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Fields of Honor
Miniatures Rules
Chameleon Eclectic
[sterling]??.?? - ???pp

Finding orcs vs. dwarves somewhat passé? Imperial Stormtroopers a tedium? Fancy a change of pace? Then do yourself a favour and pick up Fields of Honor. A new set of miniatures rules, they don't allow you to play more cliched LOTR battles or boring gothic SF, nope; Fields of Honour is a set of miniatures rules for the wars of the 19th century. Yeah, that's right - a set of historical rules....

Now before you fall into a stupor brought on by the memories of those fascinating (not) history lessons at school, take it from me that when your outnumbered force has been stalked through the Khyber Pass by hordes of blood thirsty Afghans, or your battle weary troops finally manage to carry the Union positions at Gettysburg, then you'll find that 19th century warfare is anything but boring (probably why they don't tell you about it at school).

Fields of Honor is an ambitious set of rules in that it claims to cover all of the military conflicts from the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 through to the end of the Second Boer War in 1902, which, bearing in mind the disparate forces and types of warfare from major European style wars such as the Franco Prussian and American Civil Wars to the smaller scale colonial conflicts typified by the Absyssinian Campaign of 1868 and the US Plains Indian Wars, is no mean feat. Yet it succeeds by virtue of a good simple system and an innovative sliding scale for unit size that allows battle to vary in size from Section (10 - 15 men) to Brigade (1000 - 3000 men) level. The surprising thing is that it doesn't just work, it works very well.

While covering all the basics you'd expect to find in any good set of miniatures such as unit organisation, combat, morale and orders, the rules also include another excellent section on giving your sub-commanders personalities, which certainly results in making the game challengingly realistic. This section works so beautifully that it is worth poaching for other miniature games regardless of the period.

With details on national characteristics, wars and battles of the period, terrain generation and ideas on campaigns this is a very fine set of miniatures rules and one with high production standards to boot.

Although a set of historical rules, there is no reason why they couldn't be used to play out Space 1889 or Castle Falkenstein style miniatures games with very little effort on behalf of the umpire.

Overall: Don't worry if you don't know your dervishes from your dongas, this excellent set of rules provides all you need to start gaming in the diverse wars of the 19th century, and, should you find yourself out in the Sudan with hordes of Fuzzy Wuzzys about to overrun your position, just fix bayonets and recall the immortal words of Corporal Jones, "They don't like it up 'em!".

Review by Steve Blease

Product supplied by Caliver Books

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