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!