Wednesday, 27 January 2016


Our club has been invited to put on a game at the forthcoming Vapnartak wargames convention here in York.  John Savage has come with an interesting idea for a participation game using the recently published Dragon Rampant rules.

The scenario is called 'The Wicker Man' and is set in 72AD in Northern Britannia.  The local tribes have risen up in rebellion against the occupying Roman forces. A patrol from a far flung outpost has been captured and is to be sacrificed to the Gods in a Wicker Man. The players can take command of the Roman garrison as they seek to rescue their comrades from a horrible fate or lead the tribes in rebellion to throw off the yoke of imperial oppression. In addition each player will have the opportunity to seek glory for themselves while ensuring victory for their chosen side.

As a dry run to test out the force balance we had two games at the club, each lasting about an hour. I participated in the second as clean living Roman attempting to wipe out the barbarian scum ! :) It's only fair to say that the figures and Wicker Man in the photos below are all Johns, and beautifully painted.

Why use Dragon Rampant I hear you ask.  Well, the rules give an entertaining game, allow a result in an hour, and are easy to pick up. In addition it's easy to construct an army list and John wanted the Britons to have a Druid (armed only spells he could cast on his own troops).

The Wicker Man and the Britons.

Brit infantry advancing.

Brit skirmishers deploy in front of the Wicker Man.

Roman fort and Auxiliaries deploying for their sorties towards the Wicker man.

Auxiliary cavalry ready themselves.

Auxiliary infantry advance.

The battle starts, with the Romans auxiliaries advancing.  The three units of heavy infantry couldn't get their act together (been on the wine the previous night) and repeatedly failed their activation attempts at the start which allowed the Brits to bring their reserves up.

The Roman auxiliaries get stuck in, but within a couple of turns are seen off, fortunately the Legionaries have now roused themselves.

The Brits unleash their dogs !

First Brit Chariot unit wades in.

and the second makes its move as well.

Roman legionaries make it out of the fort and take over from the auxiliaries. 

They see off several Brit units, but in the end get overwhelmed. 

Final thoughts on the battle.  Lots of fun to play, not withstanding the Roman loss the game could have gone in their way a couple of times.  The Brit druid successfully cast a couple of spells but was in know way dominating.  A couple of minor tweaks and the game will be ready for Vapnartak :) 


Sean Gewecke said...

Sounds like a fun scenario.

I just ordered a copy of these rules and look forward to trying them out in the near future.

Paul O'G said...

Our Sydney gaming group is still loving Dragon Rampant and we are always looking for new scenarios.
Are you able to share your Wicker Man one for us to try out?


PS I am starting to share our DR scenarios on my blog. Here is the first one:

Vulture said...

Hi Paul
I'll ask my friend John Savage if he can recall the forces in play.
Good idea about sharing scenarios, I'll post a link to your blog :)

Paul O'G said...

Sounds great! I'll keep posting mine there are we refine them.
I have a few banked up ready for play testing