Last week saw the latest in a long line of Lion Rampant games with Ralph at The Forest Gamers club in Cinderford.
LR has been our game of choice for the last 3 months or so. Its unheard of for us to play a game so much without being tempted away by other projects.
The bidowers lead the way as the mtd sgts skirmish against my foot sgts.
We played the Messenger scenario, where as the attacker, I had to get a messenger figure across the table. One of the many things I like about LR is that you select your forces before rolling up the scenario. Some scenarios favour mobility including this one. Unfortunately, I had an all infantry force. I put the messenger in my bidower unit which, although not the toughest, was my most mobile unit, being able to move freely through difficult terrain.
1 foot MAA
1 foot sgts
1 fierce foot
2 mounted MAA
1 mounted sgts
1 foot sgts
The game started well enough for me. My plan was to hop from cover to cover with the bidowers, whilst trying to use everything else to deal with Ralph's scary mounted troops. The first few turns saw my bidowers race across the table. Unfortunately, the rest of my retinue was not so keen and soon fell behind. As the bidowers were in the relative safety of a wood, I decided to hold them there and to try and bring the rest of the troops up before a final push to get off of the table.
Ralph started to get his activation rolls going and we started to have some chess like manoeuvring with Ralph trying to avoid being drawn into difficult terrain with his wild charging mounted MAA.
The bidowers in the wood were charged by mounted MAA which was risky and both units took heavy losses as they tangled in the woods. My bidowers retreated to a safer spot deeper in the woods as my foot MAA arrived in the scene. Meanwhile Ralph's mounted sgts succumbed to a combination of crossbow fire and my fierce foot. I had unfortunately left a gap in my line which Ralph exploited to get his second mounted MAA through to my rear giving him the opportunity to duff up a crossbow unit. Ralph's infantry meanwhile, moved to block my intended exit point.
Fortunately for me my crossbows stuck around although battered and Ralphs mounted MAA also fell back battered, taking them into the edge of a wood where my foot MAA were waiting. The foot charged and due to their advantage in difficult terrain destroyed their mounted opponents.
At this point all looked rosy for my messenger who was still in the woods with the surviving bidowers but that unit was now protected by the foot MAA. Ralph's mounted force was finished and I still had all my units on the table. All that stood in my way were Ralph's crossbow and spear units. What could possibly go wrong....?
My foot MAA strode boldly out of the woods. They took no casualty from a nervy crossbow volley and thus encouraged plunged into them, hacking and slashing at the lightly armoured villains. They inflicted 4 casualties for a return of only 1. Disappointingly, the crossbows rolled remarkably high for their courage test and stood firm. I was optimistic that I could finish them with another charge but that was when disaster struck. Ralph's usually ropey activation dice turned on me with a 7+ rolled to allow his crossbows to shoot into my foot MAA again. I had now taken 3 casualties in total on this unit so rolled my courage test with a -3 modifier. A 2 and a 1! 3 minus 3 is obviously 0, a result that sees the unit disperse from the table. Although this was my first destroyed unit, it contained my leader which meant courage tests for all my remaining units. To build the drama, I thought I'd roll for the bidowers last. My badly mauled units from their various scrapes with the mounted troops became battered as they watched their Lord flee the battlefield. My bidowers, like the foot MAA, had taken 3 losses and like their supposed superiors also rolled 3 on 2d6. The fled and that was the end of that as the messenger counted as lost too! Bugger.
Another cracking game that went right down to the wire as they often seem to with Lion Rampant.