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Warlords of Europe

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  • Warlords of Europe

    My quest to find an awesome post Avalon Hill medieval board game is complete. First I tried Castle Lords which sucked. GMT's Medieval had some good stuff but was WAY too abstract. Fantasy Flight's Warrior Knights was okay but had an overly complicated parliamentary system uncharacteristic of early medieval conflict and rang too much of AH's Kingmaker.

    Then I came across Conquest Gaming's Warlords of Europe. This title is hard to find, but worth finding. Each player takes command of part of a European nation, which they must subdue in addition to trying to subdue each other. Players may choose from England, France, Spain, Denmark, Italy, Germany, Russia, Hungary, and Byzantium. Players build castles and units that include spearmen, swordsmen, knights, and archers. Each territory has terrain that affects which kind of die the defender uses for his rolls. The game also features cards affecting economy, battle, and a Pope deck for ecclesiastical interaction.

    By the numbers:

    Playing Pieces - FIVE STARS. I always cringe when I see pre-bagged plastic playing pieces because they tend to be cheaply made. Maybe it's OCD but I hate seeing a tank with a curvy barrell or having an infantry figure keep tipping over because he leans. But the playing pieces are well constructed with surprisingly few deformaties. They are fun to look at and easy to sort.

    Game Board - Five Stars. The board is large enough to be accomodating of the playing pieces without being so gigantic you can't fit it anywhere and hurt your back reaching over it. The board art is well rendered without being overdone.

    Battle Rules - Four Stars. The battle rules aren't overly sophisticated but terrain and castle rules provide a small level of tactical thinking. But they are streamlined well which makes battles fast and exciting.

    History Nerd Value - Four Stars. My compliments to the game designers for recognizing that medieval Europe was comprised of more than England, France, and Spain. Polish players may chafe at the fact that Poland is portrayed as simply a German territory rather than a country of it's own but beyond that the game has excellent scope.

    The only downsides: The game is restricted to four players amid nine nations which prevents a continental wide slashfest. The system of naval movement is Risk style, so unfortunately no sea battles which renders my favorite medieval nation - Venice - a curiosity.

    Overall rating: 4.5 Stars. An awesome game to play.

    Last edited by Pirateship1982; 01 Mar 11, 11:44.
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  • #2
    Originally posted by Pirateship1982 View Post
    Fantasy Flight's Warrior Knights was okay but had an overly complicated parliamentary system uncharacteristic of early medieval conflict and rang too much of AH's Kingmaker.
    I *like* Warrior Knights! I think the update from the older GDW game is fantastic.

    That said, I've been playing around with a game idea for about 5 years now that started out with using chess pieces on a Risk map with some variable dice for unit differentiation. It's not all that historically accurate, but it tries to be involved with multiple paths to victory, without being overly complicated. I might have to dust it back off and see what I can do with it.

    I've seen this one at Origins a few times, but always been too busy to really dig into it and play a full game.
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