Lots of fun, but surprisingly challenging too – that’s my verdict on Lion Rampant after a few solo games. The rules mechanisms are simple to learn but offer a lot of subtlety for how you play the game and how you use your units. I have definitely joined the ranks of those who think it’s an excellent set of rules and I’m intending to play more in the future.
So far I’ve played through three games and have a fourth on the go, which I’ll get back to this evening. I’ve used the same forces each time (as per the previous post), but moved the terrain around quite a lot for each game to vary the setting. I’ve just been playing straight forward clashes rather than full scenarios, and ending things when one side loses half or more of its starting points worth of units – which feels about right.
For me, the unit zones of control (where no unit, friend or enemy, can come within a certain distance of another without actually attacking it) are probably the toughest thing to keep remembering and applying, but it does add an interesting dimension requiring planning and the need to be careful with your unit and figure placement.
I’ve tried a bit of everything, using the various units’ special rules and options, such as Evade and Skirmish, and of course Wild Charge which is lots of fun – but of course you tend to lose control of knights (‘mounted men-at-arms’) and fierce foot pretty quickly! The activation rolls make for an excellent solo experience as you never know exactly what will happen, and can just concentrate on trying to make the best decisions for each side when it’s their turn. I’m looking forward to some 2-player games where there should be a good mix of planning and luck dictating who gets to do what.
A few pics, mostly from the first game..
In the colourful corner, Sir Malice of the Golden Chalice, defender of the realm:
And in the brown corner, we have Vog, Lord of the Marshes and all-round thug.
The game underway. I like the force to space ratio – it feels like a big skirmish rather than a handful of individuals fighting it out. There’s about enough room for manoeuvre (and hiding where appropriate!) on a board of this size with 15mm figures.
Crossbowmen and Bidowers (as skirmishers are called in LR) set up a ‘Valley of Death’ for the raider’s cavalry to hopefully blunder into:
Knights and Fierce Foot replace tactical finesse with out-and-out aggression.Very enjoyable, unless you’re the one standing still when the enemy charge.
More of the same. I’ve spotted a ZOC error in the bottom left corner 🙁
Run Away! Must have been a savage rabbit somewhere, as the enemy were seen off at the same time.
‘Not me face!’ Although, even outnumbered like this the knight still gets 6 fighting dice so he actually managed to cut down an enemy horseman before going under.
A later game, with the hovels moved to a hill and the game played along the length rather than across the width. This made the space a bit tight, but still generated plenty of interesting action and events.
Interestingly, the Feudals have won all three initial games, but I’m not sure how. The knights haven’t generally been all-conquering battle winners, scoring some successes but doing badly on occasion too. The extra numbers of the raiders don’t seem to have had much impact, probably because I’ve not protected the fierce foot enough from missile fire before unleashing them where they can do the most damage. Ah well, learning to do better will be fun!