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  • All-Purpose Miniatures Rules Review

    Posted on November 19th, 2003 Rob No comments

    All-Purpose Miniatures Rules
    by Paul Arden Lidberg
    Published by Team Frog Studios (formerly known as Crunchy Frog Enterprises)
    1999, 2nd printing 2002

    Like me, many miniature wargamers are mystified by the myriad of rules and unit values presented in most wargames. There is usually no way to design your own units outside of the options presented, and a new game would generally have to be purchased for each genre (historical, fantasy, modern, futuristic) you wanted to play. Team Frog has sought to simplify and streamline these rulesets with their "All-Purpose Miniatures Rules."

    Coming in at a comparatively light 63 pages, this guide does exactly as promised, presenting three seperate but similar rulesets: for skirmish and mass battles (for 25-28 mm figs) and mass combat o­n the 1/300 (Epic/Warmaster/Battletech) scale. This covers all of the genres, allowing sword weilding barbarians to take o­n high-tech warriors with plasma rifles (if you desire). In addition, there are seperate chapters to expand the three systems with vehicles, giant robots, self-designed creatures, magic and more. All of the sections are summerized at the end of each chapter as well as at the end of the book via sample lists and blank army sheets.

    Those familiar with miniatures wargames already will find little new here, aside from the unit creation and variants o­n the turn structure. Those new to miniatures wargames will be in a bit of a pickle, however, as the APMR does too little to provide examples of games or rules in action. In fact, the lack of rules here is quite surprising, as there are no rules o­n wheeling units, a big part of any historical or fantasy battle.

    Players of Warhammer or 40K will need to add some D12s to their dice pile, and cut out the provided templates for various weapon and magic effects. New players will need… well, everything! Figs, dice, rulers, movement trays, etc. The advantage here is to the new player somewhat, as they can draw figures from any line or brand they see fit, mounting them o­n the reccomended bases (1"x1" for infantry). There are seperate products by different companies that allow players to actually print and fold up entire regiments of paper soldiers, but I wont besmirch the hobby with that bit of cheese-ball (until my next review, that is).

    Pros: Simple for an experienced player to pick up, very open-ended in scope, unit point calculations laid out for the players to modify as they see fit, some minor innovations in combat resolution and unit formations, no strict rules concerning unit composition or fig purchases, very low cost product ($3.99 to download the .PDF [Adobe] file from RPG Now!).

    Cons: Not as friendly to the new player, not much eye candy, open-ended ruleset would make tournament play difficult without prior distribution of the accepted rules/unit values, download o­nly format makes product feel "cheap", no rules index.

    Bottom Line: This is actually a pretty good system to steal ideas from, if not to play whole hog. It is extremely uncommon to see a working and flexible ruleset like this and still maintain its "anything goes!" attitude. Its low cost makes this a must have for experienced players who would like a peek "behind the curtain" of a wargame. For more information and download log o­nto:

    Hamster Boy

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