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doc mcb08 May 2021 10:04 a.m. PST

REVIEW OF DEVIL IN THE WILDERNESS: A GAME OF WITCHCRAFT, PURITANS, AND NEW ENGLAND INDIANS, by Dave Valentine (Bloody Scotsmen Games, they have a Facebook group)
This is a card-based miniatures skirmish game playable on a 4' square table and requiring only a few dozen miniatures. The setting is late-17th century, but a Sleepy Hollow version is in the works. The game works as well with French and Indian War miniatures, and does not require Puritan figures; colonial civilians will do. Some buildings are necessary for a small village; the game recommends THINGS FROM THE BASEMENT's Sleepy Hollow line (as does this reviewer) but a church and several houses from any manufacturer will do.
Games can be small or large, depending on how many factions are played. Each faction has its own deck of characters and npcs and events and items. Cards for witches and witch-hunters come with the basic rules (a booklet), and supplementary decks are available for the French, the Wabanaki Indians, Werewolves, and the United Colonies. Play is pretty fast and pretty unpredictable.
Movement and combat are straightforward with familiar mechanisms. This reviewer plans to experiment with the SONG OF BLADES AND HEROES system of activating miniatures with a chance of play passing unpredictably to the opposing player. The flow of a game is mostly determined by the cards, which introduce events, magical items and spells, re-enforcements, people switching sides, and fun. Victory is determined by the rise or fall of a Chaos Level as the opposing factions meet their victory objectives.
The reviewer must also note that the game is as easily played with 15mm/18mm miniatures, which would lower the required table size if movement allowances and ranges are reduced. Splintered Light Miniatures has a good selection of werewolves, witch hunters, civilians, clerics, and other suitable figures.

John the OFM08 May 2021 11:15 a.m. PST

I have the buildings, and fine buildings they are too. I'm now musing how to do the roof on the first one.
Saltbox houses! With optional "extension"! They go very well with the Sarissa line.

I was thinking how much I (not really) want to get back into rpgs, and might just get a copy.
After all, I have the figures.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP08 May 2021 12:02 p.m. PST

I like the idea of a colonial witchfinder game, but I am not sure that I am set on the rules. I also think that the witches have attributes that are not covered by the cards, so I have to figure that out as well. It is a quality product that is well put together. I may use it as is (with some modifications), or incorporate some of it into something else.

I will read the rules again and give it a try as a solo game.

Personal logo Silurian Supporting Member of TMP08 May 2021 12:03 p.m. PST

Sounds interesting. Thanks for the review.

doc mcb08 May 2021 12:33 p.m. PST

79th, yes, I've always been a "rules-basher" (like "kit-basher") and will fiddle with it until I find the combination I like. I really like the SONG OF BLADES mechanics for movement, and they have FEAR AND FAITH as a SONG supplement which I was already aiming at using when I discovered DITW.

I just bought four additional card decks, and the WEREWOLF deck includes a scenario (pdf) in which a cursed colonial is creating or attracting werewolves against his will, and has hidden himself in the village. The weres and the witch hunters (and potentially other factions) are all trying to find and control him, while fighting through the town. It has a solo version and I think I will try it soon.

doc mcb08 May 2021 12:39 p.m. PST

Like John, I too have many many PAINTED 28mm F&I, and all the SH buildings, etc. But I may also see what David can put together for me in 15mm from Splintered Light. He doesn't have Indians or colonists (though the Robin Hood civilians may do) but he does have an excellent range of witch hunters, werewolves, and spooks. I can play with them on a card table, which means upstairs instead of in my basement where the larger tables are, and I do have a good many 15mm buildings.

miniMo08 May 2021 3:32 p.m. PST

I too am wealthy in painted (and un-) FIW figures and all the Sleepy Hollow buildings. I'll happily use those for both Devil in the Wilderness and in Sleepy Hollow.

To date, I've been using Donnybrook rules for my 18C Gothic tactical/rpg-ish gaming, and certainly looking forward to a time to take the Devil game out for a test spin too.

Things From the Basement might entertain requests to do the Salem buildings in 15mm. They've adapated some of their other ranges to that scale. The Sleepy Hollow ones are more complex kits, not sure how easy they might translate down scale.

This would be a great use for Blue Moon's 18mm Transylvanian buildings and Sleepy Hollow and other horror figures.

doc mcb08 May 2021 4:15 p.m. PST

Yes, if I do it in 15 I'll use Blue Moon for the historicals and Splintered Light for most of the fantasy stuff.

Randall10 May 2021 6:05 a.m. PST

I'm intrigued.

Is there a source of 28mm miniatures that would work as a "one-stop shop"--puritans or colonial civilians and French and Indians, etc.?

I don't have any miniatures from this period (and, for now, won't be building armies), so would be interested in companies that produce smaller packs of minis from this era.

Thanks! guinness

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2021 7:15 a.m. PST

Brigade (28mm) has a line of armed puritans in their KPW line, as well as Indians. If you want mounted troops, civilians, witches, familiars, etc., you've got to reach out to multiple manufacturers.

doc mcb10 May 2021 7:42 a.m. PST

The store that sells the game is also beginning to stock West Wind Productions line, and is also commissioning special figures (has posted photos of the greens).


Randall10 May 2021 7:53 a.m. PST


Thanks 79thPA and doc mcb--I'll start poking around on those sites.

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