Home Forums General General Random Mersey Musings, or All Things Rampant

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    Avatar photoTony S

    I’ve been on a bit of a Daniel Mersey kick lately.  His Rampant series of rules are simple, fast and fun and since work as been extremely busy lately for me (six day weeks, ugh) I just didn’t have the energy to put together or play anything complicated.

    But I feel like posting, so I will now subject you all to some random observations.  Unless you’re aware of how to use the “back” button on your browser.

    – played The Men Who Would Be Kings scenario C.  What an odd scenario.  As the defender, I had to avoid taking any casualties for five turns to win.  I’m outnumbered, so the other option of defeating the attacker wasn’t looking good.  Had some bad luck, but that was more than amplified by my really, really poor decisions throughout.  It just felt wrong to attempt to just hide from the enemy.  As my nickname at the club is “Hussar”, I do tend to charge at anything that moves, so it was rather difficult for me.  Still, interesting scenario and quite different from most wargames.  I should have attempted to out manoeuvre the enemy, while they began to get worried at the ticking clock, and then attack isolated units.

    – played Lion Rampant, using Numidians versus Syracusans.  The system extends rather well to the classical period I feel, but I since I used an elephant (no, didn’t make sense in a skirmish, but why have an elephant painted if you’re not going to use it?) I had to crib some rules from Dragon Rampant.  The elephant was, technically, “Large Warbeast with Breathe Weapon”.  The only bespoke rule change was that whenever a LR unit retreats into another, the retreating unit loses figures.  Changed it to the blocking unit loses figures when the elephant retreats.  (Does this imply that I managed to muck things up so that my elephant managed to crush my own troops?  Yes.  Yes it does).

    – in the aforesaid game, my opponent seemed to have extremely amazing luck to passing all of his activation rolls.  Midway through, another player wandering by noticed he was using loaded dice.  My opponent was HORRIFIED.  I’ve known him for years; he had just grabbed some dice from the big tin of communal dice the club has.  Somebody drilled out a few small divots on the “1” and “3” to make those faces “3” and “5” respectively.  No idea who; the dice box has been around for literally decades.  They were a bit sloppily done, which is why they were finally noticed.

    – Played Xenos Rampant for the Vietnam War.  Again, worked very well in our opinions.  Have to think of rules for booby traps, but other than that, XR is flexible enough to create quite a plausible historical game.

    – getting near the end of my Vendean project for Rebels & Patriots.  Couple of thoughts – really happy with the Lancashire rebel figures.  Happy with some of the Irregular figures, less happy with others.  The “gun crew” in the Irish 1798 campaign were all identical peasant types holding up various agriculturish implements, like scythes or hammers.  And the Irish cavalry were all identical figures, which surprised me, as OB’s horse on his website seemed more diverse.  Obviously he scoured the Irregular catalogue better then I.  Still, they all painted up well.

    Avatar photoian pillay

    Hi Tony S,

    if you want to further your Mersey experience then I can heartily recommend both Age of Penda and Arrowstorm. They are part of Dans commander series of games and in my opinion some of his best games to date. Totally different from any of his excellent ‘Rampant’ series of games. Well worth checking out on Wargames vault.

    Tally-Ho! Check out my blog at…..

    Avatar photoAndrew Beasley

    Reads like a GW fan boy post 🙂

    I do enjoy reading his rules a great deal and impressed by the games I’ve watched on YouTube – reminds me of a friendly and readable version of HOTT for some reason and strikes a memory of SoBH aims.

    Sorry to hear about the dice – who ever did that should have their tape measure ceremonially bent beyond use and asked to leave the club (maybe even going as far as pouring their tea down the drain un-drunk). Bad enough to be using them but to put others into a very awkward situation is just wrong.

    Do you find the rules are different enough to give a feel for the period or do they feel similar?

    Avatar photoTony S

    I have been curious about those Commander series of games.  I was a trifle worried they’d be a bit like Saga.  I tried Saga a few times, but ultimately despite me wanting to like them, they just felt a trifle more “gamey” than historical.  Entirely a subjective feeling, and there are worse games out there.

    But, quite literally as I write this, I realize that I didn’t mind the battleboards too much, but rather the lack of morale rules (I rather dislike one man units that continue to remain on the field).

    And the battleboards were what I was associating Dan’s new rules with.  I definitely will have to have a look at them now.  Thanks Ian!

    Now that you mention it Andrew, it does seem a bit like the open ended nature of HotT.  But yes, much more readable!  And it’s large skirmish, which I think looks better than SoBH.  (Which I also like, by the way).

    As a fanboy, of course I’ll say it captures period feel! 😉.

    But honestly, the different rulesets for the different periods do tweak the rules enough that I think they work well enough to capture a specific period feel.  There are a lot common mechanisms throughout, but there are subtle differences that give a different flavour I think.

    Artillery, for example, in Pikeman’s Lament is much less effective than in Rebels and Patriots.  No special rules, but since your whole turn is over in PL if you fail an activation roll, and the successful roll for artillery is rather high comparatively, the result is that guns don’t fire nearly as much as in R&P where there isn’t that turnover if you fail.

    Avatar photoDarkest Star Games

    – Played Xenos Rampant for the Vietnam War.

    I’m going to be honest here, I love LR and DR but cannot begin to believe that XR could give a game with the right feel Vietnam.  That is most likely my own bias as Vietnam is “my” era/genre of choice and passion and I have certain parameter’s that are required for me in a game, but my quick read through of XR didn’t seem to have them.

    I love the house rule for the elephant, makes total sense and should be applied to other big creatures like Dragons, Giants, wyverns and your opponents mom.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

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