Sunday, 24 March 2013

Mass Battles with Splintered Light

The unmistakable thud of a lead filled Jiffy bag hitting the door mat resounded through the halls of Castle Tangent yesterday, heralding the arrival of 70 more of the Splintered Lands range from David McBride at Splintered Light Miniatures.

The general idea behind increasing the SL collection from 'a lot' into 'the entire catalogue' is twofold; Firstly, it gives yet more options for Song of Splintered Lands, and secondly it means we can play some mass battles using Sabot bases.

The whole mass battles thing is something I've not done for a long time (Dystopian Wars excepted), but I've been collecting rules for some time. The closest I've come to actually liking any of them is Doc McBride's (David's father) Pride of Lions. An interesting system, and shows Doc's considerable experience in pushing lead around the table.

However, it is aimed more at the 15mm fantasy crowd - using what appears to be an evolution of the HotT basing regime, with each unit having three 40mm x 40mm bases. Although basing size and regime is not important, the whole thing is prevaricated on the three-base-unit concept. This would turn an SL 20mm 'mass' battle into 'bloody enormous' battle and would need a 6x4 board to really do it justice.

So, I've set about hacking Song of Splintered Lands about to make it fit what I'm trying to achieve. Fairly easy so far; just tweaking the movement, combat, and morale engines to suit units rather than individuals. In keeping with my love of the simple, I'm trying to keep it to four pages max.

At the moment, it reads/feels like a mix of WFB, SoBH, with a sprinkling of HotT thrown in. The current bit I'm pondering is how individualism to create between unit types.

For example, should a unit of Fox Spears be different from Squirrel Spears? To create a difference big enough to drive tactical challenges requires more stat lines, which brings complexity and that slows the game.


  1. The best sound in the world - a bag of metal landing just under the letterbox

  2. Having tried the rules you mention, Jeremy and I are still firm believers in the free Warmaster rules fro GW's Specialist Games. The game is quite simple but deep IMO. Making stats for the SL figures would be easy to do, especially since the figures all wield Dark Age weapons with some armor tossed in.

    After reading your post, I pulled out my SL Woodlands figures and some 40mm x 20mm bases just to see how it would all fit. I think making the bases 60mm x 30mm would be best. You could fit three of the larger figures (squirrels, badgers, ect) on a base. Maybe four mice. Since a unit is three bases, you would need 9 figures per unit. If you went 40mmX20mm, then only two figures per base would fit. Pretty cost effective. How many figs you can fit on a sabot base would depend on how large your bases are for your individual figures.

    BTW I made paper armies for all the armies in WM. If you'd like some files to try out the game, let me know.