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Edmond Hyland
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Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly. -- Neil Gaiman, Sandman Vol 6
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Game Credits

Valley of the Four Winds is a boxed wargame from Games Workshop, back in the dim and distant days when what's now the "specialist games" area of the business included such games as Rogue Trooper, Chainsaw Warrior and the Judge Dredd role-playing game. The game is based on a story published in the Games Workshop magazine "White Dwarf", which was in turn based on the Valley of the Four Winds range of miniature figures produced by Dick Higgs/Miniature Figurines Ltd. The game is intended for two players, and is a traditional pattern counter based wargame, with a lot of dice rolling. The game design is credited to Lewis Pulsipher.

Game Premise

The game premise is based upon three overlapping battles between good and evil occurring within an area known as the Valley of the Four Winds, linked by a common hero. The centre of the map focuses on the city of Farrondil, ruled over by a King and cursed by the evil wizard Hajjin; this malevolent entity has created a powerful being called the Wind Demon to terrorise the city, before being imprisoned as a living statue in his castle in the mountains to the north of the city. The Deadlands to the east are a cursed place of old, and in the time of the game a black artefact called the Bell has arisen. This artefact animates the bodies of the long-dead to fight as skeleton infantry, archers and cavalry; the defenders of Farrondil fight to defend the city from the walking dead, while the hero (named, aptly enough, Hero) quests for a magical item that can stop the bell and undo the curse of the wind demon. The king, trapped by the curse, has no choice but to wait in the city, unable to aid the defence of the city; worse yet, if the forces of evil manages to find Malig the evil spellcaster, Malig can curse the king again with a geas, forcing him to charge directly into the Deadlands and seek his own death. To add insult to injury, if Hajjin is freed from his imprisonment, he can gain access to the Wind Demon, bend it fully to his will and lead it to destroy the defenders of Farrondil.

To the south of Farrondil is a small forested realm called Gondemar, a long-time ally of Farrondil; while Farrondil has been cursed, the dwarves of Gondemar fight against another evil force - the forces of the Swamplord, rising up out of the swamplands to destroy them. The ruler of Gondemar holds the Swan Bones, a magical artefact needed to save the King of Farrondil and stop the Bell, and unless the Hero can get to him and retrieve this item Farrondil is likely lost. Equally, Hero's assistance may be able to enough win the day for Gondemar...

Finally, to the west of Farrondil and Gondemar is the Greengorm forest. The dominant force in the forest is another force for evil - hordes of Forest Orcs, led by the nebulous Mother Sulphur. The Orcs are attacking Gondemar while also trying to exterminate the pixies who live within the forest, possibly assisted by an ancient evil called the Forest Monster. There's also hope in the forest, though; lurking in the forest depths is a character known as the Hunter, and if he can be contacted he can assist the forces of good, not just in the forest but also elsewhere; he alone knows the exact location of the wizard Verokin, responsible for imprisoning Hajjin and the only person who can assist Hero in neutralising the Wind Demon.

Got all that? Good.

This game is based on a nicely told story, a copy of which is included with the game; reading the back story before playing helps keep in mind all the different tasks that are likely to be performed during the game if you're heading for victory.

In the Box

Given the era of the game, the components are solid; the map comes in two halves, mounted on thick board and is nicely illustrated and coloured, with random tables for location encounters included on the board together with a key to the terrain types and properties, as well as the reinforcement tracks for both sides. The two halves of the map each hinge in the middle, and this is an inevitable weak point but not a major one if the board is handled with a certain amount of care. Don't go chasing wasps with the board, you'll regret it.

The map is split into regions, both geographically and through dashed boundary lines; these lines also represent the areas in which the various forces can start up. The board hexes are also marked by letters and numbers around the edge, which can be useful if you need to break a game partway through to take up later. Visually, the map board is the highlight of the game. Several of the map hexes have special rules relating to them.

The counters for the game are a decent size, use a clear font and recognisable silhouettes for the units marked on them. Good forces are red (Farrondil), red with a white centre square (Gondemar), white with a red centre square (Pixies) or pink (encountered Leaders.) Evil forces are black with white images (undead), black with a white centre square (Swamplord forces), grey with a white centre square (orcs), or grey (encountered random figures). There are also a couple of big bugs that are neutral and on pure white pieces. The pieces are generally easy to use and look at... but it would've been nice to have some variety in the colours. I'd imagine it was probably a printing constraint, but that's a minor detraction. A nice touch is the inclusion of a number of blank chits, so that you can replace any unit counters that go missing; I love it when games do this, and the rulebook includes a list of every counter in the game for reference.

The rulebook and storybook included are both A5 booklets formed by folded A4 sheets stapled in the middle, and are essentially monochrome, although based on brown and sepia rather than black and white. They're easy to handle, easy to use and in the case of the rulebook indexed by paragraph and with a lot of internal cross-reference marks to help you when flicking through the rulebook. This is a godsend, because there are a fair number of special rules to remember, and the first few times you play you'll be bouncing back and forth through the rulebook constantly.

An Overview of Play

Setup

Getting the game set-up (section 3 of the rules), you're immediately referred to two other sections (6 and 9) to learn the constraints on where you can put your pieces. This is a common feature of the rules - they are satisfyingly complex, and while this can create some frustrations early on as you try and remember everything, the rules make sense and are constant in the application. The feeling I have is that whereas some games would come with a set of Basic Rules and a set of Advanced Rules, this game decided to plunge straight in with a complete system. The special and additional rules all make sense, but in a modern game might be added incrementally rather than all at once.

You have to place your pieces within the boundary defined by your starting area, and the good aligned player places their units first. The king of Farrondil has to start in the city, and the best of the Farrondil infantry has to start next to or in the city. The Swan Bones item meanwhile goes with the King of Gondemar. The Farrondil forces at game start up are predominantly infantry with some cavalry, archers and the Hero piece. The Gondemar forces are a stack of infantry plus a cannon. No two units can occupy the same square unless one or more of them is a leader type, marked on the counter with an 'L'.

The remainder of the good forces go on the replacement track, one token per square in the order defined; as you go from turn to turn, you get back reinforcements if the counters are available. Dead counters can be recycled into the reinforcements track (you'll be doing a lot of that) but arrive in a strict order in most cases.

The evil player then sets up; Forest Orcs in the forest, Swamplord pieces in the swamp, and the Bell (but no undead) on the Hellmouth Cave. There are restrictions on the Swamplord forces moving out of the swamps, unless moving by river; they have to form a chain of linked units to be able to operate away from their nice swamps. The undead forces don't appear at setup, other than the bell; they appear on the evil player's first turn.

Once the game is set up, you then take turns, each of which has three phases; you complete all three phases before your opponent then takes a turn and completes all three phases, and so forth.

Reinforcement

First phase is reinforcement; you collect any pieces from the respective replacement tracks and place them on the board. There are restrictions on where you can place them; Farrondil pieces start on Farrondil, undead on the bell, and so forth. You can't put down replacements if a piece from the opposing side is on or adjacent to your reinforcement centre; the only way to wipe out an enemy force is to not just kill them in the field, but also control their replacement centre. That's harder than you'd think, particularly where the Bell is concerned...

The Bell and the undead forces are unique, in that skeleton pieces killed in combat don't appear at the rate of one unit per turn, like everyone else; all the undead pieces that die in a turn go on the replacement track for the next turn. That means the undead are constantly regenerating pretty much as fast as you can kill them, with one exception - for every two undead units of the same type you destroy, only one can go on the replacement track; the other is discarded, for good. The Bell cannot be damaged or destroyed by anything other than the Swan Bones, but if a good piece with the Swan Bones manages to get onto the same hex as the Bell both it and all the undead die.

At the end of the movement phase (phase 2), the rule on unit stacking applies to your replacement centre - so don't have more than one unit in place at that point, because you'll end up discarding units. The exception to this is Farrondil, which can be stocked with as many units as you want and may well need to be, a few turns into the game. Notice how there are a lot of exceptions to most rules? At first, that irritates, but when you're used to it the exceptions add a feeling of flavour.

Movement

The second phase is the movement phase. Every unit has a movement value, and every terrain type a movement cost. You can't move through your opponent's pieces, but flying creatures (all evil) can fly over terrain features and enemy units. Undead units must be within a set distance of the bell at the end of each turn, so the undead forces tend to move as a clump; Orcs can move wherever they want (presumably if they can distract themselves from slaughtering pixies for fun) and the Swamplords can move anywhere up and down rivers or swamplands, or they can form chains of units out anywhere they want… particularly out into the forests to hunt down those Gondemar forces.

As the good player, most of your movement will follow three patterns; units around Farrondil will try and hold a defensive position around Farrondil and the nearby Black Bridge against the undead, while the Gondemar forces will try and fight off the Swamplords and the Orcs. Hero will probably end up running the length of the board, because in addition to the tactical wargame going on, he has a series of quests to be finished, a part of which is...

Exploration

Some hexes contain a little star symbol; six in the mountains, and six in the forest. Both sides have an interest in exploring these; in the mountains, five of the six will reveal additional creatures to fight for evil. These include the extremely nasty Dragon, a flying hunk of evilness capable of eating pretty much anything on the board, and the wizards Hajjin and Malig. Hajjin is largely essential to an evil victory, so evil units - almost certainly forces from the Forest Orcs - will be combing the mountains exploring these hexes. In the forest, half of the exploration results generate evil or neutral monsters, the other half good-aligned pieces such as the Hunter, the Wizard of the Woods or the Pixies. Exterminating the pixies is always a good idea for the Forest Orc player; not only are they a distraction (and stat-wise, the worst units in the game) but it's also amusing.

For the good player, there's a clear and logical chain of exploration if you're following the story, which also generates in game advantages. You need to get Hero to Gondemar to assist the Gondemar forces so that they can knock off the swamplords, and get the swan bones needed to control the Wind Demon and stop the Bell for good. You also need to find Verokin the wizard in the north to control the Wind demon, and if you can find Hunter in the woods, the first location you explore in the mountains will hold Verokin - so it's worth exploring into the woods. Hero is also one of the hardest units on the board and can help tip the balance in an area that's getting swamped with enemy forces.

For the evil player, things are a little easier. The main objective is swamping the good forces; you win the game by occupying Farrondil for two complete turns. To defeat you, the good player has to both control the forest orc replacement centre and either eliminate the bell or wipe out every single undead unit in the same turn. that tends to set the tone for the game; the good player will often be trying to hold the line while Hero runs around frantically, while the evil player tries to break the good players forces through weight of numbers. Farrondil is key; if Gondemar falls, it takes a fair while for the Swamplords to come up and help the undead, but if the battle around Farrondil is won, the good forces can overwhelm the evil player steadily even if Gondemar has fallen, while completely ignoring the Swamplords.

Combat

The third turn phase is combat. Combat will always be a complete dicefest. The mechanics are relatively simple, but there are some sharp lessons to be learned early on about where to place your units and leaders. In addition to a movement allowance, each unit has an attack number and a defence modifier. You declare which unit you are attacking, and which unit you're attacking it with; you add or subtract the defence modifier from your attack score, and then try and roll that number or better on two 6-sided dice. There are a range of special rules from combat; some creatures cause fear, and cannot be attacked unless you roll equal to or greater than your attack number to test for morale before attacking; the exception to this exception is if a leader is present, boosting the morale of the troops nearby.

Units can only attack enemy units adjacent to themselves, unless they are missile units (indicated with a little arrow on the unit chit). Most infantry in the game have a base atack number of 9, and no defence modifier. Cavalry tend to have lower attack numbers and higher defence numbers, making them more powerful units; archers tend to have higher attack numbers and negative defence numbers, to offset their ability to attack at range. Swamplord infantry hits more easily than human infantry, but is easier to target back, while skeleton units are as good at hitting things as humans but suffer negative defence modifiers just about everywhere, to make up for their sheer weight of numbers. The hardest pieces active throughout the game are generally the leader counters, with good defence numbers and low attack numbers; more than that, any unit from the same faction as a Leader counter and adjacent to or on the same square as that leader subtract one from their attack number - that can make a big difference. Hero's defence adjustment of +3 means that standard infantry (like the Forest Orcs) will need to roll a 12 to hit him. If you hit the unit, you kill it; the counter is turned face down until th eend of the attacked phase, and then removed at the end of the phase. Leader's can't be killed in preference to a unit on the same square - if you want to dig the King of Gondemar out from underneath that infantry unit, you've got to kill your way through the unit.

Terrain also influences combat, although to a lesser extent; the only unit really affected is cavalry, who suffer penalties if they try and do anything in the mountains, forest or swamp. That's both a realistic representation of combat and a good way to stop the good player from using the few turns of grace before the undead arrive around Farrondil to sweep the mountains or forest with cavalry units looking for Verokin or the Hunter.

As the evil player, it's always worth targeting pieces that can't be easily replaced by the good player; as the good player, you'll want to get the Gondemar pieces onto the Orc and Swamplord reinforcement squares, while keeping Farrondil as safe as possible. You'll probably manage a few turns of holding the Black Bridge (another exception - two regular units can sit on the bridge, not just one) with cavalry or the Farrondil Guard while archers fire from behind them before the undead break through and it becomes a general melee. Farrondil units can benefit from killing off undead units in pairs to drop the number that can regenerate, but the nastiest undead unit - the Spectre - is as hard to kill as the Hunter or the King of Gondemar, and will be summoned back by the evil player whenever it dies via magic.

The dice rolling in this game is both a blessing and a curse. Units fight largely as individuals; you can use Leaders to boost the abilities of units around them, but as movement takes place before combat you can't take advantage of holes punched in the enemy line to advance. While the dice will roll according to a bell curve over time, anyone who's ever played Settlers of Catan knows that in the average game, you'll roll at least 6 elevens and only 3 eights, just because the gods of fate are fickle. It's entirely likely that breaks for one side or the other on the battlefield will come from lucky dice rolls as much as strategy.

There remains a strong tactical element to the game, though; the good player is largely fighting a defensive game, but with occasional chances to really hammer the opponent. A good example of that is something called the fire wheels; once Hero has made contact with the King of Gondemar, you can in any one turn afterwards announce that you're using these cunning fire wheels Hero invented in combat. You can only use them once, but for any one combat phase, any Gondemar unit not in a swamp subtracts two from its attack number when attacking a swamplord piece. That's a big boost - the Gondemar infantry will spend that round hitting Swamplord infantry on a 6 or more, or a 5 if the King is nearby. The Gondemar cannon will be hitting on a 5, at range. Although the big Swamp Lizard is immune to the fire wheels because every rule in the game has an exception. A similar situation exists in the woods; find the Wizard of the Woods, put him next to some Pixie forces fighting the Forest Monster, and for one turn only the Pixies get a bonus to hit, making them actually about as good as a regular infantryman, rather than arrow fodder waiting to die.

Magic

There are only five units in the game that can cast spells; Malig, Mother Sulphur, the Skeleton Priest, Verokin and the Wizard of the Woods. Mother Sulphur and the Skeleton Priest start in play, while the others have to be found. Magic isn't a big part of the game in some ways, because there aren't that many spells, and each one is castable once. The only characters who can regain their spells are Malig, Verokin and the Skeleton priest; the first two by visiting their castles in the mountains, the other by returning to the bell. The spells available are Fog (nothing can attack you or anything in the six adjacent hexes next turn), Freeze (freeze an enemy unit in place until any leader on that side moves onto the same square), Lightning Bolt (one shot attack that can kill units), Part Water (move across a river for one turn as if it wasn't there), Summon Spectre and Geas.

Geas is a special case - you cast the spell, it travels across the board at a set movement rate and attempts to possess the King of Farrondil; it can be dispelled by Hero or Verokin, but unless dispelled will cause the King to charge out into the deadlands and probably become very dead in short order. Unless dispelled after it has already taken control of the King Malig can regenerate the spell back at her castle. Finding Malig is a useful way for the evil player to potentially strip away a useful piece from the good player from the safety of the mountains, although it takes at least two turns for the spell to hit the King each time it's launched.

The Skeleton Priest is the only Leader likely to regularly be able to recharge a spell while actually being useful in game; a tidy combat fighter, the Priest regenerates in a turn just like all the other undead, and as long as the Priest is still moving it can keep summoning back the Spectre to eat Farrondil units. The other spellcasters (with the exception of Malig's geas) are likely to be one-shot wonders. That one shot can be very useful, but don't count on magic to win the game for you.

One thing that's worth a mention is the Wind Demon unit. It doesn't play much of a part in the game, sitting in Farrondil along with the cursed king, but is a target for both sides as it's the only unit that can be recruited by either good or evil. If the evil player can get Hajjin next to the Wind Demon before the good player controls the Wind Demon, then the Wind Demon sides with evil. If the good player can either get Verokin next to the Wind Demon, or Hero – provided Hero's been in the same square as Verokin at some point in game – then the good player gets control of the Wind Demon. The good player can even do this if the evil player is currently controlling the Wind Demon, but the evil player cannot regain control of the Wind Demon if the good player has control.

In most games, this doesn't make a lot of difference; by the time Hajjin has been found or Verokin has woken up, the battle around Farrondil has probably been decided already. It can potentially make a lot of difference though, because the Wind Demon is the hardest single unit in the game. Period.

So how does it really play?

The first time you play, expect to do a lot of checking of the rulebook, and don't be surprised if post-game you end up in an argument. "Hey - you shouldn't have been able to regenerate that infantry unit that killed the Swamp Lizard because I had a unit on the tar pits on turn 'x'" is an example of that. There are a lot of special rules - and I mean a lot. The rulebook is very good at cross-referencing itself, so it's easy to find the rules, but it'll slow you down initially.

Luck of the dice is a huge part of this game, like you'd expect in any dice based wargame; I don't consider that much of a good or bad thing. After all, if you're playing the game you knew what to expect, right? It certainly creates moments of tension when units that shouldn't die do, but it can be frustrating when sheer weight of numbers combines with lucky dice to favour the evil player.

Perhaps the only real downside to the game is that you really are re-enacting the story; the advantages to following the story are so tangible in comparison to trying to win the game through straight combat that it's not worth doing anything else, unless you get very lucky with the dice. Equally, you won't find a lot of variety in the way you play; the basic strategy for each side won't change that much from game to game, and the variety will come from in-turn problems thrown up by the dice. You can make the game more challenging by increasing how much you depend on luck; you could have Hero collect the Swan Bones and try and neutralise the Bell as soon as possible, ignoring the other quests, or you could have Hero run to the mountains and try and find Verokin and gain control of the Wind Demon before meeting Hunter or aiding Gondemar... but the course most likely to give you a victory is that mapped out in the story.

The feel of the game is good; you have a lot of forces on the board to start off with on both sides, and there's a definite feeling of tension as the good player as units die faster than you can replace them, but the regeneration of units is linear. You know what you're going to get, and when; you can't prioritise your replacements to get better units back faster, which is a bit of a shame but probably a sensible rules mechanism.

You'll play this game, then play this game again taking the opposite side... and then you might play it again a bit later when you've found someone new to play against, but you probably won't have the urge to repeat play the same side against the same person too often. On balance, this is a good wargame scenario that's satisfying to play, has a lot of good fluff to back it up and meets its remit well, but that remit is narrowly defined.
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Lewis Pulsipher
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This was the first boardgame published by Games Workshop, as I recall. It is odd because my task was to design a game to reflect a short story that was conjured up to include a line of miniatures, "Valley of the Four Winds", made by someone other than Game Workshop. I don't know who named the minis, but it seemed that Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, founders of GW, wrote much if not all of the story--a pseudonymn was used to represent a collective authorship.

I can't say I remember anything about the process of design, though I do remember playtesting it at GW's upstairs offices, among other places.

In effect, it is an historical game, but not the way I would normally write an historical game. History is rife with chance, so an historical game need not stay close to "reality"; in this case, I had to make a game that would resemble the history as seen in the story, period.

Some years ago I contacted a GW lawyer (long after Steve and Ian had sold it) about reprinting. I have the rights to the game, but the short story is another question, and I'm not sure a reprint without the short story would make sufficient sense. Unfortunately, after he said he'd look into it, I never heard another word despite further inquiry.

In any case, it is an old-fashioned sort of game, though at least I avoided piles of pieces and combat factors a la Avalon Hill.

Lew Pulsipher (designer)
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David Roe
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Lewis, thanks for designing such a great game.

As a youngster, I enjoyed many sessions with Valley of the four winds, and I never read the 'novella' that came with it.

I particularly liked the undead army and the bell, and if I recally correctly the way the various factions needed to be mustered by the central 'good' hero, quite LoTRish.

I wonder if White Bear Red Moon had any influence on the design. Although I played it much later, it reminded me of VoTFW quite a lot.

I'm constantly surprised at how great BGG is - a great review of a classic game, and the first comment is by the designer!
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Lewis Pulsipher
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I did know WBRM, though I don't recall if I actually played it. Nor do I recall if it had any influence.

Interesting to know that you played but did not read the story.

Lew
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Edmond Hyland
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Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly. -- Neil Gaiman, Sandman Vol 6
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I hadn't realised that it was Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston who'd written the story as a collaboration. I knew it dated from the days when Games Workshop wasn't completely inward-looking in terms of business.

The limited nature of the game because of the story is why I think of this as a scenario rather than a game; I think you did a good job of making a playable and challenging game within the constraints given. The game feels a little like the Fighting Fantasy books that Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston used to write - while it was theoretically possible to have several routes to success, often you could only get away with minor variations and still succeeding due to key tasks or activities that had to be performed.

Compared to other games I have from the same era, this feels like a game finished in one piece, where other games have basic rules and advanced/optional rules to make things more complex or more realistic. That's one of the things I've always liked about this game - it feels complete, and makes you work in a complex environment from the start.
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Adrian Lovelace
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i would love to see this game reprinted... i have never played/owned it but every now and again i try (unsuccessfuly) to find a copy! and it was made the same year i was born! lol
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Lewis Pulsipher
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As I may have said some tim ago, I once wrote to Games Workshop (no longer owned by Jackson and Livingstone) to try to get permission to have the story, but that didn't go beyond the initial reply from a lawyer. I suppose I should consider looking for a publisher and not worry about the story right now.

Any notions of who might be interested?

Lew
 
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Adrian Lovelace
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would it really be lacking without the story? also has games workshop left it alone long enough to lose their rights to it?
 
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Lewis Pulsipher
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The rights to the game reverted to me long ago. But the story is a different question. And copyrights have tended to be lengthened in the past several decades. There's no such thing as "it's abandoned so I can legally use it".
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Adrian Lovelace
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so we could get a reissue of the game... but for the story we would have to wait till someone loads a pdf into the files section? or is the story tied into it more then that?
 
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Lewis Pulsipher
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I designed the game to reflect the story. But I can't judge how much the absence or presence of the story would affect someone's enjoyment of the game.

Remember, the majority of game buyers are not denizens of BGG.
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Kim Meints
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Lewis

This was one of my all time favorite fantasy games back in the day.I too never read any of the books either but the game was a pure joy to play.

Kim Meints
 
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Lewis Pulsipher
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Well, perhaps I'll snoop around to see if any publisher is interested. Hex wargames are out of fashion, though this IS unusual as hex wargames go.

Lew
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Rich Carlson
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Re: Valley Of The Four Winds
I still have two copies of VotFW. One punched and very played (purchased around 1981), and one in very good condition unpunched (purchased perhaps in the early-mid 90's). "Valley" is one of my favorite fantasy wargames of all time. Within my top five to be sure. You did a great job with it Lewis.

A reprint would be wonderful so as to introduce a whole new audience to this terrific game. Best of luck getting the story rights. --I'll bet it's a good possibility that GW these days has no idea where the story stuff is. Things do tend to get lost in the mists of time, especially at paper game companies. I'd keep pressing them. Gently but steadily.
 
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Mark Ryan
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Lewis,

Tom Dye of Minifigs (www.minifigs.com) would be worth contacting. His company still retains the rights to produce the VFW figures. There is a fan group who is subscribing to reissues of the figure line. I believe the Bell is almost fully subscribed and some of the other figures are in production again. You could also post on The Miniatures Page (theminiaturespage.com) as there have been a number of posts concerning the figures and I am sure parties would be interested in a reissue of the game.

Mark
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Lewis Pulsipher
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I've recently discovered that the story was written by Dave Langford (very well-known SF/F fandom figure in the UK), then modified a bit by Ian and Steve.

I got in touch with Tom, but it's long enough ago that I don't recall for sure... he may have been thinking about reissuing some of the V4W figures.

Lew
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Kevin
England
Hull
East Riding of Yorkshire
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But we have to change the rules because Monopoly's so boring!
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Thanks for such an awsome review I really appreciate the time you have taken to write this.

I haven't played this game yet although I've had it for 20 years I reckon.

I probably would have never played it, having it not been for the obsessive in me, suddenly deciding to write crib sheets for all my games.

I have only recently got into board games, being a MTG card flopper for 15 years and a RPG'er for 25 years.

Anyway I will be printing off your review and hopefully going through the rule book, to do the crib sheet and then might get round to actually playing it.

If you have a crib sheet btw that would be most appreciated.

thanks
 
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Tom McVey
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Like others, I played the heck out of this game. It would have been nice to have more flexibility and scenarios, but for it's time it was a quick, well-designed fantasy light wargame. Has certainly aged better than "Warlock", one of the Games Workshop games published then, which is virtually unplayable thanks to poor writing of the rules and complexity that adds nothing to gameplay.
 
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David Gordon
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Lewis,

i read a lot of your articles in White Dwarf and read the VFW story. i have the board game and some of the pixies too. Did the figure range have a set of wargame rules? I'd love the bell and wind demon but looking to recreate using wargames rules and 15mm figures.
David.
 
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David Gordon
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Hi Lewis,

Just to add that I never read the story before playing the game. In the game, the evil player gets to move the bell and skeletons in the first evil turn. In the story (which I read recently) the bell doesn't leave Hellmouth Cave till the King of Farrondil has Malig's geas fall on him, then he rides over the bridge into the Plain of Darkness and awakens the dead. By that time, Hero and his band have already travelled to Gondemar, helped the dwarves and gained the Swan Bones, then travelled through Greengorm forest, encountered the orcs and witches, then met the Hunter. helped the Pixies fight the Forest Monster, travelled to Verokin's castle then rushed to stop the geas.

I really don't think you need the story. Remember that the story is summarised in the first couple of pages of the rules.


The story was serialised in issues 8 to 13 of White Dwarf.
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David Gordon
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Hi Lewis, have you tried Fantasy Flight?
 
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