"War in an Age of Might and Steel"
An Overview of the AoMaS Rules System by Alex Scott & T Thurlow
15mm fantasy battle has never been so fast and so fun! We look at the Age of Might and Steel rules system in this short review and overview of the mass battle fantasy system.
The whole world trembles under the marching pound of Elvish boots and waving Dwarf pennants, of unrolled Human banners and the heavy clank clunk of Orc armour, of shouting Goblin voices and the rasp of steel swords in scabbards.
War is coming.
The Common Races marshal their forces, drawing them up in blocks of several hundred a piece, led by the finest generals, enlisting the aid of the mightiest magicians and shamans with sorceries cracking about their heads, and mighty heroes whose serried deeds make them legends to their own peoples.
War is drawing near.
In direst times the whips and cajoles of many voices bring those huge creatures each with the strength of dozens to the ranks, the Monsters of the world, Trolls and Ogres to the fearsome Dragons. From the dusty vaults and the busy siege workshops come the rarest of things, the artillery and the talismans, to smash fortresses and to ward off harm.
War is for survival and honour To the field of battle thousands march, to the mud, to the arrow’s flight, to the terror and blood; to the glory! War is Here! It is the Age of Might and Steel....
Just looking at the cover of Age of Might and Steel and then flicking it open and reading that superb introduction (which I have put in above for you all to enjoy) makes me want to get my six siders out and try to conquer the world!
When I was asked which game system Alternative Armies produces was my own personal favourite to play I just jumped at the chance to talk about the rules that Steve Hazuka had written. Age of Might and Steel is a rules set for 15mm fantasy mass battle with a difference; its really easy to learn AND its tactically challenging.
While I enjoy skirmish level games when it comes to truly massive battle I want to field hundreds of miniatures in great big units that can take massive damage before crumbling and breaking up. I also don’t want to, or have the time honestly, to spend an entire weekend doing it. So the fact that you can arrange these massive units, monsters, magicians and more on the table knowing that you do not have to learn many complex rules makes AoMaS appealing.
Age of Might and Steel uses only one six sided dice per roll. It also uses the traditional ‘I go, You go’ approach which speeds up and intensifies the action. This makes it fast and gives you the joy of moving really rather large armies of more than one hundred miniatures around your table without spending hours doing it.
The Age of Might and Steel book itself has forty eight pages and inside you can find a lot of reading with an easy format, section by section and pictures along with all needed tables and diagrams.
Along with the introduction and contents pages the book covers the requirements of play, what makes up a ‘stand’ of miniatures and how these ‘stands’ combine into ‘units’ and then how those in turn become ‘armies’. The turn sequence pages includes the full rules from movement to formations to ranged combat and hand to hand combat. Magic and spells are catered for and details for defensive works and breaches also. Special stands, monsters and Heroic Bands are covered plus the mighty Dragons kings of AoMaS.
The book also contains full army lists with a points system and unique rules for Elves, Dwarves, Men, Orcs, Goblins, Centaurs and the Undead. The Dogmen, Lizardmen and Felines provide allies. Plus the Dracci or Children of the Dragons too. There is a section on monsters and talismans for all armies too.
I though at that point that I had all I needed to get my armies built and get on the battlefield and that was true but the book still had more to give! The Elden of Groy mini-campaign is included in the AoMaS book and gives four full linked scenarios plus maps and army creation, special conditions and such for play. I played all four with my Orcish army against my gaming buddy and his Elvish host and won out; the princess was mine!
Lastly some designers notes on the theory behind the game, unit formation diagrams and pages of tokens for orders and spells round off the book.
An important fact about Age of Might and Steel is to say that it was designed with players of the venerable HOTT 2nd Edition in mind. You can use all of your miniatures which are based up for HOTT with AoMaS, it has the same base frontage. This means that you can keep on adding stands for ever larger forces. In conclusion if you want a mass battle fantasy system to use with an existing collection or a new one you can’t go far wrong with AoMaS. Its an elegant system which focuses on fast action and big scale battles using a simple 1D6 engine.
Check it out now!
This article was originally published on Alternative Armies' content portal Barking Irons Online in 2011 and is reproduced here with permission.
I have updated some of the text and references to match the current edition of the rules available from Alternative Armies.
You can buy The Age of Might and Steel rules direct from Alternative Armies on thier web site here.
Barking Irons Online was Alternative Armies' official content portal that I ran for them from 2011 until 2013, You can find (almost) all of the content it hosted on Orcs in the Webbe in the respective categories in the menus or browse through it all by clicking on the maroon "Barking Irons" tag below.