Sunday 12 April 2015

2015-03-29 Conwy Wargames Club Dux Bellorum Game

Pete put on a lovely Dark Ages game with his splendid figures. We used Dux Bellorum rules because they work nicely with a small game providing tactical options for a player that get a result in an afternoon.

Dickey and Pete (the club has a lot of Petes) demanded to be the defenders of our sacred soil and became the commanders of the Romano British. By default Dave and I took on the roles of Hengist and Horsa as the early Saxons.

The beautiful figures are mainly Gripping Beast.

The Scenario

Saxon invaders take on the defending Romano British forces.

For ease of identification red cohesion dice were used for nobles and white for ordinary troops.

The Battlefield

Roughly 6x4 table with the armies divided by a road. Both sides' left wing had a difficult obstacle. The Romano British had a village and the Saxons walled enclosures.

The Forces

1 x Noble Riders
1 x Foot Companions
5 x Warriors
2 x Skirmishers

Romano British
1 x Mounted Companions
1 x Noble Riders
2 x Riders
1 x Noble Shield wall
3 x Ordinary Shield wall
2 x Skirmishers

Each army has 32 points each.

The Game

The Saxon plan was simple refuse the left flank and slow the Romano British cavalry and charge home with everyone else.

The Romano British plan was to learn the rules while refusing their left flank tanking advantage of the village and sweep the Saxons back in to the sea.

Turn 1
Saxon left flank and centre facing the Romano British

Early Saxon nobles recognised by their armour, smaller shields and wider basing,and less figures per unit.

Early Saxon warriors

Same again without the flash

The home team - Romano British. Plenty of cavalry for the budding Arthurs

The Early Saxons only cavalry safely behind the warriors

The Early Saxon left flank protected by the walled enclosures. We placed our skirmishers in here.

The Romano British left flank skirmishers in front of their noble shield wall. Pete uses a larger number of figures to denote a shield wall but has them based closely together on a base size that matches the Early Saxon warriors. I really liked this idea.

Brits drawn up in the village.
The Romano British centre held by ordinary riders and shield wall.

The Romano British centre and part of the right wing.

Great shield designs

The Romano British right. The Noble riders are on the left of the picture and the Mounted Companions to the right. Companion units have the leader and if lost you can no longer play leadership points.

Saxon battle line rushes forward while the noble riders hang back awaiting the British cavalry

Turn 2
First blood to the Saxons as a British shield wall unit disintegrates

British right advances and the Saxons continue their advance

The British left hangs back (facing the camera)
Turn 3

Crucial moment. A unit of British skirmishers have been seen off. The Saxon plan has coalesced in to one where we crush the opposing British infantry before the British cavalry can run amok in the rear.  All that is needed now is to destroy the British centre and bottle up the British second line. Dave our erstwhile Hengist decides to use 3 leadership points in attack for this crucial combat. 

Dave needed 6s. He didn't get any...

Meanwhile the British cavalry are being slowed by the walled enclosures has hoped. The Saxon skirmishers unfortunately are not causing much damage.. 

End of turn 3 and the British line has held all along it's front. Oh bother!

Turn 4
The Saxon skirmishers do not survive contact with the British cavalry, and the British mounted companions about face to re-position themselves to threaten the Saxon battle line still slogging it out.

The British shield wall holds across the line in what has now become a battle of attrition.

The British nobles boldly hold their left flank by teasing the Saxons nobles to keep advancing.  The supporting British skirmishers have retired behind the nobles as the Saxons are now getting too close.
Turn 5
Each sides nobles crunch in to each other and begin to slog it out.

The attack on the British centre has been lost freeing up British units to finish off the Saxon left.

3 against 2
Turn 6
The British charge the Saxon noble riders.

The Saxon right clears the British shield wall from in front of the village, but the Saxon nobles are not doing well against their British counter parts - the red dice with a 1 means 1 more hit and the Saxons will run away.

It is now a race for the wings and centres to re-position to take advantage of both sides successes.

Due to a rules check the Saxon cavalry don't end up being charged by the Brit infantry. The Saxon  infantry loose 3 cohesion points leaving them with with just 2 left as they defend the last wall of the enclosures.

Turn 7
This turn sees success and the Saxons are victorious sending the British noble riders home for an early tea 

Elsewhere the British form up there attack to envelope the Saxon line.

The last of the Saxon centre holds on while help slowly makes its way through the British village. The Saxons are seen stopping in front of the buildings before moving through them.

On the Saxon right the nobles fight on

Turn 8

This turn was crucial as we'd toted up that both sides were close to breaking having lost enough to start taking army morale tests.
Will the British Arthur be victorious?

Or will Hengist - Horsa is with the foot companions wading through the village

Hengist in a better light. You'll notice he has refused battle and retreated to the top of the centre hill ready to spin around and charge the Brits in the rear.

The Brits crunch into the centre combat. The rules were now closely consulted to see how to work this out. We decided that both attacker and defender could decide who to attack and then that would dictate which units count as support.

Surprisingly to me the British selected the unit facing the camera in the centre flanked by the Saxons attacking from the village but supported by the cavalry on the  flank of the centre Saxon unit with its back to us, plus the rear attack support of their  infantry closest to the camera.  

The Saxons selected the unit of warriors charging out of the village into the flank of the attacking British

Horsa re-positioning to take on the British flank attack. In the back ground unnoticed the Saxon nobles have lost their fight with the British

After a flurry of dice both Saxon units in the decider combat were defeated. Although Hengist and Horsa were still alive their army was broken. 

Horsa well positioned to escape

Funnily enough so is Hengist


Another fun game with these rules. Nice mechanisms that make you think how you are going to do things. I didn't like the look of the final combat, and prefer the Hail Caesar mechanic where everyone squares off, but at the same time it was tense and was a great finale.

Pete's figures were fantastic to look at and my photos don't do them justice.