Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Age of Might and Steel: A Tabletop Review

The Age of Might and Steel:
15mm Fantasy Combat Rules

by Steve Hazuka

from: 15mm.co.uk

Price: £6

48 pages, A5, good quality paper, some b/w photos included.

2 pages of Troop Types
13 pages of Main Rules
3 pages of Fantasy Armies for AoMaS
14 pages of Army Lists (built around 15mm.co.uk products)
2 pages of Monsters & Special Profiles
5 pages The Elden Groy campaign with 4 scenarios
2 pages of cut out counters
1 Roster Sheet

A high quality printed product overall.

Fast Play, Grand Tactical Fantasy

Minimum 3 Units per side plus 'special stands' - monsters, Magic users, heroes etc.
A unit consists of 5-12 stands of figures.
3-5 Units create an Army, two or more Armies create a 'Nation'.

None. The recommended base sizes are 40mm wide by 20mm deep for infantry and 30mm deep for cavalry.

6ftx4ft recommended for most games.

1 hour plus, realtime

Normal 6 sided dice (1 per player recommended)
A tape measure
Counters/markers (two pages of printed counters is provided in the book for you to copy and cut-out)

1) Assign Leaders/Special Units
2) Issue Orders andMagic Spells
3) Morale
- Cast Magic Spells
- Activate Units
4) Units Move
5) Ranged Combat
- Defensive
- Offensive
6) Hand to Hand Combat

The base score required to hit a target with ranged weapons is 3+ on 1d6 and Hand-to-Hand is 2+. There are modifiers but combat is quick and bloody!


If you are looking for a gritty, detailed set of Fantasy rules - step away now! Let's not beat around the bush. AoMaS is Fantasy Lite! Master Chef describes the rules as "a Vanilla Latte with an extra shot of Vanilla". Having said that AoMaS does what it says on the tin!

How do the claims stack up?

• Play a full game inside an hour with 100-200 15mm Miniatures on the table.
• All the action played out using 1 six sided dice (1D6).

• Armies built from Units made up of Stands of several miniatures.

• Add Generals, Monsters, Magic Users, Heroes and more to your Units.

• BIG Fantasy Armies easily controlled !

• The look of a complex battle without the headaches.

• Create original scenarios or use the included Points System and Army Lists.

• Combine Armies into ‘Nations’ for even bigger games!

• For busy gamers who enjoy a rewardingly simple game that encourages tactics.

Absolutely no argument there from me! I like AoMaS! I like it a LOT! I dragged out my 15mm Dark Age and Medieval odds and sods and had them set about each other with gusto. This is old school fast, furious and very, very bloody gaming!

There is something about AoMaS that has resonated with me at a very deep level - I can visualise the battles in miniature, so much so that I really want to do this project and bring the Valley of the Fire Dragon to life on the tabletop.

The structure of the rules allow you to scale up or down very easily. There are some neat touches like the ability to band heroes and magic users together to form their own discrete unit on the tabletop.

If you want a painless set of fun rules that will allow you to dip your toe in Fantasy gaming waters without being tied to a specific canon, or just want to beat the winter blues with hard and fast butchery on the tabletop, The Age of Might and Steel may well be for you.



  1. Wow... not seen spammers on here before...

    Review sounds alright... I've definitely heard unfavorable reviews of the system, but as you've quoted Master Chef, the rules are very vanilla.

    I don't suppose you could compare it with Mighty Armies?

  2. Mark,

    I read very mixed opinions about AOMAS and the joy/trouble of creating your own uncommon armies. Could you expand a little bit on that please ?

  3. I usually try to steer away from negative review comments when I post, but I bought these based on a few positive reviews I read. Gotta say, I didn't care for them. And I'm not a big "gritty fantasy" rules guy either. I like my rules to fit on 2 pages max. Just didn't like these.
    My opinion, that's all.

  4. Hi Piotr, I was disappointed initially with AoMaS because I had built it up to something it wasn't. If you step back and think of this as a quick and bloody game and a vehicle for your imagination rather than a canon set in stone - you'll enjoy it. But it's not for everyone.

    Master Chef dropped it like a hot brick but I have almost brought him back round - as this could be what we need to fight out battles in the deserts of ancient Hyboria!


  5. Mm. relevant word is almost. its still a smoking piece of builders material for me. I tried to like it and have thought hard about it but just cant do it. I love the less granular SoB&H stuff but AoMAS is just too bland for me.

  6. Well thank you for the comments. I imagined AoMaS as a bridge game for all the hard line historical gamers that enjoyed movies like LotR and others to be able to pick up an Orc army and battle it out without to much bending of reality. The addition of magic has alao made some historical gamers run away shaking thier head saying things about fireballs and stuff so I added the magic as a "force multiplier" much as Fire and Fury adds artillery into into the battle I didn't want magic users zapping away entire armies with a spell. I also enjoy the classic battles such as the epic battle of Troy where the heroes seemed to lead armies but then head towards each other to do personel combat slicing off a few heads as they make their way towards each other.

    I think it's funny that the game last about an hour as I've only run big convention games with several armies and get it done in the 4-5 hour time frame so I've never really run a small battle. Being a former ACW gamer I usually played Corp sized games so I'm more used to that. I should try smaller battles.

    Thanks again and happy gaming!

  7. Aha, with the bridge factor you mention, a lot does now make sense.