Lion Rampant AAR

Steven and I tried out the Lion Rampant rules the other day.  They were just as I expected, excellent, easy to learn and loads of fun.  We whipped up a small battle using a scenario in the book, the Escort Mission, with a small twist.  Below is the report.

Lord Blackadder was in all kinds of trouble.  The Bishop of Bath and Wells was out making his collections for the "Black Friars" a wholly despicable lot of men who don't take kindly to people who come due on their "tithes" but can't pay.  As luck would have it, the strong men from Mrs. Miggins Pie Shoppe were on their way to collect over a 1,000 pounds in silver owed for Blackadder's peculiar tastes in "Pies".  Some of the girls still weren't right over some of the things he had them doing.  And Blackadder was stuck in the middle with barely two pennies to rub together.  Things were looking bleak until his man Baldric spoke up..."I have a cunning plan, M'lord!"  "Baldric, this had better not be another plan with a giant turnip in it!" "Well....yes and no.  I thought we could hide out in the turnip fields and jump the Bishop and his men when they are on their way to Stevingham Hall, the ancestral manor of the Blackadders. We kill the Bishop and his men, take the money he has collected, and use it to pay off Mrs. Miggins. Then we frame her boys so when the Friars come looking they will go after her instead of you."  "Baldric, that is the worst plan I have ever heard.  However, I have come up with my own.  We will wait in the wheat fields and jump the Bishop and his men when...."

The Bishop's men moving down the road to Stevingham Hall.  He had two units of sergeants and a unit of archers, the donkey with the gold was attached to a unit of sergeants.  Blackadder and his men, a unit of men-at-arms, a unit of sergeants, and a unit of Bidowers/foresters came on in a pincer move hoping to catch the Bishop on the road before he could get setup.

But the Bishop was looking for trouble and came on ready for action.  It looked like it was going to be a long day for Blackadder and Baldric. That was before the foresters moved into position and opened up on the Bishops men.  The small afterthought unit of foresters were able to do some damage to the sergeants from range and their ability to move through terrain with no difficulties made it hard for the Bishops men to drive them off.

The Bishop seeing the effectiveness of the small band of Archers decided it would be a good idea to get his bows into action, so he had them grab some cover in a small copse of woods and start raining arrows down on Blackadder and his men-at-arms.  Blackadder charged with his men straight in to the archers to try and drive them off but the storm of arrows proved too much and the cover of the forest too thick for his men. ( We learned later that we did this wrong and the men-at-arms should have ignored the cover but the young Bishop definitely benefitted from this error)

Seeing his archers successfully turn back Blackadder and crew and watching his own sergeants being slowly whittled down, the Bishop decided to drive the donkey straight up the road and make a run for the manor and use his bows and other unit of foot to keep Blackadder occupied.  Up to this point the unit of foresters had managed to stall the advance of the gold up the road hoping that Blackadder's men would be there to help but apparently the instructions given to the unit of sergeants were not clear, or they were distracted by the turnips, as they hung back for awhile trying to decide what to do.  The Bishop seeing the hesitation decided now was his chance to get those pesky foresters once and for all and charged ahead with his personal unit. 

 Alas, it was not to be, as the foresters merely fired a round at the incoming troops and then melted away into the forest.  This was all just way too much for the Bishop so he called out Blackadder and dared him to act like a man for once.  Finding no way to slink away under cover Blackadder was forced to step forward and square off with the Bishop.


It was a close fought duel but the Bishop never saw the knee to the groin coming and so down he went.  His men though stayed loyal and continued to press on to the manor.  By this time the rest of Blackadder's men had decided to join in the fun and had blocked the road forward. The bad news was that the Bishops archers were still in the woods and were raining down death on the men-at-arms.  The foresters had moved to the other side of their woods and were not helping anyone.  The Bishops men proved very stubborn and continued the fighting even though things looked bleak.  One can only imagine what the punishment for failure must be to drive men on so fearlessly.

Then Blackadder went down under another hail of arrows.  His last words of encouragement to his men were "Baldrick you bast....ughhhh"  It seems either these encouraging words or all that gold sitting in the road was enough to inspire the men to keep on keeping on. 

Now the Bishops men made a concentrated effort to get up the road and to the apparent safety of Stevingham Hall when the foresters reappeared and brought their own brand of firepower down on the Bishops men. 

In the end Baldric managed to grab the donkey, which he named turnip, and spent all the gold on a small turnip patch of his own. 

The End!

We managed to get through this fairly quickly and had a great time.  With its simplicity we were able to concentrate on the action and not charts.  Definitely will be a game we play again. 


Return to Steven's Landing

So, due to popular demand we once again journeyed to Steven's Landing for a bit of fun using the Black Powder rule set. Bob and John took over the British forces while Steven and I ran the rebels.  It turned out to be a very closely fought battle but the Rebel forces were once again able to hold on and blow the bridge.  

June 5th 1781,  Cornwallis has been chasing Lafayette all through Virgina and has finally committed the deadly sin of splitting his forces in the face of the enemy.  With no relief coming from NY Cornwallis is desperate for supplies for his ragged forces. However, his supply line is stretched very thin so he has dispatched Lt. Col Simcoe with a small force to capture a large magazine store guarded by Baron Von Steuben at the convergence of the James and Rivanna rivers known as Steven's Fork.  The British will need to capture the bridge intact so that they can safely cross to capture the magazine.  Von Steuben needs to prevent them from doing this.  

Right from the start this game had a different look than the first time we ran it through, with the British getting a spectacular roll and launching their main column straight down the road and nearly onto the Bridge.  It looked like this was going to be a short game with the British prepared to storm the bridge immediately.

"Do my eyes deceive me, or do I see militia forming in the center??
Send a column right down their throats and we will be done by tea!
The stout lads of the Md Brigade man the defenses while the engineers hurry to blow the bridge.

However, once again the Rebel commander had placed his best militia, The Over the Mountain Boys, on his right flank hidden in some cornfields.  They popped up and blasted the lead company in the flank while they were still in column.  This devastated the unit and forced them back.
Riflemen hidden in the cornefields?? That's not quite cricket.

Take out the leaders and NCO's first. Aim small miss small!

Meanwhile, the others units, also still in column, took additional fire which disrupted most of them causing them to be locked into column and not allowing them to effectively line up and assault the bridge. As the British were bottled up at the bridge the tide started to turn a little in favor of the Rebels.  For several turns they were able to keep the British forces bottled up on the road and flanks and prevent them from organizing a solid assault on the bridge.  But the superior quality of the British would start to tell. 
Bloody Hell! You lot get off the road and let us through.

The Over the Mountain Boys stand tall in the cornfields.

Slowly the British started to get themselves organized and into a battle line of sorts.  As they did the pressure on the bridge started to mount.  Eventually the firepower of the Brits enabled them to wear down the Rebel defenders and force them back off of the bridge.  The engineers had done their job well this evening and the demolition charges were set and the powder dry and ready to go.  With the bridge cleared and the final assault about to happen the bridge was blown sky high denying the Brits their victory and supplies.

Fun was had by all.  I think the big takeaway was that even thoug a good roll will launch a column straight down the table you need to be able to get into a firing line before closing with the enemy.  If Bob could have gotten his battalions lined up in front of the bridge this game might have been over before it started.  As it was, Steven's militia was able to put a lot of pressure on the Brits from the flanks denying them the ability to get setup.

The next scenario is setup and should allow the British a good chance to even the score on these upstarts.



Yankee Doodle comes to Steven's Landing

June 5th 1781,  Cornwallis has been chasing Lafayette all through Virgina and has finally committed the deadly sin of splitting his forces in the face of the enemy.  With no relief coming from NY Cornwallis is desperate for supplies for his ragged forces. However, his supply line is stretched very thin so he has dispatched Lt. Col Simcoe with a small force to capture a large magazine store guarded by Baron Von Steuben at the convergence of the James and Rivanna rivers known as Steven's Fork.  The British will need to capture the bridge intact so that they can safely cross to capture the magazine.  Von Steuben needs to prevent them from doing this.  

The Continental forces have setup at the bridge while the engineers work furiously to  prepare the bridge to be destroyed.

The British forces moved down the road while one battalion moved around the hill to flank the Continentals. Unfortunately for Colonel Simcoe the hot June sun had taken it's toll on his troops and they were slow to obey his commands.  One company actually got very confused and headed off to the rear of the column throwing everything into confusion. Meanwhile the over the mountain boys moved up and poured a steady fire into the British as they emerged from the woods in confusion.  The British column was thrown into confusion for some time as a second company of militia moved up and poured a deadly fire into the reeling Brits.

Things were looking up for the Continentals unfortunately the experience and training of the British was starting to show.  Slowly they got themselves organized and moving on the bridge again. The Over the Mountain boys fought bravely in the face of overwhelming odds but the superior numbers took their toll and eventually the militia gave in and fled the field.  However, they managed to hold up the British column while the engineers packed the bridge with explosives.  On the Continentals left flank the British had moved through the rough terrain hoping to outflank the Continentals.  Again the militia held firm and allowed the Continental line troops to move up and outflank the British instead.  Facing stiff resistance to their front and galling fire from their flanks was just too much for the British who broke and headed back down the road.

Having finally pushed through the screen of milita the British began to move on the bridge.  Meanwhile the engineers had finally put all the explosives in place and lit the fuse.  Unfortunately, the fuse appeared to be wet and fizzled out.  As the British drew closer they tried again.  Again the fuse fizzled out.  The British began to assault the bridge itself and were driven back while the engineers reset the fuse.  This time the fuse lit but was burning slowly.  What originally looked like a huge victory for the Continentals was now looking like a win for the British.  Again, the lined up and charged the barricades but were driven back by accurate fire from the Maryland Continentals.  Finally, the British troops had enough of the continual fire from the Continentals and started to flee back down the road.  Even though the engineers never were able to get the explosives lit, the British leaving the field was enough for the Continentals to win.

We used the Black Powder rules which gave a very good game.  Dewey and I noticed that every game we have played with Black Powder has started with at least one general blundering.  We felt the results were quite accurate and the scenario was a good one.  We are looking forward to the next Black Powder game.


The Red Shadow rides again!

 "You say ISIL and I say ISIS...or...Don't cross this line!"

Morocco 1875, somewhere in the Atlas mountains.  

The Red Shadow, an Algerian scout working for the French to help unite the Berber peoples and free Morocco,  has set his sites on the Mad Mutha Mulla.  A religious zealot bent on driving out the French and setting strict religious reforms in Morocco.  To this end the Mad Mutha has stirred up many of the tribes and threatens to destroy all the hard work the Red Shadow has been putting in to bring Morocco into the 19th century.  The local police chief has been accused of selling the equipment the French have given him and his security forces to the Mad Mutha.  The Red Shadow has tracked a large deposit of arms and ammunition to a village high up in the mountains and has led a patrol of Legionnaires to recapture these weapons and bring the Mad Mutha Mulla to justice. 

One of the local women cheerfully salutes the Mad Mutha Mulla after hearing about his new dress code. Burkhas being all the rage!

 Outside of the town, the Red Shadow takes cover in a date grove to see if he can determine where the guns are hidden.  He has determined that he must try and look from several different locations around the town before heading in to recover the weapons.  The Mad Mutha Mulla has spies everywhere and this could be a trap to capture the Red Shadow.  While the Legionnaires and Tirailleurs take up position in the same grove.

The Red Shadow spies on the village.

All of the sudden the hills erupt with rifle fire as a large force of Berbers has spotted the French troops and seems to have them pinned down. Under the cool leadership of Lt. LaRoche the French forces take up position in the grove and begin to return fire.  After a few good volleys the expert marksmanship of the Legionnaires begins to take its toll and the Berbers start to pull back. 
Berbers grab the high ground and pour a steady stream of lead into the Legionnaires.
 Sensing the time was right, Sgt Major Camarone charges out of the grove and straight up the hill into the Berbers driving them from their rocks.  The fierce charge and sharp steel is enough to finally drive the Berbers from the field.
The Legionnaires storm the high ground chasing the Berbers back to their caves.
 Meanwhile the Red Shadow has determined the weapons are being hidden in the Mosque.  Oh those cowardly devils, using a place of worship to hide guns.  The Red Shadow waves his scimitar and charges in to town only to be swarmed by the fanatic brotherhood.  Dazzling swordsmanship is on display as the Red Shadow skewers foe after foe.  However, the overwhelming odds are beginning to tell and the Red Shadow is being hemmed in by the crazed mob of swordsmen.  Noticing the Legionnaires lining up to deliver a decisive volley on the crowd he deftly maneuvers his faithful steed, Mighty Wind, and falls behind a wall just as the Legionnaires loose their deadly storm of lead.  Not a soul is left standing.  
The Red Shadow displays his superior swordsmanship while being swarmed by Berber rebels.
Unfortunately, after a quick search of the Mosque turns up empty, it appears that this was all just a trap set by the Mad Mutha Mulla.  Worst of all, in the swirling swordplay the coward has slipped through the Shadow's grasp.  With a shout the Red Shadow vows to run the Mad Mutha Mulla down.


The Battle of Basementshire

The Saga has been told, the tapestry has been woven. February 28th 1067, Basementshire in the Danelaw. The horse buggering Normans led by "Dewey the Bastard" made an ill-fated incursion into the Danelaw to raid and pillage the poor unsuspecting villagers.

The peaceful village of Crapenburgh

As the Normans made their way through the Shire raping and pillaging, word was quickly sent to Jarl Johann Anthonysson and he quickly assembled the stout hearted warriors to march on Crapenburgh. By the bones of St. Cuthbert these invaders would be driven back to Normandy where they belong.

"Do not fear good citizens! I shall protect your sheep from these perverse Norman dogs.
The Normans, being mounted, took the field first.  This was to be a "Clash of Warlords" and only the truly bravest of warlords would remain victorious while the other scuttled back across the river...errr channel back to his homeland.  "Dewey the Bastard" took to the field first, arriving just to the Northeast of the village followed very closely by Jarl Johann and his trusty loyal Huscarls who thought to head around the west-end of Crapenburgh.

The Norman rabble approach.

The brave Huscarls charging the cowardly Norman bowmen.

However, the Normans brought on their Knights and some cowardly warriors armed with crossbows. Real men would never use such weapons preferring to see the fear in the eyes of their foe when they drive their spear deep into his guts.  The remainder of the Jarls forces arrived and took up a holding position to the East of Crapenburgh opposite the Norman usurper and his rabble.  As the shieldwall was forming the Norman dogs launched a barrage of arrows their way catching the brave men unaware and managing to drop to Huscarls caught unaware.  These Norman dogs did not even wait for the customary exchange of insults.  What type of men are these Normans?

The shield-wall is formed.
Quickly the brave Danish warriors recovered and prepared themselves for battle.  The shield-wall was raised and a mighty and intimidating roar was heard across the field as they charged forward.  So fearsome was the roar that the crossbowmen cowered behind their women's skirts as real men marched forward.  The Norman Knights thinking to capitalize on the Danes as they recovered from the shooting galloped forward however the shield-wall held firm and they were repulsed. Normans fell in droves as ax and sword ran with Norman blood.  As those few Normans that remained turned to flee in horror the Danes pushed forward and cut down the fleeing curs.

On the eastern side of the Village things were really beginning to heat up.  Jarl Johann shouted to his brave lads to follow him and they moved up to engage the Normans. This was to be the work or real men this day.  Shield-walls were raised and battle commenced.

The clash of shield-walls!
First blood might have gone to the Normans but the Danes battlelust was upon them and they were not to be denied. While the crossbowmen coward in fear on one side of the village the remainder of the Norman dogs stood firm and received the charge of the Danes. At least this group would die like real men. The battle was a back and forth affair with both sides coming away bloodied but ready for more. The Norman Lord seeing his men faltering charged forth on his warhorse to be met by Jarl Johann and a few of his retainers.

Dewey the Bastard charges to meet Jarl Johann
The wild stamping beast and sword of Dewey the bastard laid low several brave warriors but he was not able to break the defenses of Jarl Johann. Unfortunately, the beast he was riding threw up some dirt which got in the eye of Jarl Johann and he temporarily backed off a few paces to recover. His men thinking the Jarl might have been wounded also fell back to protect their Jarl. However, this fortuitous re-organization allowed the remainder of the Jarls warriors to charge forward and bring the invader down.
Aahh the feasting in the Jarl's longhouse, "The Hooting Owls", that night was something the minstrels will sing about for a long time. It must be mentioned that after all the bloody work was done Rob Metzlersson arrived on the field of battle. The Jarl being in a feasting mood allowed him to join in the celebration as well.The Jarl was heard to exclaim that he can be sure of many more battles like these with the Norman dogs in the future but he was sure that with brave lads like those in his hall that he would see the Normans driven from Angleland once and for all.  Then they would march north and see to those Viking pigs and their leader Josef McGuiresson.  A most foul and loathsome brute there never was.  And drive them back to Vik once and for all!