Many thanks to the inimitable Endzeitgeist for his always-detailed reviews, the latest of which for Legendary Games was devoted to Ultimate War, the third installment in our line of expansions to the mass combat and kingdom-building rules for the Pathfinder RPG. Endy is a big fan of mass combat and we were looking forward to seeing what he had to say about our latest foray into this arena. Here are some of his thoughts to sum up:
Jason Nelson took a *long* time making this final piece of the triumvirate of expansions and refinements to Paizo’s kingdom building/mass-combat system (which he also wrote, just fyi). It is not a big surprise then, that the resulting books, unfettered from the limitations of page-count and relative simplicity, have been an utter BLAST to read and use. Offering options to get rid of some overly generic simplifications of the base system, the first two books were beyond superb and managed to add so incredibly much to the base systems I never, ever want to play kingdom building and mass combat without their options again. Now the thing is – Ultimate War was pending and its task was to close the final gaps and cover the true clash of armies, remembering all the small modifications AND refining the base system. I’ll make this short:
If you even remotely plan to run mass combat BUY THIS NOW. The additional options, even if you use neither aerial, nor naval or siege combat, are GOLD: The fact that they work perfectly together makes for truly dynamic mass combat. the vast expansion of boons and tactics translate to mass combat that is infinitely more exciting, strategic and ultimately fun. Now it’s perhaps due to approximately 15K points of warhammer miniatures in my attic, but I expect some tactical options from a given system and Ultimate War’s expansion fits the bill perfectly – indeed, the variance and peculiarities of aerial combat and naval combat allow for a finer gradation in these areas.
The most impressive component of these rules, beyond their modularity and synergy, though, would be the fact that this one system supports not only all those particular special cases, it allows for transparency and overlap between them – ships that can turn aerial? Why not! Cadres of wyrms rising from the waves to take to the skies, then land and wreck havoc among the elven archers?? Go for it, with this book, you can properly portray that – and the dogfight between the draconic assault and the giant eagle riding knights in the air! The assault of the gnomish submersible-riding saboteurs on the siege-weapon bearing frigate. This book is glorious, a must-buy for everyone who considered the base rules of Ultimate Campaign too simple, too rudimentary – with this, you could conceivably play a thoroughly compelling, interesting, strategic CAMPAIGN of warfare – and honestly, I’d probably have a nerdgasm if Legendary Games released a full mass combat-AP using these rules. For now, I have to plot, devise strategies and generate *a lot* of adventure material; I just have resolved to up the emphasis on war in my current campaign!
This book is brilliant, a worthy successor to its stellar companion books, and well worth a final rating of 5 stars + seal of approval + nomination as a candidate for my top ten of 2014. An absolute must-buy-level tome and one that also receive the endzeitgeist essential-tag as one of the must-have tomes for a campaign!
You can read his full review on his website here! Thanks as always to Endy and to everyone that takes the time to review one of our products, or the product of any 3PP. Your feedback helps all of us make our products better and helps the community know more about the terrific products available from small presses all over the gaming world.
Oh, and one more thing, Ultimate War isn’t the FINAL installment in this series of books. Ultimate Armies is already in production, and hopefully will be ready to release sometime next spring.