Time for another high production value ruleset: this time, Foundry's Rick Priestly penned 1644, originally written in the mid to late 80s.

As you can imagine, any ruleset published by Foundry Miniatures is going to be an advert for their figures and painting system. This volume does not disappoint: lavishly illustrated with 'battle' scenes featuring their beautiful figures, and 'how to' paint guide utilising their paint triad system.

My copy is the second edition, which is identical to the first with the exception of front cover and some of the many illustrations inside. Approximately A4 sized, this soft cover book is full colour throughout.

Out of print, new copies occasionally turn up at Caliver, Foundry or on eBay. Running at 112 pages in length just 25 pages are the actual rules. The rest is devoted to history, tactics, painting guides, flags, army lists, summary sheets and marker tokens.

Whilst written for 25mm sized figures, I've simply swapped inches to cm for use with my 15mm figures.

A Kev Dallimore painting guide is included in the book

Just like PP's Regiment of Foot v1 there is a campaign system: however, Regiment of Foot's system is much clearer and simpler to use. 

The rules, as one would expect from such a prolific rules author as Rick Priestly, are well explained and illustrated with diagrams.

But something just doesn't quite work with the rules themselves. Mechanisms are cumbersome, the morale system and melee system don't really work. Morale appears completely divorced from casualties sustained, and melees just take for ever for something to happen.

the quick reference sheet, somewhat unhelpfully part of the book

A quick reference sheet is included in the book, but not as a separate sheet. Tokens required for gameplay are also included in the book. A footnote states that both are available to download as *.pdf files from the Foundry website - alas, they are no longer available.

Equipment needed:

  • ruler or tape measure (inches 25mm, cm for 15mm)
  •  D6
  • tokens (included in the book)
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  1. It seems that there are still people around that believe that casualties must be linked to morale by the numbers and not just get to the point of the EFFECTs of those casualties have on the ability of the unit to function.

    1. Agreed. Morale is clearly linked to casualties (and not the other way around), not just the casualties themselves but the survivors. Those still standing are not going to hang around if increasing numbers of their comrades are dead or wounded.

  2. I have a copy on a pdf

    1. If you mean the rules, they were never officially released as a *.pdf.
      I know that sites such as Wargames Vault have legitimate *.pdfs of rules, but I have yet to find 1644 or any of my other OOP rulesets on those sites.
      It might seem churlish of me to state that circulating OOP rulesets as *.pdfs is illegal; but they are somebody's intellectual property. As such, having this platform, I cannot condone this.

      I'd love a copy of the TSR Cavaliers and Roundheads, long out of print, but as there is no legitimate source for these rules (except for several hundred dollars on eBay) I'm just going to have to keep searching.

  3. I have the 1990 edition which runs to a whooping 50 or so pages, 10% of which is a listing of the Foundry ECW range of the time and 24 pages the core rules. I note what you say about morale. I think they attempted to address that with the Command Test to reflect relative disorder and hesitancy. I've had these rules for donkey's years but have never actually played them; the campaign system was the initial appeal.

  4. Was never that keen on the rules themselves but do like the campaign system, a thinly disguised renaming of the area between Newark and Nottingham


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