Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Scottorum Malleus, Does size matter? and how big is yours?

This is my first post about the if's and buts of Scottorum Malleus which from here on will be know as SM. In SM base size is left fairly open the basic guide given is 40mm-80mm frontage. So for 10mm the question is do you go for a 40mm frontage to give you a small scale game looking like DBA? This would look okay and Im sure it would play fine with 40x20 bases, but for me I want something a little larger so Im going with a 80mm frontage and a 40mm depth for Infantry and Cavalry. Now heres another question what depth base for missile troops? 40mmm can look a bit deep for some missile troops Crossbows look a bit odd deployed 4 or 5 ranks deep while Longbows don't look to bad with some depth to them 'storm of arrows' etc. after a little thought I've decided to stay with 40mm depth for missile as well(I did set up to take some photos of my missile units to show the look of both types of basing but camera lost power!!**??). Next is army size in SM at the moment there are no points cost as such and no lists, as a guide Dan Mersey has said armies should be around 10/12 units and there is a brief guide to numbers of troop types. I've taken a read through various lists from other rules sets and using some historical research I've got usable army lists for all the armies I will be trying the game in, these have worked out at around 7-9 units each.Which with the above basing in 10mm will look good and give me enough troop options to get to grips with the rules.Heres another question,what type of army list do us gamers think is best? Points per unit lists option similar to Warmaster Ancients and the like or a list unit option like the DBx type systems?. Now I've got my base and army sizes now for table size again as SM is in its bare bones stage no size is really given for the field of battle, Im going with 4'x 3'. So if your giving SM a go, as the title say's does size matter? and how big are yours?


  1. The idea of army lists for medieval (or actually any period, but medieval has long been an interest of mine and, it would appear, yours) is something I've intermittently pondered.

    The points-based approach does have some historical merit as each layer of command (knight through to king) would have had certain financial resources and so would have had to pay wages and upkeep, not too dissimilar from points.

    I also wondered whether it gave more reasonable historical results to have one or more 'typical' army balances of troops, with some leeway which I suppose is the DBx model (3-7 longbow, for example) but with the ratio idea more to the fore (for each unit of bills, take three longbow). My thinking became quite convoluted, here, and became the sort of thing you'd do with Excel or the like, incorporating the status of the commander having an impact on how many knights they could muster, whether they could afford mercenaries etc.

    The question of mercenaries might lead to some kind of bastard stepchild of the two options above; a ratio-determined base army list, with resources (gold/points) to hire handgunners, swiss pikemen, genoese crossbowmen, whatever.

    Basically, I didn't come to a conclusion, but I'm interested to see what you decide upon.

  2. Hi,

    I have been sent the rules and had quick flick over them, read the activation phase wrong first time, but think the misread may work for me better!!!

    I have a fair amount of unpainted abandoned historical, but my main idea for the rules was my debased warmaster orcs and elves, all based on impetus 15 mm sized plates.

    Have you looked at the impetus basing sizes for your project? 80mm frontage, variable depth.


  3. I'm not keen on points per army, I prefer an army list, and as for size, well er???? Big!

  4. I would go for a simple points system, similar to Dux Bellorum and saga. Im not too keen on the DBX style of army list as one persons view of how an army should be made up may be different to others. It could very easily degenerate into the sort of argument regularly seen on other forums....

    Also, many gamers have armies already and a restrictive DBA style list may mean people cant get playing without buying and painting new units or proxying 1 unit for another.

    The only thing that really requires more thought are the army specific special rules, which if not done right could unbalance any points system.

    Base sizes, I agree they should be about 80mm for 10mm, as it will look ace!


  5. Hi Jason

    I suppouse you already have taken a look at my 4 AAR;)


    3 of them I use 80mm front, that I think work the best, if you have the space. We played using 90-120cm table and I would recomend 120cm as it gives you room to manouvre.

    About the points...by some means Dan have excluded the points from draft 2 to dradt 3 that you got. Realy don´t know way, supouse because they wasn´t tuned in yet.

    But I give you them here, please keep in mind that they are not set in any way, BUT I used them during all my games and I think they work fine.

    A "standard" game woud use 60 points armys.

    "Points values current worked out by adding Attack/Defence/Shooting dice, plus Morale: Excellent +2 PV; Good +1 PV; Average 0 PV; Poor -1 PV; Feeble -1 PV; Renowned +1 PV. I will revisit this once the rules have settled down, as this might not be well balanced."

    I only altered one thing in my games +1 PV for all mounted due to theres extra move and I always made the generals Renowned +1 PV

    Based on that you get a point list like this:

    Foot Knight 10 PV
    Common Foot 7 PV
    Fierce Foot 7 PV
    Missile Foot 7 PV
    Foot Skirmisher 3 PV
    Levied Foot 2 PV
    Mounted Knight 10 PV
    Common Mounted (Sergeants) 7 PV
    Mounted Skirmisher 3 PV
    +1PV for the Unit including the General get the Renowned ability

    And in my games I altered the moral value for some of the units due to there history...For example my Lithuanian Light Horse I raised the Moral to Good, PV6 for each unit.

    One more thing that have been left out of Draft 3 are "The Church" to even out the points:

    #Optional rule: The Church
    To even up points values of armies, the player with the lower points total gets one re-roll for every full 3 points smaller his army is. These may be used on any dice rolls in the game, decided after seeing the results; a re-roll may never be re-rolled a second time. In game terms, I’m thinking of giving this a church theme – divine intervention if you will. Why else would goodly knights choose to crusade if they didn’t earn re-rolls by doing so?"

    I hope this helps you out:)

    It will be nice to follow your work with the rules, looking forward to see some pictures;)

    Best regards Michael

  6. I read that initially as Scrotum Malleus - does size matter?

    Freudian slip on my part!

  7. Hmmm, the endless discussion of army lists...
    Maybe you could give each nation a 'core', that's to say what they must have, then the other units can be chosen from several options. Ex; 2 Longbows or 2 soldiers? Maybe a bit DBA style?
    Or don't use lists and have scenario driven games? Or armies of historical proportions? Just throwing out the ideas here :D