Saturday, 8 August 2015

Britcon 2015

This event is our 'local' show and even though it is primarily an outing for the competition gamers there is a reasonable attendance from  traders.  The Lance & Longbow Society usually have a stand and this year Steve and I were presenting a couple of 'taster' games using our modified Lion Rampant rules.  We easily managed three games during the day, two featuring armies from the Northern Crusades and one set in the Hundred Years War.

We had had a couple of trial runs with the Northern Crusades scenario prior to the event and the tribesmen had not fared too well.  To balance things up we changed the set up so that most of the pagan tribesmen were hidden only being activated by a die roll. (maximum one unit per turn).  This seemed to work as each army won one game.

The knights overrun the skirmishers
In the first game the pagan  skirmishing light cavalry occupied the crusader mounted crossbowmen and even won the missile battle, inflicting such losses that the crossbowmen were driven from the field.  A unit of tribesmen surprised the dismounted crossbowmen, charging them before the latter could fire.  The crossbowmen were driven  back but rescued by a unit of knights who charged and dispersed the tribesmen.

In the centre the Crusader commander had led his unit of knights in a headlong charge against some pagan skirmishers.  These offered little resistance and were ridden down, but the charge had drawn the crusaders away from their supports and the Pagan chief's bodyguard and a unit of tribesmen made repeated charges against the  knights, wearing them down and eventually killing the crusader commander.  Both sides had suffered heavy casualties but the loss of their commander proved decisive and the crusaders withdrew.

The boot on the other foot as the crusader knights are beaten
The second game was played by two newcomers to the rules, our friends Gary and John.  In this game the crusaders fared much better.  The knights in particular were unstoppable, trampling everything in their path (aided by some inspired dice rolls from John).  In the end Gary was left with only one unit against three of crusaders and had to quit the field.

The English position

After lunch we set up the Hundred Years War scenario with the English defending a ridge (where have I heard that description before?)  The French led their attack with their infantry which were destroyed by the English archers.  Genoese crossbowmen fared no better, breaking after their first casualties from the archers.  However, their sacrifice paved the way for the French knights to charge the English line without having suffered any casualties.  The unit led by the French commander made short work of the archers, but found the English men at  arms a much tougher prospect.  Stalemate developed and both sides fell back to draw breath.  On balance of casualties suffered the French were declared the losers.

This time the 'Arrow shower' didn't stop the charge
Next to us were the Mailed Fist group who were putting on a large WWII game set in the early stages of Operation Barbarossa.  They were using the Rapid Fire rules.  From the snatches of conversation we heard the Germans did not seem to be having everything their own way as the massed tank units of the Soviet Reserve trundled forward.

Many thanks to Steve for devising the modifications to Lion Rampant and providing a good proportion of the figures.  John and Gary for being willing 'guinea pigs' playing the scenarios and also Dave for providing the refreshments.

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