|Note: this page is adapted from
the excellent compilation done by Bob Gingell about the Cry
The Origin Of Cry
Standard Games Company
Games In The Series
Differences Between English And French Versions
The Origin Of Cry Havoc
|Two wargamers with miniature
figures (Gary Chalk and Tony Webster) decided that they
could make a better game than the one they were playing. The
objective was to have a brief and playable set of rules and
to have fun. Gary Chalk, the designer, was identified from a
review of the game by Peter Hatton in Fire & Movement 27
(May-June 1982). Other reviews at that time did not name the
designers, and no information was given with the game
itself. Tony Webster contacted Cryhavocinternetclub
in 2003 to identify himself as co-designer with Gary Chalk.
Gary would have left Standard Games by 1983, in which year
he was working for Games Workshop as co-designer of
“Battlecars” and as the artist for “Talisman”; he is a book
responsible for the illustrations for Tony Jacques’
‘Redwall’ series of fantasy books.
Standard Games was a small company that was an offshoot of a
printing company. Their earliest publications, in 1981, were
prints of WW1 aircraft and sheets of 25mm ‘card warriors’.
These were followed by CRY
HAVOC and then in 1982 by
collections of photographs from 19th century wars, 6ft x 4ft
‘Felt-hex’, and a number of role-playing game aids.
Four other board wargames appeared in 1982-1983, all by
freelance designers, but none achieved the popularity of
Games In The Series
SIEGE got published in 1983.
Alan E. Paull was the designer, with graphics by Peter Dennis. The
design for the castle in SIEGE was loosely based on
Skenfrith Castle in Wales. Apparently the game was first
advertised before he even started to design it, so the nine
months of research, design and play testing was “a lot of
fun” but very intensive. He comments that “the system was by
no means perfect”, but that he was under a major restriction
of having to keep it compatible with CRY HAVOC, to keep
the component costs down and to finish within a very tight
Alan Paull also wrote the first scenario booklet for CRY
HAVOC in 1984, and contributed to SAMURAI BLADES,
even though the actual game designer is Peter O'Toole. Graphics were still made by Peter Dennis.
whose designers are unknown, was released in 1985. The next
year is the publication date for the second scenario booklet
(by Jim Webster
and LM Locke, with edits by Andy McKay) as well as
DARK BLADES by
VIKING RAIDERS is published in 1987 (by
David Levell) and at last the DARK BLADES extension around
1989, still by Chris Baylis for the scenarios, with the help
of Andy McKay for the rules.
|Duccio adapts the rules of CRY HAVOC
and SIEGE as early as 1984. The first versions available in
France only include a type written translation (that I am
glad to own!). Later on, the games will be printed by Rexton
with a complete French version. Both original games are
followed by the adaptation of SAMURAI in 1985, as well as
the first scenario booklet (in which an 8th scenario is
CROISADES (OUTREMER) is released 2 years later, together
with both extensions the
TEMPLARS' CASTLE and the
FORTIFIED MEDIEVAL TOWN (with graphics by Paul Kirby).
Rexton company is renamed Eurogames, and Duccio releases
both DRAGON NOIR 1 and VIKINGS (with a contribution by Yves Fagherazzi
for the ship rules and the scenarios). All the new maps are
created by Jean-Michel Clément. 4 additional maps are
released at the same period: The Ford, The Coast &, The
Coast 2 and The Open Field. At last in 1993, the second
episode of DRAGON NOIR ends the French series, with new maps
still created by J.M. Clément.
Eurogames versions were very successful: Over 100,000 game
boxes have been sold over the years, with CRY HAVOC and
SIEGE reaching approximately 15,000 boxes sold each.
Differences Between English and French Versions
|Original rules for CRY HAVOC, SIEGE
and SAMURAI BLADES were not fully compatible, and left
several aspects in the dark. Duccio Vitale's adaptations
went through a lot of alterations to make them more
consistent and clear. They can be considered as the basic
set of rules.
CROISADES saw a significant change with the
original rules of OUTREMER, especially with the addition of
a defensive fire phase. Strategic and role playing rules are
also a significant addition. As far as game materials, the
strategic maps and counters are specific to the Rexton/Eurogames
VIKINGS adds rowboats to the drakkars and galiotes of the
English box and provides a totally different set of maps:
instead of the Coast and Sea maps, the French version
replaces them with 6 maps: 2 Sea maps (with a darker blue),
2 standard size maps (The Abbey and The Watchtower), as well
as 2 junction maps names Cape 1 &2. These 4 latter maps can
be assembled to form an island, an estuary, or both banks of
DRAGON NOIR 1 doesn't use the strategic map of Labrynthia,
but adds 2 underground tactical maps, as well as 3 sets of
magic terrain and modified counters. Most of the characters
names got changed as well. In Dragon Noir 2, 6
additional underground maps are exclusive to the French
version, as well as new counters.
initially due to be called "Defenders of the Faith" and
include morale rules. This game was being developed by Alan Paull,
but the project collapsed when he left Standard
Games in 1985, and another team resume the project without
Duccio Vitale had also prepared a
project for the "Krak des Chevaliers", covering 6
maps. It never was released either.
The attached picture is the original drawing of this
huge fortress, that Duccio still owns and that I
started to colorize.
was supposed to be an extension to VIKINGS, long
awaited but never released. The translucent films
for the black color had stretched due to heat and no
longer matched the outlines of the color plates.
Duccio didn't have the means to relaunch this
expensive process, although the project was almost
Eurogames announced 4 episodes for DRAGON NOIR, but only
the first 2 got published. Duccio shared with us the planned
storyboard of the 2 last episodes as well as sketches of the
War Wolves. They are now presented shortly in a
Standard Games had a project dealing with
the Norman conquest of England, but it was never completed.
Eurogames resumed the project with an extension named "Diex
Aïe" (Help Me God in Latin, the Norman war cry). Designed by
Henri Perrin and Jean Michel Clément, this project collapsed
when Henri had to leave for Germany (Internet didn't exist
at that time...).
The game was an adaptation of the strategic system of
CROISADES to Northern europe, putting aside the section
about Character evolution but focusing on logistics and
rules for combat groups. Factions included Normans, Saxons,
Norses, Danes and the Count of Boulogne with their own type
of troops and a few specific rules. Alliances could be
undertaken for multi-player games, taking into account
historic factors. A few counters and maps had been sketched
as well as an adaptation of the SIEGE rules to the 11th
At last, Duccio was planning to release an extension
about the Hundred Years War, for which Philippe Gaillard
contributed to write the historical background section. But
the project never went through.