Hordes of the Things / HOTT Reference Sheet

If you've followed my blog long enough, you probably know I'm an idiot when it comes to complicated rulesets. I like my games simple, fast and easy to remember. No, not like my sex life, you perverts! It mainly comes from memory and a desire to just play. About the most complicated game that I'll engage in is Battletech.

For my fantasy wargaming, I have a few go-to rulesets. I love Delta's Book of War and use it quite a bit when I'm RPGing at the table and need to go from 1:1 to 10:1 and back. Where I can abstract out a lot, or need to resolve a scenario that doesn't necessarily require that forces be accurately represented, I've been using One Hour Wargames. 1HW is a great set of simple, easy to play rules by Neil Thomas. I've been using a combination of the Dark Ages and Medieval/Renaissance rules to reflect the unit types of my campaign.

And then there's my love for Hordes of the Things (HOTT). Based on the very popular DBA (De Bellis Antiquitatis) rules by Wargames Research Group, it plays quick, it has magic and it doesn't require a great deal of miniatures to play. I can simulate, pretty well, combats in my campaign world that are between large forces.

It's a very simple wargame with two caveats:
1.  For me, remembering all the little fiddly rules is a pain in the ass! There are specific rules to how you can enter combat with another unit, how you can move as a line or column, and they are tweaky enough that I struggle to remember them! Or remember that there are rules for those things.
2. All the combat modifiers. All of them. All 15 of them, plus for each unit vs. a specific unit. I'm not going to remember all that!

So I do what I do best, and tweak something to help me with my issues. (or as I like to call it, my subscription to Idiot Gamer Monthly).


HOTT Reference Sheet and Units Sheet: 

Now, this is for HOTT version 2.0. I don't have the 2.1 rules and I'm not sure I need them, since it sounds like only minor things have changed. And it wouldn't be too hard for you to tweak this to 2.1. Also note that I use the common houserule of swapping warbands/shooters movement rates.

Use to your heart's content and let me know if you improve it!

But Chgowiz, what about Chaos Wars? You post those damn Kickstarter reminders about every other day?!

Good question! Chaos Wars is the wargame rules that Ral Partha/Iron Wind have resurrected quite successfully from the 80s/90s. Amazing miniatures! I've got the rulesets, I've tried a sample quickie solo battle, but I've just not had the time to run through a lot of battles to get a feel of when I might use it, as compared to HOTT.

The other aspect of Chaos Wars is that it uses the "Build an Army" approach and I've not played with it enough to know what happens when you play a game that is more based on the tactical situation vs. a "balanced and equal points game" approach. If anyone has done that, please let me know how it works and what you think?

PS. Chaos Wars rules are FREE to download. Give them a look.


  1. Thank you! This is a very handy list. There are so many options out there, it is overwhelming. It is nice to see your opinion on this, because I find getting into Battle Systems to be a terrifying ordeal.

  2. You're welcome! Glad I could help.

    Battle Systems seemed like a fun system... until I got into it. To be honest, I got into AD&D Battle Systems because I wanted to be able to move from 1:1 to 10:1 or higher... and found it overpowered the PCs far too much. The rest of the system seemed overly complicated, and I ended up selling my copies.

    HOTT and BoW, on the other hand, are very simple, and 1HW is about as simple as it gets, while leaving some tactical thought into it.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how things work on Chaos Wars. Once I get some time... :S

  3. I tend to make quick reference sheets for all the games I play. It's the best way for me to learn the rules, and it's much more convenient at the gaming table.

  4. @Desert Scribe - agreed! I like the info to be at my fingertips, not having to thumb through a book.

  5. Link to the reference sheet is dead.

    1. Not quite dead... just Google-fied. When they redid their Drive links in 2021, it killed a whole bunch of my older files. It's been hit/miss on finding them all. Thanks for letting me know!


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