Tuesday, 5 November 2019

My introduction to Lion Rampant

The English defending their hearths and homes.
I played this first game of Lion Rampant back in May 2018. This report has been kicking around for some time. The game was set in the Dark Ages but we used just the ordinary Lion Rampant rules rather than the Landwasters and Raven Feeders extension. We didn't use Leader Traits or Boasts.

The English viewed from their left flank. What a nice little village!
I set up a trial scenario based on forcing a river crossing. The Attacker's objective was to get across a ford and contact a settlement. The Defender's objective was to prevent that, but the game was basically about crossing the ford (and trying out the rules).

The Viking marauders.
The game featured my old 25mm Viking army which I'd split into two armies and rebased on coins. My opponent, Bernard, had a generous 34 points of Vikings while I had 24 points of Anglo-Danes. They would never have called themselves that, so let's just refer to them as the English.

Squaring up at the ford.
Vikings
2 Huscarls (Men-at-Arms)* @ 12
1 Hirdman (Serjeants, Expert) @ 6
2 Bondi (Yeomen, Mixed Weapons) @ 10
1 Berserkir (Fierce Foot) @ 4
1 Scouts (Bidowers) @ 2

The English unit at the ford is well-supported.
English
2 Huscarls (Men-at-Arms)* @ 12
1 Select Fyrd (Serjeants) @ 4
1 General Fyrd (Yeomen, Javelins) @ 4
2 Skirmishers (Bidowers) @ 4

Face-to-face.
We played lengthwise on a 6' x 4' area. The river was impassable apart from the ford which was difficult ground. The felt templates represented copses. I didn't have any large trees at that time. The wattle fencing was a linear obstacle, but the Vikings never got that far.

The Berserkir, already weakened, finally make their move.
The Vikings enjoyed a prompt start. Bernard held the Berserkir back to avoid any wild charges but they eventually emerged as his unit of choice to contest the ford, but when they got into position they refused to do so! Evidently too many magic mushrooms. This gave my skirmishers a good opportunity to shoot them down.

The English counter-attack across the river.
We played for about 2 hours before calling time. The Vikings never did get across the ford but had the game continued they probably would have done. As we had not defined a game end point, we agreed to call it a draw.
 
A ford too far exposes the English unit to annihilation.
We found that shooting can be quite decisive. Faced with missile troops, fighting defensively is not really an option. Had the game continued (and if my Retinue had not been so depleted!) I would have been forced onto the offensive.

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