I'm not a serious wargamer, not by a long shot, I've dabbled with various games on and off over the years and accumulated a pile of figures, models and so on. But, I never really got into any one period or system. Recently, I decided to simplify and just stick to one theme and get rid of the un-needed stuff and make an effort to do something with what I have, while spending as little extra money as possible and not needing to dedicate any significant time either.
Most wargames are the basically same: Player One moves & shoots, then Player Two does the same. The differences come in the tomes of special rules, for troop types, weapons, terrain, species and so on. Several main-stream games producers provide thick codexes for just about every faction of their universe for not an unsignificant amount of money. If you want something to play from time to time, or are on a tight budget or have other limitations, it isn't really worth spending a lot of money on rule books you will probably never use fully. This is where the internet comes in: You can find a loads of simple rule sets for just about every period imagineable. If gives you the opportunity to read through them, play test and decide if you like them enough to keep playing. Some companies even have quick start versions of their rules to let you play with them before investing any significant amounts of money on the full game.
I have nothing against the big mainstream wargames, such as Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000, Battlefront's Flames of War and so on, but because wargaming is just a side hobby, I'm not ready to spend big bucks on masses of specialised figures and huge piles of rule books. I also don't really have the time or skill to produce good looking figures and models either. A handful of figures and two pages of straight forward rules suit me quite nicely, thanks.
Since my main area of interest is Science Fiction, I use a set of rules called "Beer & Pretzels SPACE MARINES, by Don Glewwe for the skirmish side of things and an "own-modd" version of Chronicles of Blood, from Crystal Star Games, for starhip combat. While these rules are aimed at solo players, they can easily be used for two or more players withput any special changes or "fixes".
I found these rules way-back-when the Miniature Wargaming website had a forums page. Don Glewwe was a regular contributor. Don has a "sub-site" on his web site called the Brawl Factory - His main site is for a brewery. Hmmmmmm... beeeeer... The Brawl Factory has a list of games Don has written and all of them are intented to be fun games, rather than serious ones. The one I picked up on was Beer & Pretzels SPACE MARINES".
Beer & Pretzels Space Marines is themed along the lines of movies such as Aliens and Starship Troops: A bunch of testosterone pumped marines verses masses of face-eatin' gut-rippin' bug-like aliens. The rules are short 'n' simple and intended for fifteen to thrity minutes of playtime..
Find out more about Beer & Pretzels Space Marines
Back in 2011, Crystal Star Games released a set of solo wargaming rules called Chronicles of Blood. These have a good balance between being short 'n' simple while still being challenging to play - they throw in some unexpected elements that can mess up your play and gives the enemy a chance to win. The core rules are free, with extra "premium" content available for about one Euro/Dollar. The gaming is playable without the extra content, but it helps with ideas to expand the game and supports the author/publisher.
I have been playing with them on and off for a few years and found them to be fun enough to stick with them. However, fantasy wargaming isn't really my cup of tea, I'm more into sci-fi. But, one of the good things about these rules, is that they are simple enough to use other "unit sizes" - for example, on one website I found, the guy had used individual figures/combatants instead of regiments and the game still played out well.
I started playing with space-craft instead of regiments. Currently, the actual rules mechanics are still the same as the original Chronicles of Blood, I have changed a bit of terminology and made a few tweaks to match the theme and so Chronicles of Vacuum was born...
And so, without further ado, I give you... Chronicles of Vacuum.
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