Forlorn Hope

What You Think

Peter Riley (
Forlorn Hope are a very good set of rules.

They are even better when played with 6mm figures. A figure supplier (Baccus6) gave me a free 6mm rulesheet when ordering my (excellent) ECW figures from them. It basically deals with conversion and element removal rather than individual figures.

Jason Mirosavich (
One of the main attractions of these rules to me is that they use 'units' of mixed pike and shot. Each unit has a Ratio of pike to shot, and fights with different factors in the shooting/melee phases, depending on what the ratio is. Also, there is a really bang-up system for a sort of random army generation. Each unit can have a random size and quality. There are a number of tables for different years and regions of the ECW, and this alone is worth the price. Oh, and the authors also differentiate between cavalry which charges at the gallop (most Royalists), at the trot, and those which stand to receive a charge with pistol fire (most early Parliament).

I heartily recommend these for ECW. It wouldn't take a lot of work to use them for TYW either. IMO they are better than DBR.

Nick Meredith (

I have played a lot of Forlorn Hope over the years, and really like them. I would, however, warn people about a few problems with them which, whilst not critical, can drive players away.

  1. The combat resolution system is a pig. It gives excellent results, but is very awkward to use. This one fact has made several people at my club refuse to play these rules.
  2. 2nd-edition-itis. When the second edition (the one with a pretty coloured picture on the cover) was issued, a major notation in the rules was reversed (Ratio of shot:pike rather than pike:shot). In a few places the rules were not corrected to match this. It is usually very obvious when this happens, but it is a nuisance.
  3. There are a number of add-on rules for rare troop types which do not fit in with the main rules.
  4. The main morale test is an absolute sod, with far too many variants. It has to be rolled quite often as well.

Against that I find them an excellent set of rules with a very historical feel. With the exceptions noted above, the rules work well.

The highlights as I see them are:

  1. The troop type ratio system described above. This has the advantage of not keeping track of individual losses in a mixed unit, while still operating a whole figure removal system.
  2. Army generation, again as described above
  3. The Terrain generation system, which uses a mix of player selection of terrain items to include, combined with random placement. The random placement is weighted so that most pieces end up away from the centre of the board, and so that linear items link board edges.

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Last Updates
26 February 1999comments by Peter Riley
15 May 1997reorganized
31 October 1996page first published
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