Mike Mearls designs Chainmail-inspired game

“You think your people will be free? You think you have escaped me? You mortals will have nothing but war, not a moment of peace until a new God of War rises to replace me.” Discuss the Sundered Empire featured in the Chainmail campaign setting, as it relates to pen & paper RPGs, here.

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Mike Mearls designs Chainmail-inspired game

Postby Big Mac » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:22 pm

Mike Mearls said yesterday that he has designed a miniatures skirmish game inspired by Chainmail:
@mikemearls on Twitter wrote:I'm so busy with work this week that I designed a miniatures skirmish game inspired by the D&D Chainmail game from 2001. #gamedesignerlife


I actually missed this Tweet and would not have know about it, if it was not for Hedge Nerd's reply:
@oligopistos on Twitter wrote:Also, you just made @ShepheardDavid's morning...


Mike Mearls has mentioned Chainmail a few times recently. Firstly, he said he would try to help find the Chainmail files, after I asked about getting the Chainmail products onto the D&D Classics store.

I'm not sure what this new thing is. It might be a modernised version of Chainmail (with mechanics like 5th Edition's Advantage and Disadvantage) or if he has also included ideas from things like D&D Miniaturs, Battlesystem and the original Chainmail. But if you like Chainmail, you might want to keep an eye out for more information.
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Re: Mike Mearls designs Chainmail-inspired game

Postby RSchlock » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:20 pm

That was me! Sorry, different usernames across platforms.

I really do hope this turns into something real. I could imagine an Unearthed Arcana where Mearls thinks out loud about skirmish combat rules based on 5e. That would do a lot to get the ball rolling. Something more elaborate like a WhizKids figures/5e BattleSystem tie in is probably well over the horizon at the moment, unfortunately. But I'm still optimistic that WoTC's increasing turn toward digital resources and their partnerships w/ Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 mean that there are new opportunities for expanding D&D in this direction.

From his tweets, it looks like Mearls has been playing some Warhammer lately. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to look at the increasing price of GW units and see that there is an opportunity here for an established franchise to steal marketshare from them by pricing miniatures at a level people can actually afford.

A man can hope, anyway...
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Re: Mike Mearls designs Chainmail-inspired game

Postby Big Mac » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:52 pm

RSchlock wrote:That was me! Sorry, different usernames across platforms.


Gah! And there was me about to introduce you to yourself! :facepalm: :lol:

RSchlock wrote:I really do hope this turns into something real. I could imagine an Unearthed Arcana where Mearls thinks out loud about skirmish combat rules based on 5e. That would do a lot to get the ball rolling. Something more elaborate like a WhizKids figures/5e BattleSystem tie in is probably well over the horizon at the moment, unfortunately. But I'm still optimistic that WoTC's increasing turn toward digital resources and their partnerships w/ Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 mean that there are new opportunities for expanding D&D in this direction.


D&D is supposed to have evolved from wargamming. And with the various other tie-ins, like novels, computer games, comics and movies, it kind of makes more sense to have a wargame tie-in. Maybe not Chainmail itself, but some sort of product in the same general area.

RSchlock wrote:From his tweets, it looks like Mearls has been playing some Warhammer lately. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to look at the increasing price of GW units and see that there is an opportunity here for an established franchise to steal marketshare from them by pricing miniatures at a level people can actually afford.

A man can hope, anyway...


I think my big issue with this sort of stuff is that TSR and WotC have reinvented the wheel several times with miniatures rules that are not designed to be "new editions" in the same way as the updated versions of D&D.

Ideally, I would like to see a new system that somehow ties into D&D, perhaps to be used as mass combat rules, when you have a RPG with the PCs in the middle of a larger war. That way it might be possible for people to use the two systems alongside each other. If players could have highly detailed combat with NPCs that fight their PCs and a more simple (but compatible) system being used for large groups of hirelings fighting against the hirelings of the GM's NPCs.

And if Mike Mearls could design a Chainmail-inspire game that can work for small groups of hirelings (like the crew of the PCs ship) or medium sized battle groups and entire armies, that would be awesome.
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Re: Mike Mearls designs Chainmail-inspired game

Postby Icarus » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:12 pm

Ho-lee crap!
That's pretty astounding!
I'm really excited about it.
Of course, "inspired by" doesn't necessarily mean that he's interested in the setting. It could just be that he's using the concepts of the mechanics and such. I'll be truly interested in what he's doing, and whether it's anything official, or whether it's just -essentially- a designer playing around with ideas, and it never comes to anything. But, either way, I'm looking forward to hearing something.
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