Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Lion Rampant - first impressions

I had an unexpected, but pleasant, suprise today when I got home from work, as a complimentary copy of Lion Rampant, the new skirmish wargames rules from Dan Mersey,  were waiting for me. Sometime ago I had volunteered to help Dan to play test these new rules of his and, as a 'reward', we might receive a copy of the rules. Well it obviously was true!

So what are my first impressions? Well, they are...
  • The book is beautifully produced, as one would expect from Osprey Publishing. It has the usual amount of illustrations taken from the Osprey range as well as some lovely pics of miniatures from a variety of manufacturers.
  • It is very well laid out and as a result is easy to follow the rules, with a very useful flow diagram on page 14, for the Activation sequence. Other rulesets would benefit from something as simple and yet so useful as this.
  • "Games about knights should be fun". "Keep the rules simple". I think these quotes nicely sum up Dan's goals for the game and I think he has achieved them.
  • Figures are normally individually based, but there are guidelines on how to play with multibased figures.
  • There is a nice selection of sample Retinues at the end of the book; for the British Isles, Western Europe, Eastern europe and the Middle East & Spain. You can use these as is, or as a basis for your own. He has even added in classic Holywood ones for Robin Hood, King Arthur and Old School '70's Fantasy. So a pretty broad selection I think you'll agree.
  • There are 12 scenarios in all, with guides on how to link them together should you so wish to provide a sort of mini-campaign.
Having recently returned to skirmish wargaming with 'In Her Majesty's Name', I have been thinking of trying out some Medieval skirmish games using either 'Mordheim' or 'Lord of the Rings' rulesets. To be honset neither really grabbed me as being what I wanted. Ditto with 'Saga' and 'Dux Brittaniarum', both of which I felt trod over the same ground as 'Dux Bellorum', my go to ruleset for the 'Dark Ages'. Now with having 'Lion Rampant' in my hands, I think I have found the rules I've been looking for.
Now I have the task of deciding what figures to use as well as what Retinues to go for? The latter is easy given my 'Baltic Crusades' project, of which I already have plenty of 10mm figures to game with with 'Hail Caesar'. I can easily see these being used for 'A Game of Thrones' as well, as they  would certainly appeal to my kids, including my daughter (as long as I had a Tyrion Lannister character for her to play!) Time will tell on  this...
28mm is very tempting for the figures, especially given the wealth of 28mm plastic ranges available today. However this does raise the problem, as mentioned in my previous post, of figure and scenery storage. Given I have plenty to keep me occupied at present, I will mull over the figure 'problem' for a while before making a decision.

So all-in-all I heartily recommend these rules. I'm looking forward to giving these a run out in the future, so-much-so in fact that I may use my 'Dux Bellorum' warbands as a quick way to get my first game in.


  1. I recommend 40mm figures as the minimum size. Absolute minimum. Come on, you know you want to.

  2. 28mm is as large as I'll go and I'm struggling with temptation to not buy two Retinues. If only time, space and money would permit then I'd definitely go down the 28mm route.

    40mm? Therein lies the path to madness....;)