It seems like scarcely a month goes by when I’m not reviewing a set of rules by contributor Jim Webster. Last issue we featured Hell in Microcosm which is a mass combat system and – in recent Defence in Depth sections – we’ve covered Hell and Uncivil Disorder, and Hellfire which is a large scale (generally 6mm) SF system. Jim has also written several articles that use his rules for this magazine. Well – long contextual, preamble aside – Hell by Starlight is a skirmish system aimed at SF games.
Mr Webster has produced another A4 soft back, of 46 or so pages which is available on Amazon for £9.50 although Kindle and electronic versions are also available from Wargames Vault for as little as £4. It is – like all of his products (and as I’ve previously mentioned) – a cleanly laid out, ‘no frills’ document with (cover aside) no illustrations: very much a ‘word processed’ style of publication.
What it’s not – as the author is keen to point out – is not simply a ‘re-skinning’ of 20th century skirmish warfare rules with the guns “all replaced with Lascarbines”. But it is aimed at 15mm SF skirmish so... what’s the angle?
It’s aimed at individual figures, balancing that with forming the figures into combat units. So, ammunition usage is handled by mechanisms without the need to keep tedious track and the system is not based in any ‘official universe’ but can be flexed to take account of everything from low tech natives to high tech. Combat uses a range of polyhedral dice (d4 to d12) depending on weapon type and range bands and most scenarios and systems seem to be covered (artillery, ECM, booby traps, robots, vehicles, riding creatures etc). The last dozen pages are scenarios. Recommended.