Beneath the Lily Banners 3rd Edition part 2


April 3, 2018 by Lee

First off apologies for not posting this second part sooner, it was all prepped in the drafts section and I forgot to post it.

So since writing the first part, the 3rd edition of Beneath the Lily Banners titled The War of the Three Kings has been released. The 3rd edition is now a hardback book full of lovely artwork and generally an inspiration to anyone interested in historical history.

For this blog post I thought I would share what’s new in this new edition from the words of Barry Hilton and Clarence Harrison.

 The War of Three Kings – “How is this game different?” 

BLB3 Battle

Before talking about what’s new, let’s look at some things that stayed the same…

Unit Organization
For the most part, units are organized in the same manner they’ve always been – three stands for a battalion of Foot and two stands for a squadron of Horse. Those of you with existing armies will easily make the transition, while those new to the period will have clear guidelines to get stuck in. There IS a new element to unit organization that we’ll touch on below…

Command and Orders
The system of lording over your little lead people is the same as in previous editions. Orders in The War of Three Kings are placed in secret, either written on paper or using counters (like these), to be revealed simultaneously before movement. Also as in past editions, you may not be able to issue orders to all of your troops so you will need to have a clear plan in mind – including planning that your rascals might decide to dawdle in the rear.

Movement and Terrain
For the most part, these are unchanged.

With minor alterations, the charging sequence is largely the same as before.

The procedures for Fighting In Built Up Areas is also very similar to methods used before with the exception of some broad mechanics outlined below.

BLB3 uniforms

Ok! So now what’s new?

Polyhedral Dice
One of the biggest changes you will find in The War of Three Kings is the introduction of the funny dice found in Donnybrook for simulating different skill levels of soldiers. Raw Troops are d6, Trained Troops are d8, and Veteran Troops are d10. When called to make a test for combat or morale, units will roll a number of the appropriate dice to determine the outcome. This has the immediate effect of removing a pile of modifiers from the combat charts!

A Point System for Pick Up Games
No, you won’t be slogging through some complicated spreadsheet. We designed a one-page system to help new players balance their scenarios or throw together a quick game at the club.

Pike to Musket Ratios
Something new to unit organization is the ability to define your Foot battalions as All Pike (three stands of pike), Pike and Shot (one stand of pike and two of shot), Regulation (three stands of shot with a pike ‘marker’ stand behind – the default of previous editions), or All Musket (three stands of shot). These battalions are handled differently in combat and allow an extra level of detail and tactical options on the table without adding much in the way of complexity.

Dragoons often come off as poor cavalry and brittle Foot and this doesn’t really match their usefulness when you read accounts of battles. The rules for dragoons have been modified to more closely allow them to fulfil the types of roles they performed on the battlefield.

While true skirmishers were not deployed in this period, there are many accounts of companies being detached to form a forlorn hope, man a redoubt, mine a bridge, or… well… yes, act as skirmishers, normally to delay an enemy advance through difficult terrain or deny enemy scouts vital intelligence. Detachments are a new troop type in The War of Three Kings to allow these sorts of actions.

BLB3 charts

Consistent Mechanics
Beneath the Lily Banners is a game that evolved over decades. To simulate the various aspects of combat and morale, different mechanisms were employed to try and duplicate the historical outcome of the action. We went to great lengths to ensure the outcomes in The War of Three Kings match those of earlier editions, but we redesigned all of these mechanics so they pretty much work the same. Artillery, Shooting, Close Combat and Morale are all pretty much ‘roll x-number of dice with these mods and try to score target number y’.

Of course, there’s also all new photos and artwork, plus an all new battle report featuring Bob and Dave (The Bill and Ted or Wayne and Garth of the League of Augsburg)!

Beneath the Lily Banners

I must admit that I am really excited to give this new edition a try, the changes the guys have made seem to only enhance the flavour of the period even more. If anyone is going to Salute this year and would like to pick up a copy, then make sure you stop by at the League of Augsburg stand where Barry will be on hand with the book and of course advice on the period.

If you can’t make it to Salute or you would like to order copy then please click either of the links for Warfare Miniatures UK or Warfare Miniature USA. Also recently Barry has announced that the UK distributor at the shows will be Helion.

If you would like to know more about the rules or the period in general then go to The League of Augsburg page or the Fighting Talk Forum, where you will be able to chat not only with Barry and Clarence but many enthusiastic people on the subject.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. Please feel free to Like, Comment, Share and Follow us as we continue our journey in this hobby…….

2 thoughts on “Beneath the Lily Banners 3rd Edition part 2

  1. Barry Hilton says:

    A feature piece and video will appear from Wargames Illustrated soon on the next rules. Thanks for featuring the book here Lee and for the detailed insight. I am your visitors will find it helpful.


    • Lee says:

      Thanks for the kind words Barry. I’ve had a quick flick through The War of Tree Kings and it’s a work of art mate, a true wargamers dream. I plan on learning the rules using our ECW forces as I’ve not quite got enough Warfare Miniatures yet. 😊


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