Wednesday 23 September 2020

Bloody Barons II

 I like to keep an occasional eye on  the most common search terms that have brought people to the blog. Sadly 'gay porn' has disappeared from the list, but thankfully 'beardy Branson is a twat' is hanging in there. Recently, the term 'Bloody Barons II' has appeared. Upon investigation I discovered that I had somehow overlooked the fact that Peter Pig had updated the rules first issued in 2005 and of which I own a copy. Even more investigation revealed that they are in fact a completely new set of rules, but have been given the same name.

My initial reaction was that it was some sort of con; in my defence I'm a bit of a cynic and that is my reaction to most things. However, logic says that it's the opposite that would be a con: the same set of rules with a new name. I don't know why I mention it. In any event I bought a copy.

As a slight digression, I am in the market for a fitness tracker or smartwatch and have been watching a number of YouTube reviews of various options. These influencer chaps - none of whom seem to be at all physically fit despite their interest in health tracking apps - have hit upon a useful trick for stretching out content. They do an 'unboxing' post followed, if one is lucky, by a full review in due course. That doesn't seem a million miles from what I have done (i.e. started to do) with 'Infamy, Infamy', and so this is an unboxing of 'Bloody Barons II':

  • They are genuinely a completely different set of rules with, as far as I can see, no mechanisms in common.
  • They are recognisably a Peter Pig/Rules for the Common Man ruleset:
    • Four base units with casualties removed in half bases
    • a pre-battle sequence, this one much simplified compared to others
    • random game length
    • Very useful playsheets; completely impenetrable main rulebook that seems deliberately written to confuse
  • They are gridded with some obvious similarities to 'Square Bashing' e.g. in the morale phase
  • There a couple of what look like innovative rules - albeit that for all I know they appear elsewhere in the RFCM canon - such as a phase where movement is by square followed by one where movement is, well, by square, but in a different way. Cavalry also seem to spend all their time off-table until they charge on to the field, melee and then retreat off-table again.
  • Includes scenarios for all the battles from the WotR.
One of the things that I didn't like about the original rules was the way that they dealt with mixed bow and bill units, which was far too fiddly for me. These new rules seem to just assume that all units are mixed and abstract it from there, which is rather more to my taste. So, I shall add them to the pile of rules to try, and you can add them to the pile of rules awaiting a full review. Don't hold your breath.


  1. WotR sure seems to be the latest rage.

    1. You’re right Jon. I’ve noticed a few other blog entries on WOTR recently. Oh well, at least I’d had a couple of years in the wargaming Zeitgeist with ECW.

  2. I have a copy , but find the new wave of Peter Pig rule a bit 'wordy' and have not investigated them properly yet .