Sunday, 13 March 2016

Shieldwall Rampant

Well, my friend Mike and I organised a game of Lion Rampant set in the Dark Ages and dubbed: Shieldwall Rampant. I wrote up a couple of simple rules to add a bit of Dark Age flavour which became changed after some play and debate during the course of the game. The main inclusion was "Shieldwall" to replace Shiltron. Which ended up giving a armour bonus v's both melee and missiles.

The game went like this:

A warband of brave Saxons led by Æthelguy the Seeker (me) were defending a ford beset by rampaging turd licking Vikings (Mike) led by an un-named Viking whom I shall call Harald Dungbiter just so that I can keep up the desired insult quota.

The main ford is in the center and all other sections of the river can be forded by moving a unit into contact with the bank and then rolling a d6. On a 4, 5 or 6 that section can be crossed. If the unit fails it must move to another river section and try again.

Under the shadow of the imposing, ancient edifice of Polystyrene Henge:

This is the situation after a couple of moves (when I remembered to take photo's). Both sides (the Saxons on at bottom) have moved up to the ford and established their shieldwalls. Time was now taken to hurl insults at each other. The Vikings are attempting to out flank the Saxon position on the right.

The first fight sees two units of husscarls slugging it out in the water with the Saxons coming off the better. That's Harald Dungbiter in the red cloak. One one of Odin's ravens looks on in interest.

Part of the Viking flank move on the right. Here a second unit of Vikings have crossed the river.

On the left this unit of Saxon's (and some skirmishers) are guarding the river bank to prevent more vikings on the opposite bank from crossing. The ship was just there for decoration.

The shield walls face off. Time for more insults and to shout Oot! Oot!

On the right the Viking flank maneuver is taking hold and my little group of skirmishers (biddowers in Lion Rampant terms) repeatedly fail to hurl their sling stones at them. They'll learn their lesson soon.

The Saxon hearthguard/husscarls (whatever) prepare for their next move.

Which is to launch themselves at the Viking shieldwall. They fail in this effort and but a second unit of Saxon husscarls led by the brave Æthelguy the Seeker, himself, crash into the Viking dog lovers and break their formation sending them running.

The Saxon shield wall then attempts to cross the ford only to be beset by hearthguard wielding big axes. Which threw them back to the river bank.

Meanwhile, on the right flank the Saxon skirmishers evaded the first rush of Vikings and managed to smite some of the swine lickers with their sling stones as the fled. A second charge caught them flat footed and they died under a rain of spear thrusts and axe blows.

Æthelguy the Seeker and his brave thegns obviously mustnt' have seen the second unit of hearthguard creeping along the riverbank. These cowardly turd kissers pushed into the river and attacked the brave Saxon warlord.

In any fight your leader is involved in a roll of 'snake eyes' means that he has either been captured or gone to his doom (determined by a second die roll). In this case it was snake eyes followed by death.

Oh how the skald's will lament the passing of Æthelguy the Seeker as he fell in the bloody waters of the ford beneath the dire shadow of Polyurethane Henge. They shall sing his praises in the mead halls and his widow (Judith of Durham) shall weep tears of regret.

Unit courage tests followed with the remaining Saxons holding firm. But there were only two units of spears and another unit of skirmishers left. These had pulled back to a hill to make a last stand where they could easily have withdrawn from the battlefield pretty easily.

It was a great game and it was followed by an equally entertaining second game against Sean. Again I was the Saxons. The fighting was a bit more intense around the ford and it was pretty much on the edge of a sword but in the end it was another victory to the goat foldling, Viking invaders.


  1. Have you seen Dan Mersey's offical Dark Age rules for Lion Rampant? They were published in Wargames Illustrated.

    1. Hi David,
      I have seen them but I'm not keen on them. They seem designed to bring Lion Rampant more into line with his Dux Bellorum rules. While this is good I don't think they capture the later "Viking" (ie: Wessex and Mercia fighting off the Danes, Welsh or Irish raiders etc...). I do like the early Dark Ages very much but I think there is a difference in the early & late periods of this era. Especially the inclusion of cavalry.

      For me, I'd rather depict the early and later Dark Ages differently. There seems to be a bit more faded glory in the early era which I quite like.
      Thanks for your comment and Cheers,

  2. That's a great gaming table. Love your terrain. Cheers, Karl