Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sick Reading

Back in March the flu made a run through my house bringing all home improvement and hobby activities to a halt.  While I was down I ordered some new reading materials.  This is not a proper review of any of these books just my general thoughts.

Hail Caesar Army Lists: Late Antiquity to Early Medieval  This book is just what it says it is - a bunch of army list for HC covering about 60 armies starting in 259AD.  My primary interest is the period from about 600AD to 1100AD and this books has lots of armies in this period.  Since HC is a very unique sort of game the army lists are bit eclectic.  The have a percentage breakdown for unit types much like the old Warhammer Ancients Lists.  There is a point system and a set number of point will purchase an entire unit rather than points being based on each model.  I am just getting into HC so this book is going to get lots of use.

Black Powder Albion Triumphant Volume 1 - The Peninsular Campaign  The second BP supplement is the first of what will be several Napoleonic books.  Not too surprising, the first Napoleonic book covers the British Campaigns in Portugal and Spain.  I must confess to knowing very little about the era and what interest I have is more towards the battles between France, Austria, Russia and Prussia.  Having said that this is a great book.  It is probably prettier that the BP rulebook which is saying something.  The historical background is well presented and interesting.  It is probably better than the few Osprey books I have read on the Peninsular campaigns.  The rules modifications and national traits seem to be reasonably thought out and designed for good game play while also allowing some chance at historical results.  This book succeeded in getting me interested in the period and I will probably make my French with an eye to these campaigns.

Bolt Action Armies of Great Britain  Just as it sounds this is a collection of units and army list for recreating British armies in your games of Bolt Action.  The book is pretty good but there is something lacking in these Bolt Action supplements.  I really enjoy BA but I am having a hard time getting excited about it.  This is really strange as I have been looking for a game like this for a long time.  Anyway, this is a nice book and a must have if you are planning on playing British.  One thing that I thought was strange is the amount of artwork depicting Chindits and yet how little time they devote to them in the rules.  The Far East is very sparsely covered in this book.

Bolt Action Armies of the United States  Unlike the British book this book almost seems pointless.  It just does not seem to substantially add to what was included in the BA rules.  There was really a chance to make something special with this book and I was really hoping for some solid lists for the Far East.  Unfortunately, there are only two lists for the Pacific and they are both Marine lists.  The US Army did fight in the Pacific and they were quite different than the ETO units.  The same is true of the Airborne forces.

For the most part I am happy with these additions to the game library and I am sure I will get plenty of use out of all of them.


Jerry said...

I have to agree with your assessment of the army books for Bolt Action. They are good reading, but when I've actually sat down to tinker with the lists I don't get anything too different than what's in the main rulebook. You point about the Pacific war for the US book is right on, and I was disappointed too.

Robert said...

I will end up buying them all as they are released. They are useful and do and something to the armies. I just wish there was more to them. I am looking forward to the Japanese book. That one should be interesting.

Dagreenskins said...

I am still working towards my goal of getting a British army painted for Napoleonic wars. I am still waiting for one of the local stores to get the book in stock. I don't understand why these games are not more popular in our community. Anyways, great review