Wednesday 15 February 2023

The Battle of Bastionland

I've been jumping around between various wargames lately, so it's perhaps a good time to take stock of where we're at:

The Doomed

Pre-orders are cropping up for this now, so I'm doing various articles and podcasts in anticipation for the launch. Expect to be sick of seeing and hearing me very soon. 

1x1 Horse & Musket

Last week I recorded this playthrough of the rules, though I should note the specifics have changed slightly since then. 

Great clickbait title, right?

In practical terms I've sort of got what I wanted out of this. Everything needed for a big battle fits in a tiny box and I'm looking forward to dropping it on unsuspecting opponents.

Not to say I won't keep messing with it. I've got Medieval and Modern versions on my workbench but they don't quite work just yet. 

MAC Attack

This one had a big change recently, essentially overhauling the weapon system. I'm really happy with how this one's going, and looking forward to running some more playtests. 

Project 10

Arrgh... my pile of shame!

I've been pretty well disciplined in not buying loads of miniatures until I've painted my current lot, but the 10mm units I bought for Project 10 are the clear exception. Years later I have 5 units completed out of... 14 that I need to actually run a game. 

I have a good handful of little 10mm medieval guys just waiting to join the fray, but for now they're going to have to sit tight. 

Still, the system works, and I enjoyed playtesting it with cards last year, but for now this one holds a degree of shame. 

Battle of Bastionland

Okay, so this one is new, and it's what you clicked onto this post for, so what's the deal?

Looking over the wargames I had in various stages of completion I had:
  • The Doomed for warband level skirmishes and monster fighting
  • Project 10 for classic fantasy regiments wheeling around the field
  • 1x1 for grand scale battles on a tiny board
  • MAC Attack for 6mm sci-fi with mechs, tanks, and infantry squads
There's an obvious gap there for something involving a handful of squads, but still basing each soldier individually. Perhaps something with a bit more Morale and Command & Control than my other efforts. I think those in the know would call it large skirmish

I mean I could just play a pre-existing game but where's the fun in that?

But let me wear my influences on my sleeve:
  • NUTS! really grabbed me in its back-and-forth combat flow and feel of having a toolbox full of toys, but it's also a little obtuse for me to fully grok. I fear it's doomed to be one of those games that I love the idea of rather than the reality. 
  • Turnip28 wallows in the grime of gunpowder era war and has a nice simple core. 
  • Xenos Rampant has been great fun the few times I've played. I like the modular units and the way morale is handled, but there's a lingering dissatisfaction in how some of the specific units perform. Careful choice of armies and scenarios can remedy this, but it feels like a missed opportunity.
  • I'm on a real binge for just about anything from Nordic Weasel right now. 
And of course I wanted to try and fit all of the actual rules of play on a single page which... I kinda did? Okay give me two pages then so we can keep the line breaks. 

So some of the specifics of Battle for Bastionland?
  • It's all about Smoke, Mud, and Blood. Your squads will amass all three as the war wears away at their humanity, if they started with any. 
  • You pick 3 squads from the list, each having 6 or 12 individual members depending on how big a battle you want to do. This means your full Company is either 18 or 36 miniatures in total.
  • Oh, but that's their full strength and not all of them will actually show up for battle. Latecomers might appear later, but don't bank on it. 
  • Squad type gives you a fancy ability, and each squad leader is a Corporal who chooses their own individual advantage.
  • EXCEPT one squad leader is actually your overall Captain, and they choose an ability that's actually a disadvantage. Who put this donkey in command?
  • Kitbash Attitude is in full effect, with all of Bastion's variety on show. You'll probably want a gun that looks like it's from WW2 or earlier, but other than that go wild. Bring muskets, helmets, and the tallest hats you can muster. 
  • Order Dice are rolled at the start of your turn, meaning you won't always be able to achieve exactly what you want. You get some Reaction Dice on your opponent's turn too, so pay attention to their movements. 


  1. I love all of your wargaming posts, if anything it both makes me want to post more about wargaming myself, and also got me to start looking for some other wargaming-related blogs (I am not aware of many).

    1. Yeah I dip into wargaming blogs but haven't really solidified a list of favourites yet. Always happy to hear recommendations.

    2. Likewise - it is weirdly hard to find any. The two I have checked out on occasion are and one I am actually subscribed to is who makes just the most wonderful miniatures out of beads. They're adorable.

      However I've not had much luck with any other.