What’s HOTT in the Land of Miniatures?There’s a fairly active group of Gloranthan miniatures gamers in Europe ( Mostly in Britain but Gregory Privat flies the GloryGeek standard with honour in France) who go by the name of the GloryGeeks. For most of them the rules of choice are a set of generic fantasy wargames rules called Hordes of the Things. So what is HOTT (as its friends know it) and can it say anything of interest to other Glorantha fans?
Kallyr vrs Lunars
HOTT took the basic mechanisms and said, “We can use these rules to reconstruct the battles of fantasy fiction”. In the fantasy version, Heroes are hugely powerful and can always find a mount when they need one, Paladins are unworldly and resist magic, archers are steady and resemble machineguns in their firepower, Dragons are aloof and ultimately cowardly, and giants (called Behemoths in the rules) are all too likely to crush their own troops if they recoil from an enemy. And so on for many other tropes of the fantasy genre. In some ways HOTT is to wargames what HeroQuest is to conventional RPGs.
HOTT’s unambiguous (some would say legalistic) style of writing particularly suits tournament play – though there’s little in the way of win-at-all-costs attitude on display. It was at the largest of the tournaments (at Berkeley in Goucestershire) that the idea of the GloryGeeks was born. A small group of Gloranthaphiles who had migrated to wargaming rather than RPGs realised they could recreate battles in Glorantha using HOTT rules.
In fact, there was little difficulty in merging the two. Sartarite tribesmen are clearly HOTT Warbands, Lunar hoplites are Spears and if Kallyr Starbrow isn’t a Hero my name’s not Jane Williams… erm, well, you know what I mean. One of the central principles by which most HOTT players work, however, does have something interesting to tell us here.
Lunars vrs. Praxians
This shoe-horning of Gloranthan troops into HOTT categories can be fun and can produce new insights. Lurkers and Water Lurkers represent those small threats that appear so often on fantasy fiction as the hero crosses difficult terrain. They rarely determine the course of the whole story but can steer the good guys to a particular course of action. Shelob is a classic example from Tolkien.
My Sartarites are allied to the Durulz and I thought a Water Lurker would be a nice addition. It made an nice joke to make my Water Lurker a team of Duck skirmishers riding into battle on the back of a giant Triceratops. The only clue to a casual observer that this isn’t (as it appears to be) a powerful, army crushing Behemoth is the fact that it stands knee-deep in marshy water. I think Glorantha is a brighter place if travellers on the edge of the Upland Marsh can be ambushed by Ducks on dinosaurs!
A Big Battle inside and outside the walls of Pavis
If you’d like to know more about recreating Gloranthan battles with miniatures, I’d recommend the GloryGeeks Yahoogroup: Games.groups.yahoo.com/group/GloryGeeks/
and Gregory Privat’s excellent website: gloarmy.free.fr/