Warhammer English Civil War

Next rulebook to come under the KeepYourPowderDry microscope, is the gateway drug that is Warhammer English Civil War. 

But first, a story... way back in the mists of time, almost everyone who was a wargamer who lived in Nottingham worked for the behemoth that is Games Workshop. A disparate group of individuals who liked all types of wargaming (not just space marines, orks, and eldars) banded together and formed what would become Warhammer Historicals. From this group a series of rules would be written, all incorporating Warhammer game mechanics.  

But enough story telling.

In the eighties Rick Priestly wrote a very successful, and influential, set of English Civil War rules called 1644 (see my review here). Fast forward 15 or so years later, John Stallard was part of the group of Nottingham gamers who become the nucleus of the Warhammer Historicals group. (If you recognise the name, John would go on to found Warlord Games, and write their Black Powder rules.)

John would effectively rewrite the 1644 rules and incorporate the Warhammer game mechanisms (Rick Priestly would also be one of the Warhammer Historical gaming group). As you can imagine, anything connected to Games Workshop, has a production budget that many rules writers can only dream of: these rules are lavish. Full colour cover by Chris Collingwood (thanks to Warlord HQ for putting me straight, I'd incorrectly attributed the cover art to the Perry twins), colour photographs, fancy typesetting and layout.

Expect a potted history, army lists, suggestions to tweak the rules for other conflicts, and a painting guide. Quite a lot of background content in WECW has been recycled from 1644 2nd edition. Just as 1644 has a quick reference sheet hidden away inside the book, so does WECW

What I particularly like are the campaign rules. I've previously written that I really think Regiment of Foot v1 has the best campaign rules, WECW come a close second. More complicated than Regiment of Foot v1, they include rules for spies!

If you are familiar with any version of a Warhammer game, then WECW will soon feel very familiar. Expect a fun game, and lots of dice rolling. But, truth be told, whilst I have had fun I don't feel that I have played an English Civil War game that just so happens to have Warhammer mechanics; it feels like a game of Warhammer that utilises English Civil War figures.

Long out of print, there are lots of copies of these rules kicking around. Expect to pick a copy up from a certain well known auction site for about £25. If you have had a bang on the head, or just won the lottery jackpot, then brand new copies can be sourced from ABE Books for about £300. (Yes, really. At the time of writing there are 3 copies listed as new, all coincidentally in Texas, for about £300. I imagine that they will still be there in 12 months time...)

Equipment needed:

  • lots of D6
  • scatter dice (from Games Workshop)
  • artillery dice (from Games Workshop)
  • tape measure or ruler (inches)
  • a set of Games Workshop blast markers (copiable paper versions are included in the book)
If you know a number of Warhammer players, and would like to entice them over to the English Civil War, then you need a copy of these rules. Just make sure you don't pay through the nose for them.

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  1. I have a copy but have never actually played them. I think I had a vague idea to dip into the campaign rules and even got as far as setting up a postal campaign which lasted a single week...life getting in the way. That was few years ago now.

    1. Unfortunately being a grown up gets in the way of so many things


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