As we come to the end of 2020 I have picked up a set of rules for Oathmark along with a couple of boxes of infantry.
Oathmark is a “rank and flank” game from Osprey Publishing, which means you make units of troops in ranks and then play out a battle over a field of engagement. This brings me to the first thing that caught my eye about the game and a feature I really love – how accessible the game is in terms of buying in.
The miniatures range for Oathmark are produced by Northstar Miniatures, who also do the miniature range for Frostgrave. A single box from the Oathmark range contains 30 infantry models, for the price of €30. This pretty much gives you everything you need for your first game – roughly 500 points of troops. I absolutely love this as it makes the game so easy for people to try out. For those with their own collection of models, the game is open in terms of what miniatures your use so you can bring your existing collection to try out the rules.
Another fantastic feature is that the game allows for mixed race armies. Not just a situation of allied forces but rather you create your own kingdom, within the bounds of which may reside humans, dwarves, elves and goblins – this allows you to build your army with units from each.
Again this builds in to how accessible the game is. I can (and did) purchase some dwarfs and some goblins so that I can run introductory games, should I wish I can combine these forces into a larger army.
The rulebooks are also (in my opinion) more family friendly than games workshop products. Not only are the rules of the game relatively straightforward, but also the artwork and layout is more high-fantasy which means if you have young kids flicking through the books, there is less concern than if looking through some GW books.
As noted before here, I play Frostgrave with my kids where I play the monsters and the two boys take warbands to fight me and steal the treasure. I certainly think we will be able to progress on to Oathmark in time. I should note that Oathmark is written by Joseph McCullough – the same author who created Frostgrave – so you know you are in good hands with the rules set.
As we head into another lockdown I am busy building models and planning how to paint them up into a unit. Plenty to keep me busy and focussed on channeling energy into a positive project.
There is another aspect of all of this which I am interested in which is building a board or game surface to play on. Most of the games I will play will be on a 3×3 board, although perhaps I could look into a 4×4 or even 6×4 surface if I am creative about how to build and store a board surface.
In any case I will be thinking about a game mat and certainly some nice scenery – hills, forests, ruined villages etc. It provides a lot of hobbying opportunities for the year ahead.