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Subject: Beneath the Lily Banners II - an illustrated review rss

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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
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Beneath the Lily Banners II

Disclaimer

I own the first edition of BtLB and wargame on a regular basis with Barry Hilton, the author. I am also credited in the attributions as a play tester although my part in it was very small. All images below are from my collection and NOT from the book.



Preamble

Today’s movie industry is besotted with remakes and sequels and most of them are cringe worthy. A great movie like John Sturges’s The Magnificent Seven, itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, was followed by several sequels none of which approached the beauty of the original. Again, Nicolas “Not the bees” Cage gave a poor rendition of Edward Woodward’s Sergeant Howie in the 2006 American version of the 1973 British cult classic “The Wicker Man”.

So, why the hell would anyone want to fix something that’s not broken? The answer in this case is evolution. BtLB formed the inspiration for the highly acclaimed Republic to Empire Napoleonic rules which developed a lot of new concepts in the way firing, hand-to-hand and morale were treated and these worked so well that it was only logical to transfer the best of these mechanisms to BtLB II. The end result of this evolutionary process is a set of rules that are well explained, well illustrated and well suited to the period they cover.



The Rules

What you get for your money is an A4, 112-page professionally produced soft cover work that not only sets out the rules to cover warfare in the period 1660 – 1721 but contains enough eye candy to melt the heart of the all but the most blasé. With it, one can fight battles and skirmishes in Europe, America, North Africa and Asia. It is written by Barry Hilton with artwork and design by Clarence Harrison and published by The League of Augsburg. Two laminated quick reference sheets are included.

The emphasis in this edition, the original was only 48 pages, is clarity and explanation with numerous illustrated examples of the rules throughout. It also contains a painting guide and several pages of troop illustrations to get you started. There are example armies and finally an after action report of a scenario which really cements the rules into the players minds. My own favourite section is the one on “Fighting in Built up Areas”.

Movement is simultaneous but, by the use of order markers, avoids the “if you do this, I’ll do that” syndrome. Although the rules are written for 28mm figures, any scale could be used and, although recommended base sizes are included, there is no need to rebase your existing armies as long as both side’s units have approximately the same frontage. Games can be played with as little as half-a-dozen units per side on a 6’ x 4’ table up to dozens of units per side on as large a table as you can get your hands on.

There is NO points system although there is a section on creating typical armies of the period. Unit casualties are only removed when a unit reaches 50% and this removes a lot of the gamey play that I have seen in other rule sets.

You don’t have full control over your units either: not all will move every turn and this forces concentration on what is important on the battlefield.

To say more about the rules would obviate the need of your buying a copy so I’m going to finish up with my general impressions.



Conclusion

In my opinion BtLB II is the ideal set for this period in that it provides a fast game while steeping the players in the flavour of the times in which it is set. This makes it a better investment than some of the recent catch-all sets of rules that try to cover 200 years of warfare with minor variations to a basic set. So, what was all that about movies and sequels or remakes? In the case of these rules, the second edition certainly raises the standard set by the first and may be the exception that proves the rule.

It is available from: The League of Augsburg Shop



Regards,

Jim
Est. 1949


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CanCon, BunnyCon...BorderCon!!!
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Great review.
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Michael T. Probst
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Neil Thomson wrote:
Great review.


Great O'Neill.
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Andrew C
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Excellent review and fantastic pics.

Had someone else written this, I know what you'd say, so in this case I'll have to say if for you.

pyuredeadbrilliant
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Łukasz
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oneilljgf wrote:


These two poodles, what they are... I mean, which one is the Boye?
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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
Scotland
Motherwell
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grouchysmurf wrote:
...I mean, which one is the Boye?

Both of them. The one in front is called GrouchySmurf.

Jim
Est. 1949

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Tom H
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Love your figures and painting Jim. Which is better BTLB or FOG-Renaissance? Any idea how this compares with Ben Hull's Pike and Musket series?

Many thanks for the review.

Tom

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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
Scotland
Motherwell
Graduate of Barlinnie
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Tom,

I have played FoG and BtLB II is much simpler yet much more suited to 1660 - 1721 than FoG which takes in a much larger time period. Don't get me wrong though, FoG is an excellent game but, in my opinion, most games that cover a very wide period such as FoG and the very good Black Powder cannot do justice to a more specific shorter period. I have not played the other one so cannot comment.

I firmly believe that BLtB II is the definitive set for the wars of Louis XIV.


Jim
Est. 1949

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Tom H
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Thanks Jim.
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Jay Haygood
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Sir:

Your painting is lovely. You do justice to your period. Is there a US distributor of the rules?

Thanks,
Jay
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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
Scotland
Motherwell
Graduate of Barlinnie
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VENI, VIDI, VISA - my reaction on entering my FLGS.
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Like a good red wine, I improve with age... and being laid.
Avatar
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JHaygood wrote:
Sir:

Your painting is lovely. You do justice to your period. Is there a US distributor of the rules?

Thanks,
Jay

Jay,

Thanks for the kind comments. I do believe that there is little difference in getting them direct from Barry (see above) and waiting for a US distributor to be set up; he has sold a lot in the USA (and Australia even) already.

Regards,


Jim
Est. 1949

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