Last night we played a War of the Spanish Succession game pitting the Allies against the French in Flanders in the early 1700s. We tried out the ruleset “Twilight of the Sun King” from the Pike and Shot Society.
Stefan, our umpire and official photographer for the game, picked up a copy of these at Crisis in Antwerp last weekend so, after a week’s study, we decided to give them a try.
The rules are only 4 pages long which is a very attractive feature given the trend of modern rule sets but yet that does not mean that they were over simplistic. In fact they are quite a clever set which gave us a very enjoyable fast moving game which we completed in one night with a decisive result.
The game mechanisms are very different to what we are normally used to and are based on the results of events rather than the events themselves. There are no firing or melee rules for example but rather a continuous testing of morale for engaged units or units within musket or artillery range. This may sound a bit confusing – and indeed it is until you change your way of thinking – but it does produce results albeit after a lot of dice throwing. Indeed the whole game has built up a new set of dice throwing muscles which we did not know we had.
The French attacked the allied centre in a series of supporting lines with cavalry on their flanks. While this was unfolding the Allied cavalry clashed with the French and although both sides were equal the dice eventually ground down the French cavalry and while the Allied infantry held the centre the allied cavalry was free to envelop both French wings thus ending the game.
I should explain that the figures are based for a different set of rules which is why there are a series of numbers on the back of each base. We just ignored these but the camera did not.