War of the Roses update adds firearms and a new map

You know you're in trouble when the other guy brings a handgonne to a swordfight. The latest update to Fatshark's War of the Roses: Kingmaker lets you do just that, with the addition of guns, more armor options, and a new map called Ravenspurn.

Update 1.7.0, appropriately titled the Guns of Burgundy, went live yesterday and has made available the new handgonne weapon class. A short-range weapon, each of the four firearms in the category offers a different mix of damage output and encumbrance when equipped. Their advantages, according to information from the developer, seem clear: they offer some devastating new options when brawling and can damage enemy shields. Since success in the War of the Roses often comes down to outfitting your knight or footman with the most effective—and mobile—balance of armor and weapons, bringing guns to the fight should offer up some intriguing new battlefield scenarios and squad tactics.

The patch, which "due to a technical issue" needs a complete download of the more than 6 GB client, does not add any "major" balance tweaks to the game, according to the developers . This seems to signal that the development team wants to see how the handgonnes affect the medieval setting of War of the Roses before any balancing takes place. And with publisher Paradox Interactive actively seeking new players for the third-person title, offering an alternative to blades and bows might be just what War of the Roses needs to bring more knights to the party.

War of the Roses: Kingmaker is currently available at 50 percent off as part of Steam's Paradox Interactive weekend sale and also offers a demo version to download.