Friday, July 7, 2017

A Return to the Rampant Lion

     Inspired by the fun we were having with Pikeman's Lament Joe and I decided to dig out Lion Rampant and my old 15mm Middle Ages troops and play a game. I have to admit that my first experiences with Lion Rampant left a bad taste in my mouth. As I have played more of Mersey's games I understand his design ideas a bit better and have come to terms with my old apprehensions.

     True to form, instead of playing a game of twenty-four points a side we thought that we would give a sixty point battle a try. We did make two changes; we broke each force into three Battles, these groups diced as separate entities so that one bad die-roll didn't freeze the action all the way across the table, secondly we decided that each base represented two figures (ignoring the number of figures mounted on the base) this changed the look of the game a great deal.

     I chose a force heavy on firepower, crossbows with pavises, a couple of blocks of Foot Sergeants and some Fierce Foot supported by two units of dismounted Knights, my only mounted troops were one unit of Knights and one of Mounted Sergeants. Joe opposed me with three units of Elite Archers, one unit of Foot Sergeants, Two units of Mounted Knights and five of Mounted Sergeants.

the right flank of Joe's army, a threatening mass of cavalry, four units of Mounted Sergeants

in the distance the rest of Joe's force; four units of Elite Archers flanked by a unit of Foot Sergeants, on his far left two units of Mounted Knights and another unit of Sergeants 

nearer is my army with (left to right) Mounted Sergeants backed by Mounted Knights then alternating units of crossbow and Foot sergeants backed by Foot Knights on my far right  a unit of foot sergeants and two units of Fierce Foot

the Main Battle moves (or not!)
my horrid Command dice followed me into this game from the last Pikeman's Lament game.....
at times I contemplate buying new dice there doesn't seem to be any "sixes" left in these!

the flank

the flanking force enjoyed a similar effort

in the next turn my luck finally broke for the better

but the Knights stood rooted to the ground!

Joe had taken advantage of my lack of movement to push his left flank far forward
his leading unit of Mounted Knights destroyed both of my units of Fierce foot in quick succession
my Foot Sergeants took cover in the enclosure to their left

after several turns I finally managed a response to Joe's flanking force on my left, my Foot Knights trudged slowly across the battlefield to block his flood of horse

confronted with the tidal wave of enemy horse my Mounted Knights stood passively by, 
fortunately the Foot Knights responded to orders far better 

the Sergeants bravely charged my Knights 
this went poorly for them

but on the other flank the Mounted Knights finished off the last of my Fierce Foot 
(who had foolishly rallied and attacked the Knights)

one bad experience with the Foot Knights caused the Sergeants to hover indecisively
 out of charge reach, my attempt to shoot them with my crossbowmen failed (of course)

on my right Joe's Mounted Knights ruled the world

in the center both infantry forces glowered at each other, just out of range 

after much taunting the sergeants again ventured another try at the Foot Knights
it once again ended badly for them

even worse my Mounted Knights had finally moved to support the rest of the Battle

to my horror Joe pushed his mounted troops through the woods on my far right

having moved his Mounted Sergeants back to the center Joe now advanced his entire infantry line in support  his missile power began to tell against my crossbowmen who promptly failed their morale test and fled

the combination of my Foot Knights, flanked and supported by my Horse,
 drove back Joe's Mounted Sergeants  

the departure of my crossbowmen left the Mounted Sergeants with my close-order Foot Sergeants as the only viable target; they charged boldly ahead
this ended badly for the mounted troops

at the same time Joe's Mounted Sergeants charged my Mounted Knights, 
faced with an opponent directly to their front and threatening violence my Mounted Knights finally acted, they counter-charged and smashed the Sergeants

having taken ONE casualty from archery fire my crossbowmen  
(of course) failed their morale test and fled

feeling emboldened Joe charged his Mounted Knights into my close-order Foot Sergeants, 
some lucky rolling on my part saw them shattered

my battered cavalry tried to keep up with the madly advancing Foot Knights 
(you can see them just the other side of the road, heading for the Archers)
an overview of the battlefield
Joe's right wing was shattered but his infantry line was solid 
while two-thirds of my missile troops had fled and my right was essentially gone
things had become truly dire on my right 
what little horse I had left was far way on my extreme left and dropping rapidly under missile fire

the mad charge by the single stand of my Foot Knights didn't fare well at all

but the charge by Joe's Mounted Knights shared a similar fate

my sergeants met a similar fate against the flank of Joe's infantry line

         At this point I conceded the game to Joe. I had no answer to his missile troops and would have to just retire to preserve my force. The Battle system worked well aside from my complete inability to pass a Command roll freezing most of my army through vital portions of the maneuver part of the game.

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