Saturday, 4 July 2009

Wolves from the Sea

My brother came to visit today. He was dropping off the Vikings supplement for Field of Glory, which I plan to try at some point in the future. Wolves from the Sea is a nice shiny army list book. I already have some quibbles with the Vikings list (Cavalry? What were they thinking?) but the book itself is well-produced and has lots of inspirational artwork from the Osprey books in it.

I suspect that Field of Glory will fall short of my desires in the same way as every other rules set that covers the entirety of prehistory and history up to the end of the medieval period does, but I shall try them first. The game play may be sufficiently good to warrant continued play. On the other hand, I may well prefer Impetus. Dadi e Piombo already scores well by making Basic Impetus freely available, and I like the fixed army lists for BI. One thing I hate in army lists is the ability to pick and choose every option that was ever used in history, even if it were only ever used once. My view is that army lists should produce representative armies, not the exceptions. Unfortunately, the Ooh Shiny Complex seems to creep into the lists. Wargamers want to be able to field flaming tar pigs and stampeded cattle at every turn, even if they were only rarely used, but I do not subscribe to that particular fetish. Anyway, I already have a ton of 15mm Vikings, Saxons and Normans to paint, so I shall paint these figures up and try the rules out.

My brother also dropped off a copy of Command Decision: Test of Battle. I have played Command Decision since its first incarnation and have both the second and the third incarnations and have always enjoyed it. I also have and have played the WW1 and modern versions of the rules (Over the Top and Combined Arms). The new version is nice and shiny and comes with Fog of War cards, which I understand are played like random events. It also claims to have streamlined the combat system (a definite plus because the rules are quite techie) and now includes a points system for pick-up games. You decide which theatre and time period you are playing and get a core force for your side based on that. The core force is fixed but you then have a number of reinforcement options. I have not looked at it in detail but it looks like a good way to produce historically believable battle groups without the usual problems that a points system brings. The rules also include 12 scenarios to introduce you to the game, so there is plenty to do with them. In addition to this, a quick glance at the index suggests that they are very complete in terms of combined arms attacks, air support and all the rest. I can't wait to try these out. Time to dust off the old Western Desert forces and break out my copy of the Benghazi Handicap. Tally ho, chaps!

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