bill Allen
Australia
Ngunnawal, Canberra
ACT
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Jedi Ram wrote:
I believe X10 Red Arrow Black Shield is a Battlesystem compatible module.


As were a couple of the H (Bloodstone Pass) series.
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Nicola Bocchetta
Italy
Milano
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I would never expect to see a review of this in 2015!!!!!!

I remeber I had it when I was a teenager!
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Jeffrey Layton
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Nebraska
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Faso74it wrote:
I would never expect to see a review of this in 2015!!!!!!

I remeber I had it when I was a teenager!


Yes, I suppose I should start adding "retro" to the title of my reviews.

As I game at home with my kids, we play whatever I feel like running at the moment, without the need to restrict ourselves to current titles. I especially enjoy collecting and playing older systems, and felt it would be helpful to post reviews of them for other collectors.
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Mike
Australia
Greenmount
Western Australia
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Jedi Ram wrote:
I believe X10 Red Arrow Black Shield is a Battlesystem compatible module.


I bought this back in the day and was too overwhelmed to ever play it...I should break it out now and see how it fares. I just remember it was a map, hundreds of tiny tokens, and uber-complicated rules. (But I was 15 or so)
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Michael Williams
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Iowa
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Same here, when I was 14, I was really expecting this to be ... something else.

About 7 years later, I found it. Warhammer.
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