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Author Topic: Dragon Rampant 10mm Ogres vs Elves  (Read 669 times)

Offline fred

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Dragon Rampant 10mm Ogres vs Elves
« on: April 11, 2021, 11:13:36 AM »
On Friday night I had a solo game of Dragon Rampant, as my planned remote game fell through. Iíd seen a report on by TWD https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=130686.msg1656543#msg1656543 about a DR game using Warmaster figures, and this made me want to get some of my own 10mm Fantasy on the table for a game of DR.

I put together a force of Elves (mainly using the sample list in the rules) and Ogres (rather more ad hoc, in its creation, but that is the point of the rules). The scenario was an interesting one, with lots of areas of dangerous terrain, and both forces split in their deployment, and trying to get troops off, either end of the table. But needing to destroy enough enemy units that they couldnít win by getting their troops off the table


The Ogre Forces

The Ogres were deployed top left and bottom right. The Elves bottom left and top right. The exit points where in the middle of the top and bottom edges (shown by the roads).


After the first turn, both sides only managed a couple of activations each. The Elven knights have moved in to the middle of the table and their Reaver light cavalry have moved too. For the Ogres their Leaderís unit of Ogres has moved forward, as have the greenlings nearest the camera.


Another turn of some activations, the Wolf riders move forward, as do the Elven infantry at the top right (there is a unit of Elven spears off camera at the bottom left). The second unit of wolf riders fails to activate when right in front of the Elven knights  :o


The knights charge the wolf riders - who could attempt to evade, but are too close so would be caught, which would be very bad. So they stand to receive the charge, which is just bad.

Both units roll 12 dice, the knights needing 3+ to hit, the Wolf riders needing 6+. The knights need 3 hits to cause a wound, the Wolf riders need 4.
The knights unsurprisingly do a lot of damage! The Wolf riders do manage to get 4 hits and cause a point of damage back. The wolf riders are knocked down to half strength by this attack. Both sides need to take a Courage test from the combat result. The wolf riders at -3 on the test, but they pass an just retreat from the combat.


Troops continue to advance slowly, there has been an exchange of arrows between the Reavers and other unit of Wolf riders, both suffering minor damage. I was feeling by this point that I should have made a note of the key points of the Skirmish and Evade rules as it was the one page of the rules I kept having to go back to repeatedly, but with 3 light cavalry units this perhaps isnít too surprising!

The Elven knights activate and swing round to charge the greenlings nearest the camera - due to the scale of the game this isnít a flank charge - but this is the end result of the combat:


The knights caused several wounds on the Greenlings, who caused 1 back to the knights. Both had to test for Courage, and both rolled poorly, the Greenlings had to retreat - directly away from the enemy - off the table and as such are destroyed. The knights rolled even worse and became battered - basically they need to spend their next turn recovering (they need to roll to recover but for the knights this should be easy enough with a base score of 4+ (on 2d6) -2 for wounds and +1 for the leader).
This does highlight the swinginess of the 2d6 courage test - with both units failing. And it being catastrophic for the Greenlings as they were trying to head towards the exit point along the table edge


This pretty much cleared the south of the table for the Elves, and the two main Ogre combat units were still shuffling forwards at the top due to failed activation rolls.

The Elven archers got a good volley in against the Yeti, who failed their courage test and retreated.

But this wasnít enough and the Yetis charged in the next turn - causing lots of damage- but the Elves rolled high on their courage test and just fell back. Putting them out of charge range of the Ogre infantry.

The Wolf Riders came out on top of the skirmishes with the Reavers, breaking them under repeated volleys of arrows.

The Yetis charged the archers again, causing enough damage that they couldnít make their Courage roll so routed, but the archers gave enough back that the Yetis became battered



The Elven knights managed to catch the Wolf riders (who failed to evade) and destroyed them

This put the Ogre force below 50% causing another round of Courage tests, which meant the Yetis broke, leaving just the Ogre Infantry, who had suffered a fair number of wounds by this stage



This was effectively game over, as the Ogres where being hit by 2 Elven units, with a 3rd on its way

Overall it was good to get the figure son the table, and the scenario was interesting. I like the DR combat mechanism with different to hit scores depending if you are attacking or defending, along with armour affecting the number of hits needed to score a wound. This tends to give the results you would expect, but has a bit of variance in there too.

But the activation rolls - which are needed for each unit (typically 5+ or 6+ on 2d6), and with a failure it is turn over,  means that for many turns large parts of the force does nothing. The Courage rolls feel equally swingy with both combatants falling back on more than one occasion.

This is my second solo play through of DR - and after the first, some time ago, I felt it was too random, and this play through reinforces that. I do like a degree of randomness and friction to the activation within a game, but I donít like it to totally dominate.

If I was to play again, Iíd perhaps do some or all of the below
1) Failed order doesnít end the turn
2) Leader can give a re-roll per turn (this is one of the Leader traits, but perhaps give it too all leaders)
3) Give a small pool of re-rolls to each side

Which might help it feel what you as the player is doing has more influence than just the dice.





Offline James Morris

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Re: Dragon Rampant 10mm Ogres vs Elves
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2021, 06:49:08 AM »
Good report!  And great to see those 10mm guys on the table.

Our group very much enjoys DR. My gut reactions about tweaking the rules were much the same as yours, although since then Iíve just come to accept the swinginess of the failed activations.  That said, everything youíve suggested makes sense.  I agree that the leader reroll ability is a good one across the board.  Weíve played with a limited number of activation rerolls as well, especially in games with multiple players. 

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Dragon Rampant 10mm Ogres vs Elves
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2021, 07:46:47 AM »
Great-looking game!

Like James, I tend to just go with the flow with DR activations; the frustrations can be part of the fun. The one bad experience I've had with it was in a multi-player hybrid game where three of the four players had Xenos Rampant units with automatic actions. We had to quickly give the fourth player some free Move Actions after he rolled three failures in a row.

If I were to tweak it, I'd go with your 3. below: the small pool of rerolls - perhaps three per player?

Offline fred

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Re: Dragon Rampant 10mm Ogres vs Elves
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2021, 11:52:38 AM »
Thanks both - yes it was good to get some of the 10mm troops back on the table.

Unpredictability is hard in games, in our home brew mass battle rules, a commander tends to have 2-4 units / brigades under his command with 4-6 commanders on the table. The first order has a 10% chance of failure, and 50-60% chance of 1 order, and 30-40% chance of 2 orders. These increase by 10% for each order given, and reset for each commander. We find this gives a nice amount of uncertainty without being totally random.

If I get DR on the table again Iíll play with some of the options - in the later period rules (TMWWBK and R&P) there is no end of turn on failed order, and some orders are automatic.

Offline robh

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Re: Dragon Rampant 10mm Ogres vs Elves
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2021, 12:04:57 PM »
We also drop the fail roll means end of turn rule (and the 3" obligatory distance between units requirement).
We found Dragon Rampant (and Lion Rampant) works better with mutibased units like those than with single figures.

Offline fred

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Re: Dragon Rampant 10mm Ogres vs Elves
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2021, 04:20:51 PM »
Rob, what is it about multi based figures you find works better?

After the game I was wondering for cavalry that I should perhaps use 6 stands, to better represent the footprint of 28mm figures. But then I after to think about different sizes of bases represent different strength points which just becomes fiddly.

Offline robh

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Re: Dragon Rampant 10mm Ogres vs Elves
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2021, 12:42:27 PM »
Rob, what is it about multi based figures you find works better?

The multi base is a rigid and constant element with defined arcs and flanks and measuring to/from it is straight forward. The often amorphous shape taken up by a unit of individually based figures seemed to cause too many  is it? isn't it? type queries.

Not just a DR thing, the same applies to all unit based skirmish games with round based figures. I am very much a fan of "skirmish" means single figure level actions, anything involving units should be multibased.

Offline TWD

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Re: Dragon Rampant 10mm Ogres vs Elves
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2021, 01:21:05 PM »
Pleased to have inspired you to get a game in :)

Nice looking armies - where are the Ogres from?

I'm at peace with the activation fails (and other randomness) - with only six or so units to activate and turns passing quickly it's not really an issue and creates some friction, forcing to adapt your plans and respond to changes.
I understand some people don't like it - especially those in my experience from a WFB background where all your units (usually) do exactly what you want them to but it's a core element of the game design to me. Too many guarantees around activation makes for a different feel to the game and not one I'd personally want in DR (though I'm fine with the changes in TMWWBK and R&P).

I'm intrigued by the notion of facings and the like - not sure (apart from wall of spears) that you need to know that for DR as written. It's a "warband" game rather than "rank and flank" so again not a thing I'm at all worried by.

Offline fred

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Re: Dragon Rampant 10mm Ogres vs Elves
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2021, 04:37:53 PM »
The multi base is a rigid and constant element with defined arcs and flanks and measuring to/from it is straight forward. The often amorphous shape taken up by a unit of individually based figures seemed to cause too many  is it? isn't it? type queries.

Not just a DR thing, the same applies to all unit based skirmish games with round based figures. I am very much a fan of "skirmish" means single figure level actions, anything involving units should be multibased.

I understand where that thinking comes from. I suppose you have the problem of games like DR and Saga being large skirmish where the flanks arenít defined. But with multi-based figures flanks almost automatically become a thing. I perfer multi-basing just so I have less stuff to move around - or with smaller scales more figures involved in the game.


Offline fred

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Re: Dragon Rampant 10mm Ogres vs Elves
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2021, 04:40:54 PM »
Pleased to have inspired you to get a game in :)

Nice looking armies - where are the Ogres from?

I'm at peace with the activation fails (and other randomness) - with only six or so units to activate and turns passing quickly it's not really an issue and creates some friction, forcing to adapt your plans and respond to changes.
I understand some people don't like it - especially those in my experience from a WFB background where all your units (usually) do exactly what you want them to but it's a core element of the game design to me. Too many guarantees around activation makes for a different feel to the game and not one I'd personally want in DR (though I'm fine with the changes in TMWWBK and R&P).

I'm intrigued by the notion of facings and the like - not sure (apart from wall of spears) that you need to know that for DR as written. It's a "warband" game rather than "rank and flank" so again not a thing I'm at all worried by.

I find itís the small things that make a certain game (or set of figures) be the next on the table. Iíve been playing lots of WWI so far this year, so some small scale fantasy was a nice change.

The Ogres are from Blackgate Miniatures - and they are very nice figures. They were originally from a KS but are now all available in their store.

I think I wrote about my views on activation uncertainty in games in one of the posts above. I certainly like some uncertainty in activiations in a game, but there becomes a point where it is too much, and where this point is, is definitely a personal feel thing.

« Last Edit: April 14, 2021, 04:47:14 PM by fred »

Offline TWD

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Re: Dragon Rampant 10mm Ogres vs Elves
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2021, 05:05:16 PM »
The Ogres are from Blackgate Miniatures - and they are very nice figures. They were originally from a KS but are now all available in their store.


Ah, thought they might be - I've been eyeing them for a while - might be time to get some ordered.

Offline fred

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Re: Dragon Rampant 10mm Ogres vs Elves
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2021, 06:03:53 PM »
Ah, thought they might be - I've been eyeing them for a while - might be time to get some ordered.

Go for it, they are great figures. Iíve mixed the armoured and unarmoured ones up on the same bases

Hereís a bit more temptation!

Offline DivisMal

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Re: Dragon Rampant 10mm Ogres vs Elves
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2021, 06:56:47 PM »
Very nice looking game! I have yet to give Dragon Rampant a try. The rules sound easy to pick up and quick to play, a more comprehensive section with army lists (and actual rules for big monsters) were things I found lacking. Your idea to move to small scale multi bases, however, gives a very nice vision of a real battle.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Dragon Rampant 10mm Ogres vs Elves
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2021, 07:25:31 PM »
... a more comprehensive section with army lists (and actual rules for big monsters) were things I found lacking.

It's well worth giving a go! It's a really fun game.

One point I'd make about the army lists is that units in DR are much more differentiated from each other than in many games. So, for example, a unit of Bellicose Foot behaves nothing like a unit of Heavy Foot, even though the army lists suggest using either (or both) for orcish warriors. The former is fast-moving and unslowed by terrain, impetuous to the point of being uncontrollable, very hard-hitting and capable of counter-charging, but vulnerable when on the defensive and relatively frail. The latter is slow, steady, better on the defensive than on the attack, equipped with extra defensive capabilities and relatively tough. Those differences are much more significant than a point or two of WS or S (or equivalent) in other games.

And then you can tweak all the profiles in many different ways (which can give you both small, incremental differences and big, decisive ones, depending on the tweaks you make). So there are hundreds of potential profiles and lots of room for army differentiation and flavour.

The rules for big monsters are pretty decent, I reckon, with the Greater Warbeast profile. That comfortably takes you to dragon level; anything else is probably beyond the scope of a skirmish game. And it's even got the soft underbelly of the dragon built in.

Offline fred

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Re: Dragon Rampant 10mm Ogres vs Elves
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2021, 08:56:10 PM »
Very nice looking game! I have yet to give Dragon Rampant a try.... ...Your idea to move to small scale multi bases, however, gives a very nice vision of a real battle.

Thanks!

I do like the way skirmish games look with multi based small scale figures.

 

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