Sunday, 22 February 2015

Eagle Rampant - skirmishing in the Ancient World

I like the look of the Lion Rampant rules. I also like Romans. Since I first learned about these rules, I've thought about putting the two together. So amidst all of the other things I have going on, I've prepped two armies and tried to construct two army lists for the era of the Roman Conquest of Gaul. I figure that there were plenty of skirmishes going on during the occupation, and that these would involve rather small forces comprised mostly of auxiliaries. That is the premise behind these lists.
The Roman warlord, originally put together when I was going to use SAGA as the basis for my rules, now just a superfluity.
I have only created profiles for the units that I have. These are put together for me to play with, but may form the basis of someone else's conversions if people are interested. My design notes are at the bottom of the page.
The Roman force awaiting paint. One Expert Legionaries, one Legionaries, one Numidian cavalry, one Cretan archers, two Numidian skirmishers equals 24 points
LEGIONARIES
Legionaries form the backbone of the Roman army. Well trained, well equipped and well led they are expensive in points but rock solid on the table. As they are a drilled formation they usually fight in a two-deep line with bases touching together, but this affords them a +1 armour bonus when attacked. When in danger from shooting the legionaries can form a testudo, or tortoise, which gives them extra cover from missile fire. Finally the Legions have a nasty surprise for any would be attackers with their pila.
UNIT NAME
Legionaries
POINTS
5
Attack
6+
Attack Value
5+
Move
5+
Defence Value
4+
Shoot
6+
Shoot Value
5+/6”
Courage
4+
Maximum movement
6”
Armour
3
Special rules
Testudo; Pilum; Drilled
Models per unit: 12
SPECIAL RULES:
·         Testudo: There needs to be 6 or more models to form a Testudo. On a move order form the unit into a three rank formation based around a central model; a Testudo cannot form in Rough terrain or in cover, and it cannot move in this formation. Testudos increase their Armour by 1 point against shooting attacks.
·         Pilum: All legionaries are armed with a pilum that can be thrown as javelins. When attacked the legionary unit may test to throw its pilum just prior to contact as a charge reaction.
·         Drilled: So long as their bases are touching and they are arrayed in a two deep line legionaries gain the benefit of close order training. This enables them to gain a +1 armour advantage in Attacks when defending as the men protect each other with  their shields.
UNIT UPGRADES:
·         Expert @ 1 point per unit. Attack value becomes 4+.
      

NUMIDIAN LIGHT HORSE
The Numidian cavalry are some of the finest skirmishing horsemen in the world. Their ability to evade is legendary, usually on the heels of a hail of javelin throwing.
UNIT NAME
Numidian horsemen
POINTS
5
Attack
7+
Attack Value
5+
Move
5+
Defence Value
6
Shoot
6+
Shoot Value
5+/12”
Courage
5+
Maximum movement
12”
Armour
3
Special rules
Skirmish; Evade
Models per unit: 6
SPECIAL RULES:
·         Skirmish: As an ordered activation, successful on a 5+, the unit may choose to make a half move and Shoot either before or after this movement takes place.
·         Evade: When an enemy has successfully diced to attack this unit, but before it moves, this unit may test to evade at 7+. If it succeeds, it immediately carries out a skirmish action targeting the Attacking unit only, may not move closer to the Attacking unit, and must avoid other units by 3” as usual; casualties inflicted in the skirmish action cause a Courage test or Lucky Blow only at the end of the Attack. The charging unit then moves its full charge distance following the Evading unit; if it makes contact it Attacks with the evading unit reducing its armour to 1, and if it cannot contact it must move as close as possible. If the evade test fails, the unit stands in place and awaits attack without moving or shooting, and its armour drops to 1 during the Attack. Evade cannot be used if the unit is Battered.

NUMIDIAN SKIRMISHERS
Numidians don’t just ride horses. Some of them run around and throw javelins too.
UNIT NAME
Numidian skirmishers
POINTS
2
Attack
7+
Attack Value
6
Move
5+
Defence Value
6
Shoot
7+
Shoot Value
5+/12”
Courage
5+
Maximum movement
8”
Armour
1
Special rules
Hard to target; Skirmish; Evade; Fleet Footed
Models per unit: 6
SPECIAL RULES:
·         Hard to target: Skirmishers count as Armour 2 versus Shooting and may only be targeted within 12”.
·         Skirmish: As an ordered activation, successful on a 7+, the unit may choose to make a half move and Shoot either before or after this movement takes place.
·         Evade: When an enemy has successfully diced to attack this unit, but before it moves, this unit may test to evade at 7+. If it succeeds, it immediately carries out a skirmish action targeting the Attacking unit only, may not move closer to the Attacking unit, and must avoid other units by 3” as usual; casualties inflicted in the skirmish action cause a Courage test or Lucky Blow only at the end of the Attack. The charging unit then moves its full charge distance following the Evading unit; if it makes contact it Attacks with the evading unit reducing its armour to 1, and if it cannot contact it must move as close as possible. If the evade test fails, the unit stands in place and awaits attack without moving or shooting, and its armour drops to 1 during the Attack. Evade cannot be used if the unit is Battered.
·         Fleet Footed: This unit does not halve its movement in Rough terrain.

CRETAN ARCHERS
These men from the island of Crete were used throughout the Roman world as auxiliary support.
UNIT NAME
Cretan Archers
POINTS
4
Attack
7+
Attack Value
6
Move
6+
Defence Value
6
Shoot
6+
Shoot Value
5+/18”
Courage
4+
Maximum movement
6”
Armour
1
Special rules
-
Models per unit: 12
SPECIAL RULES:
·         None
UNIT UPGRADES:
·         Expert @ 1 point per unit. Shoot value becomes 4+.

Design notes.

  • Legionaries are based on foot serjeants. The extra point is in place for the javelins (pila) and the testudo rule. Drilled is basically schiltron. An extra point buys an upgrade to expert, rather than two points. I did this because nothing in Lion rampant is more than 6 points and because it fit with the 24 point army had the figures for. Playtesting will see whether this assumption is borne out. Edit: The pila range was 12", but I originally had 6" and have now corrected this.
  • Numidian cavalry are Mounted Yeomen with a point taken off for being equipped with javelins and 2 points added on to be expert and lose the -1 Shooting penalty. I've snuck in the 5+ order roll for skirmishing as without throwing javelins the Numidians wouldn't be operating in a very historical fashion.
  • Numidian skirmishers are straight forward Bidowers.
  • Cretan Archers are straight forward Archers.

Please be aware that these are not playtested yet, hopefully I get a game in by the end of the week.
Amongst all of the other painting and gaming projects that I have, I think that this may just sneak its way to the front of the list.

I'll post up the Gauls in the next couple of days.

Nate

16 comments:

  1. I have neither Romans nor Lion Rampant. but nice work! I have a similar idea on the back burner to use the Ronin skirmish rules to play post-Norman conquest England using my SAGA figures. Creativity like this is what wargaming is all about. Great stuff :-)

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    1. I don't think I've ever had a set of rules where I didn't start playing with the army lists or the mechanics in some way. It really is part of the fun.

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  2. Nice work Nate. One of our guys is planning on doing much the same thing with Romans. You have saved him all the hard work!

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    1. Cool, I hope that some of this stuff is useful, and let him know to remember to share!

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  3. Great stuff. I've got a fair amount of my Romans and Celts skirmish bashed for just this sort of thing. I came up with LotR lists for them, but Lion Rampant is a much easier game to teach people. Hopefully I'll get a chance to play test these too.

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    1. That would be great I you can. They are a great set of rules.

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  4. Surely the testudo was a defensive formation that did move?

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    1. It definitely did move, but then how to keep that in game play without Romans tortoising around all over the place? A suggestion on the Dux Rampant forum is that maybe the formation suffers a negative defence value modifier if charged. I think that makes sense.

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    2. When in Testudo, you could just bump the move order to 7+ and have the unit move at half speed while in the formation.

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  5. What an awesome project! Might have to paint some more Romans and then some Celts for a bit of Macro and Cato on patrol in Britannia. Well done and thanks for the inspiration. cheers

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    1. Glad that there's some inspiration there Brendon. I think Macro and Cato would fit very well with the Lion Rampant style of game.

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  6. Hey! just subscribed to your blog! Im doing the same project! e-mail me - we can join forces ;)
    Play tested the romans...5points for legioneries? imho 6 is way better.
    Attack on 6+? Imho 5+ <--- trained!
    And how about a special rule; Decimation - after failed order test, remove one model, and auto pass the test :)
    @ mail me
    Best!

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    1. Thanks, and I've sent you an e-mail.

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  7. Just found this whilst searching for a more ancient version of Lion Rampant. Just started painting Victrix Spanish and going to do some of their Republican Romans at some point in the not too distant future. Thanks for putting these stats together they will be very useful for my little project.

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    1. No worries. DOn't forget about the article in Wargames Soliders and Strategy #80 where I looked at adapting the rules for the First Punic War. Might be something useful in there too.

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