The ‘Too Fat Lardies’ rule books keep hitting all the right buttons for me as far as large skirmish type games go. With the recent release of their excellent WW2 platoon level rules ‘Chain of Command’ I am very much back into this period, painting away at a furious rate trying to build my collection up. You would think one platoon a side is not too big a project but no……. for the Germans alone, I have Early, Mid and Late War, plus a Luftwaffe platoon that I am working on, along with British, American, Russian and Japanese (I couldn’t make my mind up).
What has caught my eye and made me come up just long enough to catch my breath from the WW2 frenzy is an earlier book release from the TFL’s stable and that is their Dark Age rule set covering the Age of Arthur, Dux Britanniarum.
Again, these are for a large skirmish type game, starting with just 44 x figures for the Romano-British and 38 x figures for the Saxon force. The great thing about these rules is that they are built around a campaign system, which is designed to allow you to fight a series of battles. Your character figures, a Warlord and his two Nobles will develop as the campaign progresses over the coming years, gaining wealth and followers and conquering or retaining a Kingdom.
I have most of the figures I need to get the campaign started; I just need to paint up a few missile troops and some Levy. For these I will be using the excellent value and very versatile plastic box set of Dark Age Warriors from Gripping Beast.
As well as conducting a campaign, if you like, you can also fight a Single Battle or Raid of which there are several scenarios in the book. The scenario that I have put together came about when I got my collection out on the table to see what figures and terrain I already had and what I would need to get started.
I have tried to follow the same format as the scenarios in the book but having only read and not actually played these rules yet I hope this scenario makes sense and is playable. I think it will be down to the Saxon Envoys inside the Britons palisade being able to take and keep the main gates open long enough for the Saxons on the road outside to rush in. Between the Warlord, his Champion and Noble he will have quite a few attack roles even though they are a small group, a necessity to avoid suspicion and to get them inside the gate.
ALLOWING THE WOLF INTO THE FOLD.
A scenario of Saxon Treachery during the Age of Arthur, using the wargames rules from TFL’s Dux Britanniarum.
The main thing you are going to need is some kind of walled enclosure with a main gate. If you set this up on one corner of your table, you will be able to double the size of your enclosure, as you will only need palisade/wall/fence on two sides.
Therefore, two main walls, one with a gate, some buildings inside and you could use the randomly generated terrain from the book for anything outside the walls.
A small party of Saxon envoys (The Warlord, his Champion and a Noble, placed just a few inches inside the gate) have been invited inside the walls of the British Stronghold, leaving his two units of elite Hearthguard a short distance outside the gates.
Roll a D6 and on a roll of 1 the Hearthguard are deployed 6 x inches back from the gate, a roll of 2 or 3 placed 9 x inches, 4 or 5 placed 12 x inches and a roll of 6 placed 15 x inches from the gate.
The Hearthguard will be activated only when the Warlord’s card is drawn and only then, if they are within 9 x inches of the gate, otherwise they are deemed to be outside his command radius and will have to wait until their own card is drawn to be activated.
The rest of the Saxons, A Noble and three groups of warriors are hidden off table facing the sidewall without the gate. There is a possibility that their card may be activated before the Warlords as they are out of line of site and they may spring the trap a little early. When activated, on a roll of 1 they immediately take one turn of full movement. On a roll of 2 or 3 two turns, 4 or 5 three turns and a 6 four turns of movement.
The Saxon player may allocate his missile troops to support either this group attacking the East wall or the Hearthguard outside the main gate.
The British are outnumbered in this scenario as two of their three units of Levy are away working the land and gathering in the harvest.
The Warlord and his Champion will be placed 4 x inches back from the Saxon envoys and his elite Comanipulares another 4 x inches behind their Lord.
The British player will deploy one group of Warriors at the gate, the remaining group of Warriors, the one group of Levy and his missile troops must man the walls and not be deployed within 6 x inches of the gate. His second Noble may be deployed wherever the British player deems fit.
If the British cards are activated first, they will not be hostile towards the envoys until the Saxons have shown their true colours. They may attempt to close the gates but this can only be done by the card being activated for the group controlling the gate and not the Lord or his Nobles unless they are actually attached to the group. One activation to close the gate and another activation to lock and bar it.
See the main rulebook for ‘breaking down gates’.
A great Saxon victory if they can force their way inside and capture the stronghold.
A minor Saxon victory if they can kill the British Warlord and make good their escape.
The Blacksmith joins the fray.
And on the East Wall...........
"Well there we have it". A one off scenario for the Age of Arthur using the Dux Britanniarum rule set. I hope it works for those of you willing to try it out, as I mentioned earlier it has not been play tested yet and may need some fine tuning.
Terrain and figures:
Grand Manner, Perry Miniatures, Last Valley, Gripping Beast, Musketeer Miniatures. Banners by LBM.