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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Project LoM Part 1 - Introduction

It's been a while since I had the time to post anything here, it's not because I don't have anything to post (I have about 2 months of painting to show), its a problem of time, the lack of it! Real life lately has been very hectic, so in the spirit of things, I have decided to complicate it even further, I have decided to take one of my home made little projects, that hasn't seen any life beyond my own small circle of friends and gamers, and to make it into something available to all.

Welcome to the start of 'LoM'

'Leaders of Men' (or 'Leaders of Monsters', when I decided to take it down a fantasy road), was initially a small ruleset I wrote for use with 10mm models from a local manufacturer - Pendraken - to be played amongst my small gaming group. Like most home made games it was enjoyed for a while, chiefly as a break from the norm, and was positively received as a nice rule set with some good ideas and features.

That was 6 years ago.

Now I feel is a good time to return to the ruleset, work on it, and make it available to other gamers with an interest in its specific style.

What is LoM and how it differs from the 'traditional' wargame

The chief difference that sets LoM apart from other games is how it handles the 'random factor'. There are very few dice rolls in the game! Instead, player skill is rewarded.

That's not to say everything is predictable and the outcome known 100%, but you can be sure that a combat will not be dictated by who rolls the most '6's or '1's.

LoM falls somewhere between a game like Chess, with simple outcomes (a piece kills off a piece, by occupying the square, no questions asked) and a traditional wargame with the ebb and flow of battle, troop movements, hand to hand fighting, and cavalry charges.

The 'reward player skill not dice' comes from a system unique to LoM - 'Command Points'. A player can be certain that if he orders his men to walk forward and fight the enemy, they will. In most cases that's what they came to do. However, if he wants them to do something a little special, he must pay the Command Points.

Spot a weakness in the enemy ranks and need a decisive charge NOW? - Command Points

Left wing about to buckle under stress of combat? - Command Points will temporarily rally them.

Enemy charging the flank? - Those troops will only turn immediately with direct leadership, spend Command Points.

A less experienced player may not see those moves, his troops will still fight, but they will be at a disadvantage. Skill conquers dice. Where the game gets REALLY interesting is with players of roughly equal skill. While they attempt to out manoeuver and out think each other, the battle continues and the troops fight. Spend too long trying to micro manage every engagement, or be super tricky, and the battle could be won or lost!

Where LoM stands now, and plans for the future

The ground work is there. The ruleset has been wrote. I am concentrating on two major changes,

Taking it from 10mm to 15mm.
While I still enjoy 10mm, I feel the game looks much better in 15mm.
What is lost in the 'mass effect' of troops, is made up for in the units feeling more individual. 10mm swordsmen look the same as 10mm axemen when there are 30 models. In 15mm the unit types are more clear, and I feel this reflects better in the skill needed for the game.

The excuse 'Oh I didn't know those models have spears, no wonder my Cavalry wouldn't charge, that's why I lost' is less viable when the troops are more clear.

The original LoM has a chart 140 places long, with 7 different coloumns for working out damage to the exact point.

While this sits with the idea of reducing the random factor it can easily be streamlined by playing with the numbers. Halving all the numbers in the game streamlines it a lot.
The challenge will be cutting it enough to find the right balance between time taken to find results, and the scope for flexibility of results.

What I need - Play-testers and Artists!

Finding the correct balance as well as any major and minor flaws in the rules themselves will be the aim of the play-testers.

Does Heavy Infantry perform too strongly against Light Infantry?
Is there a loop allowing troops to move in a strange way?
Does the math simply not add up on something?
Or when choosing A,B or C, will people always choose C because the incentive to choose A is too poor?

Artists and Illustrators
The original LoM is a home printed set of black and white rules (with pencil errata scrawled in!), and a few diagrams done in MS Paint. Small office technology, as well as distribution has advanced a lot in the last few years. I feel comfortable in stumping up some real money and paying for some real talent to draw nice eye candy for LoM.

Does this make LoM a commercial product?

Yes, and No. I am under no illusion that my ruleset, system, and world that I will write to support the game, is anything but one very very small fish in a very large ocean, and that getting people interested enough to try LoM, let alone spending any money on it, will be an immense task.

But what I hope to achieve is not to make a lot of money, but rather to keep money in the hands of people who deserve recognition.

If I sell 10 rulesets at £3.99, I can commission a new piece of art for £39.99.

My own speciality is painting models, and this is a miniature wargame. If I paint a £100 LoM army, I can work on a £100 expansion for the game.
Or who knows, maybe even commission a sculptor to make some models for LoM.

Thanks for reading!

If you are interested in LoM, or in helping out as a play-tester or maybe a commissioned artist, please keep checking back on this site for updates, or the threads I will be starting for the project over at '', 'deviantArt', and ''.

You can also email me at ''

Any advice or suggestions for people who have done similar projects like this, would also be much appreciated!

Thanks Chris

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