Polemos Mythic Armies

As of Yule 2008, I had become a Wargamer with 50 years in the hobby. I wanted to give back to the community some of the pleasure I have gotten from gaming and decided the best thing I could do is to return to writing. I requested of Peter Berry at Baccus that he assign me the stalled Polemos Fantasy game and sold him on the idea of using Historical Armies within the Mythos of their time and blend it with classical Fantasy elements from Fiction. Thus The Legions of Rome aided by spells and mythic allies such as Eagles and the Wolves that aided Romulus and Remus could face in battle an Army of Goblins, or even the Lunar Armies from Glorantha.

After taking 4 months to sell Peter on the idea I took almost a year to write it and had the first complete copy in March of 2010. Since then with the aid of good friends, such as  Daryl, Chris, & Brian I've polished out typographical errors, reworked some of the writing so it was a bit clearer, strengthened concepts, added a few new ideas by expanding on what was already there, wrote more base spells, and designed more Army lists. Brian has been exceptional in hunting down typographical errors. Thanks to Chris and his being enthused enough to create from my system a whole campaign involving Mythical Britain, I've added some wonderful new spells.

The game includes not only the Rules, but also Appendices covering using Army lists, running campaigns and tournaments, solo gaming, creating a battlefield. On top of that there are two extensive Appendices describing in step by step detail how to design armies and create spells for the army from an vast list of base spells and modifiers.

The 'Polemos' concept is to create a series of rules that share a basic structure, yet are carefully tailored for specific periods and genres. You do not wish to fight an American Civil War battle and be forced to use mechanisms designed for the Wars of The Roses, and we don't want to produce bland mechanics devoid of any period flavor or distinction. The ‘Polemos’ concept also stresses a “Command and Control” level of gaming rather than a detail level where the players worry about what formation a unit is. The player concerns himself with the issues of an army general rather than the worries of a major in charge of an individual battalion.

 

An important feature of the Polemos series will be the Army Lists. These will give in-depth coverage. Even for Fantasy armies this holds true as there is a 'background' assumed to the rules. The appendices do allow for the design of new or varied armies though. Another important concept in Polemos is the 2:1 frontage to depth of the regular base. This allows for standard measurements to be in terms of Base Width (frontage) or Base Depth.

 

One point that will be unique is that the Polemos rules have been designed from the outset for 6mm figures though any size figures may be used as long as the base proportions are preserved. However, from my experience 6mm miniatures will give impressive games with lots of figures on the table, even for the very smallest scenarios and armies. Those of you with larger scale figures will of course be able to enjoy games of Polemos, but must accept the subsequent loss in visual appearance and impact or go for much larger bases to maintain proportions.

May 1, 2010: Currently We're working hard on final playtesting and getting ready to do a presentation game at Enfilade over the Memorial Day Week-end in Olympia Washington. This will be the first opportunity to get some hands on feedback from players who were not part of the playtest group.
One option being added: I'm wrapping up adding in Artifacts and Holy Relics. Here's some notes from that:
Optional Rule: Relic and magical artifacts:

Relics and artifacts do not include personal items that are part of a Heroic Figure such as weapons, armour, shields, wands, rings, clothes, and the like.  Relics and Artifacts are larger cult items such as banners, battle standards, large sacred symbols, chests containing sacred objects, portable alters, or statues.

•   Artifacts are symbols that inspire or have a magical power to them. Though the primary benefit is one of command they may also allow Heroes and sometimes even non-Heroic units to wield great magical power.  Examples of Artifacts include banners such as the Oriflamme of the French, the Land-waster flag of the Vikings, or the standards of Roman Legions. Instruments such as Keltic War-harps, Nordic Bronzed Age War-horns, and even Drake’s Drum are also relics. Some players of fantasy may recognize artifacts such as Dwarven Anvils and the like.

•   Relics are special artifacts that have a spiritual or religious connection for the Army carrying them. It is the Holiness or Sanctity or Religious significance in the eyes of the Army that distinguishes the object and makes it more of an empowering symbol. The Holiness brings a greater benefit but at a greater risk if they are lost. An example of a historical Relic from the time of King Alfred of Wessex would be the Chest carrying the remains of St Cuthbert, the patron Saint of Northumbrian Saxons.

Hope you can come to Enfilade & try your hand at a game - we'll even have a pick-up tournament and with fantastic help from Peter a 6mm Speed-painting competition! Though the PEL hasn't been posted yet the PMA game is 2nd period (early afternoon) on Saturday. It's supposed to be at the same table I'm hosting GHQ Microforce Napoleonics during the first period Saturday. It's a set of rules that I'm writing with Daryl Nichols so look for me there.