Dragon Rampant - batrep / review / trial game
As promised, here's the (delayed, while I cleared out our box room and started to transform it into my "man cave"!!) post about these rules.
I had played through a game with a friend, but the photo's were totally rubbish (these aren't great, but loads better than the ones I had to scrap) so I christened my new table with a solo game for the blog.
Rather than it being another 'stand alone' battle, it forms part of an ongoing campaign since I needed a result from a clash between an Empire force and an Orc rearguard which remained on the wrong side of the border crossing!
Two forces were assembled to make up "24 point warbands" using the guidelines in the rule book. The only modelling I had to do was to re-base the orc chieftain, base up a couple of goblin shaman proxies, paint and base an "Earl" (command figure for the 'Men Of The West' warband) and a "wizardling" (lesser battle wizard.... sounds too much like something from Harry Potter to me, so will definitely be changing the title!!) and I ended up with 5 units for the orcs and 6 units for the humans - not huge armies, but there's no limits to the points values you might want to use for bigger (or smaller) games.
One of the simple game mechanics is that all units are either 12 or 6
"strength points" - a measure of how much damage they can take, and
easily represented by the number of figures in the unit.
though, units may be represented by "reduced model units" (RMU) with a
just a couple, or a single figure with some form of 'casualty tracking'
(I use a mini dice in a recess on the textured base) to represent
leaders or units like trolls, giants etc.
The recommended table size is 4ft x 4ft, but I played this on my 3ft square table since it was to be a quick encounter scenario in a narrow river valley.
A nice bit of 'flavour' is that leaders may have "traits", which are simply diced for on a list.
The orc chieftain is Brave - not affected by fear effects, and the Earl is Strong - may re-roll one failed hit dice in any combat.
Units must be "activated" before they'll do anything, and their stats show the score needed on 2 dice if you want them to move, shoot or attack, and, here's the rub - a failed unit activation ends your turn and hands activation to the opposition. This is very similar to the 'success rolls' in Song of Blades and Heroes, and a neat way of adding a bit of uncertainty to the game - great for solo play!!
Turn 1. The knights, the red unit of spearmen and the Earl advanced to threaten the orc line, but the blue spear unit failed the move activation, ending the turn for the humans.
They passed their "shoot activation" roll
The knights must now immediately take a "courage test" because they've received casualties. Again, two dice are rolled against their "Courage value" (in their case, it's 4)
plus 1 for being within 12 inches of their leader,
The wolf riders decided to stay in the cover of the woods (failed their move activation), so turn 2 ended for the orcs.
The orc archers have an "armour value" of 2, so remove 4 casualties. The knights again lose one figure.
Both units immediately take "courage tests" because of the casualties (and both failed spectacularly!) routing from the field of battle.... not a lot you can do with 'snake eyes'!
The red unit of spearmen pass their "attack activation"
Note to self: get some "Battered" markers sorted out!
I gave them three random options - throw spears from the wood at the blue unit of spearmen (1-2),
attack the spearmen (3-4), attempt to 'outflank' and go for the wizardling (I hate that name!) or the Earl if possible (5-6). The dice came up with a six........
Turn 4. Hmmmm. According to what it says in the Important Rules Conventions "There is no 'unit facing'. All models can see, move and shoot in all directions........"
So, the blue unit took and passed an "attack activation" and slammed into the mounted goblins, winning the melee 3 to 1
The unit of archers failed their activation roll (again),
Turn 5. The archers actually passed a move activation
and closed into range of the remaining greenskins.
Only the second time I've played the rules, and I have to say, I really enjoyed them!
Not sure how they'll be with bigger forces, so I might still use good old 3rd edition Warhammer, but I'll give 'em a go.
Excellent fun, and I'm looking forward to spending some more time in my new "gaming space"!
EDIT:- I forgot to mention, the rules as printed specify that ALL units must maintain a 3 inch distance between them (friend and foe alike), unless one unit is "attacking" another.
There's been plenty of debate about this on the interweb, and generally agreed that the rule should be dropped regarding 'friendly forces' - which I've done in my own games (just in case anyone reading the above AAR takes exception to my battle lines)