Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Lion Rampant with gunpowder

Monday night was spent playing a game of Lion Rampant using the ECW variant that I discovered on the Arlequins World blog.  Colin took the Parliament force, leaving me to fight for King Charles.  Colins force consisted of 1 unit each of pikemen, dragoons and a forlorn hope plus 2 units each of musketeers and harquebusier cavalry. This lot was supported by a saker cannon and crew.  His "Lion Hearted" General was in the pikeblock.  The Royalists had 2 units of cavalier cavalry plus 1 unit each of pikemen, dragoons, musketeers and Irish mercenary musketeers.  My General was obviously a student of Prince Rupert as he was in a Cavalry unit and proved to be "Rash".
 The initial setup saw Colins infantry deployed to protect his saker, with the cavalry on his left flank and the dragoons on the right.
 The Royalists were deployed out of sight of the saker.  The cavalry and dragoons were on the left, facing the Parliament cavalry.  It did leave my right flank open to those pesky Dragoons though.  The downfall of my plan was not checking what effect the fences and hedges would have on movement!  More on that in a minute.

 My first turn was a bust as I rolled 3 on 2d6 and failed to order anything.  God seemed to be on the other side today.  Colin moved almost everything forward, leaving a musket unit to guard the immobile saker.  Turn 2 and I managed to move everything, which was nice.  I pushed forward with all units, trying to seize the defensive hedge before Colin got there.  He pushed forward as well, with the dragoons skirting out wide to his left.
 Now we come to the flaw in my plan.  I checked up on moving over obstacles and came to the conclusion that it was a stupid idea.  So the musketeers swung around the village while the pikemen tried to clamber over the fences.  The horse all moved up as well, which was nice.
 My right flank was wide open though, protected only by some hedges that served to slow down Colin's dragoons.
 My dragoons rushed up to the hedge and dismounted, readying their muskets.  The musketeers skirted the village and the pikemen clambered through the fences and up to the hedge.  The cavalry did....nothing!  Stupid dice.  Colin pushed ahead where he could and his dragoons crossed the hedges and moved towards the pikemen.
 My dragoons opened fire on Colin's forlorn hope, who fired back.  Fire was fairly ineffectual due to the difficulty of hitting the skirmishing targets, compounded by the fact that both units were in cover.  One of the Parliament supporters fell though, so I was winning!
 My next move saw the musketeers advance, the pikemen move away from the enemy dragoons and the rest fail to do anything.  My dragoons fired again, dropping another of the forlorn hope who failed their courage roll and became "battered".  This prevented them from firing back, but they did rally in their turn.  Colin advanced his infantry and a cavalry unit forded the stream.  His dragoons failed to move though.
Marksmen picking away at the pesky forlorn hope as they skulk in the woods.  Bang....arrrghhh.  Hehe
 The next phase was a good one for the Royalists.  The musketeers fired, dropping one of the Parliament cavalry.  The dragoons fired again, dropping 2 more of the forlorn hope.  This was too much for them and they routed.  The pikemen advanced to try and stop the Parliament cavalry flanking the dragoons.  Colins dragoons fired, but missed.  Both his cavalry advanced towards the dragoons but were out of range to charge luckily.  His other troops failed to move.
What's that in the woods?  Dead Parliamentarians, that's what.  
My musketeers fired again, dropping 2 more of Colins cavalry.  The dragoons fired and dropped one cavalryman in the other unit as well.  The Irish finally moved, as did the Generals cavalry unit.  Sadly the other cavalry and the pikemen failed to move.  Colins dragoons advanced to get a better shot at my pikemen.  His infantry advanced over the ford and his cavalry failed to charge. 
 Parliamentarian cavalry loitering in a bad place to be. 
The next two turns were pretty climactic for Colins force.  My Generals unit had to charge Colins 1/2 strength cavalry, which they did and promptly wiped them out without taking any casualties in return.  The Irish and the musketeers both swung around to face off the advancing dragoons while the other cavalry did what it did best, nothing.  Colins dragoons fell back in the face of 24 muskets aimed at them.  His other cavalry advanced and fired at my dragoons as they sheltered behind the hedge and his infantry advanced again.  My General then had to charge again, against Colins remaining cavalry behind a hedge.  A much closer fight this time, 2 of the Kings men fell while 3 of the traitors were run through, the remainder promptly routed.  Nothing else of mine did anything, while Colin advanced his musketeers but failed to move the dragoons.
My  General leads his cavalry in a rash charge that, despite killing of Colins cavalry would prove to be costly.
 Colins dragoons struggle to get through the hedge as the Royalist muskets are aimed at them.
 Ah, see that's why you should check the fine print before hiring mercenaries.  Irish musketeers have Wild Charge, which means that they must charge if they can.  And they could.  So they did.  Best laid plans and all that.  Still, it went well as 4 dragoons died for 1 Irishman.  I didn't take a picture of the other flank.  Colins saker had finally spotted a target and fired at my General and his unit.  All 4 of them were smashed to pieces by a single shot.  Boo!  My musketeers and dragoons fired to no effect, while the pikemen moved up to cross the stream.
 Despite the loss of my General my force stood firm and things were looking good.  Until I tried to order them and failed after the first roll.  Colin was more lucky, with his musketeers firing and routing the Irish.  They didn't fire a shot, fought one fight against some outnumbered, outflanked and dismounted dragoons and then ran away!  Fighting Irish my arse. 
The final turn was good for me and caused Colin to recall his infantry and concede defeat.  My musketeers and dragoons both fired and hit.  Colin rolled low on both courage tests and both of his musketeer units were battered.  Then in his turn he rolled low on both again and they both fell back in disorder.  So the Royalists won the day, but at a heavy cost.  Colin lost 12 cavalry, 6 dragoons, 6 musketeers and 6 forlorn hope in total.  I lost 6 cavalry including the General, 12 Irish musketeers and 1 dragoon.  A victory, but a sad day for the king.

All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable evenings gaming.  Lion Rampant worked pretty well for the period, although there are a few points costs that may need to be looked at.  Apart from that it was great and has made me dig out my Renegade Miniatures figures to see what I can put together. 

Painting wise, I have been busy painting some wild west hero types and putting together more monsters for Shadows of Brimstone.  All in all its been good until now.  Why now you may say?  Because it is 5am, I have a doctors appointment at 9am and I am still awake.  Stupid stomach.

Ah well, keep smiling.  Life is too short to be grumpy, unlike Nathan.  ;)


  1. Entertaining report, it never occurred to me to use Lion Rampant to play the ECW period. Is it ok for me to link this post onto the dedicated Lion Rampant forum?


    1. Hi Matt, Glad you liked it. I must admit it wasn't my first thought for ECW either, but Colin suggested it and then a quick search turned up the adaptation. Feel free to link it.

  2. Cheers Jason, the rules are a nice alternative to commercial rules which seem to be (naturally) aimed at large scale battles.

  3. That looks great fun Jason - I shall be using the same rules to recreate the skirmishing on the West Sussex/Hampshire border.

    1. Have fun, we did and will be playing again soon.