We had our first run out of Irregular Wars – Conflict at the World's End last Monday. They simulate small battles fought in the 16th and early 17th centuries and in particular in the New World, North Africa and Asia, although the fringes of Europe are also covered.
To be fair we had a few issues. The first was of our own making as we did not really have enough figures so there was only one 28mm figure per 60mm square base which made it look more like a skirmish. Also we played Northern English v Lowland Scots so there was not the variation in troop types that would be normal under these rules.
The game itself went OK. We had the usual issues of finding our way around a new set of rules. The difficulty that superior troops had in breaking inferior ones in melee induced a bit of head shaking around the table, as did the general ineffectiveness of missile fire. The element of uncertainty caused by the pre game rolling for disease, desertion etc and by the use of chance cards was more favourably commented on. We played 2 v 2 with another friend trying to keep us right on the rules. The general consensus at the end was not entirely convinced but most felt that it was worth giving them another go, which at least 2 of us will do in 15mm (Spanish v Aztec) fairly soon.
This is a set of rules that I do really want to like as the army lists really catch my imagination. Although I normally prefer more troops on the table (this will look a bit like DBA) the premise is indeed small scale actions with 1000 – 2500 troops represented per side. I can use some of my existing forces for a number of the armies so if I can persuade people to give the rules a go I certainly intend to play a few more games in 25/28mm.
I have a fair few Elizabethan types who can proxy for general European style troops. I probably need to paint up about 30 – 40 of them. My medieval Arabs can be used (and they are painted) I bought some Foundry Matchlock men at Vapnartak to add some shot. Finally I have some part painted Muscovites, painted Cossacks and painted Mongols that can serve as Tartars.
This gives me Spanish v Berbers, Portuguese v Arabian and Muscovite v Tartar and some progress on painting figures that have been part of the Lead Mountain for a while. If after playing these games (and a couple in 15mm as well) the rules don’t seem worth persevering with then we will call it a day. However if we like them I can see a wide vista of new armies and possible campaigns opening up.