Last night my friend Lou came over and we took Dragon Rampant out for a spin. For those that don't know, Dragon Rampant is the Fantasy version of Lion Rampant that came out in 2014. LR is a set of medieval wargame rules, written by Daniel Mersey and published by Osprey. So now we have DR which is pretty much the same game, but with Fantasy elements thrown in, and it works!
We've played one or two games of Lion Rampant so had a vague idea how to play. Since this was a learning game, we didn't put a lot of effort into planning. I have lots of LOTR figures, so that's what we were going to use. Orcs vs Dwarves.
In Dragon Rampant, you pick a point value for your game and buy your units. The suggested game size is 24 points. Units are 6 or 12 strength points(number of figures). Though you can choose to take a reduced figure unit, but then each figure is stronger. You can also take "single or reduced model units". Basically your mighty heroes or monsters can be a single model or a few models. A good example would be a unit of trolls, 3 models each at 4 strength points. Or Conan all by himself at 12 strenght points.
You then decide the type of unit, like Heavy Foot or Elite Riders. For example Heavy Foot are 4 points a unit(12 figures). Each unit type might have upgrades or special rules. Light Riders for example get evade and skirmish, Elite Riders get Wild Charge.
After you build your Warband (4 to 10 units) you nominate a figure for Army commander, he comes for free. He just becomes part of a unit, Unless you bought him as a single warrior. Where he is on the table matters as he helps units pass morale rolls. Each unit has a leader, that is what the unit forms around and must maintain cohesion too.
Here are the Warbands we constructed for our first game.
1 Heavy Riders w/Leader (Melee Warg Riders), 6 figs
1 Light Riders (Missile Warg Riders), 6 figs
1 Greater Warbeasts (Wargs), 6 figs
1 Heavy Foot w/upgrade (2 handed Choppers), 12 figs
2 Light Foot (Orcs), 12 figs each
1 Elite Foot w/leader (Dwarf Huscarls), 6 figs(2 points each)
1 Heavy Foot w/upgrade (2 handed axes), 12 figs
2 Heavy Foot (Dwarf Spears), 12 figs each
1 Light Missile (Dwarf Rangers with bows), 12 figs
Here's the setup:
At this point, we realized the Orc player only had half this army left. So he did morale tests for all remaining units. One of his units fled the field, so we called it there.
On a side note: I kept track of the number of activation's per turn. Dwarf player(me) averaged 2.11 activations per turn. The Orc player (Lou) averaged 2.22 per turn. Not sure if our dice were cold. or what. I did manage to get ZERO activations 3 times.
I really like about 90% of the rules. Just a few things I'd house rule, but I think I'll wait till we get a few more plays under our belts. I think the leader should have better activations or have a bonus to activation for troops near him. I don't think all troops should fight regardless of how many contacted. In the picture above the Orc riders are coming up a path in the rocks. That should funnel his attacks and I should be able to block the pass. In DR both sides fight full. Maybe there is a way in the rules to handle that, giving the defensive player cover or an obstacle. Also no higher ground advantage, unless really steep then it becomes rough ground.
Again, a few details I'd like to address, but will hold off till we get a few more games in. Also we need to explore the Unit types and Upgrades and Fantastic Abilities to get a full taste of what troops can be created within the rules.
Last post of 2015, Xin