Item description for 1644 RULES FOR BATTLES OF THE ENGLISH CIVIL WAR: Rules for Battles of the, English Civil War, Thirty Years War, European Conflicts of the 17th Century by Rick Priestley...
Almost everyone who has ever had anything to do with model soldiers of any kind has heard of Rick Priestley. It is not a cliche' to say that his name is legend within the wargames industry, so when I first picked up these rules and saw that they were written by Rick I just had to read them. The avuncular Rick Priestley style is unmistakable; 1644 will never win a Nobel Prize for Literature that's for sure, and if it did, I am sure that Rick would be too embarrassed to accept it (he'd keep the money though!), but Rick really is one of the world's best at combining his unique literary and analytical skills with his amazing creative talent to produce a set of wargames rules that are almost impossible to surpass. With 1644 the reader is given a very enjoyable insight into the English Civil War, together with plenty of additional help and advice to enable either the experienced or novice player to get the maximum enjoyment from playing an interesting and challenging game devised by one of the best writers in the wargames industry, Rick Priestley. The book is a set of rules that have been developed from the author's house rules. The object of the exercise is to give a challenging, but not taxing, game, reflecting the spirit of the age as much as it's harsh realities. 1644 has many facets; it is not just a set of wargames rules. For those interested in painting, there are sections written by Kevin Dallimore giving step by step instructions (with illustrations) on how to paint a pikeman and flags. Those interested in 17th century history will find interesting background articles on the Bishops Wars, the English Civil War and the Thirty Years' War together with information about uniforms, troop types and artillery. It is ultimately hoped, however, that the reader of 1644 will be tempted to build and paint an army of model soldiers and have lots of fun playing a wargame with friends; to this end, there are Army Lists for the experienced player relating to the Thirty Years' War as well as the English Civil War, whilst for the inexperienced player, there is a section offering help and advice on the individual selection of models for building two opposing armies.
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Reviews - What do customers think about 1644 RULES FOR BATTLES OF THE ENGLISH CIVIL WAR: Rules for Battles of the, English Civil War, Thirty Years War, European Conflicts of the 17th Century?
1644...Deju Vu all over again Oct 1, 2008
I bought this new release of 1644 and while I am glad to have it, it was also just a little disappointing. It is very pretty but the rules are IDENTICAL to the original publication. Eighteen years later, there is not a single thing in the rules at all different EXCEPT that they superimposed line drawings over the various rules sections making the rules difficult to read now. And they put a buff background on all the game charts making them rather difficult to read as well. The rules for the Scrottuckshire Campaign game are also exactly the same. But mind you, that is OK...for my view 1644 is really a good set of rules and my favorite of the many other rules sets that have come out over the years.
1644 are easy to use once you become familiar with their emphasis on "Command State" and its influence on the game. They have a enough detail to be fun but are not so detailed that you get bogged down in the rulebook. Games move along very quickly and for all intents and purposes a gamemaster need only put out the charts for player reference if he or she knows the rules well enough to guide play and adjudicate the occasional eccentric situation that may arise, particularly in the melee rules.
As a testament to how much I like the rules, I have four copies of the original 1644 edition, and I use those in my games. They are easy to read as are the charts, unemcumbered as they are by any background color or overlay illustrations. I bought my first set of 1644 for $18 or so when it first came out in 1990 and the other three copies at various convention fleamarkets for a matter of a few dollars each. The original is now getting very hard to find.
What is DIFFERENT about this "book" aside from the overlay of illustrations and color over the charts, are a wonderful collection of close-up color photographs of various vingettes of Foundry miniatures which provides, aside from an advertisement of their wares, really nice painting examples and a quick and imperical guide to colors, uniforms and details. They have added a section of painting tips for soldiers, a nice painting guide to just about every variety of horse there is, more information on painting and making flags than in the first edition, and of course the order of battles as advertised, for a number of other European armies of the 17th century for those who want to use the very same rules for the Thirty Years War and Marlburian battles. There is a little, very little I might add, additional historical background in this edition.
My biggest disappointment was finding out that they offer NO historical scenarios, not a single one. A feature that would have been truly, worth in itself, the price of the new edition, and an especially nice addition for beginners to the Era who may not have historical references for the period, or a collection of some of the out of print phamplets on battles such as the old subscripition publication entitled "Terribly Obscure Battles of the ECW" by the old Matchlock figure company.
All this being said, the bottom line is that for people who are looking for a good set of ECW rules and who haven't been able to find a copy of the original 1644 rules long out of print; this is a chance to get them with a few extras and in a very, very colorful format.
This edition is very pretty and a likely nice addition to any dyed-in-the-wool English Civil War gamer. Hopefully Wargames Foundry are saving a collection of pre-designed historical and set piece battles (scenarios) for an add-on module.
Best set of ECW/TYW rules out there! Mar 31, 2008
This is the second edition of these Rick Priestley rules, I have the original from the 1990's. Very good then. These rules are updated adding allot of new stuff and streamling the rules IMO. He adds TYW lists and Marlburian lists as well (Excellent!)...Get these, especially made for the 20-30mm figure gammers as figures are based individual for casualty removals, like WAB, etc.
The Bad: Not much, could use more TYW & Marlburian lists but all-in-all very well done, color thru and thru as well.