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Age of Blood – Miniatures Wargame



Working on Age of Blood has been a long journey but one far from arduous. The first set of rules was released on Wargames Journal almost two years ago now and this new edition has been something that I’ve wanted to complete for some time. What started as a simple revision of the original rules quickly grew into a major overhaul as I tried to add every conceivable thing I could think of to make the game more fun to play, in both the battle and campaign rules.

One of the reasons for originally writing the game was because I wanted to play skirmish games in which heroes can be truly heroic and battles can be fast and unpredictable affairs - where you can never really know what might happen next. Being able to customise heroes and watch them progress and develop satisfyingly was something I’ve worked very hard to get right. Not only in allowing heroes to gain injuries, improve characteristics and gain special abilities, but also in a way that does not make them invincible. Even the hardest hero possible in these rules can still be defeated, and not just by similarly tough heroes. Even unarmoured peasants can be dangerous if there are enough of them.

The campaign system in these rules is somewhat of a resource management game in itself. Different commodities (loot) can be acquired (stolen) and then traded (fenced) in different locations around Europe for varying amounts of profit. One of the keys to a successful warband is shrewd trading. Knowing what to sell where to sell it can be the difference in scraping by and making a fortune. Not everyone will want to try their hand at the campaign elements of the game and that’s fine - the rules can still be played as a typical skirmish wargame, either a purely historical or quasi-fantasy one.

The game, though very detailed, is simple in its mechanics and easy to pick up, but with its many layers of depth one that’s difficult to master – at least that’s the intent.

Tom Hinshelwood, July 2005 email: tom@rebelpublishing.net

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