Saturday, 6 February 2010

Hordes of the Things - Lizardmen

I recently discovered that it is still possible to get new copies of HOTT v2 (2004) from The Keep (off eBay UK), WRG's retailer. My copy of version 1 fell apart many years ago.

HOTT is a wonderful fantasy game. the best set of rules ever produced by WRG. I guess the very name WRG is only remembered by veteran wargamers these days (aka sily old, ah, expulsions of wind) but in it's heyday WRG was the rules provider. They suffered from two problems that combined to bring them down. The first was the English fetish for amateurism. They had an obsession with cheapness, selling rules with poor production quality both in physical appearance and writing. WRGs sentence structure was famous. The second problem was a style that focussed on weapon interaction as the near only important factor in warfare plus an increasing trend towards abstraction and 'realism' at the expense of an enjoyable game. A small example is that they insisted on calling a legion a legio, as it was more 'accurate'.

However, they produced a fun rule set for a competition short game called DBA, and it was a major hit. They complexified it into DBM and many others, which were very dull. The last variant was Hordes of the Things, which is a hoot and undoubtedly the best rule set WRG ever produced.

Like DBA (and many games since including my own Slammers rules), HOTT uses a die roll to generate commenad points to move regiments (one stand = a regiment) and groups.

The great strength of DBA is its versatility. Stands are divided into types, some of which are military such as 'shooters' (could be bowmen, muskateers, Martians with death rays....). Others represent heroes (Achillies, John Carter of Mars, Tarzan, Buffy the Vampire Slayer....), magicians (Dr Who, Medea, Rupert Giles.....), and so on. The game is named after the weakest class, the hordes (militia, goblins, peasants with pitchforks and flaming torches....).

Magic is used to nullify a character stand removing them from the battlefield until they escape (six command points) and rejoin the game.

You have a couple of dozen types of stands into which to shoehorn your army. So any mythological, fantasy, or SF army can be incorporated and used against any other army. An army is 24 points (12 of which must be ordinary bods).

The only thing that matters is that all stands must have the same frontage - 60mm in the case of 28-30mm

For example, here is an army:

1 X Buffy - hero - 4pts
1 X Spike - hero - 4pts
1 X Giles & Scooby gang - magician/general - 4 pts
2 X Police cars - Riders - 2 pts
2 X Soldiers - Shooters - 2 pts
4 X High school students - hordes - 1pt

and below is my Lizardman Army;

Lord Izzypop, magician (4pts) and five stands of Lizardman warbands (10 pts),

Four hordes of skinks (4pts),

A steggy, behometh (4 pts) and a stand of Lizardmen cavalry, knights (2 pts)

And that should make 24 pts, 8 of which are specials.

One of the nice things is that you do not have to have very many models for a good game. Here are some additional Lizardmen spare stands so I can vary my forces. A stand of snakes, lurkers that hide in rough terrain, and a Lizardman hero.

You can convert any army into a temprary HOTT army by blue-tacking your figures onto cardboard 60mm frontage stands (depth is irrelevent - use what looks right) so you do not have to buy in or rebase a new army.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, HOTT is great! And the authors currently allow a free download (for personal use) of the HOTT 2.0 rules from their website, here: