Saturday, 14 October 2017

León Rampante: Spanish language Lion Rampant

Good news for my Spanish-speaking chums! Lion Rampant is being published in Spanish, by HT Games.

You can visit their website to find out more... HERE.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

My Ral Partha Zulu War collection grows!

My unpainted pile of Ral Partha colonials is reduced further, courtesy of Matt at Glenbrook Games. He's painted up a few new units for me, as shown here.

This little lot gives me more flexibility in my British field force for The Men Who Would Be Kings - my aim to to be able to field a British force entirely of Irregular Cavalry but I do need another unit or two to achieve that. I'll be trying to hunt down more Ral Partha figures over the coming months, as my little pile of lead contains no more cavalrymen.
Also included here are my Rifles - there's something special about that very dark green uniform eh? To make them look a little different from my standard line infantry, I used the Highlanders in Trews model. Not accurate, I know, but I like the advancing pose, and have another unit that will be painted as the Highlanders at some point.

Completing this little batch of figures are a team of artillerymen who may take either a Gatling gun or field piece into battle.

Check out Glenbrook Games' website if you're after a good, reliable painter. Tell Matt I sent you ;-)



Saturday, 23 September 2017

Northern European Bronze Age Dragon Rampant in Wargames Illustrated

The October 2017 issue of WI features an article I've written about building a Northern European Bronze Age warband for Dragon Rampant.

You can read a taster for the article HERE, but Dan at WI has done a great job of choosing superb photos to accompany the expanded text I've written - so check it out if you fancy seeing some photos of the cracking Wargames Foundry miniatures designed for this period of history (and, in my case, fantasy)!

Here's what the magazine has to say about the article:

HERE COMES THE SUN

Dan Mersey adds a number of new lists for using North European Bronze Age armies in games using his Dragon Rampant rules from Osprey.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Newline Designs - TMWWBK unit packs

At the recent Colours show in Newbury, I picked up some of Newline Design's 20mm colonial miniatures. I love 20mm - the figures feel just the right size to me, and for colonial games, the scale of things on the tabletop looks better than with 28mm figures.

What I didn't know was that Newline have started selling unit packs for The Men Who Would Be Kings, using my recommended unit sizes from the rulebook. I picked up a couple of packs to get a new North West Frontier collection up and running.

What was especially good - whether by chance or design (I'm guessing the latter) - was that the Tribal Infantry came with 12 riflemen and 4 swordsmen, meaning that they can also be fielded as an Irregular Infantry unit. Great idea. Four packs would therefore give you 4 Tribal Infantry, or 3 Irregular Infantry plus 1 Tribal Infantry. Smashing stuff.

You can find Newline's TMWWBK packs HERE. I hope they continue to grow their colonial range of miniatures!

Sunday, 10 September 2017

The Pendragon of Logres: An Arthurian Dragon Rampant Campaign

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN FULLER FORM IN THE PAGES OF WARGAMES ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE.

On an island recognizable by its shape as Modern Britain, in a timeless age between the disappearance of the Romans and the invasive Kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxons, flourished the Kingdom of Logres. It ran from the very south of the island, to the east and west coasts, and even into parts of what is now called Scotland, above the Great Roman Wall. For decades, the petty kings of the island fought against one another to determine who would be High King, the ruler of the island, the leader of the chieftains. The Pendragon of Logres.

A bloodthirsty Cornishman named Uther hacked his way to the throne, but after bringing some small amount of stability to the land, was assassinated by jealous rivals. Decades of civil war took their toll, as invaders from Ireland, Pictland, and the barren Saxon homelands ate into British lands … the petty kings fought on, killing one another rather than uniting to repel these invaders.

This campaign is fought in the immediate aftermath of Uther’s death; each player is one of the more powerful petty kings, and each wishes to take the throne. Your goal is to win control of more areas of Logres than any other player – and this is achieved by fighting a battle in each of these areas.

This campaign is suitable for 2 or more players; if you number 6 or more players, you may wish to increase the number of battles fought to two per area for a more even spread of battle results.


A Campaign Turn

The campaign consists of eleven turns/games. With the exception of the first and the final turns, each turn plays through the same sequence:

1.     The player who won the previous battle chooses the next area to fight in. This may be anywhere on the board that has not already been fought over.
2.     All players must assemble a Warband to fight in that area. This consists of their own King’s Warband and recruited units.
3.     To recruit units, lay out all available units on the table (units that are always available and those specific to this region). Starting with the player who lost/came last in the previous game, and working up through ‘loser order’, each player chooses one available unit to add to his or her warband. After the winner of the previous game has chosen a unit (ie, all players now have a new unit), repeat the cycle, until all players have a fully mustered Warband.
4.     The standard maximum of 24 AP may not be exceeded.
5.     Once all players have selected their armies, layout out the battlefield to play the subtly named “GORY BLOODBATH ON THE PLAIN OF DOOM” scenario from the Dragon Rampant rulebook. This scenario is used for all battles.
6.     At the end of the scenario, keep a running total of each player’s Glory, and award the area fought in to the player who won the battle.
7.     Test to see if recruited character and units are okay to fight the next battle, and regroup your King’s Warband.

The first turn of the campaign must always be fought in Dumnonia. Determine the player recruitment order randomly during the first turn.

At the end of the final (eleventh) turn of the campaign, add up the number of areas controlled by each player. The player with the most areas held become the High King (until the next campaign…); in the case of a draw, the player with the most areas controlled and the highest Glory accumulated over all eleven games takes the crown.

Your King’s Warband

You begin every turn of the campaign with your own King’s Warband in place. This is a 10-12 Army Point Warband that you must select before the campaign begins, and that reverts to full strength at the end of every campaign turn. You may not change the composition of your King’s Warband between battles.

Your Warband must consist of units drawn from the following troop types, with no upgrades/downgrades unless shown below:

·      Heavy Riders @ 4 AP
·      Light Riders with Short Range Missiles @ 3 AP
·      Heavy Foot @ 4 AP
·      Light Foot @ 3 AP
·      Light Foot with Short Range Missiles @ 4 AP
·      Light Missiles @ 4 AP (Maximum of 1 unit per Warband)

Recruitment

The remaining 12-14 AP of your Warband for each battle are recruited from a pool of units that are either always available or available only in the area you’re fighting over.

For example, when fighting the first battle of the campaign – in Dumnonia – the pool of units will consist of all the units listed under ‘Units you may recruit in any area’ (from Arthur to Vortigern), plus the area-specific units for Dumnonia: 1 unit of scouts with weasel-venom-tipped javelins (!), and 2 units of Giants.

You may never command an army of more than 24 Army Points. If you are 1 or 2 points short of 24 and no suitable units are left to recruit, you may fill out your Warband with a Scout unit or a Ravenous Horde of peasants or brigands.

Leaders

If you recruit a unit with a Leadership Trait, that character will become your Leader while serving with your Warband. If you recruit more than one such Leader at the same time, you must choose which will be your Leader and ignore the Traits of the other models.

If you have not recruited a model with a Leadership Trait, your very own petty king – you! – has decided to grace his or her Warband with Royal presence. Choose one unit from your King’s Warband, and replace one ordinary model with that of your Leader. Petty Kings do not dice for their Trait, they are all Commanding (11) – allowing a failed action to be rerolled as shown on page 10 of the rulebook.

Casualties

Any recruited units which were not destroyed or routed during the battle may be retained in your Warband at full strength, or discarded back to the selection pool as you wish (also at full strength). If you recruited area-specific units and they were not routed or destroyed, you may retain them if you desire, but if you do not retain them they are permanently removed from the game.

If any non-area specific named character is destroyed or routed in battle, roll one dice for each after the game:

·      1-2: Dead: Permanently remove from the Recruitment selection.
·      3-4: Injured: Remove from the Recruitment selection for the next game only, and then return for selection rather than to your own Warband.
·      5-6: A mere flesh wound: No lasting damage; if you won the scenario, you may retain this character for the next scenario, otherwise return for selection or remove from the game if area specific.

Units from the King’s Warband automatically revert to full Strength at the end of every campaign turn, and your own Leader/Petty King will always be available to fight the next battle (or the next member of his or her bloodline will be). Area-specific units that are destroyed or routed are permanently removed without dicing. Other (non-named, non-area specific) recruited units that are destroyed or routed are immediately returned to the selection pool at full strength.

The battlegrounds

There are eleven areas in total, meaning that the campaign will consist of eleven battles. I’ve chosen this number as it’s both a realistic number of games to play before club player interest drifts, and also gives a very good chance of the result not being drawn between two or more players.

As mentioned above, the campaign always starts in Dumnonia, but after the, the winning player always chooses the location of the next battle. Each area may only be battled in once per campaign.

Remember that the key to winning the campaign is acquiring more areas than your rivals (and that ties are decided by the highest Glory, won through the Questing/Boasting system).

As this is a mythical campaign, I have chosen names evocative of regions rather than chronologically consistent ones; the same goes for regional boundaries. Remember that Logres is a legendary version of Britain, so let’s get away with this without fear of wagging fingers!

The terrain listed is to give some indication of the type of table you may wish to lay out – there are no hard and fast rules governing terrain layouts, as this depends so much on your collection, but if you can muster the following, I recommend:

·      Grassland: 1-2 hills, 1-2 woods.
·      Hills: 2-3 hills, 1 wood.
·      Marshes: 2-3 marshes (rough terrain), 1 impassable bog or 1 stream, 1 wood.
·      Mountains: 1-2 very steep hills, 2-3 hills.

AREA
PREDOMINANT TERRAIN
UNITS SPECIFIC TO AREA
Ceint & Londinium
Grassland
·      2 x Saxon Warriors: Bellicose Foot @ 4 AP (costs 3 AP and first pick to a player with Vortigern in his or her Warband – Vortigern may recruit both Saxon units at once)
·      2 x Jute Warriors: Bellicose Foot @ 4 AP
·      Knucker dragon. Single Model Unit, Lesser Warbeast with Mystical Armour @ 6 AP
Dumnonia
Grassland
·      1 x Venomous Scouts (weasel-venom javelins) @ 5 AP
·      2 x Giants: Elite Foot, Single Model Unit @ 6 AP
Elmet
Hills
·      2 x Anglian Warriors: Bellicose Foot @ 4 AP
·      1 x Barghest, giant black dog: Greater Warbeast (Single Model Unit) with Invisibility @ 9 AP
·      1 x Dwarven Huscarls: Elite Foot @ 6 AP
·      1 x Dwarven Thanes: Heavy Foot @ 4 AP
·      1 x Dwarven Archers: Light Missiles @ 4 AP
Gododdin
Hills
·      1 x Ghost Ninth Legion of Ancient Rome: Undead Offensive Heavy Foot (No Feelings) @ 6AP
·      1 x Wildman of the Woods: Light Missiles (spells and arcane gestures) @ 4 AP
·      1 x Hobs (pixies or small goblins): Scouts with Enchanted Missile Weapons @ 3AP
·      Northern Wyrm: Single Model Unit, Burrowing Lesser Warbeast @ 6 AP
Kernow
Mountains
·      1 x Giant Boars: Greater Warbeasts @ 6 AP
·      1 per 2 players x Trio of Witches: Light Foot (Reduced Model Unit) & Spellcaster @ 7 AP
·      1 x Ogres: Reduced Model Unit of Bellicose Foot with Hatred of Humans @ 5 AP
Pengwern
Grassland
·      1 per 2 players x Faerie Warriors: Offensive Light Foot & Invisibility @ 8 AP
·      1 x Faerie Archers: Light Missiles & Invisibility @ 7 AP
·      Ancient Barrow Wyrm: Single Model Unit, Burrowing Lesser Warbeast @ 6 AP
Pictland
Hills
·      1 per 2 players x Dogheaded Warriors: Elite Foot @ 6 AP
·      1 x Werewolves: Light Foot & Were (Reduced Model Unit) @ 8 AP
·      1 per 2 players: Picts, Bellicose Foot & Invisiblity @ 7 AP
·      1 x Dolphin-headed creatures (as seen on Pictish stones): Lesser Warbeasts @ 4 AP
The Princedoms
Hills
·      1 x Red Dragon: Greater Warbeast & Flying & Flame Attack @ 10 AP
·      1 x White Dragon (as above)
·      1 x Cat of Palug: Lesser Warbeast, single model unit @ 4 AP
·      1 x Eagles: Flying Lesser Warbeasts @ 6 AP
Rheged
Mountains
·      4 x Wolves: Lesser Warbeasts @ 4 AP
·      1 x Green Man, wild guardian of the woods: Elite Rider or Foot, Single Model Unit @ 6 AP
·      1 x The Trees (animated trees): Greater Warbeast @ 6 AP
·      2 x Irish Mercenaries: Bellicose Foot @ 4 AP
The Wetlands
Marsh
·      1 x The Very Black Witch: Heavy Missiles, Single Model Unit @ 4 AP
·      1 x Witch’s Hobgoblins: Offensive Heavy Foot @ 6 AP (may only be recruited if The Very Black Witch is in your Warband)
·      3 x Black Dogs: Lesser Warbeasts & Invisibility @ 7 AP
The Wild Isles
Mountains
·      1 per 2 players x Otherworld Warriors: Elite Foot & Undead (No Feelings) @ 6 AP
·      1 x Otherworld Riders: Elite Riders & Undead (No Feelings) @ 6 AP
·      3 x Banshees: Scouts & Fear @ 4 AP

Units you may recruit in any area

These units are made available at the beginning of every battle, regardless of the area you’re fighting in (unless they have remained in service with another player from the previous turn of the campaign, or are recovering from wounds). The number of each unit type is shown in the second column … you may wish to vary this a little depending on what your collection holds. For example, ‘Number of players divided by 2’ would mean that 3 such units were available in a 6 player campaign, but only 1 unit in a 2 player campaign; these numbers are in addition to any such units in your King’s Warband.

Being a mythical Arthurian campaign, I play somewhat fast and loose with chronologies, but all choices listed here have some connection to Arthurian legend.

UNIT
NUMBER AVAILABLE IN CAMPAIGN
UNIT TYPE
COST IN AP
LEADERSHIP TRAIT
(IF ANY)
NOTES
Arthur, Son of Uther Pendragon
1
Single Model Unit
Elite Foot or Rider with Blessed Melee Weapon & Mystical Armour
10
Commanding
When rolling on the casualty table, always reroll a Dead result: Arthur never dies, he only sleeps.
Bedwyr & Cei
1
Reduced Model Unit
Elite Foot or Riders causing Fear
8

2 models
Cymric Hero
Number of players divided by 2.
Single Model Unit
Elite Foot or Rider
6
Roll on Trait chart after recruiting
One of the many great warriors from Celtic myth and legend, you may name this model if you wish, or leave him enigmatically nameless.
Cymric Nobles
Same as number of players
Elite Foot or Riders
6


Druids
1
Offensive Light Foot causing Fear
7
Brutal

Heavy Cavalry
2
Heavy Riders
4


Heavy Spearmen
Unlimited
Heavy Foot
4


Hunting dogs
2
Lesser Warbeasts
4


King Odgar of Ireland
1
Single Model Unit
Bellicose Foot with Terrifically Shiny Armour
6
Formidable
May only be recruited if you already have Irish Mercenaries.
Irish Mercenaries
2
Bellicose Foot
4


Light Cavalry
2
Light Riders with Short Range Missiles
3


Light Spearmen
Unlimited
Light Foot



Merlin
1
Single Model Unit
Elite Foot Spellcaster
10
Wise

Mordred the Cursed
1
Single Model Unit
Elite Foot

Strong
May not be recruited to same warband as Arthur
Morgan
1
Single Model Unit
Heavy Foot Spellcaster
8
Patient

Nimue
1
Single Model Unit
Light Foot Wizardling (Heal Thee!, Befuddle Thee!, Dragon’s Breath!)
5


Saint & monks
1
Light Foot with Cleric
3 / 7
Brave
May swap Cleric for Dragon Slayer when in The Princedoms or if dragons are present.
Skirmishers
Same as number of players
Scouts



Sub-Roman auxilia
2
Offensive Heavy Foot
6


Taliesin the Chief Bard
1
Single Model Unit
Light Foot Wizardling (Almighty Prod!, Banish Fear!, Stronger Shields!)
5

His ‘magic’ comes through his inspirational spoken word
Vortigern & his sons
1
Reduced Model Unit
Offensive Heavy Foot
6
Formidable
3 models;
May not be recruited to same warband as Arthur