Thursday, 28 November 2019

The Mines of Gloria - a Dragon Rampant AAR

For sometime I have been planning to run a mini Dragon Rampant campaign, set in and around the Forest of Dean. I've come up with some broad background fluff, made up the rosters etc but for one reason or another, I've never got around to kicking things off. So whilst on some post-op R&R, I thought I'd have a trial game to run through things just to remind myself of the rules etc.

Table Layout & Deployment
I knocked up a couple of opposing warbands, bunged some terrain on the table and played a simple advance to contact type scenario. Nothing fancy, but something simple to allow myself to get re-acquainted with the rules.

An overview of the 2' x 2' board.

An English mid 17thC warband.

A Goblin and Troll warband.

Turn 1
Both sides moved as best they could, with only the English Dragoons failing to move.

The end of Turn 1

The Goblins and Trolls fan out to both flanks.

The Devil leads his troops up the road.

Giant saddleback pigs gaurd the right flank.

Turn 2
Again, more movement and some English troops were just out of range to shoot. As the Goblins and Trolls advanced, the Saddleback Pigs charged forward into the English scouts, who failed to evade, forcing them back with losses.

The end of Turn 2.

The Devil moves to the right, guarded bu Trolls and Goblin scouts.

Both sides have taken losses, but the English are the ones forced back.

Turn 3
A mixed turn of fire and manouevre, with the English Scouts and Militia causing hits on the Saddleback Pigs, who even though at 1/2 strength, charge into the English Scouts, causing more losses and pushing them back.

The end of Turn 3.

Goblins move towards the English Dragoons lining the hedge, whilst the other English troops try to form a good defensive line.

The Dragoons are in a good defensive position.
The Devil still protected by Goblin Scouts.

Turn 4
The English somewhat unnerved by the Giant Saddlebacks, fail to activate to shoot or completely miss, allowing the Saddlebacks to once again charge in, but take hits and have to retreat. As the Goblins charged the Dragoons behind the hedge, they came off second best and failed their morale roll and legged it off the table!

The end of Turn 4.
The Goblin and Troll left flank is somewhat open.

A view from the English position.

The Dragoons now face off against some Goblin Scouts in the woods.

Turn 5
The English have a string of failed rolls, but the Militia manage to shoot at the Trolls, who manage to pass their morale rolls despite taking quite a few hits. In response the Goblin Scouts, Saddleback Pigs and Trolls all attack the Militia, who take so many hits that they easily fail their morale roll and exit table left. The Goblin Scouts and Devil all attack the Dragoons, who are forced to retreat.

The end of Turn 5.

The Devil forces the Dragoons back.

The Trolls not too keen to charge the formed English pikes.

The Dragoons look nervously at the Devil.

A Valley of the Four Winds figure, one of my oldest, used as the Devil.

End of Game
At this point I called it a draw, with both sides having taken casualties and myself having got a hang of the rules again. So both sides withdrew to fight (hopefully soon) another day.
Post Game Thoughts
It was nice to have finally got a game of Dragon Rampant in, although I did feel a bit rusty with the rules, but it did the job I had hoped it would. So a few thoughts on the rules etc:
  • The game went at a fair old lick, which was nice and I reckon with a bit of planning you could play a mini-campaign in an evening, should you wish to. 
  • The rules are fun and certainly easy to pick up, but I didn't use any magic, as I wanted to keep things simple. I must admit I prefer the historical Rampant rules, but doing the Fantasy version did allow my to use some very old figures from my early wargaming years, which I greatly enjoyed.
  • I allowed all units to roll for actviation, as per the later Rampant rules, as I find this speeds play up no end. I'm also toying with the idea of allowing alternate activations, but this may be too hard to keep track off, especially when playing solo.
  • I forgot to test for 'Wild Charges', simply automatically charging units with this trait. In hindsight this probably made them too effective, but the point of the game was as a refresher, so it worked from this point of view.
  • Both sides managed to pass pretty much all of their morale rolls, which is unusual as in previous games, I've had units moving back and forth, which breaks up the game rather nicely.
  • Having drawn up both sides lists quite sometime ago, I had forgotten what they actually were, so whether they were Greater Warbeasts, Belliscose Foot etc. i need to go over them again to do a few tweaks based upon the game and double check everything. 
  • The game worked perfectly on a 2' x 2' board with 10mm miniatures (plus some larger ones) by simply halving all the distances.

This has picqued my interest in digging out my miniatures from the loft for some Baltic Crusades using Lion Rampant, plus carrying on with my English Civil War units for The Pikemen's Lament. However with som much stuff already 'planned', I'm not sure when they might get onto the painting table. So many ideas, so little time...


  1. Plenty of space on the 2x2, what a great unit ...... the saddlebacks! :-)

  2. It shows you, once again, that you can have good games on small sized boards. Roughly each side 5-6 units, so plenty of stuff to manouevre, without having to kill your back each time. I played the whole game sitting down, aside from taking the 'photos.

    As for the Giant Saddlebacks, my Great Uncle used to have them and we used to help move them around the farm when we were very young. Since then they've always been my favourite breed of pig. I was tempted to make the Gloucester Old Spots, but couldn't resist that classic saddleback look.

  3. Excellent report.
    I've been playing Dragon Rampant in a 16th century setting, and wondered whether I had pushed things too far, so it's nice to see it working with a 17th century force.

    I really enjoy the Rampant rules, and like the way some of the fantastical Dragon Rampant bits can enhance historical units.
    For example my Chinese and Indian rocketeers function as scouts with venomous shooting.

    1. Thanks Steve. I think the joy of these rules is the fact you can tweak them to suit pretty much anything you want, as well as a period. Jason and the Argonauts? - easily done. War of the Worlds? - at a push but worth thinking about...

  4. I would be slightly unnerved by facing Giant Saddlebacks too. Looks like a fun encounter and none too boaring.

    1. Glad you weren't too boared Jonathan;). As a kid the pigs did seem like giants, especially when transfering them from one sty to another!