Friday, February 12, 2016

Lions Rampant game - Crusaders notch up a win

Not an era or even gaming set I'm into or have any plans to start collecting BUT I am the first to admit the Crusades game I had last night was FUN. I was the Muslim forces - Saracens - commander of a kind of ancient ISIS! With John as Crusader commander and Andrew as our rules guru adjudicated my introduction to the rules system.  Lion Rampant is a quirky little rule system not without its idiosyncrasies but its a fairly straight forward gaming mechanism that's easy to pick up - once you get the hang of it the games goes quite quickly. It can be surprisingly hard to get kills - horse against armoured infantry do not have an easy time of it - they are tough buggars to crack. Missile troops can be effective  - but not overwhelmingly so. My horse archers were all cross-eyed and in four(?) rounds of shooting (and two failed activations) they managed to kill just one Crusader! Whereas my opponent's armoured crossbow wreaked havoc on my mounted units and nearly did for the Muslim commander as well before finally being beaten back ('battered' but still intact!)
Andrew's superb figures - Saracen Sergeants - fantastic standards.
At the other end of the spectrum - belligerent armed monks - again with a brilliant standard
I rolled better than I have in years with three rounds of uninterrupted activations for all my units and decided to get stuck in immediately (well I rolled "rash' for my C-in-C!) but my melees on my right, where I'd concentrated my cavalry were unsuccessful and my mounted bow in particular were useless. On the other hand my opponent John's Crusaders, particularly his crossbow, were very effective, fighting off two of my three mounted units, destroying one, with both infantry units battered but still intact.

Mounted Crusader Sergeants
Saracens with the Camel 'Knights' (Mounted Yeomanry) - tough buggars indeed!
Mounted Sergeants or full armoured knights - whichever - their clash with the Saracen Camels was epic in the game
Muslim Foot Sergeants  - unfortunately too far away to get stuck in but another great standard
John's Sergeants vanquish their opposite number in the first combat on that flank
The Saracen (camel) knights in turn destroy the Crusader Sergeants. They also destroyed the second Sergeants unit behind.
The Crusader Knights  charge in, are met in a ferocious Saracen counter-charge and also destroyed
The  Camel boys, weakened destroying the knights, finally meet their end with fourth Crusader unit - failing the counter-charge and being hit at the halt didn't help their chances!
The Muslim foot did not get involved save for the archers who fired twice at long range (18") without much effect before finally getting more hits moving into normal range. Crusader armoured infantry are remarkably hard to kill and the killing was largely left up to the Men at Arms and Sergeants mounted units.  Unfortunately the Fierce Foot came the closest and being genuine wild men would have stood a good chance in melee - ran out of time before they could contact the Crusaders. I gambled all with my C-in-C attached to a Men at Arms unit who charged the crossbowmen that had been giving me such grief from behind the wall.  Once more they proved hard to kill and rallied - battered but intact - rather than fleeing the field. My last chance as my unit was reduced to half strength. It wasn't enough and on the count - 23 to 18 points - John's Crusaders had more units left on the table such as the valiant (not) monks who spent the entire game hiding behind a wood - shouting encouragement no doubt!

The victorious Saracens  drive back the Crusader foot but didn't destroy them  - I wouldn't have liked the Muslim's chances had the game gone one more round!
Well it was a nice change from the usual historical gaming and a good introduction to Lion Rampant rules which we'll be using for our forthcoming 'Hammar of the Scots 1297 - 1314' campaign - I've been recruited as King of the Scots! (great - we know what happened to most of them!)  My thanks to Andrew for organising the game - and apologies for forgetting all my desert terrain for the game (doh!) Thanks also to Jolt Games in Mitchell for the convivial gaming venue and my darling wife (Minister of War and Finance) who drove me halfway across Canberra and back again so I could enjoy my game!

Muslim CinC: Abdula BulBul Emir