14. Kingdom building in Oathmark

So last time I wrote about the races, but there is one more point, what should be clarified before introducing our armies: kingdom building. The different races have some things common, but they are still different enough, not to be just a skin on the general unit types. But because of that, you have to choose. You can’t decide yourself? I have good news! You don’t have to choose only one, you can collect them all (like pokemons …)! In Oathmark you don’t have a race, but a kingdom, and your kingdom can contain many different races (if you will). I don’t know how you feel about this, but to build an individual mixed army, with no racial limits is great! And with this rule there are immediately and simultaneously much less issues with balance. There cant be any complains about one race is being stronger than the other, because if you think, for example, that the lack of cavalry is a big handicap for dwarves, just buy human, elven, or even goblin cavalry in your army. Genius!
So you have a kingdom, with empty areas, and you have to fill these with different territories: cities, forests, mountains, etc. Every territory unlocks one or more different troops types, that you can hire for you army. For example the human city unlocks the most basic human troops an characters, on plains you can hire human cavalry, in dark forests giant spiders, and so on. Here is a thing that should be mentioned. Orc and goblins are handled as one race in the rulebook, but they’re still a bit separated: they have own cities. So there is a goblin city, and an orc city, and you cant hire goblin troops from an orc city and vice versa.
There are only a few reasonable restrictions for building a kingdom:
  • there can be only one capital, and a king can only come from the capital, so you can’t have more kings (remember, you have one kingdom)
  • there are limited number of areas, but I think there is enough
  • there are limitations, depending on the distance to the capital, so you cant build a dragons lair near to your capital, but you can build a city anywhere
The last point sounds difficult, but believe me, it’s not! You can download the kingdom building sheet from the homepage of Osprey Publishing, which makes everything much easier to understand.
You can use this system from the view of creating your wish-kingdom, but the logic can be reversed. If you already own miniatures or complete armies from other fantasy games, you 
(because you can use any figures) don’t have to start over, you can use them in this game. Just find out which of your existing units fits which Oathmark unit type, and create a kingdom so, that you can hire them. You have an army from a race, which isn’t included in Oathmark? Also not a problem, just find out which race is the most similar to your army, and use them according to their rules. For example, because the dwarfs have no cavalry, and the elves have no cheap troops, I bought some fauns and centaurs (from RGD Gaming / Wargames Atlantic), and they can be hired as “goblin” mercenaries.

Furthermore, my son, who has the goblins in our family, would like to have orc heavy infantry, but there aren’t any in the official range yet. But he loves gnolls and there is a very nice plastic box from them for Frostgrave, why not use them as orcs?

Or another example, I have a beautiful werecrocodile (from Reaper Miniatures), why not use him (Or her? I’m not a reptile expert) as a troll? You are free to use and mix anything you want, I love it!

Moreover, as mentioned in the introduction of Oathmark, there can be not only battles between two armies, but also war between kingdoms. And that means an instant campaign system…
Still not convinced? Joseph A. McCullough, the designer of Oathmark, had nothing against houserules in Frostgrave, so I think, he will act here the same. I already made some home brew rules, units, monsters, tough their not playtested yet. May occur that they will never be, but it’s fun for me to make these things. Maybe, someday you can read about them on this blog…

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