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Commonly used miniatures rules
Greg Moore
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Missouri
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I am attempting to compile a list of commonly used miniatures rules. This list is not meant to be a list of boardgames with miniatures such as Memoir 44, Descent, and Battle Cry, but rather miniatures rules that are independent of the miniatures. This would rule out games such as Warhammer, Man O' War, AT-43, and Heroscape. I am not claiming one is better than the other.

I am hoping to help new miniatures players find rules that are commonly used. A new miniatures player might say "why would I be looking for rules?". Well different reasons really. You might have bought into one of those collectible miniatures games such as War At Sea or Axis and Allies and want more out of the game than the included simple rules. Or maybe you play 40k and hate the constant rule updates/changes/codexes, so just find some new rules.

How did I choose the rules on this list? Basically from what I see being used at conventions and gaming clubs. You might notice that most are rated 7 or higher, this is a coincidence. But it shows that users of the rules like them and that is why they are popular. Now of course you cannot judge from BGG that they are popular, mainly because BGG has more of a boardgame following.

Let me know if I have over looked a rule set.

I changed the order of the list to period covered with Fantasy at the top and Sci-fi at the bottom.
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1. Board Game: Hordes of the Things [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:2143]
 
Greg Moore
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Missouri
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Hordes of the Things (HOTT)

Period: Fantasy
Scale: 15mm and 28mm
Level: Army

Based on DBA, HOTT is designed to be generic and is not, tied to any particular fantasy genre, set of books, range of figures or even scale.

Many manufacturers of fantasy figures in several scales.
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2. Board Game: De Bellis Antiquitatis [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:1244]
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De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA)

Period: 3000 BC - 1500 AD.
Scale: 15mm Also 2mm 6mm 25mm
Level: Army

Rules include a campaign system and over 200 army lists.

DBA and the more detailed DBM are some of the more famous miniatures rules. You will probably see at least one game or even a tournament at about any miniatures convention.

Many manufacturers of ancients figures in several scales.
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3. Board Game: De Bellis Multitudinis [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:2989]
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De Bellis Multitudinis (DBM)

Period: 3000 BC - 1500 AD.
Scale: 15mm Also 2mm 6mm 25mm
Level: Army

4 books, with about 250 different army lists in total

DBM and the lesser detailed DBA are some of the more famous miniatures rules. You will probably see at least one game or even a tournament at about any miniatures convention.


Many manufacturers of ancients figures in several scales.
 
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4. Board Game: Warhammer Ancient Battles [Average Rating:6.64 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.64 Unranked]
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Warhammer Ancient Battles

Period: 3000 BC - 1500 AD
Scale: 25/28mm
Level: Army

While the main rulebook only comes with two generic army lists for "Romans" and "Barbarians", there are several supplements to cover other periods and armies.
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5. Board Game: Armati II [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Greg Moore
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Armati

Period: 600 BC - 1500 AD.
Scale: 15mm and 25mm
Level: Army

The support site has many army lists, fictional ones too.

Many manufacturers of ancients figures in several scales.
 
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6. Board Game: Warfare in the Age of Reason [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:5469]
Greg Moore
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Age of Reason

Period: 1691-1763
Scale: 15mm
Level:

Covers many wars during the Age of Reason. Most popular one being the Seven Years War.

Many manufacturers of figures in 15mm.
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7. Board Game: Shako [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:5311]
Greg Moore
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Shako

Period: Napoleonic wars
Scale: any (6mm & 15mm are common)
Level: Battalions and Regiments

Shako supports large-scale battles. Supplemental rules for Seven Years War.

Many Napoleonic figures available in several scales.

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8. Board Game: Grande Armée [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:5458]
Greg Moore
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Grande Armee

Period: Napoleonic wars
Scale: any (6mm is common)
Level: Brigade, Corps and Divisions

Grande Armee is one of the few popular Napoleonic rules that does not have unit formations.

A few manufacturers of 6mm Napoleonic figures. Many Napoleonic figures available in several scales.
 
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9. Board Game: Gaslight [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:5974]
Greg Moore
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G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. (Glorious Adventures in Science Loosely Involving Generally Historical Times)

Period: Victorian Sci-Fi
Scale: 25/28mm
Level: Skirmish (1-10 man units)

Rules allow for the generation of vehicles, weapons, and creatures that allow groups of players to tailor the rules to their perception of Victorian science fiction.

Many manufacturers of 25/28mm Colonial figures. Several also produce the vehicles. Some scratch build their own vehicles.
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10. Board Game: The Sword and the Flame [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:3408]
 
Greg Moore
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The Sword and the Flame

Period: Colonial (about 1870-1910)
Scale: 25mm
Level:

The rules cover the British Empire's colonial struggles with the Pathans, Zulus, Boers, Egyptians, and Dervish.

Many manufacturers of 25/28mm Colonial figures.
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11. Board Game: Raiders and Blockaders [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Greg Moore
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KC area
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Raiders and Blockaders

Period: American Civil War (ACW) Naval
Scale: 1/600 and 1/1200
Level: Individual ships

The designer of this game has created sheets for something in the area of 70 different ships!

A few manufacturers of both scales.
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12. Board Game: Fire and Fury [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:2340]
Greg Moore
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KC area
Missouri
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Fire and Fury

Period: American Civil War (ACW)
Scale: 15mm
Level: Brigade

Probably the most widely used rules for ACW.

Many manufacturers produce 15mm ACW figures.
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13. Board Game: Brother against Brother [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Greg Moore
United States
KC area
Missouri
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Brother against Brother

Period: American Civil War
Scale: 25/28mm
Level: Skirmish Company

Appendix provides rules for French and Indian War, with suggestions for covering all North American wars between the two

Several manufacturers of ACW figures.
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14. Board Game: Johnny Reb III [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:3977]
Greg Moore
United States
KC area
Missouri
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Johnny Reb

Period: American Civil War (ACW)
Scale: 15mm (also 10mm and 25mm)
Level: Regimental

Another popular ACW rules set, though many say the rules layout is the worst possible.

Many manufacturers produce ACW figures of several scales.
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15. Board Game: Desperado [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked]
Greg Moore
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KC area
Missouri
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Desperado

Period: Wild West (1865-1890)
Scale: 25/28mm
Level: Skirmish 1 on 1

In it's 3rd edition. Rules have a simple character generation system.

Several manufacturers of suitable figures. Could probably use the cheap cowboys and Indians from the dollar store.
 
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16. Board Game: SEEKRIEG 5 [Average Rating:8.40 Overall Rank:4517]
Greg Moore
United States
KC area
Missouri
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SEEKRIEG

Period: 1880-1945 Naval
Scale: ?
Level: Individual ships

While popular, Seekrieg is a chart intensive game.

Several manufacturers of ships in different scales. The collectible War at Sea game is a good source too.
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17. Board Game: Fear God and Dread Nought [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:3756]
Greg Moore
United States
KC area
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Fear God & Dread Nought

Period: WWI Naval
Scale: 1/1200, 1/2400 and 1/3000
Level: Individual ships

Rules also comes with nice cardboard counters.

Many manufacturers of ships in several scales.
 
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18. Board Game: Canvas Eagles [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:2245]
Greg Moore
United States
KC area
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Canvas Eagles (Blue Max)

Period: WWI aerial combat
Scale: 1/144 and 1/285
Level: 1 on 1

Canvas Eagles is based on the board game Blue Max.

A few manufacturers of both scales. Also the new collectible Wings of War aircraft would be good to use.
 
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19. Board Game: Blitzkrieg Commander [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:3329]
Greg Moore
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KC area
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BlitzkriegCommander

Period: WWII
Scale: 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, and 20mm
Level: Company to Division

Blitzkrieg Commander contains an extensive collection of army lists (18 countries), allowing players to fight any engagement of the Spanish Civil War or Second World War.

Many manufacturers produce figures for WWII in several different scales. Could use the collectible Axis and Allies miniatures.
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20. Board Game: General Quarters [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:4170]
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General Quarters

Period: WWI & WWII Naval
Scale: 1/1200, 1/2400, 1/3000, & 1/6000
Level: Individual ships

General Quarters is one of the most popular sets of WW1 and WW2 naval rules

Several manufacturers of ships in different scales. The collectible War at Sea game is a good source too.
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21. Board Game: Victory at Sea [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:4028]
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Victory at Sea

Period: WWII Naval
Scale: 1/2400, 1/3000, & 1/6000
Level: Individual ships

Comes with cardboard counters too.

Several manufacturers of ships in different scales. The collectible War at Sea game is a good source too.
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22. Board Game: Command Decision: Test of Battle [Average Rating:8.34 Unranked]
Greg Moore
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Command Decision

Period: WWII
Scale: 15mm
Level: Battalion

Rules have some of the more complete armor values/stats. Now in it's 4th revision, Command Decision has probably been used longer that any other WWII rule set.

Many manufacturers produce figures for WWII in several different scales.
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23. Board Game: Nuts! [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:5481]
Greg Moore
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KC area
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Nuts!

Period: WWII
Scale: 15mm and 28mm
Level: Skirmish Squads

WWII version of the Chain Reaction rules.

Many manufacturers of WWII infantry and vehicles in both scales. Lot more vehicles available in 15mm than 28mm
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24. Board Game: Battleground World War II [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:5260]
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Battleground World War II

Period: WWII
Scale: 15mm, 20mm and 25/28mm
Level: Skirmish Squads

One of the more popular WWII skirmish rule sets.

Many manufacturers of WWII figures in many scales.

 
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25. Board Game: Cold War Commander [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:4761]
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Cold War Commander

Period: 1946 to now
Scale: 2mm to 28mm
Level: Company to Division

Not sure if it has been out long enough to be considered "commonly used", but I have seen it run at several conventions since it has come out.

A few manufacturers of suitable figures in different scales.
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