This new rulebook has links to the Deus Vult rules from Fireforge Games but is intended as a standalone product. We browse the pages and explore this deceptively simple game. If we’ve piqued your interest, visit fireforge-games.com
Video Script (incase you want to read not watch!)
This is Deus Vult Burn and Loot, the new skirmish level game from Fireforge Games, the Italian company who produce a fine range of medieval plastic and metal figures and who already publish this book’s big brother Deus Vult.
Burn and Loot is a complete set of rules for combat in the 11th to 14th centuries and we’re going to have a quick flick through to gain a basic understanding of what they are all about.
In the opening ‘Tools of War’ section we’re given a guide to number of figures and base size etc required for the game. We’re looking at around 40 – 50 figures for an into level game of B&L, with miniatures based on standard Infantry and cavalry bases. My first thought was to plays Burn and Loot with figures I have for Lion Rampant with are individually based but on round bases, and although B&L features a ‘Close Formation’ rule in which figures would look better lined up on square bases I can’t see any reason why circular bases wouldn’t work too. For a playing area a 3 foot by 3 foot table is suggested to begin with, expanding to a 6 x 4 for larger battles.
Burn and Loot uses unit profiles which include a stat line featuring; Move, Discipline Courage, Resilience and Defence. We also need to record a units type, this can be Melee Infantry, Missile Infantry, Light Cavalry etc., a unit’s Faith, Equipment, Traits and Reactions are also included on its profile.
We have rules here for Morale, push backs and Break ranks.
Getting into the meat of the rules we’re introduced here into one of Burn and Loot’s key components; activation and Command and Action Points.
Each turn a player needs to activate a unit (placing a token next to it, so it’s clear it has been activated) a unit can then carry out four points of action, which include things like; Advance, Charge, Dismount and Restore moral etc.
Each action costs a different number of points as indicated in parentheses e.g. Attack costs (4), that would be all of the unit could do for that turn.
Following a few notes on Movement we get into shooting and Melee.
Melee works by rolling a number of dice equal to the models which can fight in the unit, with additions or subtractions for charging, having the Martial Prowess trait or being demoralised. It looks like charging is key to winning a combat, because this would mean a unit of 10 men would double their Melee score to 20, which means rolling 20 dice.
Once you have your (buckets of!) dice you need to score 6’s for a kill, or 4, 5, 6’s for a kill if the target unit is demoralised. Everything else is a miss. The defender does get a save in the form of a Defensive dice roll, and after that has been subtracted from the score all casualty figures are removed from play and a ‘Combat Morale’ test is made which could result in demonization or even destruction for the stricken unit.
We then have sections on Victory and Defeat and Terrain and Buildings.
Siege warfare is covered pretty comprehensively in the rules, which is entirely appropriate for such a siege happy period of history. There are rules and stats for individual siege engines as well as for Grappling Hooks and using rocks etc.
In ‘Anatomy of Stronghold’ (by the way there are a few questionable translated lines in the book) the rules for sieges are expanded into such things as “damaging a tower” and “charging the main gate” of a castle.
As I say it’s entirely appropriate that siege rules are included for a game covering this period of history, but I will have to reserve judgement as to whether they actually work or more importantly are enjoyable to play. They certainly seem well thought out though.
From Page 27 to page 30 we have rules for ‘Recruiting your Force’. In which there are details on the important role played by the ‘Battle Leader’ in the game. The Battle leader has his own Profile and details regarding his equipment are also taken into consideration. Army standards are also covered here.
Traits and reactions are covered next. These are various Special Abilities which can be assigned to your units, like ‘Fanatical Assault’ which allows a unit re-rolls during an attack, or ‘Belligerent’ which allows a unit to change even when demoralized.
The Scenarios come next, nine in total all short and neat affairs, just one page given over to each, with Deployment, points per force and victory conditions being listed.
The final section of the book contains 12 Army List for Burn and Loot forces covering Western and Eastern Europe and includes the Mongol Horde, Early Plantagenets, Teutonic order, Feudal polish and more.
So there you go Burn and Loot, a nice looking, 68 page softpage rulebook from Fireforge Games. A medieval skirmish level game which we are looking forward to trying out here at Wargames Illustrated and featuring in more detail in the magazine.