Saturday, February 13, 2016

Dragon Rampant

I recently got a copy of the Dragon Rampant rules  by Daniel Mersey from Osprey. On my initial read-through it looked like a good, fairly simple, yet nuanced set of rules. I worked out a couple of small 20 point armies that I could put together with miniatures I already have.

The dwarves:
1 dwarf lord, classed as elite foot, 6 strength points, 6 figures
1 unit of heavy foot (dwarf hammerers), 12 strength points, 12 figures
2 units of heavy missiles (dwarf crossbowmen), 12 strength points, 12 figures

The goblins:
1 goblin leader, classed as heavy foot, 12 strength points, 12 figures
2 units of light foot (goblin warriors), 12 strength points, 12 figures
1 unit of light foot (archers with short range missiles), 12 strength points, 12 figures
1 unit of light riders (wolfriders with bows), 6 strength points, 6 figures

I played the basic "bloodbath" scenario, which is simply a straight up battle without any objectives other than destroying the enemy army.

I didn't find any rules about placing terrain so I just plopped down a small hill on one flank and some woods on the other, about equidistant from both armies. Then I placed the units in what seemed like a good arrangement, keeping in mind the minimum 3 inch spacing between units.

The table looked like this at the start:
The cards are handwritten with unit stats. They  don't need to accompany the units; I just did that for convenience. The round piece of mdf in the lower right is a 3 inch piece I had previously cut out for a tree stand. I found it useful for making sure I kept the minimum 3 inch spacing between units at all times.

The view from the goblin leader's position:

Because of the activation rules you won't always get to use all units every turn, so that introduces some good uncertainty for a solo gamer. I had times where I would only get 1 or 2 units activated and other times when I got them all activated.

Early in the game:
The dwarves have managed to get their crossbowmen onto the hill on the left and into the woods on the right. The goblin archers have been forced back, and a couple if units on both sides have taken a few casualties (I placed them back at the baselines, so I could quickly count up how many a unit had lost. Useful for when you have to make a courage test.).

More casualties.

Nearing the end of the game:
The dwarves are really whittling down the goblin army. Once it got to the point of only the wolfriders still in play for the goblins I stopped and called it a win for the dwarves.

Fun, quick, didn't take a lot of figures or table space (the table is about 3 feet by 4 feet). I like these rules and went ahead and ordered Lion Rampant as well. I also got En Garde, another Osprey rules book, but that doesn't look so appealing to me. It seems to lack the simplicity of the Rampant rules, and doesn't seem like there's much swashbuckling in it. I also noticed 1 picture seems to be used 3 times, in this one short book! I also like that the Rampant rules credit the miniatures by manufacturer and who painted them/who they belong to. I guess it shows that you can't always judge a book by its publisher (or by books you might think were related).

A big thumbs up for the Rampant books. A big thumbs down for En Garde. I have some dwarf musketeers that I am slowly working on putting together to paint, so I'll be on the look out for some rules to use with them. Ganesha Games' Flashing Steel might be a possibility. I'm hoping for some rules that are fairly simple, with some swashbuckling fun (like improvised weapons, repartee, etc.), but at more like hero and small unit level rather than a fuller character level rpg kind of game nor more of a battle-level game