Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Troop Types in Dragon Rampant

I’ve been inundated with at least one person asking me to list the troop types available in Dragon Rampant; I’ve done so below, using the pen portraits from the rulebook, also giving their points cost per unit and Lion Rampant equivalent (sometimes very close, sometimes not quite the same).

However, what’s missing from this list is the many and varied Fantastical Rules that you can add to units – magic, flying, venom, blessed weapons, being undead, being invisible, that sort of thing. And also missing are the 'normal' upgrades, similar to those for Lion Rampant troop types. So really, there’s a LOT more choice for tweaking your units than I can show here. Anyhow, enjoy…

Elite Riders @ 6 pts

Elite Riders represent well-armoured and well-armed knights and their equivalents across the fantasy races. They are mounted on horses or rather more scary beasts, and rely on the impact of their charge to do damage unto their enemies. If caught on the defensive, they are not nearly so deadly, and their impetuous nature can land them in hot water. This troop type can be used for great battle heroes by fielding a Single or Reduced Model Unit. (Mounted MAA)

Heavy Riders @ 4 pts

Heavy Riders are not so well equipped as Elite Riders, but are still formidable in battle; some may be armed with missile weapons in addition to their hand weapons. War chariots are included as an option, with improved armour but less manoeuvrability. (Mounted Serjeants)

Light Riders @ 4 pts

Light riders are skirmishing troops who rely on ‘shoot and scoot’ tactics: if they end up contacted by an enemy unit they’ll find themselves pretty dead pretty quickly. Keeping a distance and using their missiles to harry slow moving enemies works much better. Their missiles may instead represent minor spellcasting and magical attacks… and their mounts need not be limited to horses: ostriches, wolves, significantly supersized stoats, and ill-tempered goats are all possible (as are winged mounts, if you use the Flyer option). (Mounted Yeomen)

Greater Warbeasts @ 6 pts

Greater Warbeasts are the sort of creatures that cause an audible intake of breath when their opponents see them trundle into play: dragons, demons, treemen, massive war rhinos, giant rabbits having a bad day, despicable unnamed monstrous gods summoned to fight for their cultists, that sort of thing. In general, they won’t be too smart (possessing only animal intelligence), and will fight with tooth, claw, and other natural weapons. Formidable on the attack, if their enemies get in close and can attack underbellies or flanks they become relatively toothless. (-)

Lesser Warbeasts @ 4 pts

Like their Greater namesakes, Lesser Warbeasts generally aren’t too smart, and fight with tooth, claw, and other natural weapons. This troop type includes most four-legged creatures, other animals, and minor fantastical creatures you might find on a battlefield: lions, wolves, war dogs, hordes of smaller creatures (such as spiders and bats), and well as Reduced Model Units representing medium-sized creatures. (-)

Elite Foot @ 6 pts

These are the dismounted equivalent of Elite Riders; as well as representing heroes and well-armoured warriors, Elite Foot can be used to field Minotaurs, Giants, or similarly imposing bruisers as Single or Reduced Model Units. It’s also viable way of fielding a very powerful magic user as a Single Model Unit, by adding the Spellcaster option (thus making a 10 point unit – the strongest allowed in Dragon Rampant). (Foot MAA)

Heavy Foot @ 4 pts

Heavy foot are well-armoured, steady spearmen or pikemen: the mainstay of many fantasy armies. They move slowly but surely and are better in defence than when attacking. The Wall of Spears makes them very hard to shift from the position they’re defending, and the Offensive option increases their offensive capability (making them better trained, armed with heavy bladed weapons, or physically bigger). Offensive Heavy Foot could also be used to represent slow-moving Trolls, Golems, and such like as Reduced Model Units (perhaps 3 models at full strength). (Foot Serjeants)

Light Foot @ 3 pts

Light Foot fulfil a similar battlefield function to Heavy Foot, but are less well-armoured; as a result they’re faster when moving, but easier to damage. Light Foot may also be used to represent smaller warriors that have more speed than fighting ability, or less courageous warriors. The option to add missile weapons offers an interesting balance between melee and missile capability. (Foot Yeomen)

Bellicose Foot @ 4 pts

Bellicose Foot are angry fellows with big axes, sharpened teeth, and an unpleasant outlook on life. They charge first, slay second, and on very rare occasions might stop to ask questions later. They are very powerful when charging forward, but are extremely vulnerable if caught off balance or unprepared. Bellicose Foot could be used to represent Ogres, Wights, and other ferocious creatures as Reduced Model Units (perhaps 4 models at full strength). (Fierce Foot)

Heavy Missiles @ 4pts

These troops are equipped with crossbows or similar hard-hitting, armour-punching projectiles; despite their powerful attack, such weapons are usually slow to reload, meaning that you cannot rely on Heavy Missiles to Shoot every turn. They are not well armoured nor particularly useful in hand-to-hand combat, but hope to shoot their enemies down from a distance. If your fantasy world includes gunpowder, muskets and rifles may be represented with Weighty Projectiles, and light cannon as a Single Model Unit. Heavy Missiles may also represent a giant throwing rocks or a magic user of limited ability only able to cast fireballs (both best fielded as Single Model Units). (Crossbowmen)

Light Missiles @ 4 pts

Light Missiles are generally more common than Heavy Missiles, and represent most forms of bows, slingshot, and the spell-cast equivalent of these weapons. Like Heavy Missile units, they are not so well equipped for hand-to-hand fighting, and should try to destroy opposing units before they can close. The Sharpshooter option allows for more accurate shooting. Elves, Men, Orcs, and Dwarves often use such troops, where as smaller races such as Goblins are more likely to field missile troops as Scouts (see below). (Archers)

Scouts @ 2 pts

Scouts are woodsmen, brigands, pixies, and youthful warriors who flit around the battlefield in small skirmisher units. They are missile-armed (which may be real or magical) and of limited value in melee, but are capable of grabbing objectives and harrying the enemy with accurate shooting. Scouts should try to evade enemy Attacks, and are hard to target with missiles as they make full use of the terrain around them. (Bidowers)

Ravenous Hordes @ 1 pt

Slow moving, untrained in combat, hard to motivate, and little more than a speed bump. What’s not to like if you value quantity over quality? Ravenous Hordes are best suited to represent zombies, scared peasants, and anything else that you can think of that’s entirely unsuited to the battlefield environment. Adding options slightly increases their usefulness. (Serfs)