Everything you need is in just one book. The rules, army lists, modelling section and scenarios, all in one big blue book, which is no longer in print but can be picked up on ebay for around £10, quite a steal for a hardback book containing more than 300 pages of the usual GW quality content.
The game is played in turns, split into movement, shooting, charging and combat, but in an alternating sequence. Players roll at the start of the turn for initiative, then player1 moves his troops, then player2 moves his troops, then player1 shoots, then player2 shoots and so on. I prefer this system, there's far less down time waiting for your opponent to complete all phases. It makes the game feel more engaging, you only have to wait a couple of minutes before you are called on to do something.
Charging is performed in a similar way. Pre-measuring is allowed, then there's a dice roll with an amount (dependent on unit type) added to see if the charge reaches the enemy. If it does not, the charger simply remains where he started. If successful, the companies move up and fan out, not necessarily remaining in the same formation they started in. I find this to be quite realistic and satisfying, compared to the rigid charges of other systems.
|One Chart to Rule Them All|
At the basic level the game plays smoothly and quickly. The rules are simple and logical for the most part, though the shooting stat is an oddity. For some reason a higher shooting stat means poorer shooting - probably this was the old "to hit" value in the skirmish game. There's also very little in the way of morale. There's no panic when nearby units are butchered, or for other unsettling events. But for the most part, the basic rules give a very reasonable and satisfying wargaming experience.