Fun is Rampant!

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Fun is Rampant!

Postby Eilif » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:42 am

A couple of brief Battle Reports and some thoughts about Dragon Rampant.
The forces and scenarios were drawn from both Dragon Rampant (the fantasy version) which Tim had and Lion Rampant (the historical version) which I had borrowed.

Tim fielded an army of Dwarves, Pigmen, a dragon and a mechanical hero/leader drawn from the Dragon Rampant rulebook. I fielded a basic Chaos force using Mounted Men at Arms, Foot Men at Arms, Foot Sergeants (Beastmen) and Crossbowmen (Chaos Archers) and Scouts drawn from the "Lion Rampant" book.

The first was a defend the "Immovable Object" Scenario from Lion Rampant. As the defender my goal was to defeat half of Tim's force. His objective was to get a single miniature in contact with the objective.

As the defender I placed my Archers and Foot Sergeants on the objective, a round well/cistern in the middle of the table. The rest of my forces were placed along my board edge and Tim's along his.

The Pigmen advanced to the right of the stone pillar.

The Chaos Cavalry charged down the same lane.

At this point most of our other units had failed to activate regularly so it was the Pigmen and Cavalry who first clashed.

The Pigmen took the brunt of the attack, but the Clockwork Dragon had been advancing up the flank and charged into the Cav.

He was only slightly damaged, but horrible luck ensued and he fled off the table. The Pigmen were then asailed by the archers and the Cavalry and followed suit. With half the attacking force defeated the game was over.

Some terrible dice rolling had afflicted Tim's force but with the quick end of this battle we were left with time to play a second game.

For our second game we took a scenario from Dragon Rampant whereby I (as the attacker) was to carry an sacred totem from a cave in the North west corner of the table to the SE corner.

The Defender deployed mostly from SE corner and their goal was to take back the Totem and return it to the cave.

Carrying the Totem, the Chaos Cavalry charged out. Except for the Beastmen -who would lag behind for the entire game- the rest of the force mostly kept up the advance.

The sole unit deployed in the SW corner...

...the Dragon headed strait for the Chaos Cav.

In the ensuing battle both sustained casualties, but it was the dragon who backed away.

This kept him in range of the archers who finished off the monstrous beast.

In the center of the board, my scouts had been swiftly moving through various cover, but when they met the pigmen on open ground they were completely wiped out in one round of combat.

The somewhat depleted Knights continued their press toward the SE corner only to come face to face with the devious mechanical knight leader who singlehandedly defeated the remaining knights causing them to drop the Totem.

The last Knight had been the Chaos leader, but the Chaos forces did not panic a bit. With the Knight too stunned to advance on the totem the Chaos Men At Arms advanced towards it. However, after a round of combat which claimed two of the Chaos warriors both were driven back and the totem remained unclaimed.

At this point, action elsewhere on the board intervened. The Archers finished off the bruised Pigmen. This forced a series of morale checks after which Tim ceded the game.

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Re: Fun is Rampant!

Postby Eilif » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:51 am

Lots of reviews of Lion and Dragon Rampant are out there, so I won't try and give an in-depth review of all the rules, especially since we didn't make use of alot of the more specific special rules. However, I have to say that I really enjoyed this game. It was remarkably easy to understand, but still felt tactical. It has some of the same army composition ideas of Saga, but with more open endedness. When it comes to activation and the consequences of failure, it has similarities to Song of Blades and Heroes.

The size of the game, which seems to require somewhere between 35 and 50 figures per side should make it quite manageable for anyone to acquire and paint an army for. Certainly more than is required for a warband skirmish like SBH or Mordheim, but far less than the endless hordes need to play Warhammer or Kings of War.

I enjoyed it more and found it more instinctive to play than any of the other medium sized fantasy wargames we've sampled including Saga or the SBH variant "Of Gods and Mortals". Both those games were good, but SAGA was firmly set in the Dark ages. I wasn't sold on the dice mechanics and the resultant need to keep buying expansions to get new battle boards. OGAM on the other hand seemed perhaps to have a bit too many things tacked onto the SBH game engine for simple fantasy skirmish and still required some additional effort to tweak it out of it's "mythic" setting .

I still intend to give LoTR a bit more investigation, but limited by it's setting, it doesn't have the built-inscope or flexibility that Dragon Rampant has. That said, Dragon Rampant can more than cover the LoTR setting and would be an excellent excuse to paint up some LoTR figures for use in either game. With the eventual fate of GW's LoTR game in some doubt and active LoTR groups in scarce supply, Dragon Rampant would be an excellent chance give a second life to those lovely miniatures.

All this to say I'll be ordering my copy of Dragon Rampant this week and look forward to playing it soon. It feels like an ideal ruleset for medium sized engagements that are larger than the Song of Blades and heroes, but smaller than Kings of War. A few more games will tell if this holds up or is just my first reaction, but I think I may have completed my triumvirate of Fantasy wargames!

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Re: Fun is Rampant!

Postby Jackswift » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:54 am

Looks like something worth trying. Have to decide which group of units to paint up/finish for this... Cheers,

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Re: Fun is Rampant!

Postby timlillig » Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:06 am

You could easily make an army with the chaos dwarfs you have been working on, Jon.

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