Category Archives: lion rampant

Ayton 2017 – Other stuff…

Other stuff doesn’t really do it justice. This is just a collection of pics of other peoples armies and their games. I have no idea what was going on in most of them! There are also a few pics of Tims Hall and Waudby’s 54mm game! This was a joy to behold. Excellent painting of both figures and vehicles and a great looking table.

Full gallery here: Ayton 2017 Misc

There were also some excellent armies on display in other parts of the Lion Rampant games:

As with all Ayton games everyone had put in lots of effort getting armies ready, some from existing armies they had, others painting up full retinues from scratch. It also reflects well of the whole Ayton ethos that people put in a LOT of effort creating armies in scales and periods they may never have looked at before!

Thoughts on the Games

We played a ‘test’ Lion Rampant game last year and that was great fun. Finding a way to deal with activations in larger games has been a challenge. Gary put in a lot of work preparing the background to the games and mechanisms to run them. In the first games we controlled activation by drawing a card for each player. This did mean that sometimes players got two turns in a row but as is the nature of the game it didn’t always mean you got to do much if you failed to activate anything! But it kept the game moving.

The larger Day Two game had ten players. Running it with cards would mean people possibly waiting ages for their turn so it was decided that all one side would activate and then the other. This would keep as many people ‘active’ as possible. As we also had two retinues each it was decide you could only activate one retinue a turn. This seemed to work early on but once you got a retinue in the thick of the action you had to KEEP activating that retinue to Rally troops and keep the pressure up. I don’t know how the other side of the table worked out but myself and Dave pretty well spent the whole game fighting with our one large retinue. The other retinue was further back and there just wasn’t time to bring them up. Obviously activation rolls affect this. Richie’s two retinues to my left fared better as they were both close to the enemy so it was easy to bring the second retinue into the fray when needed.

We discussed various solutions to all this:

March Moves – units outside a certain distance from the enemy get a +1 to activation rolls. We also thought of allowing double moves.

Extra activation – ALL retinues get a re-roll (on top of any leader type ones). However, to use it you have to sacrifice your leader unit’s activation. This worked well and cut down on the frustration of moving NOTHING for several turns. I know this is part of the game but if the dice go really bad it gets very frustrating. If you had already activated your leader then you couldn’t use this option.

Two Leaders – allow both leaders to activate each turn. So one larger retinue and when you fail your first activation then the other leader takes over.

We discussed other options, some similar to the Cold War Commander/Blitzkreig Commander rules where all units get a chance to roll,  but felt this was moving way from the ‘core’ of the Rampant series and could possibly unbalance games, especially those with a lot of Expert Bow involved! Getting too many shots in with those could wipe out the opposition too quickly!

But overall, everything worked. Sometimes it was frustrating, sometimes the dice went well and it was great. We were all there to have fun and that we did! No one threw any strops. No one gloated at their good fortune (except maybe Iain on Day 1 but things go his way so infrequently he deserves to enjoy it while it lasts! 🙂 ) 

From my side, I now have a decent size Norman force, already have plans to add to it, and will be painting some Saxons/Dark Age types to oppose it! I’ve also enjoyed painting plastics! I’ve always been firmly in the heft school (no personal comments…) and avoided plastics. I didn’t like the faff of sticking them together and I didn’t like the ‘feel’ of them. Lead all the way for me! But that has changed. The Conquest Normans were easy to put together and painted up well. I’ll be working on some Gripping Beast Saxons next!

And to finish, here are the chaps. Just in case you see us at a show and want to avoid us!

 

 

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Ayton 2017 – Day 2

And so we come to Day 2. The big  game! Western Crusaders and Eastern types assaulting a castle/village/church complex. Six players on our side versus four on the other, with a couple of guns mounted in the castle facing either way. Each player has 42 points to split into two retinues. However, each turn you could only activate one of them. On the first day the activation sequence with four players was controlled by cards. This time all one side went, but as said, only one of your retinues per turn. Unfortunately, Richie was unable to attend Day 2 so myself and Dave Hall took it turns controlling his force depending on how busy we were with our own.

I split my force into a small retinue (two yeoman, two bidowers and one lot of mounted) which along with all Richie’s force were facing Bob defending the village. My main retinue (sergeants, bows etc.) joined Dave in attacking Ken and then the castle. Despite the losses on Day 1 I still chose a couple of Boasts! I went for my arrows are deadlier than my spears, and issuing a challenge. As my leader had died the day before I got to roll for two new ones and got a Great Leader and a Lionheart! So I reckoned a duel would be in order…

Let battle commence!

All was quiet in the monastery. Little did they know what was to come…
My retinues arrayed for battle!
The enemy await.
First blood went to Richie as Bob had the first of many rotten rolls with his expert archers fleeing after their first casualty!
This was my fast moving retinue on the left. This was pretty well as far as it got all game!
More bowmen brought to plug the gap.
While nearby other bowmen opened up on the approaching troops in the open. And again, the dice were not good. Three times these expert bowmen fired without causing a single casualty!
Men at arms prepare to assault the wall. The second lot of bowmen had already been pushed back and now sergeants awaited the attack.
Meanwhile, to the right, mine and Dave’s Normans began to attack Ken’s French!
As my missile troops picked off casualties my tough guys rushed to the attack.
Dave pushed forward vigorously and caused many casualties. He then challenged the enemy leader and died for his trouble!
My heavy hitters about to charge and destroy Ken’s bowmen!
My missile troops continued to harass the enemy despite losing men to the cannon in the castle and my sergeants prepare to advance.
Meanwhile Richie’s troops continue to contest the the wall.
Now much reduced after many melees my men at arms prepare to fight again as their sergeants rush to support them.
Kens much reduced forces prepare to face fresh troops.
Having exhausted his first retinue Richie’s second retinue attacks as Bob brings up his remaining troops to hold the line.
My sergeants pile in and begin to wipe out the remaining units.
Finally the Brotherhood charge forward to deliver the coup de gras!
While mine and Dave’s remaining sergeants began to assault the castle walls.
And seeing Ken’s remaining Lord the Brotherhood charged forward and challenged him to combat. This was rather ineffective…. so they charged and drove them back…
The fight for the walls continues.
And the Brotherhood finally ride down Ken’s Lord!

And at that point Gary called it a day! Although we had not taken the castle we had killed enough of the enemy to force a surrender. And for once my dice had been good! I had wiped out at least five units, killed a Lord and achieved my two boasts! A great turnaround after the dire result of Day 1! But the dice had served me well and fortunately for me Bob suffered badly with his which gave me and Dave freedom to pile into Ken! All in all a good game. Great fun and nice to win!

Another post later/tomorrow with some more pics from the weekend and thoughts in the games.

There are more pictures in the Day 2 Gallery.

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Bolts from the blue!

With a large 15mm ACW game looming it made serious sense to focus on all the markers and terrain I will need. So clearly this week it made sense to paint some Norman crossbowmen for Ayton in May! 🙂 Figures are Perry Miniatures. Mounted on 25mm washers. These are the first 28s I’ve painted for a little while and I’m not 100% happy with the triads I used. Not helped by having run out of my usual Vallejo Buff paint! Anyway, twelve figures:

Next up I need to glue together some more of the plastic men at arms… I think I’ll do 12 all in chainmail just to speed them along!

And on another note… I’ve just traded some 1/300 aircraft for some painted 10mm Pendraken Sudan figures with Slugbalancer down in London. Figures arrived the other day. Nice simple and tidy paintjob:However, I really need a little more contrast for them to fit in with my style so I thought I’d try a GW Earthshade wash:I’m not sure if it has darkened them too much? It’s definitely helped I think.

And as you can see from the 15mm chap in the middle, I have started on more Fire and Fury markers and will be trying yet another Union Blue! 

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Rampant Plastic Normans!

As the great annual Ayton game looms at the start of May and I prepare my painting plan based in the army list I supplied for the big C18th campaign it it only logical that my limited painting and modelling time be firmly focussed on… Modern Microarmour, 15mm ACW and 28mm Normans! 🙂 I’ve posted some pics of the Modern Brits before but here are the vehicles for the FV432 and Saxon units. And some SPGs. Needless to say I’m still painting the infantry!

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A while back (pre- Christmas?) I bought some rather nice painted 15mm ACW Confederate from Iain Burt (Essex Boy) at a rather bargain price. These are I think Peter Pig and very nicely painted. They came mounted 4-5 on a base on unfinished steel bases so they needed to come off those and go on the standard Fire & Fury bases all my other stuff is on. That gave me two 10 stand units (usable for Longstreet as well) and a couple of spare command stands. Very nicely done figures by Mr Burt!

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Finally we come to the plastic Normans. Now I have always been a heft man! I was happy to concede the great opportunities the advent of hard plastic figures offered and have seen many people paint them beautifully. And they look great on the table. But for me the illusion was ruined as soon as you picked them up! 🙂 I had tried some of the Perry Napoleonics a long time ago and gave up sticking them together. Too many bits and too fiddly for me. So in theory that was me done with plastics. Forever…

Then Tim Hall generously passed his small C18th force to me to do service with Altefritzenburg. This force contained the famed Braunschweig Kuirassiers! These were Perry French cuirassiers with tricorn head swaps. A lovely unit and a great conversion.

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So I finally owned some plastics but had yet to paint any. Move forward to the Ayton weekend last year where we discussed the plans for 2016 and 2017. Having just done a C19th Colonial bash tradition holds that the following year we return to our C18th ImagiNation games. But for 2017 it was proposed to try something different and Lion Rampant got the vote. We had a trial run of the rules at the Lion Rampant weekend at Foundry late last year organised by Simon Tonkiss (Goat Major – go look at his excellent new blog: Göaterdämmerung) and I had great plans to paint something for that weekend but it didn’t pan out. I had decided I wanted a Norman/1st Crusade type force with maybe a few Arab types thrown in. This would nicely reflect my C18th and C19th ImagiNation forces. As this was in theory just for a one off game I didn’t want to spend a fortune so I looked at the Conquest Games Norman plastics and thought, What the Hell! I’d give plastics another go. So I bought some infantry. And cavalry. And a few metal Perry miniatures for crossbows and command. And some of the archers. And then for the Arabs I bought Gripping Beast Heavy Arab Cavalry and Infantry. Then got sent some Dark Age Warriors by mistake. Which I bought anyway. And also got given another pack of the Arab infantry… So I now have a plastic pile to join my lead and MDF ones! And that excludes the Games Workshop Orcs I acquired (don’t ask!). And I won’t even mention the PSC 1/72nd US infantry and Shermans…

So we come to the Conquest Normans. I thought I would attempt a unit of 12 infantry to start. I actually stuck these together last year and even primed one but did nothing until a couple of weeks ago. They come as body, head and arms so you can vary the poses quite a bit. The bodies have a variety of armour and you can arm with sword or spear and even a few with round shields. I went for a mix of types but stuck to the kite shields. They stick together quite well. As the heads attach to a flat surface you have to be careful to get them central (some of mine are a little out) and some of the armoured heads seem a little long in the neck. One slight jarring effect is that all come with a sword IN the scabbard. So if you arm them with swords then they appear to have two! I know you could cut/file off the handle but I didn’t think it was worth the effort and the potential damage!

Figures were mounted on 25mm washers and primed black using  the Vallejo Primer (brushed on). I haven’t painted this period in 28mm since the late 70s/early 80s and having been in a mojo slump for quite a while I was unsure how to tackle them. I’d been reading good things about the latest GW washes (replacements for Devlan Mud and Badab Black) so I picked up a couple of the new larger bottles (how much!!!!!?!?!?!?!). So for these figures most was done with a base coat followed by one or the other washes and then a highlight with the base or slightly lighter. As these are still sort of linked to my ImagiNation theme I went for the green and red of Altefritzenburg for the shields. Needless to say my Swans will be making an appearance as well, later!

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Overall, I’m quite pleased with how they come out. The faces were a different approach to normal and I may vary that for the next batch as I’m not sure it fully works.

Not sure what to paint next. I REALLY should line up the stuff for Ayton in May. Not a lot to paint but it will take time. Maybe as the mojo seems to be returning it would be good to get them out of the way. I also need to clear the decks a little as I want to try and have a game at home with my 7 year old. Might look at the One Hour Wargames ACW rules. And I need to sort out my Punic War stuff for the big To The Strongest Game in November. And get to the Whitley Bay Club so I can keep to my once a month plan!

Onwards and upwards!

 

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First Dragon Rampant Game

Tuesday night saw a trip to the Whitley Bay 3D Gamers Club in, well, Whitley Bay. I’m going to do my best to make it down there once a month this year! This visit was to try Dragon Rampant. I played Lion Rampant last year at Simon’s Newark bash (see this post) and really enjoyed it and it is to be the theme for Ayton 2017. But having eyed my lads model dragon for a couple of weeks with thoughts of working it into some medieval games I thought grabbing Dragon Rampant and giving it a go was worthwhile. So Karl L offered to run the game and supply myself and Alex R with some splendid orc types and undead respectively, while Callum arrived with some rat themed army and Andy K a werewolf themed one. I’m not too big on the old fantasy races etc. so feel free to correct! We worked out basic 24pt armies. My orcs were based around the sample in the DR book so I had two lots of Light Foot with short range missile weapons, two lots of bellicose foot with Shiny Armour and a leader and hangers on as Heavy Foot with offensive option. So quite hard hitting if I get in first! We basically bunged a bit of scenery down and set up in opposite corners and went at it!

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I was closest to Alex’s undead horde so sent my Light Foot forward to await their arrival.

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The orcs I was using were a rather eclectic and colourful lot borrowed from Karl. IMAG4995

They had a lot of things shambling towards them!IMAG4996

Callum’s rather impressive rat things took quite a pummelling from the were-chaps. This was partly because for the first few turns we just went clockwise round the table for initiative and the were-chaps just kept hitting with no chance to get a strike back or avoid.IMAG4997

Despite their reputation my orcs formed orderly lines and waited!IMAG5003

After some rather impressive early activations (9/10 on turn 1!) the undead horde seemed to shuffle to a halt. I got a couple of shots at one unit and found that they were rather brittle with armour of 1.IMAG5004

I eventually moved the Light Foot aside and sent in the first of the heavy chaps who proceeded to hack their way through three units before grinding to a halt, exhausted and then dispersing. The next few turns saw the undead gradually whittled down (though not without loss) until only the leader remained…

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A final bash between his heavies and mine saw the orcs victorious…IMAG5011

However, over the other side of the table the rat-chaps had been wiped out and the were-chaps were heading my way!IMAG5012

I lined up some Light Foot to face the first lot and against the odds they saw off three attacks but were a tad depleted at the end!IMAG5013

It then came down to a battle between my leader and, well, three of his units!IMAG5014

Despite a valiant defence they eventually cracked and ran away. Not helped by my previously decent dice starting to let me down.IMAG5015

The field was left to the creatures of the moon!IMAG5016

It was good fun! Half way through we started rolling initiative every turn which made things more interesting although by that time the damage had been done to Callum’s force. The rules work pretty well. We kept it pretty basic and for a first try didn’t make too many mistakes. Working out the actual casualties with reduced model units was sometimes a pain but I think once you have your list sorted and get used to it it will be fine. The undead were very brittle and I think need a little magic to help them out. There are some nice variations on Lion Rampant and I’m sure you could mix and match stuff with little problem.

On the night I picked up some old GW LOTR Orcs and Gondor types from Lawrence. I think these should paint up pretty quick (if I ever get chance) and I hope to use them for some little ‘imagination’ themed games late in the year.

All in all, a good night and thanks to Karl for pulling it all together and the chaps for a fun game. Looking forward to trying the rules again.

 

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