Barons' War covers the two major battles of Simon de Montefort - Lewes and Evesham., providing a new take on a rarely covered period of English history. Interestingly, these battles take place in a unique period of English military history when the long bow had not gained its predominance on the English battlefield and cavalry was still the most lethal weapon in the medieval English arsenal. These two battles are the bookends of Simon's brief period as the power broker of England. Lewes takes place in 1264 and pits Simon with the support from many of the prominent barons against Henry III and his royalist faction. His victory and imprisonment of Henry made him king in all but name The second battle, Evesham, takes place one year later and finds Simon in a weakened condition facing the much more dangerous Prince Edward and the treachery of his own barons. It would be Simon's last battle.
The system for Barons' War provides a unique simulation of 13th century warfare by focusing on the essential factors of that period's combat. With 12 pages of rules and commentary, the game plays fast and furiously. The use of Command Chits is unlike that in most wargames. Each player must preplan the orders for his Battles with the use of Command Points. This system has built-in limitations on leaders and troops, fog of war, and the chaos of the medieval battlefield. More importantly, it does this by employing a simple, elegant mechanic, allowing players to focus on the game and not struggle with the rulebook.
The game turn is also unique being an interactive system where players must commit the orders of their Battles to seize the initiative and go on the attack, or hold back waiting on the defense. With the use of Command Chits, players must time when to commit to action the plans that they have made for the engagement. Should things go badly, players will be forced to make the difficult choice of when to change their plans to react to the current situation and how to do it. On top of this are rules which cover the impetuous attacks to which cavalry of the period were prone. Cavalry is rated for Charge Reaction (sort of a ticking time bomb for the player when it comes to following a plan and keeping discipline), and often the movement of enemy troops will trigger mad charges for glory.
Rules are also included for individual unit morale, battle morale, cohesion, ranged fire, melee, and leadership, including special rules for Prince Edward and his Battle. Each battle has a historical scenario and "what if" scenario. Games are fast paced and playable in under 3 hours. The Command System gives each scenario good replayability.
Rules and commentary
280 counters and markers
Two 17" x 22" maps