Saturday, 29 August 2020

Never Mind The Billhooks

Over the past few years I have given up on buying wargames magazines as, being a 10mm gamer and in my mid-50's, I find there has been little of interest in them to justify the subscription costs. However the latest Wargames Illustrated issue piqued my interest due to it coming with a free set of rules, aimed at wargaming the War of the Roses. This is more up my street than a pack of 28mm Perry Miniatures that, although being lovely, do not tempt me to part with my hard earned shekels.

I had heard about the rules via Facebook and various forum rumblings, but a couple of reviews on You Do Not Know The North Blog and Norm's Blog persuaded me to go and buy a copy. In short I'm glad I did.

The rules cover some 24 pages in a self contained booklet and remind me very much of 'Lion Rampant', but with some nice tweaks and obviously period specific rules. The author also lays out his stall in a small article within the magazine which is nice. There are also some articles on the WotR within the magazine as one would expect and for a relative novice such as myself found them really rather useful.

I think anyone who has played 'Lion Rampant' will feel very much at home with these rules and they  follow what I would call a fairly standard format of units being hit on say a 4+, save on a 5+ etc. So nothing left field which is a good thing in my opinion. Afterall if it ain't broke, don't fix it! The card driven sequence looks to be fun and there are some nice 'events' to spice things up and fit the period. They also look to be solo friendly, which given the current global situation, is a good thing. 

The author prefers individually based figures for removal but freely admits that large bases with multiple figures still work as long as you record casualties. Table size for 10mm would happily work on a 3' x 2' table, but a 2' x 2' based upon experience would work just as well. For myself the question is whether to go with one large base of figures for that dioramam look or, more likely, several bases so that I can use them for other rulesets, such a Neil Thomas' Ancients & Medieval.

These rules while being simple are certainly not simplistic and I can see them becoming a popular set for club games or with friends at home. They are begging to be played as a campaign and with the map in the magazine, I can see some action between the Talbot's and Berkley's forming the basis for a nice little narrative in this part of the World.

So all-in-all a worthwhile buy and certainly a magazine to keep for future reference. I can see the rules being tweaked for periods before and after the WotR and, as the author mentions, Game of Thrones. If you can, buy the magazine or pdf and i don't think you will be disappointed.


  1. Will you be giving these rules a try, Steve?

    1. I hope to give them a run out soonish, using my wooden block with some labels on. I need to print out the cards first, which shouldn't be too difficult or even use playing cards as proxies.

  2. Thanks for the positive review. Check out the NMTBH Facebook page for all thing Billhooks

    1. Your welcome Andy and thanks for the heads up re: the Facebook page, which I've just joined:)