For King and Parliament
Rules wax and wane in popularity, the release of a new set of rules usually makes the gaming community giddy with excitement and a rush of buying ensues. For King And Parliament is a fairly recent addition to the ECW rules library, and looks like it will be a popular ruleset for quite some time.
Another set of 'pike and shot' rules that have grown out of a popular set of ancients/medieval rules - in this case To The Strongest ( henceforth TtS!). The difference between For King And Parliament (FK&P) and those rules that have taken the same path, is that FK&P is not a generic pike and shot rulebook, they are specifically for the ECW.
Game mechanisms are quick to learn, and once you are familiar with the rules, gameplay is fast and furious. The rules are very well written, and have clearly had a lot of play testing. The rules are well explained, you don't need an old hand, an explanatory video or a thesaurus to understand them.
The rule book is spiral bound, has full colour card covers and is monochrome inside. Copious illustrations and diagrams, in the style of Streeter's Naseby Plan, populate the pages. This works really well, and is very much in keeping with the 'period'. There are also four pages of full colour photographs.
|Game markers, and wiggly bases|
The turn sequence is a variation of I go, you go. To play you decide which of your brigades you want to activate; each unit must pass an activation test before they can a move, shoot, charge or rally until either a unit fails to activate or the player has activated all the units they want to.
All seems very positive so far, but now for the deal breaker...
FK&P uses a gridded battlefields: recommended grid and table sizes are given for 15mm or smaller figures, and 20mm and larger. There is no measuring all movement and firing is based upon the grids. Chance is introduced to the game by either drawing cards or chits, or rolling D10. A number of markers are also required. Chits and markers can be made at home or purchased from the BigRedBatShop (which incidentally has some really novel MDF bases - instead of straight cut edges they have wiggly edges that will interlock with other bases, they look fantastic, and I must confess that I am sorely tempted...).
Armies are points led; sample army lists and a scenario are included. More are available to download from the web shop, some are free, the majority aren't. A quick reference sheet is available to download as PDF free, or purchase as a physical copy. The rules are supported by a forum regularly visited by the authors.
The game is fast and fun, but the grids turn me off. I just don't like grids, and I know I'm not alone. If I could find a workable way of not using the grids I'd be sold.
- gridded playing surface
- two packs of playing cards, or set of chits, or D10s
- set of game markers (ammunition, dash, pursuit, disorder, and victory medals)