Thursday, 8 January 2015

First Game of Lion Rampant

In the hiatus before the start of our Warhammer campaign Steve and I convened for a game of Lion Rampant.
As my retinue is still not finished Steve provided all the models and terrain in the North Notts Palais des Jeux. I bought some beer.
Steve has an extensive collection of medievals with a distinctly WotR flavour as he's spent over fifteen years collecting WotR models without ever finding some appropriate rules. So although many of the models had seen previous service in Bretonnian, Empire or even Norman armies, this would be their first proper outing in a broadly historical context.
We used some scenery pieces to cover up most of the skull pits on the GW board and give us a vaguely historical looking battlefield.
Steve had prepared two retinues that covered most of the troop types.
We diced to see who had what and I got the retinue containing three archers (one Elite), a unit of sergeants and a unit of mounted Men at Arms. Steve's had two units of archers, two of sergeants (one elite) and a unit of foot men at arms.
We went with the basic bloodbath scenario and as the attacker I got the first turn.

 Steve's retinue
 My archers
The flower of chivalry

I started by pushing my mounted men at arms forward, then my spears. Then my leadership deserted me and it was the end of my turn.
Fortunately Steve failed his first activation and it was my turn again.
Oh how we laughed.

Eventually I got my left flank archers advancing and Steve pushed his men at arms and billmen forward to meet them.
My spearmen became entangled in a wood and the knights decided to take time off from doing any moving for a while.

 Unleash the arrow storm!
 Let's just sit a while
Steady sergeants

Suddenly the enemy were bearing down on my left flank and a combination of failed tests and poor shooting put me in quite some danger.

 Here they come

Fortunately the elite archers were able to take some toll on the billmen, and despite falling back were whittling them down with bow fire.
Meanwhile the foot men at arms carved a hole through one of the other bowman units.

Over on the right the enemy sergeants formed  a schiltron and engaged in a face-off with my knights.

Hedgehog of doom!

I was fast losing men in the centre, but fortunately the elite archers pushed the billmen back and the men at arms switched their attentions from the much reduced unit of archers to the remaining intact unit.
Desperately I redeployed the spearmen to sure up my crumbling flank.

Finally the knights put spur to horse and charged home, breaking the schiltron. This fight ground on for a couple of rounds before the knights were able to throw back the spearmen and charge the much less dangerous archers.

Help us!
Mmmm. Squishy

The elite archers finally dispatched the billmen unit and the arrival of the spearmen saw the men at arms begin to run out of steam (and bodies).

There's only two of 'em!

On the right flank the knights were forced once more to fight the sergeants, but despite being reduced to only three themselves, it was the sergeants who failed their courage test and routed.

 The sergeants close in on the bowmen
Lurking in the forest
Ride them down!

A flurry of arrows felled the final men at arms, and although the remains of Steve's force passed their courage tests, the game was up and I emerged triumphant!

This was a fun and quick game.
We got the hang of the rules pretty quickly and despite a few early order failures were soon into the action.
The combat and morale rules are simplicity itself, but the C&C uncertainty of the activation role means the game remeains nicely balanced and exciting with failures at crucial moments allowing the tide to turn.

Looking forward to trying out some of the other scenarios and maybe the campaign as well.


  1. I'm planning this as a 2015 project (using Perry Miniatures)...looks good!

  2. Great looking game and figs (recognize a lot of Front Rank). BTW, I've found in the few games I've played using LR that I have to get away from forming "lines" of missile troops, as it sometimes crowds the field when keeping the 3" between units rule. As only one figure needs to have LOS and range, clumps of figures seem easier to move around. Just one of the mechanics which is a bit different from most other rules. I really like the rules, nonetheless. Dean

    1. Yeah, I'm not sure we paid much attention to the 3" rule in this game.
      Probably something to keep an eye on in future

    2. Oh, hope I didn't sound too "rulish" - it's just something the local crew here had noted in our few games. I feel it's not a big deal, and easily modified to ease play - which is the spirit of the rules I believe. Enjoy!

    3. Oh no, not at all.
      Just something to remember next time.
      Might have made a difference in a couple of occasions last night.

  3. Good looking game. My mounted men at arms always seem to taunted into attacking a group of serfs and then getting tied up for half the game trying to reorganise themselves. Bunch of muppets.

    1. Fortunately my retinue when finished won't include any of the mounted hot-heads!

  4. Great looking game - must give it a go myself soon :)

  5. I really enjoyed your report and I'm glad you enjoyed the game. I've only played twice myself because my opponent has declared the rules are "broken" and won't play any more because he can't manoeuvre his knights (7+ activation to move) and shooting has been "too effective". I'm really disappointed because I liked the aspects of the rules that you seem to have enjoyed, namely the simplicity and the uncertainty. C'est la vie!

    1. I think you need a new opponent...
      7+ on two dice means he should be moving them more often than not, and once they're in charge range it gets much easier.
      Also I didn't find shooting overpowered. It took me ages to kill any of the foot men at arms - four succesful hits to take of a single man, and I kept getting 3 5's!

    2. Tom, you may be right. He never enjoys a game that he loses and always declares it's 'broken' or at least substantially flawed it it's something we've tried for the first time :-(
      I was quite lucky with my die rolls that night but nevertheless there were several activations where I shot at his Men-at-Arms or Mounted Serjeants without causing a casualty due to the armour value, so perhaps not so 'overpowered' if the other troop types are used appropriately.

  6. Lose a couple of guys from a unit and roll snake eyes and watch your unit disappear!!

  7. Great looking battle, beautiful minis!