Monday, 16 December 2019

Last game of 2019: Dragon Rampant

Last game of the year was a welcome return to Dragon Rampant. I laid out the 6' x 4' table and we played with 36 points (in contrast to Lion Rampant) in order to allow more scope for magical elements. We allowed units to be 1" from friends, but otherwise attempted to play by the rules as written.

We also used Quests, both choosing three very similar 2-Glory ones. Winning the basic scenario was worth 5 Glory, so it was necessary to have a potential of 6 Glory to provide an alternative path to victory.

The game featured Ian's beautifully painted Chaos army versus my barely undercoated Elves on their first outing. As usual, my figures are based on 2p pieces - thank you to my fellow gamers for continuing to keep me supplied. Many of Ian's figures towered over mine, projecting an initial sense of menace and intimidation!

The Elves comprised:

King and Companions EF Leader Missiles
Spearmen LF Offensive x2
Archers LM Sharpshooters x2
Druid HF Wizardling

 'The Chaotic Bunch' were:

Dragon-Ogre Shaggoth ER Leader Level Headed Fear
Centigors LR Short Missiles
Minotaurs GW
Chaos Reavers EF
Bestigors HF Offensive
Gargant BF
Gors and Ungors RH

This is the first time we played with a significant linear obstacle - the stone wall. We were perplexed as to how a unit could Attack an enemy standing back, say 1", on the other side of a linear obstacle, so decided to ignore the obstacle for the purpose of Attacks. What should happen is that the Attack should be done in two stages. The first stage brings the attacker to the wall even though this may be closer to the enemy than 3". A subsequent Attack then takes the Attacker over the wall and into contact. In other words, while a normal move cannot end closer than 3" an Attack stopped by a linear obstacle can. Had we played this way I'd have got in a round of extra shots.

The Pendraken dice-frame strength markers look overly prominent in the photos but work well for Single Model Units and Reduced Model Units. The blood drops (indicating Battered units) are from Products for Wargamers.

The enemy Leader - an Elite Rider with Armour of 4, was a tough nut to crack. At first I started to have serious doubts about the effectiveness of missile fire and at one point I thought everything was lost. But with only 6 Strength Points, Elite Riders (and Elite Foot) are brittle. Killing the enemy Leader fulfilled one of my Quests and caused the enemy Warband to take Courage Tests.

The Minotaurs were after my Druid, another Quest target, and eventually succeeded in killing him. They were about to do more damage when they failed to Activate and crucially lost the initiative. This was something of a turning point in the game and Ian blamed this for losing him the game.

The Chaos Reavers (top left in the above photo) took the Scenic route through the rocky outcrop. This severely delayed them. Had they arrived earlier it could have been a game changer.

The end game. The Chaos Reavers (left) made a strategic withdrawal to take them out of harm's way while the Ravenous Horde (right) were seen off by more missile fire.

Although I had wondered about the power of missiles, they worked in the end and I would seriously consider taking the Spearmen as Mixed Weapons in future rather than as Offensive. Once you decide on a modus operandi for a particular army you might as well rationalise its application. An Elf army in which every unit can deliver a sting rather appeals.

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