For years Mark Sims at Crusader Miniatures has been producing some of the best historical miniatures on the market. Now he has brought his uncomplicated style to a new set of historical miniatures rules entitled Crusader. Released at Salute 2007, The Crusader rulebook is a slick 64-page volume crammed with diagrams and top-notch miniature photography. Such high production values are surprising in a book priced at £7.50.

The rules are written in a conversational style, aimed at friendly play rather than tournament settings. The game revolves around units each composed of several bases of miniatures. Neither the scale, nor the number of miniatures on a base is important so long as it is consistent. Although the rules incorporate separately based commanders, there are no “heroes” in the game.

The mechanics of the game are refreshingly simple without being childish. Combat uses d10s, allowing the success of attacks to be determined with just one throw of the dice, a factor that greatly speeds play. Rules for movement and morale are equally quick and easy.

In such a slender volume there is little room for army lists, and only a few examples are given. However, unit statistics can be easily extrapolated, and expansions both in print and on the web are promised.

All-and-all, Crusader is a great set of rules for people who want to field a historically accurate force, but don\'t want to get bogged down in endless rules minutia.