Der Söldner is a ruleset for miniature wargames set in the mid-14th to mid-17th century. It greatly expands on the MATRIX strategy wargames developed by Chris Engle in the 1980s. Like its predecessor, it uses arguments and a list of keywords, but is focussed more on the developing narrative than using arguments for everything. The mechanism asks a short question: what is going to happen? One player, the narrator, starts the conversation by proposing an event. Others dispute or not. If undisputed, the event happens as proposed, otherwise arguments are exchanged, judged, and resolved with a pass-or-fail dice roll. This setup is embedded in a simple mechanism for determining the next narrator and how much time is available for events.
The author picked up on historic miniature wargaming in the early 1980s. Initially focussing on the so-called horse & musket period, but gradually moving to Ancients, Medieval and Renaissance battles as well. From the mid-1980s to early-1990’s the author was very active in, and enjoying, Ancient competition wargaming, met with a certain level of national and international success, but also noted, as it might be put, the “darker” sides of the hobby. Today scenario-based wargames is what the author focusses on, and continuous to greatly enjoy playing at the BOD wargaming club in Utrecht, the Netherlands.