Before you ask, yes, we do have a definite date for the publication and release of the new Bill Hooks deluxe rules set, so read on for more information! And for those of you not familiar with what Bill Hooks deluxe is, here is the definitive sales pitch!
Billhooks is a fast-action game of late medieval European warfare, set at the small battle/big skirmish level – think Nibley Green rather than Towton.
You will need around 100 figures a side, lots of D6, and a 6 x 4 foot table – everything else you need to play the game is included in this book. A typical game can be played through in around 90 minutes (or rather less if the Dice Goddess wills it!).
Billhooks Deluxe gives you a ‘Core’ Wars of the Roses ruleset and then expands that to cover six new Theatres and Conflicts from across Western European Christendom c1350-1525. So you will find troop stats and special rules for Irish Gallowglass, Hussite War-Wagons, and Landsknecht Pikemen along with all the other troop types to be found on battlefields of the period, from 100 Years’ War France to Renaissance Italy.
The game uses a card-driven turn sequence and many tried and tested combat mechanisms to produce battles that are full of period flavour but always unpredictable.
Play one game of Billhooks and you’ll want to play another!
The following are the Theatres and Conflicts you can find in this book:
Albion – The Wars of the Roses
Gallia – The Hundred Years’ War
Bohemia – The Hussite Wars
Helvetia – The Swiss-Burgundian War
Italia – The Italian Wars
Northumbria – The Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers Lusitania – Late Medieval Portugal
Hibernia – Warfare in Ireland
Finally, there is a Modelling Masterclass chapter with a comprehensive guide to painting, modelling, and kitbashing 28mm plastic figures.
Perfect bound, Softback, full colour. 180 pages.
If that has whetted your appetite, your can place your pre order here:
We expect to be shipping orders in the last week of November – please read the full listings for details.
The last play test for these rules actually happened at Partizan in early October. Although the manuscript was completed and was actually about to be sent to the publishers, it was decided that we would have a couple of games involving the public to see if we had missed anything obvious.
We played two games. One involving the French/Swiss alliance against a Spanish army and a second game of Anglo/German/Irish against an rebel Irish army. Both games were played out by helpful visitors to Partizan and no major ‘glitches’ were found. As usual, as I was heavily involved in playing and ‘advising’ I forgot to take enough pictures, but here are a few samples.
The first battle went well with the Spanish initially gaining the upper hand but the Swiss mercenaries showed their resilience and despite being initially daunted and pushed back, their commander was able to rally them and they went on to route that Spanish from the field.
The second battle was based on a fictional scenario in Ireland. When Thomas Fitzgerald of Ireland gathered his Yorkist forces as part of the Lambert Simnel Rebellion, we supposed that before he left for Britain, he decided to use his army of German mercenaries, English and Irish troops to sort out his Lancaster rival John Butler, the Earl of Ormond. The Irish forces suffered from a lack of long range missile troops, so getting into combat as quickly as possible was imperative.
It’s worth mentioning that the German contingent was represented by figures that I had recovered and refurbished from the late Duncan Mcfarlane’s collection and lead by a Partizan limited edition show figure – Martin Schwartz. Duncan must have been smiling down on the game as his pikemen were to be the unit that broke the Irish and put them to flight!
The Irish were unable to get their Gallowglass into combat before losing too many casualties to Arrow storms and cannon fire. The Irish Kern did close to combat but were beaten back by the English Bill men. The Other unit of Kern, were driven from the field by the Pikes. Game over for the Irish. One interesting amendment to the rules was made as a result of this and previous games involving the Irish. It will no longer be permitted for bands of Irish kern Skirmishers to make a frontal charge on a formed unit. I had been using them as ‘Kamikaze ‘ units to try and slow the enemy and/or force a morale check if the Kern got lucky! As this is somewhat ‘gamey’ Andy decided to stop this! Quite right too! It was unrealistic and research has shown no suicidal tendencies in Irish troops! However, they can still cause mischief by springing from cover and attacking on the flank or rear of an unwary unit – the Irish were certainly opportunistic!
That aside, the game played well and the rules are now with the printers. If you would like to join in with the ‘Never Mind the Bill Hooks’ battles, you can pre order your rules set either by using the link above or the ones below. We will ship in Late November – the expected delivery to us is the 21st November – we will keep you informed if you order with us and ship ASAP.
THE COMMERCIAL BIT
I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:
You can see the range of miniatures and accessories we think are suitable to for the Wars of the Roses, along with the rest of our Never mind The Bill Hooks range here: