Thursday, 15 October 2015

Lion Rampant or Dux Bellorum?

I was recently asked which game is better for Dark Ages battles, Lion Rampant or Dux Bellorum. 'Better', of course, is very subjective! However, my answer highlights a few key differences between the two rulesets, so I thought I'd post it here for wider viewing.

LR is a medieval game, but can be used for the Dark Ages with little changed, although I did write an article 'Landwasters and raven feeders' for Wargames Illustrated; DB was written for the Arthurian era of the Dark Ages, and very much focusses on the backwater that was British warfare at that time.

I also thought I'd throw Saga into my answer, as I think that's a damned fine game that anyone interested in the period should try. So this was my answer...

LR is certainly more accessible and plays more like a bigger skirmish than DB, which is more about formed lines and grinding down the enemy.  LR has slightly larger armies than Saga, but Saga is in my opinion a great game: both Saga and DB take a bit of getting used to though, as they both have slightly unusual command mechanisms that you need to master to get the best from your army. LR is much more 'plug in and play'. DB was my attempt to create a game that presented challenges of leadership and the grind of dark ages battle; LR is much more fireworks flying off in different directions.

(The correct answer, of course, is to buy three copies of both books plus a copy or two of Saga and its supplements, but my more balanced conclusion was that LR seems to have been more popular than DB, so that's probably the better place to start with my rules.)

Any other views? Share them below...