Someone recently asked on the Black Powder Wargaming YahooGroup for the top 5 reasons to buy Warlord Games’ new The Last Argument of Kings supplement to their Black Powder rules, which I reviewed in my last posting? Well, for me they are:
- Inspiring – gorgeous photos, and written with a real sense of enthusiasm
about gaming the period.
- Entertaining – it is actually fun to read as a book.
- Enlightening – I didn’t know much about the whole period, even though I have armies for part of it. OK, so the book may contain a few historical gaffes (by some accounts, anyway). But overall I’ve got a sufficiently good overview from it.
- Good general gaming ideas – scenarios of various types and sizes, putting on big games, running campaigns.
- Interesting period-specific rules amendments – I put this relatively low on my list, because I don’t get to play many wargames, and so for a rules book to be worth me purchasing, it has to be much more than just a set of rules. It needs to do all the above points as well.
There’s another somewhat more vague reason too – the attitudes of the authors
themselves. I like their take on gaming. I like their models and terrain. I
like their sense of fun. I feel like I personally know them, even though we’ve
never met. So I would love to play wargames with them. But I can only do this
vicariously through their book.
I’ve recently received my copy of The Last Argument of Kings, Warlord Games’ 18th century supplement to their Black Powder rules. And I’m thoroughly enjoying the book.
The Last Argument of Kings gives a really good overview of warfare in the 18th century period to the non-expert (like me), and lots of great gaming ideas. The rules amendments for each sub-period/army seem pretty neat (though I haven’t tested any in play yet). And the selection of sub-periods gives great variety – it’s not just all tricornes in Middle Europe.
But, most of all, the book really inspires with a wonderful feel for the period, both through its writing and the quality illustrations.
While it is reported on some forums that there might be some gaffes in The Last Argument of Kings, I don’t know enough about the period to be sure if there are, or how important they are. But if there are any such gaffes, they don’t detract from the book for me. I’m really pleased with my purchase.
I guess people’s like or dislike for this book will depend on their gaming type. If they are they aesthetic gamers who go for the look and feel of a game, or social fun gamers who just want a simplish set of rules that creates an overall period feel without too much worry on the detail, they’ll likely enjoy it.
But if they are gamers who go for as much realism and accuracy as possible in their games (and thus their rules), or gamers who like tight rules to determine winners and losers, they may not enjoy The Last Argument of Kings as much.
I’m in the former group!
My 28mm Māori warriors brandish their weapons in the face of their British and colonial opponents during the Northern Wars in New Zealand during the 1840s. I’ve now finished basing the first eight Empress Miniatures figures I painted, and have also added a further eight figures to the complement (click on the pictures below to see them more clearly):
Māori chiefs and warriors, including a female warrior (far left), Chief Kawiti (third from left) and a wonderful portly warrior (far right). Note the ferns and tussock – typical Kiwi plants.
Māori warriors, including the famous chief Hone Heke (second from left) and a conch blower (third from left).
Soldiers and officers of the 58th Regiment of Foot (the Black Cuffs).
Civilians and uniformed militia. The gentlemen on the right is painted in the uniform of the Magistracy Police in Kororareka during the early 1840s - it was pure chance that this figure matched the uniform (which consisted of a top hat and a white coat with black armbands carrying small brass badges). The Magistracy Police were not normally armed with anything more than a truncheon, but I’m sure in a Māori raid they would’ve grabbed something a little more effective.
I used heavy galvanised steel washers for the bases. These seem to have taken my automotive black sanding primer paint well, and give real heft to the figures. I can’t recall if galvanised steel is magnetic or not – if it is, then I have the bonus of being able to attach these figures to magnetic sheets to transport them.
Basing is my usual combination of PVA glue and a mixture of various types and colours of beach sand. On top of this I have glued patches of flock and static grass. I gave them a New Zealand feel by adding clumps of nylon tussock grass and some ferns. The latter are laser-cut paper railway scenery products from Noch. The Noch ferns, although only HO/OO scale, are actually much too big to decorate individual figure bases, so I have snipped off the ends and used only those. I also repainted the ferns, as I found the paper colour too vivid.
This movie trailer had me excited for a moment:
In fact, it took a second view to see how much Fred was in the picture – amazing how you miss details like that!