Sunday, 7 August 2011

First Look: The Devil's Wind

The Devil's Wind are a new set of Indian Mutiny wargames rules by David Bickley. The rules a 43 pages long in full colour and have photographs on almost every page of figures in action on the tabletop.

They are intended for multi-figure bases and can be used with a variety of figure scales. Suggested base sizes are 40 x 50mm for infantry and 80 x 50mm for cavalry and artillery. Units are typically 4-5 bases each and the number of figures per bases is suggested but each takes 4 hits before removal (which will mean either using trays and removing figures, marking the bases or some other form of bookkeeping).

The rules do not have a figure, time or terrain scale and take up the majority of the booklet with only a single sample scenario. They use a mix of d6 and d10 and follow a pretty traditional movement, firing and melee  sequence. The Imperial troops move and fire first and in various situations troops will have to take "pluck" (morale) tests.

I haven't had a chance to play the rules themselves as yet so I can't comment on how they feel but I was rather disappointed with the general layout and editing. The text is generally black on a biege texture background interspersed with brown and uses a variety of fonts and point sizes.  The photographs could have done with either better selection or editing as some are dark or poorly focussed. Whilst all the elements seem to be present the explanations could be clearer and could have done with a good proof read and edit (for example the pluck rules are duplicated in two places entirely word for word).  I can understand the desire for a glossy look but the quality needs to be more than skin deep and a little more time on the layout could have made a huge difference here.

So, in summary, my first impression was that these are a little disappointing for their £12.50 cover price. I am hoping they will change that initial impression when I get a chance to have a couple games with them.


  1. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. You cannot judge a cake by its packaging.
    These are a set of fast play rules by a gamer for gamers, the photos are of a real table with a game, I suppose that we have got to used to Perry style eyecandy.
    Casualties are shown by a small dice behind the bases, no book keeping needed.
    I did proofread these rules a few times and, obviously, didn't catch everything, but even GW has to release errata and how big is their team?
    I posted a game that I played on LAF:
    Go and play the rules, see how fast they are and then comment.

  2. As I said I will be posting my further thoughts once I have played the rules. I just thought that with a little more input the presentation could have been quite a lot better and, as you said, the competition is setting a pretty high benchmark.