December 13, 2017 by Lee
Coming soon is the anticipated release of a very popular historical wargames rules Beneath the Lily Banners 3rd edition.
BTLB is a set of rules which covers the period between 1660 – 1715 ish, which sees the end of the pike and the start of the horse and musket period. I will say that both Barry and Clarence main interest in this period is the war in Ireland between William of Orange and James II (the Battle of the Boyne and the Siege of Derry being just two of the actions in this war).
Barry has been known in the industry for a very long time and has written many pieces for Wargames Soldier and Strategy and Wargames Illustrated. Barry has also hosted many lectures on this and many other historical periods. Clarence who also has been in the hobby for many years and has his own blog page Quindia Studios which is worth checking out. He has also wrote a set of ECW wargames rules Victory Without Quarter.
I must say that I was totally blown away in 2016 when the family and I took a trip to the states to Historicon and played BLB2 with Barry and Clarence on a lovely table and painted figures, all of which was the hard work from Clarence.
Both Barry and Clarence have worked together on projects such as Beneath the Lily Banners, Republic to Empire and Donnyborrk. If you’ve never seen any of these rulebooks then I would highly recommend them even if you don’t like the periods as the artwork and photos of the their miniature collections are just total eye candy and are my go to books for inspiration.
You can always get hold of Barry and Clarence on their Fighting Talk Forum where they are always on hand along with a great many other enthusiastic people to answer your questions or you can check out their excellent blog page The League of Augsburg.
Below is a brief overview about the new rules, for more information and to keep up to date please feel free to go to the The league of Augsburg site.
The War of Three Kings – “What’s up with the name?”
The game is still Beneath the Lily Banners. When we started developing the new rules, we wanted to streamline as many things as possible without loosing the feel of the game. Some of this came in the form of rule changes, but some came from discussing how to represent all of the different theaters of this period. We found we were expending a lot of effort trying to make sure we covered rules for all of the various idiosyncrasies of the period which spans across multiple theaters. We wanted to be as comprehensive as possible, but we were looking at a 250-page tome.
What we decided to do is break Beneath the Lily Banners into theaters. The main volume, The War of Three Kings, focuses mainly on Ireland. We chose this because it is actually OUR primary area interest and we have lots of supporting material available with more on the way. Some rules (lances, for instance) are not covered in The War of Three Kings and other things (rules for the Guard troop classification) have been place in a section of optional rules as they rarely appear in games. These moves had the immediate effect of streamlining the mechanics and cleaning up modifier tables.
We were able to include many other optional rules to represent common situations found on Irish battlefields (like the narrow causeys that often were central objectives for control of the marshy ground) and unique troops (like the Enniskilleners of Northern Ireland). These things can add more period flavour to your games, but are not necessary unless you want to add the extra detail.
There is also a chapter devoted to the wider conflict on the main continent. This chapter details modifications applicable to cover the western and central European theatres during the period 1660-1714. It references Imperial troops but only in the context of them fighting western opponents and not the Ottomans. Eastern and south-eastern conflicts will be handled in a separate supplement (and supported by an entire new range of Warfare Miniatures – watch this space). Further supplements will cover conflicts of other regions (like the Caribbean and the Colonies).
This also doesn’t mean you can’t use the rules in The War of Three Kings to fight battles set against the backdrop of The Great Northern War (we’ve been doing that too). You might have to figure out what to do with that one unit of lancers or bow armed cossacks on the table, but the majority of things will work just fine.
Again, the approach may seem a bit backward, but I think too many rule sets focus on sweeping periods to their detriment. Veteran gamers with existing collections will be easily able to adapt these rules to fit their favorite theater while the beginner will have a targeted approach with lots of supplemental material to support their first foray into this colorful period of military history.
Next time we’ll look at how some of the rules have changed…
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