Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Grognard, a CHAINMAIL Clone

Hey kid, have you heard of CHAINMAIL?  Did you pick up a copy in PDF (back when it was available of course), and read it?  Did you understand it?  

It's okay, kid.  A lot of people couldn't understand it.

A fellow named Krusader74 has done us a great service. He has cloned CHAINMAIL and cleaned it up considerably.

His game is called Grognard (Get it here!)  The PDF is 68 pages long, but the rules are cleanly presented in about 30 pages.  Maybe less.  It has a kind of fantasy supplement, and some good 1:1 rules as well, just like the original.

I have had trouble penetrating the dense and confusing CHAINMAIL rules.  A lot of it just went right over my head to be honest.  My eyes have glazed over a lot trying to understand what is going on.  Not so with Grognard.  Everything seems so clear.  Part of that is the re-organization Krusader74 did and part of it is the spread-out and clear presentation he chose to use.  I understand it now, and it's a really cool game.  No wonder it spawned D&D and no wonder people still play it today.

One of the things about wargames is that they require some equipment other than paper, pencil and dice.  They require terrain features like little trees, cannon and castles that you can buy or build.  They require large playing surfaces, usually a huge table but maybe the floor.  They require lots of miniatures.  They require lots of time- sometimes several hours.  

This particular one, and lots of other games like it, requires you to make special dowels to mark the flight of cannonballs!  That's pretty cool if you like arts and crafts.  Your FLGS might keep this stuff on hand for game night, so that's another option.

Anyhow, it's free and a really cool read, even if you don't intend to play it.  Pick one up, read it, and stash it away for a rainy day when you can't go outside and play.

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