Thursday, 15 May 2014

Chivalry, Part 6: Crossed Lances Foot Melée and Archery.

The second (and currently last) book in the Crossed Lances series deals with dismounted fighting, and archery, thus letting squires, gamekeepers, or other retainers grab a bow and participate actively in the tourney.

The Foot Melée.

This a different cup of tea than the previous tome; the language used is pretty clear and straight forward, and only the 'foul' result on the combat result table, for some reasom marked as minus results, seem a little weird (you won't actually bestow hit points back on your victim when making a foul hit, will you?) It seems the fouls beign 'minus' has carried over from the jousting table, where you count points scored instead of damage done, to both the Grand and Foot Melée - which again brings me back to the really poor editing done on these rules.

  • The game uses a set of movement tiles similar to those used in the Grand Melée. I like that!
  • It would seem that the authors have given up on the '1 Turn = 3 moves', and simply allow the combattants to play 1, 2, or 3 movement tiles per turn. I like that!
  • The game introduces rolling an extra 'critical hit' die. I like that!
  • As mentioned under the Grand Melée, In the Foot Melée one dice is attack, and one is defence (in effect, your sword and your shield). The rules state, that in order for your combat result to count on the table, you have to beat your opponent's defense with your attack. I like that!
    However, the example, fully in the style one has come to expect from these authors, shows Attack 5/Defense 5 vs Attack 4/Defense 3, and BOTH generating a result on the combat result table, although Attack 4 clearly does nor beat Defense 5!!
  • The game uses the cards in the same way as the other two contests. I don't like that! I think the damage done should be a result of the combat dice roll +/- any modifiers.
  • The game introduces hit points for shield and helmet, and the possibility of either to be destroyed (and replaced) or get lost (and picked up or replaced). I like this very much, and clearly, it belongs in the Grand Melée, too. However, the rules state that the lost item 'scatters' 1d6, and in a direction decided by a d12, and there is no clue as to HOW the d12 shows the direction. Now, I can make a template, or use my good old watch, but, again, remember that I paid £20 (plus postage) for these rules.
There sure is some good ideas in the Foot Melée rules, but as the authors cling to the same system as in the previous two contests, they are, sadly enough, poorly used.

This is NOT a complete game, though. The rules use the Lord/Personality cards, so far only found in the first volume, which makes selling the rules separately for £20 a complete rip-off in my book. The games component section contains some additional Lord/Personality (Champion) cards for use with the campaign rules, and you might use those instead, but they are all marked with a rather high bonus, and the differences won't be the same as when using the intended cards.

As with the previously reviewed rules, I'll have to change this into the game I want to playm, but I'll use much more elements from this section than from the other two.


In these rules, for the first time, the authors let the use of cards influence the dice roll, which, directly affects the result. It's a no-brainer, really, but this is the first time the cards make any real sense.

I won't write a lot about this section, as I think I'll have to try it out before forming an opinion; they actually look playable right out of the book:

You roll a d12 to determine which section of the target is hit, 2d6, then refer to the archery table to see which part of which 'ring' is hit, an extra 'critical' d6 to take the arrow further in or out on the target, and add or deduct the bonus/penalty of your archer card and skill card.

I do think, though, that I would like to give the player a bit more control over the skill cards, maybe allowing a 'hand' of cards to be used, and maybe the option to affect the performance of other participants (the idea came to me when thinking about the foot melée rules), but I'll have to tinker and try...


Crossed Lances should never have been published in its current form (save, perhaps, the archery rules). The 2 tomes are not worth the paper they are printed on, and £20 for either is a rip-off not even GW would dare. They need a re-write, and some heavy editing and updating of the tables, and the second volume should contain the Lord/Personality cards to make it self-contained and not requiring an additional purchase to use properly.

Just about a month ago, the authors stated that the price of the rules was right, priced accordingly to other products, and that they would never consider lowering the price, nor offer a discount for a combined purchased - in their delusions of grandeur seemingly confident that they had a premium(!) product to offer. Just recently they made the 2 books available for £30, thus discounting 25%, so the huge public interest they claim when promoting this polished turd may not be as massive after all.

Here's a link to another review of the first tome:

And I think that it speaks for itself that a vendor selling the game + scenery for it doesn't want to lend his name to an appraisal of the rules (he does give another explanation for it, but...):


  1. Thanks for this review. I don't think there's much room for doubt about your opinion of this company! From what I've seen, I am also saddened by the poor quality of their product.

    1. Yeah, this obviously is a case of two friends having lulled each other into the firm belief that they've created a great set of rules - and anyone thinking otherwise must just be wrong. They've even gone to the (sad) length to get one of their blogging pals, who states himself that he never does reviews and don't see much sense in reviews (so, why would anyone pay any heed to a review he makes, anyway??) to make an - almost positive - review of the rules. The way these guys answer to any questions/critique (see TMP and LAF) clearky reveals that they are living in a bubble with no understanding of the world around them.
      I have some ideas about altering the rules into something a bit more interesting to play, though, and I'll probably write something up over the summer. If you're interested in what I come up with, check out these pages now and then, as I'll be reporting my progress under my Chivalry project.

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