A Lion Rampant – battle report
Autumn is finally kicking in, temperatures are dropping and the weather is generally more unpleasant… and we finally laid hands on our copies of Daniel Merseys second edition of Lion Rampant. What could be more tempting than to throw our dark age warbands at each others throats. Without further adoo, here comes our first battle report for Lion Rampant.
Both warbands were initially designed to be used for Gripping Beasts and Tomahawks Saga-System. Since the model count for Lion Rampant is slightly different, we had to adjust our warbands by either adding some models or through some clever reorganising and the age old “this model represents this“-method.
Army compositions and set-up
Both warbands have a value of 24 points, divided as follows:
THE RETINUE OF
COUNT TANKRED OF BATEAULANGE
- Elite cavalry with banner and the “drilled” special rule : 8pts
+ Leader with “strongsword” special rule +1pt
- Elite Infantry : 6 pts
- Heavy Infantry with banner : 5pts
- Archers : 4pts
THE WARRIORS OF ERIK ERIKSON,
JARL OF ESCHFJORD
- Elite Infantry with leader : 6pts
- Elite Infantry –> “Shieldmaiden” : 6pts
- Heavy Warriors with “Hero/holy man” : 5pts
“Wall of spears” swapped for “shieldwall”… because vikings
- Warrior Infantry –> “Berserker” (reduced model count) ; with “fearsome”-special rule : 6pts
- smelly peasants : 1pt
Since it is our first game of Lion Rampant (though we are familiar with Dragon Rampant), we went old-school and played the Bloodbath scenario. We also decided to play without boasts, in order to focus on gameplay and (re)learning the rules.
The Dice-Gods chose the normans to be the attacker and the vikings the defender.
The story behind the scenario would be rather plain:
The local Lord learned of a Viking warband threatening his lands. He decided, as was his duty as lord of the land, to face them in battle before they could do any harm to his loyal peasants. Both warbands met near Wifey farm. (The mistress of the house decided to play farm with my miniatures after I prepared the battlefield -_-‘ … hence the name)
If count Tankred could not stop the Vikings, the merry rustics at Wifey farm were doomed to die… or be sold in slavery… or live under viking rule… who’s to know?
The battle begins…
The Normans, having the initiative, start their advance onto the enemy. The norman heavy infantry tries to take a more advantageous position between the hills and Wifey farm, while the archers attempt to reach the cover of some hedges. Meanwhile Lord Tankred and his Elite cavalry rush along the forest edge end fall into the viking flank.
Jarl Erikson keeps his troops together and pushes for the centre of the field. Lacking ranged weapons, the viking warlord has to close in on the Normans and engage them in close combat.
In their attempt to take the centre of the field and hold it against their opponent, the viking jarl and his personal guard get dangerously close to count Tankred and his cavalry, the crème de la crème of the norman warrior caste.
You see… Lion Rampant has this entertaining challenge mechanism, forcing a leader to issue a challenge against another leader. Both leader will duel and chances are, one of them will, lets say, not be in a position to continue the fight.
Instead of throwing all the dice at once (3 per leader), we followed the authors advice and exchanged one blow after the other.
The tide seems to turn…
After having beaten the viking leader, count Tankred becomes slightly overconfident. Though he manages to beat the jarls personal elite guard, he is soon caught in a disastrous melee with the viking shieldmaiden.
After a first engagement the norman rider manage to get into safety. But they could not escape the wrath of the shieldmaiden…
Both warbands managed to pass their courage tests and the battle could rage on. In the centre of the field, the melee units clash.
The berserker engage the enemy heavy Infantry. Despite some initial success, they are taken out by the Normans. Let’s be honest: there is only so much a naked and crazed viking can do against a heavily armored unit of spearmen.
Nearby, the viking heavy infantry is first pummeled by the norman archers and then taken out by elite infantry.
What follows is general carnage. The Normans manage to either route or decimate their opponents. In the end, only the viking levies remain. Against all common sense, they charge as wall of spears and all but one are slain.
In the end…
After a very entertaining game, the valiant warriors of Bateaulange remain victorious. The final score was a glorious 23:8 for the Normans.
Thus concludes our introductory game to Lion Rampant. We are looking forward to use additional rules (e.g. the boasts) and to play through some of the scenarios.