Sunday, 28 June 2015

Lion Rampant: Balanced Retinues & Tactics

My preferred Retinue, as featured in the rulebook as the sample
army. Photo © Henry Hyde.
Over on the Dux Rampant forum, I've posted a short piece about my quest to build a balanced Retinue, and how I go about using it in games. I've posted it here, too, as you may find it interesting.  If you'd like to take part in an on-going discussion about Retinues and tactics, please follow this link and share your thoughts on the forum: HERE. It's a friendly bunch of gamers, so please don't feel intimidated.

Any how, read on...


As you'll know if you've played a few of the scenarios, differen troop types come into their own depending on the scenario. I was chuffed to be able to do that, because I really don't think that the mounted knight should be the king of the skirmish (until he's close enough to bash you with his axe), and breathe a bit of new life into hobilars and light spearmen. So, if you've played a ew scenarios - not just the Bloodbath - have you found a Retinue build that seems to work well for you regardless of scenario. The quest, I guess, for the Perfectly Balanced Retinue?

Although I tinker with Retinues to keep it fresh, and also enjoy playing as a rather hopeless Islesmen Retinue, I think my most balanced force - in terms of fighting ability and manouevrability - is this:

1 Mtd MAA @ 6 points
1 Mtd Serjeants @ 4 points
2 Ft Serjeants @ 8 points
1 Crossbows @ 4 points
1 Bidowers @ 2 points

You may have noticed that this is the same composition as the Italian list in the book (and in fact, the sample army). And please note that I am not claiming this to be an unstoppable Power Army, just one that suits my style and thoughts on tactics.

Where I think a lot of players go wrong is to build their Retinue around the knights, and expect to use them as the main strike force, despite seeing in the rules how difficult they can be to get moving. Taking two units of knights is an expensive way to build 50% of your Retinue.

I prefer to advance my Ft Serjeants into a position to threaten/block the enemy, and use my Mtd Serjeants and Crossbows to move for any objectives in the game. Bidowers sometimes go with either of two groups, depending on what's going on across the tabletop. The Mtd MAA I always move last, and generally move them slowly but surely into a position to support the Ft Serjeants... when and if the Ft Serjeants fall back, the Mtd MAA are hopefully in a position to launch a Wild Charge at the enemy.

Of course, that sounds fine in principle. Making it work in a game isn't always so easy. But what I'm trying to do is use each of the troop types to its strengths, rather than forcing them to do something they're less capable of.

So there you go, a slightly lengthy post on how I use my Retinues. Please tell us about your preferred balanced Retinue and how you use them tactically HERE.