Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Another Game of Dux Bellorum

So last night we convened once more to play Dux Bellorum after last week's jolly reminder of the rules.
This time we went for the full 32 points of goodness. I took my Saxons
  • Warrior Companions
  • 1 Noble Riders
  • 1 Nobles
  • 4 Ordinary Warriors
  • 1 skirmishers (bows)
  • 2 extra LP
On the Welsh side of the table there were
  • Mounted Companions
  • 2 Noble Riders
  • 1 Nobles
  • 4 Ordinary Warriors
  • 2 skirmishers (bows)
Again we played the basic Annals battle. I set up with a solid wall of warriors across the centre of the board, with my cavalry and skirmishers on the left flank. The Welsh had riders and skirmishers on each flank, and a slightly smaller line of bodies in the centre.

 Dawn breaks and the enemy appears

 My right flank. Securely held.

 Welshies. Thousands of 'em

 They shall not pass

 The field of battle

The first rounds saw a cautious advance in the centre by my warriors whilst the Welsh held fast but pushed their cavalry on the flanks. I advanced my skirmishers, not being quite sure what else to do with them.My cavalry, outnumbered on my right, pulled back to the centre.

 The Welsh core

 Welsh Companions

On about turn three it all kicked off.
The skirmishers charged one another and the far left of my line broke ranks to charge into some Welsh bowmen. I span my Companions around and slammed them into some Noble riders who had appeared behind my lines, but the warriors on the right of my line failed to charge the Welsh Companions lurking in the woods.

 Carnage. The Welsh skirmishers die, but so do the Saxon warriors

 Saxon Companions get stuck in

Cavalry to the rescue

The Welsh slammed two cavalry units into the exposed right of my line and I threw the nobles in to even up the fight. Meanwhile my Noble riders rushed to support the companions who were struggling to defeat the Welsh riders as the rest of my line raced forward to take on the Welsh infantry.

 The Saxon right is enveloped

 A scrum develops in the centre

 On the Saxon left the Welsh horse hold out

 Even the skirmishers get stuck in

My battle line was well and truly fractured now, and I was a bit worried!

 Finally the Welsh horse are eliminated

 The centre grinds on

 My right flank hangs on deperately

The game turned into something of a grind with each of us taking a unit or so off every turn.

 The Saxon right is rent apart

Saxon Companions to the rescue

After dispatching (finally) the Welsh horse on my left my Companions threw themselves in support of the centre (where I was on a knife edge) whilst the riders charged in support of my left flank.

By this point the welsh had begun to hemorrhage LPs and the advantage I had by starting with eight began to tell as i was able to shore up some crumbling units while my opponent just had to watch as his were ground down.

The shattered Welsh remains
Finally we both reached 50% break point in the same turn. This also meant the Welsh were out of LPs for future turns. We began to roll morale checks for our units and although my Saxons held firm the death of the Welsh companions had clearly been enough for the rest of the force with two more routing, taking them above 75% and granting me the victory!

So how did it play?
Truth to tell, not as well as the last game. It all seemed to bog down a bit, and we struggled a bit working out charges. Some of that will speed up as we play more games, but the middle part of the game seemed to be more about who could best place their LPs than any sort of tactics at the tabletop level.
I think some of that is due to lack of familiarity and skill - if I'd been the Welsh I might have tried to use my cavalry more flexibly. Disengaging and then picking my fights. As it was I always had more LPs as the Saxons and was able to use that to keep me in fights I'd otherwise have lost.
I enjoyed it, and it took about two hours to play (which will probably speed up) it's nice and fluid and seems quite Dark Agey, but I did find myself thinking on the drive home - why don't we just play Age of Arthur WAB...?


  1. So you are coming round to my way of thinking then :)
    If you want a game of WAB soon let's get something arranged.

  2. Thanks for your report and opinions very helpful... great looking miniatures too!

  3. I just played my first game of Dux today. I agree it bogs a bit toward the last "quarter" of the game. I attributed it to my lack of knowledge of the rules. I played Romano-British so I had to keep the pressure on the Saxons throughout the game to get a semi-result. I'll play some more and opine when done.