Might of Arms

I became interested in Ancient/Medieval miniatures ever since seeing the Feldmachink and nicely-made Battlefinder, geomorphic countryside cards from The Perfect Captain,.

Examples of the Battlefinder cards. Note the period names to reference your battles.
Feldmachink is a hidden movement system not needing a judge.

I wanted to do an ancient/medieval wargame campaign perhaps using a boardgame like Britannia in some fashion. Britannia is a rather simple and popular game with about ten versions (so far) and can be played multi-player also.

Admittedly, these are just ideas and not a fully-formed plan. But at least I’ve learned to start with the system rather than just run out and buy a bunch of miniatures and start painting. Only to find five years later, I don’t like the rules or the campaign! Yet, my miniatures are all based and “dressed up”, with no place to go.

After looking around, I decided that the DBA was too competition oriented. I tentatively settled on Might of Arms. The first edition of which is available free since 2017 on PDF by joining the Might of Arms Yahoo Group (scroll down past the folders to the 3 free PDFs (rules, QRS & lists). The designer, Bob Bryant, decided to provide the PDF since the printed edition was out of stock. He has a second edition but he says the modifications are minor:

MOA 2 is not a major revision. I regard changes as minor, but others might not think so. The entire hit factor table is adjusted to give what I regard as a better play balance. Chariots are not as powerful. It is not as dangerous for cavalry (to the cavalry) to charge infantry, but then they are less effective when they do, unless the infantry have been softened up first. Mostly it is all about play balance. I go back and forth about changing the points cost. There needs to be a bit more granularity in the points. There is a pike and shot supplement, which actually plays a bit differently because of a few rules changes. I expect some gamers will just continue with the first edition. The play testing is all done. I’ve been slow about getting it into publishable form.

What I’m thinking of doing now is providing only a pdf copy and making them available free. No printed copies. I pretty much detest the modern rules productions with gaudy coloring, and way too many distracting illustrations, and way too many words, like the reader doesn’t know how to play a miniatures game. I do not want these rules to be like that. They are a technical document, so cut to the chase. I don’t need the money (ha ha, like there is money in free-lance rules writing), so why not give it away to the miniatures community?

You can see more about MoA at The Miniatures Page, click here and here. And BoardGameGeek which also has a forum page with discussion comparing to DBA.

And a blog post by a guy named Cantwell, Repple Depple. Another guy, Bwana Bill, on his blog says:

To begin with they are well written. What a unique concept! This is something that is frequently a major problem with this particular aspect of the tabletop gaming hobby. I won’t name any names, but it has been my experience that the most popular rule sets for ancient gaming are written in a manner that is totally arcane, obtuse, and almost incomprehensible (with the exception of Warhammer Ancient Battles), and when I say this I refer to writers on both sides of the North Atlantic ocean.

So I came across a reference to Might of Arms on “The Miniatures Page” and decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did because it certainly is a breath of fresh air. The rules are rather lengthy, but only because author Bob Bryant takes great pains to ensure that every concept in the rules is explained in a manner that does NOT leave you scratching your head and asking yourself “what in the heck does that mean?”

Incidentally, I also was fascinated by the Dux Brittaniarum by the Two Fat Lardies. It sounds like fun but more of a skirmish style approach and great for people with 20 or 28mm modelling skills. Which is not me. The nice thing about tiny armies (2mm?!) is that you could probably flick many colors of paint on them and end up with a nice army!

They have a nice video series that demonstrates the rules.

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