Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Age of Arthur: A Book Review

Decided to take a pause and explain this recent surge in Dark Age Britain for me. It all started with Dan Mersey's "Glutter of Ravens" rules many years ago. I loved them, and made many 15mm purchases for my armies. That project never was fulfilled, and then Osprey came out with the first of their rulesets: Dan Mersey's "Dux Bellorum". I ordered them, read thru them and loved them. Ordered more 15mm figures, but it didn't feel right. I decided to sell off the 15mm at a loss and re-engage the project at 10mm. Ranges were more limited, but it felt right. Then I began reading actually about the period:
Dux Bellorum: A fantastic ruleset. I have read it, re-read it, discussed it and played it. I love it. No other Osprey ruleset has come close to this one.

As Told in the Great Hall: This came across my Amazon recommended list and I ordered it on a lark. Great decision, lots of scenarios, information included. It has army lists, descriptions, scenarios and even rules. Very nice inspiration. TMP link here: http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=342737

King Arthur: I bought this book on a whim from Amazon. The author goes thru great effort to prove that Arthur may have existed, which I don't mind. I am not finished the book yet, but I will recommend it based on the fact it includes more maps and family trees than any of the other books I have read (and its a cheap paperback). If you want a name for your warlord and a kingdom for him to fight over, this is your book.

Lords of Battle: A tad dry, but very useful. I enjoyed reading how the comitatus and military structure of the combatants in Britain had many similarities (motivations, etc.). This book certainly re-enforces Mersey's approach to designing his ruleset in my opinion.

Battles of the Dark Ages: First time I tried to read it I found it incredibly boring. Then I picked it up a second time and realized something was very wrong with me! The book is very, very interesting. The author goes thru a great deal of work to try and pinpoint the location of battles and what type of forces were involved. A definite must-have if you are to game this period. Good maps of battles too.

I hope this brief review has assisted some, these are the books that have really spurred me on to the period. I also used some Warhammer Ancient Battles books and the accompanying eye candy to motivate/inspire me.


  1. Can i recommend another book for you to check out. It's outstanding in my opinion. It's "worlds of Arthur" by Guy halsall and don't be put off by the title . He isn't an Arthur is real supporter. You could check out his web site first. his series of articles is first class http://darkagewargaming.wordpress.com/category/age-of-arthur/

  2. Robert: Big fan of your website, your conversions and armies are some serious eye candy. Thanks for the links, great stuff. You enjoyed Hallsall's book? I have been on the fence since some described it as "dry", I may have to take the plunge now however...