This Tuesday night in the backwoods of Minmi we recreated an even more remote location - the Baltic regions in an unspecified medieval year. It was Northern Cusades night in Lion Rampant. This Osprey rules set is really winning people over. This makes me rather happy as i like wargaming in remote eras of the past rather than modern times. That and i get to use all my lovely dark age and medieval 28mm plastics from gripping beast and fireforge. Both are simply wonderful and great value too.
These images are almost in reverse order for the battle so I'll have a go a retelling the battle in the same manner.
The above image shows the turn or so before the end. The scenario was "Defend the Indefensible" and the shack and wagon were vital supplies that the savage tribes (who worship the giant forest rabbit of eastern Prussia) were eager to despoil. Here you can see the wild tribesmen and their well armoured leaders closing for the kill. At the end of the battle the crusaders activations failed them. Their crossbowmen quailed as the tribes closed in.
The red/yellow spear unit has formed schiltron earlier and formed the main defense of the supply shack. Here the well armoured tribal chiefs were ready to charge in. Despite the additional armour afforded by the schiltron formation the chieftains proved too much to handle in the cut and thrust of melee. Their axes clove through the spearman's lines.
Flanking the spear were two units of crossbowmen. Their deadly fire thinned the ranks of the incoming tribesmen but at the final hour the pressure proved too much and their volleys stopped.
Here horse and bidowers attack the advancing tribesmen. The horsemen would be killed to a man in the vicious combat that followed.
Before the rushing tribal tide came on. Flanked by bow and horse the Crusader leader felt confident.
Not the best image but it shows the tribesmen lurking in the woods too cautious to advance into open ground where bidowers and horse threatened. A whole unit of aggressive foot was annihilated by bidower firing while they waited for support from their fellows. In an inversion of the later stages of the game, the beginning and middle saw the tribal forces sit idle as activations deserted them.
The mounted sergeants jeered at their enemies to come forth from the woods and face their lances.
Lock shields, men! Spear points to front. Give up not a yard of ground to the heathen.
Aggressive foot run forward to gain the cover of the trees and try to goad the impetuous knights into an uncontrolled charge.
The crossbowmen shoot from the cover of the cabbage patch.
Masters of the battelfield - the armoured knights. These would only engage late in the battle due to the wild charge rule. This would have seen them careen into the woods to fight aggressive foot at a disadvantage. No-one wants to see their knights hacked apart in rough ground.
Guarding the supply shack.
The aggressive foot making for the woods. Crossbow fire would scythe through their ranks if not protected by the trees.
The battle was nicely balanced by two very different forces. The Baltic tribes revel in rough terrain and are savage attackers with little defence to rely upon. The Northern Crusaders dominate the open ground with crossbowmen (against whom the tribes have little defence), bidowers, spearmen and a mix of cavalry to round out the force. Their cavalry charges are terrifying but these can be blunted by rough terrain. It proves for intriguing games every time.
Lion Rampant is a great little game just perfect for short mid-working week games. Everyone picks up the rules in about 15 mins and not often does the rule book require consultation. Players can just get on with the business of striking a blow at the enemy. As wargames should be.