I was going to call this post “one skirmish ruleset to rule them all” but then I cringed when I typed it.
I’ve been following Dave King’s various blogs for about a year. He’s an amazing miniature sculptor and also has a great blog about vintage miniatures, a subject for which I have a deep affection. At some point I’m going to blow 100 bucks and buy all of his evil dwarf sculpts, but probably not until I cut down on my own queue a bit.
But this post is about his skirmish game project, Skulldred. I’ve been watching it develop sporadically in fits and starts and it’s really starting to look like its going somewhere. The hook is rather brilliant: use whatever miniatures you like. I guess you could theoretically do that with any ruleset by proxying, but the idea here is that you are organically building your warband and designing your characters to your specifications within the set of special attributes in the ruleset. To me that’s an important distinction and frankly something that I don’t see often enough. The other hook is that it’s supposedly “math free” and plays super quickly.
I’ll be straight with you; I haven’t given the rules a spin yet. There are a few things that have been impediments in the past, such as the need for a custom die (stickers are the answer suggested in the rules), and also the myriad markers and templates for movement needed. What prompted me to post about Skulldred today as opposed to six months ago is that there has been marked progress in providing sheets for character creation, tokens and movement templates, all free for download. They are also quite attractive, which if I’m honest, matters to me quite a lot. I spend a lot of time on my miniatures and if the accoutrements of the game are unattractive it detracts from the aesthetic experience of playing.
I’ll be putting together the necessary stuff to try Skulldred out sometime soon, and if fantasy skirmish games are one of your personal obsessions as well, I’d recommend you give it a look!