Almost everyone who has ever had anything to do with model soldiers of any kind has heard of Rick Priestley. It is not a cliché to say that his name is legend within the wargames industry, so when I first picked up these rules and saw that they were written by Rick I just had to read them. The avuncular Rick Priestley style is unmistakable; 1644 will never win a Nobel Prize for Literature that’s for sure, and if it did, I am sure that Rick would be too embarrassed to accept it (he’d keep the money though!), but Rick really is one of the world’s best at combining his unique literary and analytical skills with his amazing creative talent to produce a set of wargames rules that are almost impossible to surpass.
With 1644 the reader is given a very enjoyable insight into the English Civil War, together with plenty of additional help and advice to enable either the experienced or novice player to get the maximum enjoyment from playing an interesting and challenging game devised by one of the best writers in the wargames industry, Rick Priestley.
The book is a set of rules that have been developed from the author’s house rules. The object of the exercise is to give a challenging, but not taxing, game, reflecting the spirit of the age as much as it’s harsh realities. 1644 has many facets; it is not just a set of wargames rules. For those interested in painting, there are sections written by Kevin Dallimore giving step by step instructions (with illustrations) on how to paint a pikeman and flags. Those interested in 17th century history will find interesting background articles on the Bishops Wars, the English Civil War and the Thirty Years’ War together with information about uniforms, troop types and artillery.
It is ultimately hoped, however, that the reader of 1644 will be tempted to build and paint an army of model soldiers and have lots of fun playing a wargame with friends; to this end, there are Army Lists for the experienced player relating to the Thirty Years’ War as well as the English Civil War, whilst for the inexperienced player, there is a section offering help and advice on the individual selection of models for building two opposing armies.