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Reconstructing the New Model Army Volume 1: Regimental Lists April 1645 to May 1649 (Century of the Soldier)
Reconstructing the New Model Army Volume 1: Regimental Lists April 1645 to May 1649 (Century of the Soldier)
by Malcolm Wanklyn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable reference, 21 Sept. 2015
When looking at this work it is important to understand what it is and what it is not. Firstly it is not a history of the New Model Army and this point cannot be emphasised enough. Neither is it, as the title may suggest to some, an examination of the minutia of the NMA in terms of equipment, tactics or any other aspect of its operations. Rather it is a detailed listing of the officers of the NMA for the period 1645 through to May 1649. As such it must be viewed as a resource and reference to be drawn upon and not a piece of prose (a point that the author makes within this text).

For your money you will get a 184 page softback with a cover illustration by Peter Denis. Paper quality is good and production values are high. Overall size is 248mm X 180mm (same size as Osprey's works).

The book contains 7 brief chapters in which the author describes the genesis of this project, his methodology, a discussion of some previous works that cover similar ground and notes upon some of the issues raised by the project. The vast bulk of the page count is given over to tables listing the officers, by regiment, at each of six dates between April 1645 and May 1649. Each table is thoroughly annotated and referenced back to manuscript sources.

So, if you're looking for a little light bedtime reading and tales of derring do then this is most definitely not the book for you. If you are engaged in serious research relating to the NMA then this will form the first volume of an invaluable reference work that will likely be the standard for very many years to come.

Famous By My Sword: The Army of Montrose and the Military Revolution (Century of the Soldier-Warfare C 1618-1721)
Famous By My Sword: The Army of Montrose and the Military Revolution (Century of the Soldier-Warfare C 1618-1721)
by Charles Singleton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.95

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible and Scholarly., 2 Mar. 2015
“Famous by my Sword” is a modern account of the army of Montrose that is both scholarly and accessible and as such will be of interest to the serious academic and the reader with a casual interest in the English Civil Wars. For your money you get 72 soft bound pages with full colour glossy covers and 8 pages of colour illustrations. The volume is of the same proportions as the well-known Osprey titles though the page count in this work is slightly greater.

The author examines the army of the Marquis of Montrose during the English Civil Wars. The writing style is relatively light and accessible to the casual reader but is simultaneously filled with more than sufficient detail and analysis to be of value to the academic reader. One of the great strengths of this work is the copious referencing of sources throughout; thus not only does the work stand on its own merits but it serves as a useful springboard should the reader wish to undertake further research. Furthermore, and perhaps worth the cover price alone, this volume contains a number of unabridged primary and contemporary accounts of the battles that Montrose fought.

Mr Singleton places the army of Montrose in the wider context of the wars of the early to middle c17th, and the academic debate on the military revolution of this period, and argues that far from being a romantic band of traditional Celtic warriors it was, to a great extent, a well organised, modern army drawing on the latest military theories. He does this by examining the organisation, logistics and battlefield performance of Montrose’s forces by drawing upon contemporary source material and the works of a number of other modern historians of the Civil Wars.

The text is well illustrated with relevant images that are thoroughly annotated to demonstrate how these support the text and the battle accounts are supported with clear maps. There are also colour plates by well-known artists Peter Dennis and Tony Barton and full colour photographic character studies of professional Irish experimental archaeologist group Claiomh. These illustrations are also fully annotated and linked to archaeological evidence to support the latest thinking on the appearance of Montrose’s army; this section will also likely be of great use to those also interested in Irish armies of the period.

In conclusion then this work contains much that is likely to appeal to the student, the academic, the re-enactor, the wargamer and to the reader with a casual interest in this period and as such I thoroughly recommend it.

Hawkmoon: The History of the Runestaff (Moorcocks Multiverse)
Hawkmoon: The History of the Runestaff (Moorcocks Multiverse)
by Michael Moorcock
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Have I been reading a different book to other reviewers?, 23 Aug. 2014
Other reviewers have described this as a seminal work for the modern fantasy genre and have heaped praise upon Moorcock. I have to say that I simply don't see this work in that light. To my mind rather than ushering in a new era of fantasy I believe that it harks back to a "pulp" style of writing. I don't necessarily use the term "pulp" in a derogatory fashion here but it does feel very episodic and many of the characters are less than two dimensional serving only to impart some small piece of information before dying. The style often feels repetitive; Hawkmoon travels somewhere, meets strange people, the recurring bad guys turn up, (almost) everyone except Hawkmoon dies and thus he moves on...and there is far too much reliance on Deus ex machine to resolve poor plot development. We are regularly beaten about the head with the notion that Hawkmoon is the chosen of the Runestaff and that there is only one way that this story is going. There are few female characters and only one of those is remotely engaging and well written. Personally I found Hawkmoon and his companions deeply uninteresting, I'd have far rather read 600+ pages on the "heroes" of Granbretan and their schemings and machinations. Indeed I felt the scenes set in Granbretan/Londra to be the only well written elements of this work (and these actually remind me of the scenes at the court of Melnebone).

So, in conclusion, I have to say that I was left very disappointed with this book. From other reviews I thought I was going to be reading a masterly written fantasy classic whereas instead it felt like a hack written piece of pulp. Whilst not totally unreadable it is hugely predictable.

The Book of Weird: Being a Most Desirable Lexicon of the Fantastical, Wherein Kings and Dragons, Trolls and Vampires, to Say Nothing of Elves and Gn
The Book of Weird: Being a Most Desirable Lexicon of the Fantastical, Wherein Kings and Dragons, Trolls and Vampires, to Say Nothing of Elves and Gn
by Barbara Ninde Byfield
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars The book of everything you already know but had somehow forgotten..., 26 July 2014
As always I'll start of with a physical description. For your money you'll get a soft cover book of approx. 5" by 6" and 160 pages. Each page contains only a little text, no more than perhaps 100-150 words, but almost every page has at least one, if not many more, black and white illustrations. Some of the illustrations are quite crude BUT without exception each is hugely evocative of the subject being discussed.

The work is an eclectic alphabetical listing of items that would perhaps best be described as the tropes of fantasy and European fairy tale; each accompanied by a brief discussion of the subject. This is not an academic work, the discussions are often brief (a few lines to a few short paragraphs - some are simply lists), often tongue-in-cheek and written almost as advice for those who would seek to explore the realms of fantasy and fairy tale in person. The descriptions simply drip with evocative vocabulary; if these fail to fire your imagination then I would question why you picked up a book like this in the first place. Yet at the same time this work is already deeply familiar; you already know every last morsel that is in here; of course you do; but somehow you'd forgotten most of it.

I only recently heard of this book for the first time; it was mentioned on an RPG blog where it was described as being the major influence that Gary Gygax never cited. For those familiar with his early works it is almost impossible not to leap to the same conclusion. I'd thoroughly recommend it for anyone looking to populate a world of traditional European fantasy or fairy tale be it simply within their own imagination, for an RPG or for writing their own tales.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
by Max Brooks
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Soggy cardboard cut outs and little else., 3 Jun. 2014
Hmmm. I expect this review will be lost in the mass that are out there, but perhaps this will be picked up by someone who has read some of my other reviews; otherwise I suspect that this will be something of a "message in a bottle".

This work presents itself as a "future history" and specifically acknowledges Sir John Hackett and by inference his work "The Third World War" http://www.amazon.co.uk/Third-World-War-August-1985/dp/0722141858/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401793455&sr=1-1.

Oh that it should be even 10% as good as Hackett's work.

So first of all I'll give a very brief précis of Hackett's work so that WWZ's attempt can be seen in context. Hackett was a senior British military officer with experience in WW2 and had held a number of senior posts in NATO. His work was a fictionalised account of a Soviet attack on NATO in 1985. It was actually written in 1979 and carried a message. The message was that only a crash programme of major improvements to NATO from 1979 to 1985 had been sufficient to avert a collapse in the face of the Soviet attack. Each chapter carried a mix of fictionalised eyewitness accounts of what had happened in 1985 and a detailed overview that placed these accounts into a broader context. So where examining ground combat we get a fictionalised eyewitness account, an overview of how ground combat was conducted, how the technology worked and what the improvements had been that allowed NATO to be successful in 1985 where it perhaps would have failed without those improvements. So this work could simply be read as a novel (as it would appear to anyone reading it now) or as a plea to modernise and improve NATO or risk the consequences (as it was largely intended when originally published).

WWZ clearly sets out to emulate this format however it never gets beyond the "eyewitness accounts" (we're told that the more substantial material was published elsewhere as a UN report). The problem is that all of these eyewitness accounts have the same "voice". The Chinese, the British, the South African, the French, the Indian "survivors" all sound exactly the same. We have no sense that these people come from different cultures or backgrounds to that of the American author. These characters have no depth to them, we don't believe for one moment that they are real people. The characters resort to utter cliché at every possible turn and I doubt that there is anything here that couldn't have been produced by a high school creative writing student. The Chinese submarine sequence is a straight pastiche of Clancy at his worst even down to the "ding-dong-the-witch-is-dead" happy ending. Here I can't help but feel that a collaborative effort drawing together essays from a dozen authors around the world, each expert in their field, would have brought the authenticity that is so completely absent from this work.

Furthermore this book doesn't really know what it wants to be. We get glimpses of a satire beginning to form with an account of an attack on a house that is broadcasting live 24/7 coverage of the minor celebrities ensconced within. We have a critique of a military that refuses to give up multi-billion dollar stealth aircraft (who needs stealth against an opponent with no radar? - I strongly suspect that it isn't zombies that are being discussed here). We also have military officers so hidebound by "the book" that they lead their forces into a rout. We get a polemic on how the skills that modern society values are actually the least useful and how the war effectively inverts society. But these points aren't carried through with any conviction.

Where this book really falls down is that we almost never get the sense that the participants are engaged in any deep moral dilemma; we get hints; we even get bludgeoned around the head with the idea that some people resort to cannibalism to survive; but the moral dimension is never really explored. I am reminded of HG Wells' essay that accompanies The Invisible Man; that many an author fails because he comes up with an interesting premise and then utterly fails to engage with the audience because they fail to examine how that premise then impacts upon what it means to be human.

And then perhaps my last criticism is that the book fails to deliver an overarching story of WWZ. This has to be a major failing of a book that attempts to sell itself as a "future history" and liken itself to Hackett's work. Hackett had a raison d'etre and this book just doesn't. The author could have delivered a message that we need to become more self reliant, that we value the wrong things in our society (at one point that is where I thought this book was going) and to have used the zombies as a metaphor for whatever our inner fears are for the future of our species. And, to add insult to injury, the "future history" format robs the work of even the tiniest shred of tension because we know that those being interviewed survived, there simply is no jeopardy, at best we get "mild peril" (Hackett got around this by having some of his accounts drawn from the diaries of those who didn't survive).

I have given this book 2 stars because it isn't so utterly awful as to be unreadable. It is very, very mildly entertaining but no more than that. It is most certainly not the masterpiece of originality that some would have you believe. I'm left wondering if this book would ever have seen the light of day if the author didn't have the connections brought from having famous parents.

Soviet/Russian Aircraft Weapons: Since World War Two
Soviet/Russian Aircraft Weapons: Since World War Two
by Yefim Gordon
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful, interesting...but flawed., 27 Mar. 2014
As the review title says this is a useful and interesting book but not without errors.

So what do you get? Well you get a little over 200 glossy pages (inc. about 2 dozen in full colour); the work is lavishly illustrated with photos and line drawings. You get an introduction; a chapter on air-to-air guided missiles; one on air-to-surface missiles; one on unguided rockets and one on free-fall bombs.

The introduction lets us know that the author worked in the aerospace industry during the Soviet era and that the book contents are essentially a review of the de-classified information available in the post-Soviet era.

In each chapter we have an overview of the history of the design bureaus and the weapons that they produced. I've noticed a number of errors in the text; the R-33 missile is, for instance, credited with a range of 1,200km (745 miles). Clearly somewhere along the lines a decimal point has been transcribed into the wrong place, but later in the same section the range is now re-stated as 120km (74.5km) [this time the second figure being stated as km instead of miles]. These are errors that SHOULD have been picked up in proofreading. The presentation of data is somewhat haphazard; sometimes it is contained within the text and sometimes it is tabulated.

On the plus side a lot of this info isn't easily available elsewhere in English. On the downside the language used is inconsistent and sometimes imprecise; colloquial terms make it into the text and terms such as "immune to enemy ECM" or "superior to western designs" are banded about. Now, whilst I am perfectly willing to accept such claims I do expect them to be substantiated; alas there are no references and there is no evidence offered to support such assertions. Being a poor old simple-minded child of the cold war I find myself looking for NATO code names/numbers but, alas, these are not always particularly obvious. And my final gripe is the lack of an index or even a more comprehensive contents section.

I like this book, I'm glad I bought it BUT it is not at all easy to navigate and requires some deciphering and the use of a critical eye when reading; it really would have benefitted a great deal from a much more thorough job on the part of the editors/publishers.

No Title Available

9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How to destroy a classic game., 27 Dec. 2013
The idea of a "junior" version of a game is, in my opinion, to retain the essential elements of the original whilst making the game accessible to a younger generation. The theme of the original Cluedo is murder and this is obviously not suitable for the young, so this edition substitutes the disappearance (or theft) of a set of prizes from a carnival. The players have to identify who the thief is, the location of the theft and the time of the theft. So far so good.
Game play involves moving around the board to the location of the clue cards; the player examines these and ticks them off from a list to eliminate them much as per the original game. HOWEVER there are more cards than spaces, so some spaces will have more than one card (obviously it was beyond the wit of the game designer/s to devise a game where the cards would fall evenly around the board) and it is impossible to examine all of the clues as the game is strictly limited to 6 turns. After each player has had one go each uses a token to make an educated guess as to who/where/when (there is a simpler version with a different board and players only have to guess at who and when). After six such sets of guesses the game is over and you score a point for each correct guess and the player with most correct guesses wins. Unfortunately the initial guesses are pretty wild stabs in the dark (which is what the designer deserves) and as the game progresses you can start to quickly eliminate some options by watching what everyone else is doing. Overall the process is very unengaging.
Component quality is shabby - the cards that have the characters/time/place on them are little more than glossy paper and had to be VERY carefully removed from the sheet upon which they were originally printed in order to avoid tearing them. The other parts are mostly cheap die cut card. The clue sheets are in black and white with very small illustrations that are exceptionally difficult to identify. Perhaps the biggest sin is that the character names (perhaps one of the greatest icons of Cluedo) are never mentioned during the game; so there will never be a cry of "Miss Scarlet did it".
So, poor and unengaging gameplay, poor component quality and the classic icons and motifs of the game have been stripped out. There is VERY little in this game to recommend it to anyone and one must really, really question what the designers were thinking other than "minimal effort Christmas cash cow".

Bolt Action: World War II Wargames Rules
Bolt Action: World War II Wargames Rules
by Warlord Games
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.54

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not without faults..., 18 Sept. 2013
OK this is a review base dupon one game and a quick read through of the rules after I'd played the game (someone else "hosted" the original game).

First up what do you physically get for your money? A hardbound 216 page full colour and lavishly illustrated volume. Pages are of the staandard "Osprey" size (that is a little over A5 but under A4 - I'm sure it must have a name). Most of the illustrations are pure eye-candy but there are diagrams/illustrations to illustrate play. The quality of the miniatures in the photographs are generally outstanding. The Peter Denis illustrations that proliferate are not quite to my taste but that is a purely personal matter. Page count could probably be cut in half if the illustrations were reduced.

OK then lets get to the "meat". The game is designed around a reinforced platoon of WW2 infantry. In game terms this will be organised into a number of infantry squads or sections and a number of teams; each of these is a "unit" in game terms and cannot be sub-divided; each acts as a group at all times. In many respects this keeps things nice and easy BUT it does also mean that it isn't possible to use WW2 fireteam or group tactics. Each platoon can be further reinforced by individual heavy weapons or vehicles - so you can add a single MMG team and/or a single tank but as written you can't add several tanks or several MMGs.

Game play is quite interesting. For each unit you have a chit that is placed into a container. Players draw chits and if, for example a "German" chit is drawn then the German player selects a unit and carries out an action with that unit. Once that has been completed another chit is draw and another unit activated; the effect of this is that play swings back and forth between players in a very unpredictable way; you could get play more or less alternate or you can have players getting a "run" of activations. I like this but I imagine there are many who would hate this unpredictability (presumably because war is entirely predictable and plans always go off exactly as intended...) The choice of actions is fairly straightforward and consist of Fire, Advance, Run, Ambush (which is in effect being on "overwatch"), Rally or Down (making maximum use of cover).

Shooting is handled with D6 rolls and uses a very basic "to hit" mechanism modified for range, movement etc. There is then a further roll to damage the target - this is dependent upon the quality of the target not the shooter. Again I like this as it emphasises troop quality. Units also accrue "pinned" markers as they're hit - this makes return shooting less accurate and requires the owner of the pinned unit to roll to activate the unit. The number of dice rolled ranges from one for rifles up to 3 or 4 for MMGs. Heavier weapons may only have a single die but a successful hit can inflict multiple hits. Indirect fire initially needs a 6 to hit; this number is reduced by one each successive turn; this had a really nice effect in the game that I played in that I felt enemy mortar fire was slowly zeroing in on me and I decided to move out (thus re-setting the attacker's die to 6). HE weapons used in this way though either hit or miss - there are no deviating rounds for small, on-table, weapons. The morale rules are very simple and basic; a unit checks morale if it loses 50% or more of its strength from a sinlge firing i.e. I started of with 7 men and lost one a while ago. I now have 6; if I now lose 3 or more to a single attack I check but I don't check if I lose a further 2 in a single attack or if I lose 3 to separate attacks. However if the number of pinned markers exceeds my original strength then the unit is eliminated. I suspect that the moral rules on their own are not terribly realistic BUT if one thinks of the number of figures on table as representing the overall remaining combat effectiveness of the squad/section then it works. The pinning markers do have the effect of making you feel as though you're gradually losing control of your army and encourage you to rally whenever possible. The "down" action is also a nice option as it allows you to scrabble in the dirt and not shoot back in exchange for the enemy having a to hit penalty.

Close combat is a fairly all or nothing afair with no "to hit" roll, it skips directly to a roll "to wound". The attackers roll first and only survivors fight back. The unit that inflicts fewer casualties loses and is completely removed from the game. The main issue that I forsee here is that close combat is unit vs unit; a rifle section could attack a position containing a sniper, an MMG team and a Forward Observor but may only attack ONE of those units. A simple ammendment would be to "pool" those units but this doesn't exist in the rules as written.

There are also fairly simple artillery and vehicle rules. In both cases weapons/vehicles are divided into fairly broad categories of light/medium/heavy armour and/or gun. Again I have no problem with this as it facilitates a fast play system - I am sure that there will be those who are apalled by the fact that armour and penetration aren't measured to the nearest mm and precise angle. I shant comment further as I've not played with these, but they are very much a supporting arm to the infantry.

The book is then rounded out with some simple generic scenario set ups and some basic introductory army lists. The latter include points values - someting that I almost certainly wouldn't use but then again there are many gamers who cannot live without them.

Conclusions - the one game that I played was great fun; I think that the rules have bags of potential and I look forward to playing again - I'll also probably start adapting them to other periods. Are they the most super detailed set of rules ever? No, but they don't pretend to be; my experience of super detailed rules is that they almost inevitably break down into an utter tedium of tables and charts and the final conclusion is often little different to that of the quick play game other than the headache and torn out hair.
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Pike and Shotte - Wargaming Rules for the English Civil War - Battles with Model Soldiers in the 16th and 17th Centuries Rulebook (Main Rule Book)
Pike and Shotte - Wargaming Rules for the English Civil War - Battles with Model Soldiers in the 16th and 17th Centuries Rulebook (Main Rule Book)
by Steve Morgan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £30.00

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hedgehogs? Really?, 29 Jun. 2013
This volume is essentially Black Powder rolled back to cover the 16th and 17th centuries. I very much like Black Powder and most of what I have to say in my review of BP also applies to P&S - if you want an overview of the game system take a look at my BP review. P&S is very flexible, we've used it very successfully for early c16th Italian Wars, middle-late c16th all cavalry Balkan Wars Thirty Years Wars and English Civil Wars and every game has been very good.

So why only 4 stars and not 5? My single biggest gripe is that for the TYW and ECW armies pike and musket are represented by separate units - so a regiment consisting of a body of pike and two sleeves of shot will be three separate units on the table top. This then means that there are a convoluted and clumsy set of rules for pike and their shot forming a "hedgehog" rather than BP's fairly simple "square" rules. We've found that this section doesn't really work and can produce anomolies (artillery firing into the "hedgehog" apply their casulaties to only one unit). In fairness most of the people that I play with aren't really that worried by this and the anomolies don't crop up all that often. On a personal pedantic note I absolutely loath the term "hedgehog" in this context to an extent that the English language cannot express. The contemporary English term was to "charge [your pike]for horse"; to use the term "hedgehog" just feels lazy.

The other issue here is that by separating out the pike from the shot it gives the game the feel of a large skirmish rather than a large battle. There is nothing to compell a player to keep his pike & shot units together (although a sensible player will do so) and there is the prospect of the pike & shot wondering off in different directions. Now, whilst this did happen on occassion during the ECW to my mind this should be the exception rather than the norm; such situations would be better covered by scenario specific rules. This approach also brings about the prospect of one "wing" of a regiment being completely shot away whilst the other 2/3s are completely unaffected. The other thought that occurs to me on this issue is that I am reminded more of an ECW re-enactment (a la the Sealed Knot or ECWS) rather than a real battle. And finally...I think that perhaps this has been introduced to differentiate P&S from BP thus generating a whole new hardback rather than a softback suppliment.

The book contains a number of sample scenarios, with write-ups of how they played, highlighting particular armies and has a selection of army lists. Here P&S differes from its sister publications in that the army lists are akin to those found in many other games and have points values attached to the units. Personally I dislike points based games but there is nothing compelling you to use points.

Whilst I have commented here largely on what I don't like DO please remember that I have given this a well deserved 4 stars. My gripes ARE fixable quite easily and there is a "special rule" for units with integral pike, intended for later c17th actions, that could easily be adapted to the ECW and TYW. This IS a fine game and I'll take it any day over most of the other utterly dull and flavourless renaissance games on the market.

Hail Caesar Army Lists: Late Antiquity to Early Medieval
Hail Caesar Army Lists: Late Antiquity to Early Medieval
by Rick Priestley
Edition: Paperback

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love it or hate it..., 29 Jun. 2013
First of all I will state that I am a huge fan of the Black Powder gaming system and therefore, by default, a fan of Hail Caesar. You'll find my reviews of those elsewhere if you're interested.

This is the sort of book that people will either love or hate. For your money you get an 84 page softback with a modest sprinkle of colour photos; most of these are of miniatures though there is the occassional original artefact from the Perry collection. The photos are mostly of well painted miniatures, though some are indifferent and some are duplications of those that you'll find in the main HC rulebook. The photos are pure eye-candy and don't serve to illustrate any game related points.

As to content you get a brief introduction, a little over 60 army lists and a brief appendix offering a little by the way of explanation of the points system. The lists themselves cover approx. mid-3rd century up to the Mongol invasions.

In the introduction the author clearly states his position that he doesn't really use army lists, that the rules were never really intended to be used in this way but that lists have been produced in response to consumer feedback.

Each individual list is one to two pages long and gives a single paragraph introduction, a very basic guide to army composition (in the form of at least x percentage must consist of this troop type, no more than y percentage can consist of that troop type) and then a list of single line troop stats. On the plus side these are failry straightforward and during a game you just need to lay the book open at the correct page (if you're willing to risk breaking the spine). On the downside you get a lot of repetition of stats across the army lists. It should also be noted that the unit stats and army compositions don't necessarily tally with those used in the sample games written up in the original HC rulebook.

In many ways this is a very old-fashioned book. It is not a WAB style guide to your favourite army - but then it never claimed to be such (these books are being published separately), it is an old fashioned style army list book with modern, glossy, production values.

So, I've given this a middling score. I only use about half-a-dozen of the lists; I use them as essentially a quick reference sheet for my armies. The other lists lack sufficient detail to make me think "I really must rush out and buy XYZ". But I will emphasise that I bought my copy in full knowledge of all of the above; I'm not a fan of points based games as I think they are the utter antithesis of wargaming and I regard points as a mild curiosity at best.

So, if you want the be-all-and-end-all on later ancient to early medieval armies then this isn't the book for you. If you want stat lists and points values and/or quick reference material then this is the book for you.

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