Wednesday 30 May 2018

Lion Rampant for Bronze Age

So Wargaming friend Chris Charlton had a free night at the club (a rare event) and asked what I wanted to play. Lion Rampant please! I have not played Lion Rampant before, I wanted a feel for it to help me when I come to try Pikemans Lament targeted at the later periods but I assume with similar mechanics. I also wanted to see if Lion Rampant could be translated for use in the Bronze age.

It seems it can.

My Bronze Age collection is one of my favourites visually. Its simple but very elegant, the figures by Perry's are lush and I spent a lot of time getting them just how I wanted them. I added a lot of minor conversions in as it was a small range with lots of repeated sculpts. Felt so good to get them on table I spent almost as much time taking pictures as playing.

The first lot of pictures I nicked from Chris, they have a bit more colour than mine, I used the phone camera as I forgot my tablet, Doh!

It was a simple game, denied the use of the holy site my Warrior queen descended on the neighbouring village to wreak revenge taking her best warriors with her. The local chief has rallied his troops, they are not as good but there is a lot more of them. Six units against four, but I had the quality. Chris had made some very minor amends to the Lion Rampant rules to allow for Chariots and before we started we both made some boasts which would come back to haunt us later as they come with victory points (or not).

We have quite a lot of eye candy for this collection, the priest making an offering and the dancing lady are favourites, but lots of villagers, buildings, livestock and alters to the gods scattered across the table add a nice sense of pre-history to the game.

The chariots are a must for me when doing Bronze Age, lots of evidence for these in Northern Europe during the period, so far in Britain just one wheel that might belong to a chariot but I live in hope. Personally I think they must of had them, everything else in Bronze Age Europe found its way to Britain so I am sure chariots did too. Well that's my excuse anyway!

Here my warrior queen leads her bodyguard into battle.
The rules turned out to be quite interesting, you activate each unit in turn rolling two D6 if you fail no more units can activate and the go passes to your opponent. My better troops had lower activation scores so were easier to control, they also had better courage so would take more damage. As the game went on however and these good units become slowly eroded by fighting the slightly poorer ones they started to slowly become less effective, taking one from each die roll for each casualty.
Chris had a small unit of badly armed villagers "there to lend a hand" more of that later.
In the first action of the game both Leaders charged each other with their retinues, both inflicting casualties, the fight was a draw so as the instigator of the charge Chris had to pull back 3 inches.
Having withdrawn Chris now charged my Queen and chariots with his warriors, in terms of Lion Rampant think of these as dismounted men at arms, for our Bronze Age purposes they are our Hero's.
Another draw and the Hero's withdraw.
My turn and my Cavalry test to charge the nearest foot unit, they pass and pile in. We have made these the equivalent of mounted Knights which might be a bit extreme, not surprisingly they did very well and forced the foot back with heavy casualties leaving them "battered" a bit like the shaken rule in other games, they have to recover before joining back in.

By this time I had completely forgotten the boasts made at the beginning, I had not noted that to fail these removes victory points and had not properly read the first one I signed up to. I wonder if that will bite me in the bum later?
Chris's Javelin men on the outside of his line decided not to move at all, these guys were pretty reluctant to participate for the majority of the game it has to be said.

The priest might not be too happy with chariots and ponies trampling all over his Holy Site, but pretty sure that the God/Goddess would be happy enough with the blood sacrifice to come.

The "Villagers" turned out to be Bidowers, when I checked the rules it seems not only can they both move and fire unlike other troops they are described as "Expert Skirmishers" so much for "Lending a hand". T be fair I don't think Chris had realised. The Bidowers whilst brittle and very useful indeed. As soon as my Hero's were within 12 of the village a shower of missile weapons took the first one out. My original plan to march right past and ignore them no longer seemed such a good idea.

As the melees broke apart my archers came into the fray and took another of the enemy chieftains war band out.
The two leaders warbands were falling thick and fast. It has to be said that once you get going Lion Rampant is pretty bloody.

Chris threw his chieftain against my Hero's and eventually destroyed them, however we had worn him down and a further 2 volleys from the archers saw off both his warband and chieftain. Meanwhile my own chieftains warband was gradually being eroded, the Cavalry having virtually destroyed 2 units of enemy spear men was down to just 3 riders. At half strength units drop to have the attack dice so they suddenly become far less effective.

Within another 2 moves we are won to just 5 units on table, at this point we begin to roll to see if the game ends, we are finished when a roll on a D6 is higher than the remaining troops. Eventually we are left with the reluctant javelin men who are untouched but miles away, the "Helpful Villagers" or "Expert Skirmishers depending on your point of view and facing them just my archers, as the Cavalry were destroyed and the Warrior queen fled the field.

Finally we roll a 2 and its the last go. The Bidowers over the hill behind which they retreated only to be cut down to a man by short range archery.

The game ends with an almost intact unit of Archers for me and a completely intact unit of reluctant Javelin men for Chris.

That's it, everyone else is dead or run away.
Chris tots up the scores, based on casualties I am one point in front. Now what about boasting points. Chris achieved two of his and not the other, I have boasted I will kill his Chieftain, whilst I did this, I hadn't read it properly, mowing him down with archery wouldn't cut it, it had to be single combat, so I loose a point. All units will be bloodied! Again all of my units inflicted casualties, however the devil is in the detail, the archers had to kill their enemy in combat not ranged attack, loose another point. Finally I had to destroy Chris's best unit. We could safely assume with only the reluctant javelin men left I had achieved this so 2 points.

Where did this leave us? You guessed it, a hard fought draw!

Read the scenario next time Roger!
So first of all big thanks to Chris for organising the game and letting me get my Bronze Age stuff out after a long gap.

The rules were simple and fun and worked really well. They need some tweaks to better reflect Bronze Age but that's hardly a surprise, taken as a whole I think they will be a really good fit and as soon as I am fit to paint again I have no doubt I will be cracking back on with more Bronze Age figures.

So I hope you enjoyed our little trip into pre-history, I certainly did, see you next time.

Friday 25 May 2018

Hill Tribe for Sikh Wars

First unit completed by the basing department. Fish and chips had to be employed in bribery. Still I got some too so no complaints.

First unit of Hill tribes for Sikh Wars is complete, all old Foundry Afghans apart from the officer who is a Sikh. I mentioned before that I am thinking of these as the Muslims tribes on the North West Frontier of the Punjab, Jalalabad and also Kashmir and Jammu, rather than actual Afghans.

Flag as usual from virtual armchair general.

I have purposely tried to make them irregular on each base rather than strict ranks to add to that tribal irregular feel. Not that easy though on a 40mm square base.
Fairly subdued colours with a bright splash here and there. You will notice I seem to have quite a few of a couple of the figures, but painting them all different seems to disguise them a bit. Another of these in the Pipeline along with Sikhs with melee weapons. This gives me 5 completed foot units for the Sikhs and 2 part completed. A few more company troops and I might have enough for a very small game. Must do a review when some more are done.

I quite like how the lighting has worked in this last lot so I may try and replicate it next time.