Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Dragon Rampant: Hyperborean Northern European Bronze Age Warband

Dragon Rampant, my big skirmish fantasy wargame, allows you to take to the battlefield at the head of a warband of around 50–70 models. Most gamers stick with classic fantasy armies: orcs, goblins, elves, dwarves, ratmen, or the undead. There’s nothing like leading the type of army you’ve read about in books or seen in three-part movies, it’s a wonderful feeling.

But alongside my dwarves, elves, and goblins (my Dwarves of the Gleaming Hills are my warband du jour, resurrecting my favourite 1980s Grenadier Miniatures stumpy-legged, beardy folk), I’ve mustered a few armies that feed from my other fantasy love: British myth and folklore. 

I posted a couple of these previously (Arthurians and MacBeth), but hadn't listed my Bronze Age Europeans. This warband is built using 28mm Foundry models, and appeals to me because I used to work on an amazing archaeological site named Flag Fen.

By demonstrating how I’ve built my warbands, I hope it might give you a few ideas for your next force... From the warbands I've seen online, Dragon Rampant is gaining a growing following of players fielding non-canonical fantasy armies, and that is brilliant to see. Let your imaginations run wild (or like me, raise semi-historical forces as and when they take your fancy)!

Anyway, here you go:
Hyperborean Northern European Bronze Age Warband
Not quite the same as the famous Hyborian Age of Conan, or indeed Tony Bath’s now legendary wargames campaign, the Hyperboreans come from Greek mythology. They are a people of the far north who live in a land with 24 hours of sunlight, and who – naturally enough – worship the Sun. 

I’ve chosen to interpret this as the early European Bronze Age armies of Scandinavia and the British Isles. Why? Quite simply because I really liked a range of historical models for this period, that I had no other use for (so, an excuse!), and because as an archaeologist I worked on one of Britain’s most important excavation sites from this period (a personal connection).

With this in mind, I looked at the models available, and worked up the following 24 point warband:

Heavy Foot + Spellcaster + Leader @ 8 points
The chieftain and his shaman, along with their Sun-disc bronze banner, several intimidating war horns, all backed up with a half-dozen tough spearmen. The shaman is pretty powerful, able to choose his spells from the full list in the rulebook.

Heavy Foot @ 4 points
Ordinary warriors armed with long spears.

Heroes in Chariots @ 6 points
I represented this unit with 2 chariots and 4 extra models on foot to remove as Strength Points. This looks good as warriors would often dismount from their chariots to fight.

Heavy Riders @ 4 points
A handful of warriors ride mounted into battle, giving this army a little extra mobility alongside the chariots.

Scouts @ 2 points
These are the youths of the tribe, equipped with bows, javelins, and slings.