Monday, 20 November 2017

Lion Rampant - a skirmish wargame in 54mm

This  weekend my erstwhile sparring partner, Anthony and I tried out the Lion Rampant wargame rules using 54mm figures on a table 6' x 8' to see how well they would adapt to larger size figures. It was my first time using this system so we kept it all fairly simple, the two forces were drawn from sample army lists (retinues) for late French and English troops in the 100 Years War and the scenario (also from the rules) was "defending the indefensible".  the only change we made to the rules as written was to double the movement distances and missile ranges

English men-at -arms supported by foot sergeants and expert archers close on the French

French foot sergeants and crossbowmen defend the sacred relic while mounted men-at-arms charge into the small English force from the flanks.  The English foot are pushed back but the French charge loses momentum and falters.

The French Lord carries his standard forward and issues a challenge to personal combat against his English counterpart.  Sacre bleu! the challenger is killed and the French must all take a morale test.

The French cavalry all fail the test and break, the foot all pass and are left to face the English onslaught.

Furious melees take place in the centre as the French foot hold the line and force the English back.

The french cavalry rally and return to the fray.

Further melees ensue and the fight flows back and forth, the outcome could go either way.

Finally the English break through and seize the objective to win the game. Zut alors!

The game took about three hours to play but would have been much quicker if we had been more conversant with the rules.  The system is easy to pick up and flows very well, it's ideal for a skirmish wargame with 54mm figures.  We had a total of 42 figures per side, individual units being always based on 6 or 12 figures so you don't have to amass a large collection to get started.  The rules include sample retinues for a wide variety of Middle Ages armies from the Baltic Crusades to the Ottomans and there are other examples to be found on the internet covering such types as Elizabethans and Samurai.

There is a lot of flexibility with this system, I played the French and made the foolhardy decision to engage in single combat (just to see what would happen) and came to a sticky end!  I forgot to take any pictures during the game and so what you see here is an action replay by the leading actors.  My observations on the rules? I felt casualties caused by archers should have been higher and I think we were both surprised when a unit of archers received a charge from mounted men-at-arms and in the resulting melee saw them off, despite this they made for a very enjoyable game.

21 comments:

  1. Great fun! Who does those crossbowmen in brown?

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    1. Hi Spencer, the crowwbowmen are all conversions mostly using the torso from WW2 figures firing rifles, the barrels shortened and flattened then a piece of bent wire heat soldered to the end.

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  2. Good to see these noble knights and jolly archers in action. Seems to me I first saw a few of these on your website many years ago.

    Who made the French knights? They appear to have deetail style horse supports but I recognize neither horses nor knights.

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    1. Hi Ross, yes you're right some of them did pop up here before when we were trying out some early rules written by Tony Bath in the 1950's. The French knights again are conversions using the Herald mounted figure on Deetail and Airfix horses (with new bases), caparisons are from metal foil.

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  3. I have been using these rules for both 54mm games and 40mm with my Elastolin collection. I don't even change the distances and feel they play very well.

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    1. Hi Graham, I think they would be great with 40mm Elastolins, just wish I had enough! The only reason we changed the move distances was because of the size of the table, we like troops to be able to get into contact within about three moves and we wanted to use the whole area available, but it could easily have been played with original moves on a table 6'x4'

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  4. Great looking game and I am glad you both enjoyed it. I use these rules with my 40mm Expeditionary Force figures and they are great fun to play. Do have a look at the Pikeman's Lament for later periods.
    Alan

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    1. Hi Alan, Pikeman's Lament is next on the list (and I've asked Santa to bring me a copy) but probably not until the New Year.

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  5. Wonderful looking game. Those conversions are excellent. Just thinking about converting HAT Celts to Riders of Rohan, so I'll use the foil idea for their cloaks.
    all the best
    Mike

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    1. The HAT Celts should work well for Rohan, foil can be a bit fiddly but it's good for straps and harnesses.

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  6. Hi Brian,

    Looks very nice indeed and there are plenty of cheap plastic about this would work with. I am going to use The Men Who Would Be King (the colonial version of the Rampant series) with 54mm French Foreign Legion and Arabs in due course.

    All the best,

    DC

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    1. TMWWBK sounds interesting, I might need to write another letter to Santa

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  7. Hi Brian,

    as I've said elsewhere many thanks for a great game and wonderful hospitality!

    Cheers
    Anthony

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    1. You're welcome, next time I won't be so impetuous with my challenges.

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  8. Fantastic. I have a copy of Rampant, but haven't managed to get it on the table yet. Those old Britains look the part.

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    1. It's well worth a run, quick to set up, quick to play and plenty of cheap figures around.

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  9. Wonderful conversions, excellent action! That personal combat will get you every time! Thanks for a great post Brian!

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  10. Wow, splendid figures here, and great pics...

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  11. Fun looking game. Nice to see the rules work well for 54mm - with the range/movement increases.

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  12. That's a fine looking battle, Brian. Very nice collection of figures and you did a great job with the conversions.

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