Played my first game of Lion Rampant over the weekend using my SAGA Viking and Anglo-saxon Warbands.
I used the army lists straight from the Dark Ages article by Daniel Mersey and played a straight forward meeting engagement with no glory boasts or additional rules simply to get a feel for the game and its mechanics. I used units that were at two-thirds strength. 12 man units fielded 8 models as opposed to 12 and 6 man units 4 models as opposed to 6 and so forth.
The Viking Retinue comprised of 2 units of foot companions (Men at Arms), one unit of which contained the Leader, 2 units of Upper Class Spearmen (Foot Serjeants) and 1 unit of Warriors (Fierce Foot).
The Anglo-Saxons had 2 units of Companions (Men at Arms), one unit of which contained the leader, 1 unit of Upper Class Spearmen (Foot Serjeants), 2 units of Lower Class Spearmen (Foot Yeoman) and 1 unit of Skirmishers (Bidowers)
The Warbands were fighting for control of a small village surrounded by woods and broken terrain including hedgerows, walls and fences. The Vikings naturally were the attackers….
The game flows well once you get used to the activation system. I like games where you are forced to make decisions about the order in which to use your forces, and although the system is I go – You go, failed activations end your turn which all adds to the fun.
Lion Rampant is certainly hack and slash! There were very few figures still on the table at the end of the game. Less clearing up to do once the games over!!!!
I did spend a lot of time reading and re-reading sections of the book which slowed the game considerably, however the battle was still fought to a conclusion in just over two hours.
I remember thinking a couple of moves into the game that the Vikings were going to be lucky to survive the game as they really floundered early on, but even with units surrounded they managed to win a convincing victory with some real movie moments. One unit of Upper Class Spear fought off two Anglo-Saxon units of Upper Class Spear and Lower Class Spear and even managed to stand their ground against a very late challenge from a Companion unit before finally succumbing to Saxon numbers.
The game lends itself well to solo play, but I can imagine it being even more fun playing against a live opponent – especially when Glory Boasts become involved.
I have some Irish and Scots/Welsh figures which I bought for SAGA which I can see being painted up soon to play Lion Rampant and have loads of 10mm WoTR/Medievals, Crusaders and Ayuubid Egyptians based for FoG which I’m contemplating about how to use in Lion Rampant given that I’m not intending to re-base. If anyone has any bright ideas about how to do this, I would love to hear from them.
|Vikings in the foreground begin their assault on the village|
|Anglo-Saxons move out to meet the Vikings|
|The view from the East|
|Anglo-Saxons form a Shieldwall|
|Saxons creep cautiously through the village|
|Vikings approach through the copse|
|The Viking Warlord reaches the perimeter fence|
|Viking Berserkers face a grizzly end at the hands of the Saxon Shieldwall|
|The Saxon Warlord accepts a Challenge. Honours even.|
|The Berserkers rout 'battered'|
|Vikings take a casualty from skirmishing fire approaching the village|
|A second Viking Warlord Challenge sees the Saxon Warlord slain|
|Trapped between two separate Saxon units, |
an isolated Viking unit stands its ground
|Viking Warriors clash with Saxon Axemen|
|Viking warriors corner Saxon skirmishers|
|Having cleared the village of Saxon Skirmishers, the Viking Warlord |
and other units close in for the kill against an isolated Saxon Shieldwall
|Vikings and Saxons face off outside the village|
|The Saxon Axemen push back Viking Warriors despite heavy casualties|
|The isolated Viking Warriors beat off successive Saxon charges|
|and cause another unit of Saxons to retire 'battered'|
|Saxon Skirmishers flee 'battered'|
|A further Saxon unit finds itself beaten off and retiring 'battered'|
|Then last Saxon stand is threatened from the rear|
|The isolated Viking unit is despatched to Valhalla by |
Saxon Axeman arriving late to the party
|A Viking Victory as the final remnants of Saxon resistance is scythed down|