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Subject: Help with Hordes of the Things (HOTT) rss

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Christopher DeFrisco
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I'm hoping for some advice and/or pointers.

One of my boys isn't terribly into board games, but he's been smitten lately with the idea of miniatures. In particular Warmachine. I got some really great advice from a friend (Rog.) who is heavily into Warmachine but now I'm looking for a bit more help.

He suggested I take a look at "Hordes of the Things". The reviews seem promising, but for the life of me I can't find a copy of the rulebook anywhere. It actually looks perfect for our situation (not sure about miniatures and no $$ to do it "properly"). I've e-mailed a member for a possible trade.

Here are my questions:
1. Have you played and if so, can my son use his D&D miniatures successfully with Hordes?
2. Does anyone know where I can get my hands on a copy?

Thanks!

 
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Eric Landes
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cdefrisco wrote:
I'm hoping for some advice and/or pointers.

One of my boys isn't terribly into board games, but he's been smitten lately with the idea of miniatures. In particular Warmachine. I got some really great advice from a friend (Rog.) who is heavily into Warmachine but now I'm looking for a bit more help.

He suggested I take a look at "Hordes of the Things". The reviews seem promising, but for the life of me I can't find a copy of the rulebook anywhere. It actually looks perfect for our situation (not sure about miniatures and no $$ to do it "properly"). I've e-mailed a member for a possible trade.

Here are my questions:
1. Have you played and if so, can my son use his D&D miniatures successfully with Hordes?

Depending on his miniatures, maybe. HotT uses "elements" which are bases with between 1 and 4 figures attached, depending on the type of troop. (Heavy Infantry - "blades" have 4, light cavalry have 2, etc.)

cdefrisco wrote:
2. Does anyone know where I can get my hands on a copy?

Thanks!


I'd try Wargames, Inc. as it looks like you're in the US. (http://www.wargamesinc.biz/) Go to Catalog, then Books and Rules. It's in the Wargames Research Group section.

For a first game, I'd do something like this:

1. Inventory your son's miniatures and find an army in the book that comes close to what he has.
2. Make temporary bases in the appropriate sizes for each troop type in the army.
3. Use rubber cement or poster-tack or some other sort of temporary method to affix the figures to the bases. If you need to, write the name of the troop type on the base as well.

When I first learned DBA (the historical sibling to HotT) this is how I did it. Except I didn't have any miniatures - I simply wrote the troop type on the base and played with the bare bases. When I determined I liked the game, I started building armies.

Base size is very important in the game. While you don't have to be exact to the millimeter, try to get close. It really does make a difference.

If you decide you like the game, pick a couple armies and work on fleshing them out with a full set of figures. The armies are small enough that it's not too hard to build them.
 
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Kent Reuber
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cdefrisco wrote:
He suggested I take a look at "Hordes of the Things". The reviews seem promising, but for the life of me I can't find a copy of the rulebook anywhere. It actually looks perfect for our situation (not sure about miniatures and no $$ to do it "properly"). I've e-mailed a member for a possible trade.

Here are my questions:
1. Have you played and if so, can my son use his D&D miniatures successfully with Hordes?
2. Does anyone know where I can get my hands on a copy?


I've played De Bellus Antiquitatis, which is the historical equivalent of DBA. Hordes is an army level game, so figure needs to be based as part of a unit. In essense, each base will hold a certain number of figures depending on the type of unit it represents. The number of figures is specified in the rules, but realistically, you only need to base things so you can recognize the figures.

DBA is written terribly; the instructions are very legalistic. I think HOTT is better, but, with DBA, you usually learn by having someone teach you--you don't usually learn it by yourself. I probably wouldn't start with HOTT unless there's someone else around that really wants to play it.

The first thing to determine is what kind of game you want to play. Do you want to play a skirmish game where each figure represents one man? If so, HOTT isn't the right rules set. You want a set of rules like Two Hour Wargames "Mayhem: Warrior Heroes" or something similar. If you do decide to get HOTT, here's the list of people that carry it from the designer's Web page. The list of people who carry it seems a bit out of date, but it's a place to start.

http://www.btinternet.com/~alan.catherine/wargames/strong.ht...

If you want an army level game, I might start with BattleGround Fantasy Warfare. This uses cards for units instead of metal figures. That way, you can buy a pack or so of cards and see if you like the game before committing to buying lots more figures to paint. Because everything is a card, it's easy to store and carry around. And there are enough cards even in a starter pace to play two armies against each other.
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Christopher DeFrisco
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Thank you Basilius. Great stuff!
Wargames inc. is the first site I've found that actually sells the rule book.


You've been a tremendous help.
 
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Christopher DeFrisco
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Kent wrote:
If you want an army level game, I might start with BattleGround Fantasy Warfare.
Thanks for the info Kent. I took a look at Battleground Fanstasy Warfare but was turned off by the cards. Is it acutally a miniatures rule-set using cards? I'm worried that it won't click with my son because there aren't cool figurines to move around. (cant beat the price though).

So... HOTT if you are doing army level battles and Mayhem: Warrior Heroes for single fighter/skirmish type battles. I will definitely check Mayhem out.

Thanks!
 
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Eric Landes
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kentreuber wrote:

DBA is written terribly; the instructions are very legalistic. I think HOTT is better, but, with DBA, you usually learn by having someone teach you--you don't usually learn it by yourself. I probably wouldn't start with HOTT unless there's someone else around that really wants to play it.


HoTT is significantly better written than DBA. Mostly because Richard Bodley-Scott is the primary author, and not Phil Barker.

DBA _can_ be learned from the rulebook, but probably only if you're already a miniatures wargamer. There's way too many unwritten assumptions.

HoTT is much better, but I still wouldn't say it's perfect.

I need to build the Garden Gnome army from HotT... the figures are out there, just gotta do it.
 
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Rich Shipley
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Hordes of the Things (and the historical DBA) is a good game. I based some old D&D figures to play it a while back. WRG rules are very sparsely written and you will likely need to ask some questions to figure out what the heck is going on, but they are very simple after that.

Another army level fantasy game I've played and liked is Chipco's Fantasy Rules! The basing is a bit simpler since everything except characters are on the same sized square base. More detail and flexibility in this one too. The rules are now availableas as a PDF here:

http://www.sabersedge.com/fantasy.asp

There are a few other systems there also. The skirmish ones don't require basing. It might be worth trying one of those. The one that costs $3 and only requires a handful of figures might be worth checking out in your case.
 
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Bob Roberts

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Much as it pains me to say so, Games Workshop has a great deal going with their Warhammer Fantasy Battle box set lately. $45 gets you two decent forces of dwarves and goblins and a set of rules. I would consider buying the box just for the figs. There are easily enough of both dwarves and gobbos to make two HOTT armies for instance. Or you could use the figs with a set of skirmish rules.


I play DBA and HOTT, I like em both. I don't play Warhammer, but I use Warhammer figs to build my HOTT armies in some cases.
Reaper's Warlord might also be worth a look.

Oh, I highly recommend the good folks at Wargames Inc. I have bought all of my Essex DBA armies and several rules sets from them. They are fast, and easy to deal with.


Give a look here, lots of interesting stuff...
http://www.freewargamesrules.co.uk/index.html

 
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Will Douglas
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You want to make sure you get the Second Edition of HOTT.

It's almost twice as long, mostly because of illustrated examples of play and additional army lists. (I was in a very small way able to assist with the revision.)
 
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Robert Rossney
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Quote:
DBA _can_ be learned from the rulebook, but probably only if you're already a miniatures wargamer.


Is there evidence of anyone, anywhere, who learned DBA without someone else explaining the rules to him? I think the rules of DBA are sort of like Catholic dogma: you can go back to the original texts if you really have to (and when you do, it's a shock, because they appear to have been translated from the original Aramaic by Elizabethan Englishmen with an agenda), but for the most part you get by remembering what you've been taught.

I think DBA is gobsmackingly brilliant, one of the 10 best game designs I've ever encountered and the only miniatures game I found interesting after more than 2 or 3 games. But good lord, Phil Barker is not a man who'll use a table when a perfectly good English sentence can be constructed that, if properly punctuated, can be shown through meticulous analysis to encode the same information.
 
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Eric Landes
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UhhhClem wrote:
Quote:
DBA _can_ be learned from the rulebook, but probably only if you're already a miniatures wargamer.


Is there evidence of anyone, anywhere, who learned DBA without someone else explaining the rules to him? I think the rules of DBA are sort of like Catholic dogma: you can go back to the original texts if you really have to (and when you do, it's a shock, because they appear to have been translated from the original Aramaic by Elizabethan Englishmen with an agenda), but for the most part you get by remembering what you've been taught.

I think DBA is gobsmackingly brilliant, one of the 10 best game designs I've ever encountered and the only miniatures game I found interesting after more than 2 or 3 games. But good lord, Phil Barker is not a man who'll use a table when a perfectly good English sentence can be constructed that, if properly punctuated, can be shown through meticulous analysis to encode the same information.


Yes. My friend Andy and I learned DBA without assistance. We were both getting into miniatures at the same time, bought Armati and DBA, and tried them both the same afternoon.

Armati never got played again, and DBA was the big winner.
 
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Bob Roberts

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UhhhClem wrote:
Quote:
DBA _can_ be learned from the rulebook, but probably only if you're already a miniatures wargamer.


Is there evidence of anyone, anywhere, who learned DBA without someone else explaining the rules to him? I think the rules of DBA are sort of like Catholic dogma: you can go back to the original texts if you really have to (and when you do, it's a shock, because they appear to have been translated from the original Aramaic by Elizabethan Englishmen with an agenda), but for the most part you get by remembering what you've been taught.

I think DBA is gobsmackingly brilliant, one of the 10 best game designs I've ever encountered and the only miniatures game I found interesting after more than 2 or 3 games. But good lord, Phil Barker is not a man who'll use a table when a perfectly good English sentence can be constructed that, if properly punctuated, can be shown through meticulous analysis to encode the same information.



Yes, I learned it from the book. Granted I learned a lot more about it from reading Fanaticus and the Yahoo group discussions, but we played a bunch of games before we turned anywhere else for help.
 
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Lance McMillan
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Another rules system to possibly look into (particularly since you're dealing with a kid here) is "Fistful of Miniatures" and its follow-on "For a Few Miniatures More." Very simple, quick playing, readily scalable (doesn't worry about how you base your figures or whether they're 15mm, 25mm, or whatever) and can accomodate just about any types of troops you've got.
 
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Christopher DeFrisco
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Thank you all!

I did not realize the options for miniatures was so extensive.
This is all great stuff.
 
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Bob Roberts

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Topher, I'm surprised no one posted this yet but if you think this is great, go here:

www.miniaturespage.com
 
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Gregory Smith
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HOTT is a good choice because it is relatively easy to play, it does not require a lot of figures, and you can use pretty much any appropriately sized figures or plastic toy soldiers or creaturs that you have on hand.
 
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