Now that I've a chance to have an initial read through of most of the rules I thought it about time to say a few words... I'm not going to give away any particular details of how the rules work as I think that might spoil the enjoyment of others (not to mention being an issue of copyright, etc).
As I mentioned in an earlier post I was a little surprised at paying £50 for a softback rulebook, 4 game boards, 16 dice and a figure. However, I can assure readers that I think it will be money well spent.
The rulebook is gorgeously produced, full colour throughout, with plenty of pics of Dark Age types going at it hammer and tongs. The rules are described in a clear, easy to read manner with many good examples of play illustrating the mechanisms. After one read through I think most people will have a good idea how to play. I've heard others say that the rules are easy to pick up but will prove challenging to master and I would agree.
The dice are used to determine what your units can do each turn, either to move, shoot or fight, or to make use of special abilities. These abilities vary from one 'faction' to another. Faction is another way of saying warband or army. You almost certainly won't be able to everything you want each turn so you'll need to think carefully about how you activate units. Having some sort of plan or strategy will help enormously I imagine!?
Another word or two about the dice ... you can play the game using ordinary D6 as the rules include a conversion chart but I feel it would be a bit like playing the game with unpainted miniatures. It would work but you'd be missing out on some of the atmosphere. They're not cheap but I'd recommend getting them.
One nice feature of the rules is that distances are a series of fixed lengths (the book includes photocopiable measuring counters) that each have a name. This means that the old chestnut of imperial versus metric measuring is very neatly dealt with.
The game is very much scenario driven and rules include a number of ready to run scenarios. But I reckon most mature gamers would have little bother devising their own scenarios from historical sources, books, films, other games, etc.
To start playing you'll need two sides comprising of around 25 figures each. Even I can manage to paint that many figures. Standard table size is 4' x 3' (1.2m x 0.9m) so you won't need too much scenery. If you can get your hands on a few thatched buildings that would be even better.
Furthermore, the rules could easily be extended by enterprising players to cover other eras such as the Arthurian age. In fact I believe I read somewhere that GB are thinking of doing exactly that. I certainly hope so.
So, in summary, they're a great looking set of rules that I think will provide many hours of splendid wargaming fun. Highly recommended indeed!