Sunday, 6 May 2012

First Play: The Devil's Wind

My initial look at The Devil's Wind left me feeling a little disappointed; however, rules are all about how they play so I decided to get a few figures together and give them a go.

The rules are intended for multi-figure bases and my figures are individually based but this didn't prove to be a problem as I simply placed groups of 4 figures together with a small gap between them and treated them as a base.

I was keen to try out the Mutineer auto generation rules as I don't always have an opponent to play against.  So I had a small British column advancing onto the table encountering a large Mutineer force across a small waterway.  I kept the terrain to a minimum to simplify things.

The turn sequence is the traditional movement, firing, melee and morale ("pluck") with the British forces activating first in the movement and firing phases.  Movement is dependent on your troop type and formation with regular foot moving 3 inches in square, 4 in line, 5 in open order and 6 in column.  Rough terrain reduces this to 3 inches irrespective of formation.  In addition you can make an "action move" which increases the distance but can't be used to move into contact nor can it be used in consecutive turns.

Firing is a d6 per figure, the number of figures depending on the range, with the target number listed on a table.  Any hits then need to be converted to kills by rolling them against another target number and finally, if the unit is in cover, they may roll to save against small arms.  Melee operates in a very similar manner except without the option to save.

Pluck tests are a simple 2d6 roll against a target number and have to be taken to close to contact, when sufficient casualties have been taken etc.

As you can see the rules are pretty old school and allow a fast paced game.  With the British going first for the most part and being slightly better at firing and melee you need to have the Mutineers outnumber them significantly.

The Mutineer auto generation rules are useful but are very basic - the Mutineers aren't terribly intelligent - and have a few holes (you can generate artillery but they don't feature in the reaction table for example).  They allow you to play a game but I was hoping for something a little more sophisticated than a random arrival mechanism and very simple reaction table which doesn't produce much variety in the results.

Overall these are a decent basic set of traditional style rules which will give a game in an evening.  Despite the terminology and the inclusion of rules for various theatre specific units they don't manage to convey much of the "feel" of the period to me (maybe that's just me of course!).

I suspect with a few more plays and getting a little more familiar with them these would be fine for a club game.  But they aren't quite what I was looking for.


  1. I'll pass on this info to my pal, he's looking for a set of rules for the Indian Mutiny. Have you tried any other rules for them?

  2. Given the limited number of figures I have, I have been using smaller scale rules - like Sharp Practice (with the additions from one of the Lardies' specials) but I was looking for something to do larger scale engagements. This is the first period specific set I have tried though. I was looking at John Company but I suspect they may be for larger games for which I don't have enough figures.

  3. Useful review, Al, I'm always on the lookout for solo friendly rules and tend to stick with Two Hour Wargames. These look interesting though...

  4. I like the Two Hour Wargames rules too - the War Against Japan is one of the best for solo play and I'd like to try to take some of those ideas and apply them (differently obviously) to other periods

  5. I bought these rules too but they are not quite I was looking for either.

    I used my own adaptation of Warmaster but wasn't too satisfied either.

    I hope to try the Blood and Sand rules (for Sudan) by Real Time Wargames sometime soon.

  6. I'm not entirely sold on the Warmaster command and control mechanism (which seems to have been adopted by various rule sets). Let me know how you get on with the Real Time Wargames set.