06 April 2022
Chris Swan writes for Cavalier Books
This article originally appeared in issue 468 of Miniature Wargames. You can pick up your issue of the magazine here
Chris Swan – a regular contributor to this magazine (check out his work on the Texan Regulator-Moderator War in this very issue) – has produced another set of rules which have been published by Caliver Books. This one is called Beyond the Empire and – in a 100 page, 170mm by 240mm soft back – he has laid out quite the ‘pick and mix’ for early twentieth century colonial skirmishes. There’s Mad Barons, Chinese Warlords, Revolutionary hordes, Archaic Imperialists and Fascist interventionists along with a whole lot more.
The game is aimed at a small number of units per side – perhaps half a dozen – with each unit loosely defined at what seems to be half a dozen chaps. Alternatively, a unit might be a machine gun or heavy weapons team or even an armoured car or a biplane. All dice rolling is carried out using d10 dice so you’ll need a good handful of those plus a tape measure and a deck of regular playing cards.
Activation is via a randomised unit activation for two sides on a unit-by-unit basis, and there are specific rules for leaders and leadership, courage tests, plus all of the usual combat and movement stuff: all are pretty scale agnostic. There are a big list of sample forces including British Imperial; ‘Other’ European disciplined forces; both Red and White revolutionary forces; US, Asian Government and Chinese Warlord forces and – finally – a Tribal (or bandit) force; a Czech Legion force and an Expeditionary or Archaeological force: all are simple and easy to follow.
There’s eight scenarios; some extra rules including some on post-battle recovery,; plus some appendixes which cover all sorts of fun including extra weapon types that go from poison gas; anti-tank rifles and better AFVs right through to Martian walkers from HG Wells. Great fun and recommended.