Monday, 23 March 2015

Lion Rampant - First Game

The Continuing Saga of Shawn of Rochester and John de Rainham.

Swearing vengeance after his hammering at the peace conference, Shawn assembled his loyal vassals with the usual threats and bribes to launch a full blown chevauchée through John's lands.

Fortunately John received prior notice from his PAVE chain (Peasant and Villein Exhortatory system) and was ready with his full blown host.

Yep, we were ready to play Scenario 1 from Lion Rampant with Shaun as the attacker.

This is what the game looked like after five or six turns.

Shawn had considerable problems getting his host to advance while mine flatly refuse to move at all. I think it took about five turns for John de Rainham's assorted threats and bribes got the archers to advance while his cavalry stayed in a full blown sulk.

By about turn seven things hotted up. I persuaded my archers to fire on Shaun's spearmen who took to their heels - nah, nah, cowardly custards.

Meanwhile Shaun's mounted men at arms started a charge on my other archers in the woods. I marvelled at the horse's bravery as light infantry are at their best in woods.

Shaun's spearmen rallied but his mounted men at arms took a terrible pounding, the survivors fleeing clean off the battlefield. Encouraged, John's mounted men at arms and right flank knights deigned to advance.

Meanwhile an exasperated Shaun of Rochester lost his head and led his personal retinue in a charge on John de Rainham, who was still trying to persuade his own retinue to stop sulking and advance.

Alas, John's retinue promptly counter-charged (automatic response not needing a die roll) and poor Shaun got the worst of it. His retinue promptly fled the field, carrying Shaun with them, and John declared victory.


I don't know what to make of this. The game was completely controlled by the activation die rolls. I won the game by not managing to do anything. Admittedly there was some terrible die-rolling going on.


  1. My first experience with Lion Rampant was similar. We were playing two on each side so if you failed to activate on the first turn then the whole army lost its move. In the end we gave up on this and went for a rule that if the unit failed you could then try to activate the next unit and so on.

    It did occur to us that you had to try to activate the easy units first to get some chance of anything happening but, like you, we suffered from terrible dice rolls! One of my units never got into action at all and my archers failed to shoot anything!

    1. I can tell you Shawn of Rochster was not a happy bunny.

      I will give it on more go and then try the change you suggest.

  2. Our first go at it was similar as well... nobody seemed to want to do anything.

    Haven't had another go at it yet as I'm waiting until I get around to finishing up a few more forces. We had considered allowing the leader to give a +1 activation bonus to any units within 12" like he does for Courage tests.

    The forces look really nice and colourful!

    1. Yah, the more I hear about other people's experiences the more I wonder whether the game as it stands is flawed. I have waited to finish off an army but hope to have a game this week. Just finished my longbowmen.

  3. I've only played LR a few times; it was nice when it first came out late last year, getting a lot of the locals to play together and with not much figures required. I totally agree about the activation rolls - another one a lot of the locals had issue with is the 3" between units. The latter can easily be house-ruled, but the activation is a particular hindrance more often than not. That all said, it's a good "Beer & Pretzels" set of rules IMO. Great looking figures and game, BTW.

    1. Thanks Dean. The figures belong to my friend Shawn.

  4. We've been giving each leader a single re-roll during each turn. A bit of resource management added in.

    1. That's an interesting idea.Is everyone having problems with the command control system.