Friday, December 20, 2013

Game Review: Final Argument of Kings

Cover Art
Dear Readers,

Today, I am going to review another rule-set, designed for European battles between 1734 and 1763. This rule-set is, Final Argument of Kings, by Dean West. This game is designed to simulate larger European land-battles, but its greatest strength is games with between 7,000 and 25,000 troops per side. More than that, and the game tends to bog down.

The game is designed with the the battalion as the basic unit, with 4 bases of miniatures making up one infantry battalion. One inch equals roughly
A FAOK game, put on by Dean West and myself at the Seven Years' War Convention
Final Argument of Kings has an excellent system of fire and movement rules, which accurately simulate the troops in the late Kabinettskriege era. The rules for charging are slightly complex, and often bog down the turn, but usually provide a historically accurate result.  One of the key features in Final Argument of Kings is the front-to-flank maneuver, which allows a unit to move into column, march a short distance, and move back into line. This maneuver is historically accurate, and provides a great deal of flexibility to players.

Final Argument of Kings is the rule-set which I use in most of my miniatures battles, although, as I have already said, I recommend Warfare in the Age of Reason for beginning players. Final Argument of Kings accomplishes what it sets out to do, namely, it allows players to recreate medium sized battles from the War of Polish Succession to the Seven Years' War.

This rule-set uses the principle of simultaneous movement. The players secretly mark their units with a set number of orders, such as form, move, fire, hold, or disengage. These orders must be followed, creating realistic command and control dilemmas for players.

The French advance at Sandershausen
In Final Argument of Kings, players use true line of sight. This is tested by whether a measuring stick can touch both the base of the firing unit to the base of the target unit. This encourages players to get down close to the terrain when positioning their cannon. If the artillery sets up with no line of sight, there is no option except re-positioning the guns-a process which wastes precious time.

In addition, the cannons only have enough rounds for six turns of fire, ensuring that more cautious players do not simply sit back and bombard their enemies for turns on end. The morale rules encourage players to maintain period correct formations, as in Warfare in the Age of Reason. 

For players who have wargamed a bit already in the Kabinettskriege era, I highly recommend Final Argument of Kings. 

Thanks for Reading,

Alex Burns

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