Warlords of Europe

  • Customizer

    This is a reasonable map of the period when the HYW began - you can see the problem with “Italy”.


    You could reasonably use Castille for Spain, i.e




    (use yellow instead of the rather silly “gold”.)

    Germany (HRE):


    (note the Eagle became double-headed after 1368)

    Russia at this time was a host of petty kingdoms; but the genesis of the Russian state lay in the Rulers of Muscovy whose arms were:


    or if you prefer Kiev take your pick of these:


    Hungary, House of Arpad is barry of 8 gules and argent:


    As for “Latin Empire”; this is presumably the late Byzantines, barely clinging on to Constantinople:


    In the game officially (as it’s in an earlier period) this may refer to the Crusader Empire:


    For Italy maybe the Kingdom of Sicily, but this was a variant on the Aragonese arms since Sicily was ruled by a junior branch of Aragon:


    Charles of Anjou founded the Kingdom of Naples, but the arms were again those of a junior branch, this time of the French house. He later impaled these with the arms of Jerusalem to form this:


    But it really isn’t remotely Italian.

    Lastly you might consider the arms of Savoy, whose Duke founded the modern Kingdom of Italy:


    Bear in mind that there is a difference between “national” flags and the “arms” of the Kingdom; for example the FLAG of England is the Saint George Cross, while the ARMS of the Kingdom of England are the 3 gold lions on red (though in fact they’re actually derived from the lions on the arms of Normandy, Aquitaine and Anjou from where the medieval Kings of England originated, so they are really French lions.)


    Do you know what the figs you intend to use are, or are there pics of them anywhere?

    I might be able to do some flags for the Warlord pieces to match the shieldels, or maybe to fly from the castle tops.

  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Each castle should have a flag on top and each “kingdom” would get some NA’s that give it flavor and not just another risk set of pieces.

    The flag would be for the starting castle and id like to use tokens rather than leaving a garrison ( like risk). BY the term Italy, i just mean the locality of what existed in that area, though like the holy roman empire, it was probably a fragmented assortment of fiefdoms.  Perhaps at some points in the game players would have to send troops to fight the crusades and Italy or another might control this expedition.

  • Hey Russ,

    I am curious, do you still have any copies of High Ground available? By the way I love Warlords & I think you guys at Conquest Gaming did some great things with the basic A&A turn system.

  • Customizer

    I know the game is called Warlords of Europe, but I’d also be tempted to extend the map to include the entire Mediterranean seaboard with 3 or 4 Muslim Kingdoms added.  You could always make these areas off-limits if it makes the map too big.

    I would also tend to make Poland a Kingdom, rather than the very fragmented Russian states, unless extending the map further east.  Especially so for a “100 Years War Period” game, where it can be merged into Poland-Lithuania:

    Poland’s arms are of course:


    Reading through the rules I seem to have missed something:

    If a player without a castle captures a Warlord, do they

    1. Carry him around in a wicker cage,

    2. Behead him in the market square,

    3. Send him home to Mom riding an a** backwards.

    For expanding with plastic figs HaT’s El Cid series are looking pretty good, especially if wanting to add Muslim players:






    These sets are just being produced; there really haven’t been reasonable figs for this period until now.

    Edit: Apparently I’m not allowed to say “ass”, by which of course I meant a horse/donkey crossbreed.  Perhaps this means something else to you Americans.

    Italy really should not be a player Kingdom, just a collection of independent Feifs.  Even Aragon would be more viable as a major power.

  • Customizer

  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    working on it. Good info.

  • Customizer

    Just a few more thoughts on the board;

    I’d prefer an icon donating Gold value on each province; I know you can tell by terrain type, but numbers are more convenient.

    Also, I would be pretty confident of finding appropriate arms for each province on the map.  Decoration, perhaps, but it would add to the medieval flavour; and can be used in custom rules such as assigning Warlords or Knights as “Governors” of particular fiefs as per Blood Royal.

    Incidentally I can 't read all the names on the map, does anyone have a complete list?

    Has anyone playing the game thought it may accommodate more players?  That is, eliminate all the mopping up of “peasant” fiefs and get straight to the player v player action.

    My own inheritance rules could be utilised in a simplified form here, but it would need each player to add a “King” piece to his set.

    You’d have to stomach the idea of arranging marriages as part of a wargame, though…

    And Italy really shouldn’t be a player Kingdom.  As Metternich said, Italy is merely a geographical expression.  See it as a group of rich neutral provinces for the others to fight over.  Historically correct, anyway.

  • @Imperious:

    Not to sidetrack this discussion, but on your Barbarossa game the site talks about optional rules but these are not found. Can you reprint them here or in another thread?

    We always play Barb with the standard rules. While we invited folks to send us their house rules, almost no one ever did. The ones we got were really generalized, but we put them up in anticipation of adding more as they came in; it just never happened so that page is pretty sparse.

    We have no High Grounds remaining, and no plans for more.

    I’ve got links to the maps I (ab)used while making the Warlords map here.

    The number of cities in a fief is equal to the fief’s gold production and to the number of peasants to fight, if empty. Originally the cities were just going to be map flavor, but then we got the clever idea to make them represent gold/peasants and do away with big ugly numbers (a real plus for the game board’s rustic map aesthetic, IMO).

    I’m actually working on a complete list of fiefs/cities this week. Should have it ready soon-ish. Will post a link when it’s up.

    We test played it with 5 and 6 fairly regularly until we got our first production quotes, then realized to get a reasonable MSRP it would have to be 4 players. We really hope that high demand will allow for expansions/extensions.

    I personally enjoy the peasant phase for several reasons: it forces strategic use of warlords, it gives an exploratory vibe, it gives you some cards before player conflict, it discourages monolithic armies early on, and it gives new players a chance to get familiar with the combat system prior to important battles. There’s also occasionally some really tight peasant fights that add tension early on. Big wins/loses can shape early informal alliances. You can execute 2 diagonal player turns simultaneously to speed it up.

    Our perspective on Warlords was always more of a “what if” a few of the many existing minor powers could have really pulled things together and tried to create a broader hegemony than ever really existed in history. The reason our “kingdoms” start out empty instead of full of your troops is because they were not unified political entities; you make them into that through conquest. Though you could even (very loosely) interpret the peasant phase as expanding your hegemony through non-violent methods (when you hit and the peasants miss entirely, maybe that represents a successful marriage deal). Don’t think of our “kingdoms” as anything but empty shells, or progress markers if you will…broadly generic people groups that perhaps could have been united in such a way that together they were far better than the sum of their parts (hence our kingdom bonuses in spearmen and gold).

    If Warlords has a prayer of scratching the true historian’s itch, it will be in the purely theoretical realm. Maybe if the Normans had taken all of Italy instead of just the southern half, they would have achieved a Roman-Empire-esque synergy and gone on to dominate all of Europe. And maybe they still can with you/me/player3 at the helm calling the shots. Warlords definitely has a different design philosophy than a historical simulation, even a rudimentary one like A&A (different being neither inherently good nor bad).

    While I’m trying to describe some of our design thinking and processes, I’m also trying hard to not come across as hyper-defensive of our particular implementation of medieval themes applied to Warlords. I am really interested to see what you guys end up doing with all the mods you’re talking about. It’s really gratifying to see folks take a look at our stuff and say “Cool!”, then see the light bulb go on with an “I can do this with that and something else with that other thing…”

  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I like the idea of also using those pieces for a tang Chinese based game with the battles against the Khitans and old day Korea. Dae Jo Young is one of my favorite shows with plenty of great battles. Check it out on you tube. I watched the entire show on KBS ( subtitles in English)

  • Customizer

    Another thought on Warlords:

    The Feudal System

    Instead of “buying” Knights and Warlords, the number you have depends on the number of fiefs and castles you own.
    There is no need to pay for these units as they fight by feudal service.

    Each fief needs it’s own knight piece (with heraldry to match that of the fief). When you take over a fief you get the relevant piece as it is now bound to you by knight’s service.  Control of these pieces is indicated by colour of the foot units with it; unaccompanied knights are automatically captured.  A Knight/Warlord gets a combat bonus defending his fief/castle.

    Also, shouldn’t mountains impede movement?

  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    they have stacking limits in them, unless you got a castle.

    Also a warlord can move a group of units 2 spaces, otherwise it is one.

    I guess a warlord should not be able to ‘blitz’ past a mountain, but from a mountain be able to move two?

    You should definatly buy this game. I think you will like it.

  • I’ve completed the kingdom/fief/city list. I’m thinking of running a contest at BGG in the near future to see who can find the most points of interest about the map. Once that’s done, I’ll upload the one I have that includes all the points of interest (stuff like it has 2 Brests, and all 3 of our names as placenames).

    I’m about to add this to the FAQ on our website. Thanks for pointing out the omission.

    A warlord that becomes a casualty is typically captured and placed in a castle of the capturing player. Players cannot buy new warlords while any are held prisoner. However, if the capturing player has no castle, then the warlord is taken as a regular casualty (put back into the supply), and its former owner can purchase more warlords (assuming none of his other warlords are captured).

    Edit: fixed link.

  • Customizer

    I was going to post this on BGG, but the great feedback from Russ has suggested posting here first, with hope of more intercourse before posting on the Geek (which is difficult to update.)  Also, I’ve been working on this for about 24 hours, so it could be considered a rough draft…

    Warlords of Europe: The Feudal System

    This is a variant of WOE for people looking for a more authentic historical game using the broad mechanics of the original.

    This is not intended as a criticism of WOE, but as a development of it as suggested by my interest in history, which has always run side-by-side with board games, in my case with the history just being the more important, hence me being a stickler for historical accuracy over game balance.

    It requires more pieces, approximately 2 times the original, the addition of a “King” piece for each player, and a moderate degree of artistic ability.

    The basic premise is for the recruitment of fighting units to be based on the feudal system of the early Middle Ages, rather than the players simply buying units with cash.

    I’ll probably draw my own version of the map at some stage, but for now I’ll work on the assumption of using the original, with the sole exception that each fief has an appropriate coat of arms added to it on the board.

    Set aside original rules on Warlords, Knights and Swordsmen; these all work here in a very different way.

    Each player will have:

    One “King” piece; this is his most important piece, since if a player has no King on the board he cannot win the game, however many fiefs he controls.  The King can give a player’s armies a huge boost in battle, but the price you pay for him being captured is high.

    A “Noble” piece for every fief he owns.  There will be one noble piece for each fief on the board, which should be marked with the identical coat of arms illustrated on the fief itself.  The Knight pieces from the game would be ideal for this, though something more easily identifiable for small figures may be preferred, such as the “Banner” pieces from Mighty Empires with their large flags.

    Each of these nobles can be considered the equivalent of a Count (an Earl in Britain), however if his fief contains a castle he can be regarded as a Duke and has extra abilities commensurate with his rank, e.g. an extra movement point.  So if a castle is built in a particular fief its Lord is promoted to Duke, with the extra powers.

    These nobles units are not nation specific, they can change allegiance from player to player depending on who controls their fief.  Perhaps a coloured chip under each to indicate control?

    Fiefs which begin as neutral, or become neutral for some reason, also have their own noble Lord who will defend his fief with his knights.  There are therefore no peasant controlled fiefs and no easy conquests.

    Combat units can now move only when under the command of a noble; otherwise they merely remain where they are and can only defend themselves, never attack.

    A player does not pay for nobles with money; they will fight for him under the terms of feudal vassalage; that is in return for occupying their fief*, granted to them by the King.  If a noble dies he is replaced by his son and heir who will continue feudal service under the same terms (unless there is no heir, but more of that later).
    *He does not have to physically remain in the fief, though he may have a combat bonus when defending it.

    Continuing the chain of feudal vassalage, each noble will have a number of knights in his service, equivalent to the value (in gold or towns) of his fief.  The swordsmen figures would be ideal to represent these.

    Archers and spearmen (levies) would be recruited differently, perhaps a number related to the number of knights in a fief?  Players will still collect taxes, but costs of other units may have to be adjusted, and spending on new units such as ships or siege machines considered.

    Nobles can be captured in battle, held in castles, ransomed for cash/cards etc, exchanged, or sold to other players as per Warlords in the original rules.

    Capturing a noble does not mean taking control of his fief, though it does prevent him from fighting and recruiting other units.  However capturing an enemy held fief does mean that you get control of the relevant noble, or rather you gain the right to grant the fief to a noble of your own (use the same piece, but replace it in its home fief which you have just taken over.)  Knights in his retinue may also defect; their loyalty is to their immediate Lord, not to his Lord (The King).  If you take over a fief whose Lord is the captive of a third player you must now negotiate with that player for the noble’s release.

    A King is the most lucrative capture of all, since a winning player needs his King to be free to receive coronation as Emperor.  Therefore, since it becomes possible to effectively eliminate a player by refusing to accept ransom for his king, a mandatory maximum must be set which, if paid, automatically results in the Royal person being released.  This set amount can be accurately defined therefore as a “King’s Ransom”.  It should mean that players will be likely to cash in their crowned captives with negotiated exchange of prisoners, cards etc, rather than hold out for the flat cash payment.
    Perhaps a going rate for a “Duke’s Ransom” and “Count’s Ransom” will need to be set, but these should be negotiable between players, as losing the odd noble is not the disaster of losing your king.  
    Note that with nobles commanding nearly all armies, noble captures will be commonplace, and prisoner exchanges/ransoms a more regular feature.

    Those, then, are the bare bones of my Feudal System.  There’s more to come, including the introduction of Fief Cards, and the many uses of them; and how a noble controlled by one player may be a vassal of another, and how a King might choose to keep some fiefs in Royal demesne, and how you can decide to reduce a castle to halve the cost of building another… but this all needs another sleepless night.

    I’ll also study the fief names…


    Is Garth Celyn one of your playtesters?

    London’s in Wessex, now?

    Italian names: why Roma and not Milano?

    Kyle is Kiel, right?

    Not keen on “Low Counties”, would be tempted to divide into Brabant & Oldenburg.

    P.S. I’m also hopelessly colour blind.

    Definition (outdated?) of feudalism:


    Nice site to get you going on heraldry:


  • Customizer

    Quick test of Fief card chopped from my Kingmaker cards.

    Blue border indicates Kingdom of France

    Dijon is the Knight’s fee…maybe this needs a mini shield?

    Needs a picture of a noble in the left hand side.


  • Customizer


    Quick test of Fief card chopped from my Kingmaker cards.

    Blue border indicates Kingdom of France

    Dijon is the Knight’s fee…maybe this needs a mini shield?

    Needs a picture of a noble in the left hand side.

    Good stuff!

  • Customizer

    More cards.

    The panel at the bottom will be explained in my suggested inheritance rules.

    Highlights, though, the effects of having fief value determined solely by terrain:

    Wales, a rain soaked wilderness without a single town of any consequence is worth twice as much as Burgundy, one of the richest provinces of France…

    Anyhow, the idea is that a player arranges the fief cards in front of him to keep track of which fiefs (and nobles) he controls. They can also be used as convenient army cards, i.e. you can stack large groups of units here with just the noble commanding them needing to be placed on the board.

    I’m also thinking about another Kingmaker idea - Office Cards.  There’d only be 3 or 4 for each Kingdom; say a Marshal, Constable and Admiral.  Though Germany wouldn’t have much use for an Admiral to start with…

    Maybe this is one area which can reflect the “National Characteristics” IL was mentioning.



  • Customizer

    Corrected Wessex Arms


  • Customizer

    King Cards, Italy is a fiction, so which arms?  These are of Savoy, but really don’t belong before 1870.


  • Customizer

    Next lot.  Not at all certain of the Muslim heraldry; Saladin’s banner if variously shown as yellow or orange, and may be a personal flag rather than symbol of the Ayyubid state.  I have nothing for the Seljuks which pre-dates the Ottoman Empire.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    What was Vlad the impaler’s coat of arms?

  • Customizer

    A dragon with a cross above it.

    But he’s 15th century, which is a very different game, as the feudal system was all but dead by 1300.

    Meanwhile, these are the French fiefs I’ve decided on:

    Yet to decide on sub-fiefs, but I won’t be limited by the terrain system.  Isle de France will also have Paris, which is worth extra as a major city.

    These arms are based on a date of 1200.

    The ancient arms of Brittany took some finding.


  • Customizer


    A dragon with a cross above it.

    But he’s 15th century, which is a very different game, as the feudal system was all but dead by 1300.

    Meanwhile, these are the French fiefs I’ve decided on:

    Yet to decide on sub-fiefs, but I won’t be limited by the terrain system.  Isle de France will also have Paris, which is worth extra as a major city.

    These arms are based on a date of 1200.

    The ancient arms of Brittany took some finding.

    When I paint my set, I’m going to used these for shields.

  • @Imperious:

    What was Vlad the impaler’s coat of arms?

    Count Dracula?

  • Customizer

    Worked on Spain today.

    Frustratingly there are no usable arms for the provinces held by the Moors.  I have no information on Muslim flags and arms, and such Spanish coats as are listed all date from way after this period and are in any case far too complicated to draw.

    Have to make something up, for Andalusia.

    Also, Aragon, Barcelona and Valencia all seem to have used the same coat with no differencing. Swine.


  • Customizer

    King John’s fiefs, held in demesne.


Log in to reply

20th Anniversary Give Away

In January 2000 this site came to life and now we're celebrating our 20th Anniversary with a prize giveaway of 30+ prizes. See this link for the list of prizes and winners.
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys
T-shirts, Hats, and More

Suggested Topics

  • 3
  • 16
  • 41
  • 1
  • 66
  • 1
  • 1
  • 41
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys