Friday, August 22, 2014

Lion Rampant quick flick review

The cover!

I am super happy to have these rules in my hands. Been looking forward to acquiring this one.
Lion Rampant is Medieval Wargame rules by Daniel Mersey published in the small book format from Osprey Wargames. It's skirmish style (like Saga). I haven't played a game yet but have been reading the rules (just got it a few days ago) and am really liking what I see. It has a lot to offer wargamers. It is written in a friendly style with a lot of non rule banter all over the place. This may not be to everyones liking but I like it! It keeps it light and makes reading enjoyable and not a po-faced exercise in technical rules listings. Rules are explained but it might also be suggested on how to alter this rule to your liking. I am not saying that the rules are wishy washy at all but lots of suggested scope for intelligent wargamers to adapt the rules for their own purposes. There are lots of suggestions and tips on what a unit could represent. As an example the author makes suggestion on using the rules for Orcs and Goblins and fantasy armies and what 'counts as'.
Reproduced here without permission!

There is a big array of unit types and even within these you can alter them. You want your English Archers in the 100 years war to have a slight edge then upgrade a Missile Unit (Archers or Slings) to Expert for the cost of 2 points. Typical game is described as 24 points to build your Retinue and you are free to make whatever composition you like. Suggested Table Size is 6 x 4 for 24 point games.
Huge scope here for imaginative gamers.
Mounted = 3 types, Foot = 5 types and Missile = 3 types. If you include upgrades which are one Stat adjustment, removal/addition of a special rule or equipment adjustment you really get an even bigger scope.
There is no restrictive ideas in this book over what your figures represent. This is not a rules book from a figures company which might have something to do with that but it is likely to have more to do with the Authors excellent pedigree of gamer.

Example Retinue from the book...
Teutonic Order (You seen those FireForge miniatures... they look kick ass).
2 Mounted Men-at-Arms 12 points
1 mounted Sergeants + crossbows 4 points
1 Foot Serjeants 4 points
1 Crossbowmen 4 points the figure count is...
2 Mounted Men-at-arms (Knights) 6 each unit
1 Mounted Sergeants 6
1 Foot Serjeants 12
1 Crossbowmen 12

The boss or Leader of the Retinue only has a few extra rules. The Leader can issue a challenge and fight in a Duel and may have a special skill. Otherwise he remains a part of a unit. This is not a scientific exploration of Medieval warfare. This a game first and foremost for us to use with our figure collections. Yes, it has flavour of those times but it is even written in the rule book that this is the case. My opinion on that is...good! Should be a good game first and foremost over an historical recreation.
Another peek inside my copy. Now go get your own! You know you want to.

Scenarios (Missions). An incredible total of 12 different scenarios to battle through. More than enough for a club to run a campaign or league. I can easily visualise gamers creating a simple background such as...It's the time of the Mongol Invasions. You are a local Lord. Now get out there and Patrol, Collect Taxes, Escort something and Meet the Neighbours. Or it's the time of that Scottish rascal William Wallace or, it's set during the Crusades...etc etc.
If you win a game or fulfill certain objectives you earn Glory (Victory Points) and you can gain more by fulfilling a pre-game Boast during the game. Unfulfilled Boasts can also lose you Glory. That will learn your arrogant Lord for being such a show off! It's not terribly complicated or mathematical as well to work out Glory 2 Glory for each objectives set on fire.

Lion Rampant does not really offer you pages wasted on Historical backgrounds. This is a wargame rule book not a history source book and really there is too much to cover in that regard in my opinion. Besides Osprey have plenty of other books for you to buy as well. No doubt this helps keep the book at a good compact size of 64 pages and a great price (value for money!). Plenty of Osprey illustrations (Knights attacking each other etc) and photos of miniatures with some to help illustrate rules as you can see above.

Like you I am a typical gamer who sees rules as a puzzle to unlock. How do units function? How do I develop tactics to have an improved chance at winning a game or at least being halfway competitive? That's the fun of gaming in a new set of rules. But beyond that also the hobby options is a big part of the fun...which plastic box do I buy first...go all War of the Roses with Perrys...get all Teutonic with FireForge...go all horsey shooty with FireForge Mongols. Hmmmmmm!

Cheers from Brendon


  1. Thanks for the review Brendon. I'll definitely be getting them, but I didn't think that they were out until next month?

    1. That's what I thought as well. But I discovered it for Sale online at 'War and Peace' here in Australialand.

  2. Got them on order from my local book store, I should have waited for a chat with Ian now that you have said they are at war and peace. Oh in regard to your forces, do them all you know you want to.

  3. Very nice review ! I'm realy looking forward to get My cops of the rules.

    Best regards Michael

  4. A very interesting review. I was looking at these rules today with a view to purchase them. They are on my wish list.

    1. Do it. You know you want to.

    2. Yes I do want to, but maybe other projects have priority just this instant. I am still looking at it though. Very tempted!

  5. We are loving these rules and the fantasy versions Dragon Rampant - it even got Dux off his backside and making his first ever non historical army!