rulebook cover



J. Murphy (

I have played BattleLust a few times, and it is the best I have played. I think it feels very "realistic." It works best with small skirmishes (~20-50/side), but if you have a full evening you can play large skirmishes like ~100 men per side and have a very good time doing it. Did this at one of the cons a couple years back and had a blast. The ability to use HarnMaster combat (the old version anyway) for player-character combat makes a colorful addition in a skirmish game (e.g. your personal commander's combat can be resolved with a greater attention to detail).

I would rate it much better than Retinue (which would, however, be my second favorite among those I have played). Retinue is much more convoluted in terms of table look-ups, but a little quicker in the mechanics of how many die rolls. Also, play alternates by side rather than by small unit as in BattleLust. It ends up, therefore, being similar in terms of handleable scale.

I think BattleLust feels better to play for a variety of reasons, but mainly because the mechanics seem to me to correspond to what is happening, whereas Retinue is less intuitive and more results-oriented. Retinue is more of a early WRG style game with the multiple look-up charts, only in the case of a skirmish game it results in mechanics that do not feel right to me.

Charles Thumann (

Ok, I've only played it once with a very small skirmish-level battle. And I don't even own the rules (I haven't been able to find it). But I am very impressed by it.

I had pretty much given up on any sort middle-ages gaming but this game has definately "bit" me. The rules seem realistic, leave a lot of room for creativity, and are pretty simple to use. It's hooked me enough to want to go buy the rules and a whole bunch of medieval miniatures to go with them.

If you live in Southern California, maybe we could get together for a game. E-mail me.

Jim Stuht (

I use BattleLust for my Viking games and it works quite nicely.

It looks like the game started out as an individual fig type game and they layered on the unit and command portions, but they did a creditable job of it.

While the charts and individual fig sheets look daunting at first glance, I've found that by the 3rd turn or sooner, even novice players pick up the rules and the game can pretty much run itself.

The most time-consuming thing about the game is generating the stat cards for your specific figs. Thankfully this need only be done once, then you are set. If you set up a computer program to generate the cards, when you need more, it's a breeze to get more.

Procopius (

There are a few things I wanted to point out.

  1. The morale rules still require GM decisions when most of us, I think, want a wargame/miniatures system featuring automatic/randomized response. I would much prefer a morale system something like Advanced Squad Leader with individual morales, battlefield integrity, and individual modifiers for wounds, fatigue, leadership/heros, etc.

  2. There is no provision for fatigue. Enough said.

  3. The section on Hârnic geography and culture is slightly changed from what has been published before (p. 38-45). The changes may be subtle but they are there, and can be significant if you are working out whole villages, shires or feudal armies.

  4. The Feudal Muster Table Example on page 50 is wrong. First, 33.6 does not round to 37. Second, and more importantly, you should multiply the figure given for scutage by the total number of manors in the fief, not the number paying scutage (that's why the amounts change!).

  5. The bit about a two-month campaign season starting in spring and the feudal levy serving (only) during the campaign season does not entirely square with what has been written (especially about Skorkyne) and what happened during the Terran medieval ages.

  6. Unarmored shortbowmen (foot) are listed in the tables on page 51 but nowhere else. There are no costs for them, no cards, no nothing, not even in the tribal nations section!

  7. If you total up the value/cost of the knight equivalents and the knights themselves (still on page 51), each KE is worth 26.75 shillings/month but each knight is worth either 35.7525 s/month during peacetime or 38.9625 s/month during wartime. Granted that the KEs have numbers on their side, but it still seems like a raw deal to get KEs instead of knights.

  8. The Wartime Muster section states that the formula for yeoman (Acres*LQ/2400) produces one yeoman per four manors. Incorrect. It produces one yeoman per manor and a half (at 1600 acres/manor and an LQ of 1.00).

  9. Like some of the other formulas, I think that there are superfluous or incorrectly used parentheses in the aid formula (pg. 51). As written it yields just a little more than 1d/acre which is equal to the fief's "net revenue" (except for cities which don't really yield all that much; e.g. Tashal pays just 570d or about the same as a small village does on its acreage).

This is a condensed version of Procopius' criticisms of BattleLust. An expanded version can also be viewed.

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Last Updates
14 September 1999page redesigned
4 September 1999page split off
15 June 1998added Murphy's comments
1 April 1997reorganized
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