- This topic has 9 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 1 week, 3 days ago by Jim Webster.
11/01/2023 at 22:07 #182111ian pillayParticipant
A little bit of an open question, but what’s the main differences between the following 3 sets of rules: Lion Rampant, Near Mind The Billhooks and the Barons War?
Mainly interested in what you think about them and if they give a good game.
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http://steelcitywargaming.wordpress.com/12/01/2023 at 01:40 #182112Tony SParticipant
I’ve played two of them – Lion Rampant and Billhooks. Matter of fact, I’m currently playing a LR campaign. I own Barons War, but haven’t played them yet.
If you’ve played Sharpe Practice from the TooFatLardies, then you’ll be very comfortable with Billhooks. Cards activate your leaders, which then activate the units under their command. Overall, it’s a very clean, simple system, which I like in rules. You’re able to concentrate on the battle, and the rules get out of the way.
Lion Rampant is the same in that regard. Very clean set of rules. A lot of design decisions were (cleverly in my opinion) made to make things easier to remember and play faster. All foot units are twelve figures (well, except skirmishers) and all mounted are six strong. Everyone rolls twelve dice in combat, unless you’re at half strength and then you roll six. If one figure is in range of the enemy, then the whole unit is in range. No faffing about.
However, when it comes to activation, it’s very different from Billhooks. Each unit type is differently rated for activating for different types of actions. For example, a light horse unit is rated 5+ (which you need to 2D6 to roll over for success) but a 7+ to charge into melee, because light horse would much rather gallop around then get stuck in. Attack and defense values are also different – so elite cavalry hit on a 3+ if attacking, but only hit on a 5+ if they are defending. So troops tend to work better if used as they were historically – elite cavalry (ie knights) are far more effective leveling lances than milling around while men-at-arms carve into them for example.
Personally, I like the decisions a player must make in LR because of the activation system. The lovely wrinkle is that if you fail to activate, your whole turn ends. So…do you go for the easiest activations first, to minimize the risk of failing an activation roll? But the tactical situation often is such that you really, really need to do something else. Your leader can influence things near him a bit, which also creates the decision of where exactly you should place your leader.
The generic troop types in LR are very customizable and you can create pretty much whatever pre gunpowder army takes your fancy. My aforementioned campaign is actually in Sicily, Romans vs Syracusans. It’s a simple narrative campaign, which is very easy to do as the rulebook offers sixteen different scenarios.
Although I enjoyed Billhooks, if I was forced to choose just one, I’d definitely choose Lion Rampant, because I rather like the tension and decision points that arise from the activation system as opposed being told which command is automatically activated by a card. But the nice thing is that if you do raise a force, you can use it for either system without any difficulty at all.
Again, that’s my own personal bias; both are a lot of fun, and I will willingly play both.12/01/2023 at 07:47 #182114ian pillayParticipant
Tony thank you for those comments and thoughts. LR seems to be more adaptable/ flexible and covers a wider period of history. The activation system in LR sounds similar to Warmaster leadership test. I will take a closer look at LR I think. Thanks again
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http://steelcitywargaming.wordpress.com/12/01/2023 at 09:21 #182115Sane MaxParticipant
The activation system in The Rampant sets is the decisive feature. some players LOATH it – the Facebook page seems to be endless people going ‘have you tried playing it without the Activation system?’
Me, I quite like it. When it comes to flexibility, it’s mad – there are now versions for Mediaeval, Fantasy, Colonial, Pike and Shot, and SF!! i like how in each case the author has made changes to the various periods, rather than just copy/pasting and changing the unit names.12/01/2023 at 23:29 #182152Tony SParticipant
Glad to possibly help Ian. Or you can curse me if you end up buying the rules and binning them! 😉
The activation is a bit like Warmaster, although you can only activate a unit once. And the activation number is not based on your commander’s ability, but rather the propensity of your troops to do something – so archers are more likely to shoot than charge, elite horse would prefer a mad charge than moving – which is a bit more subtle, and interesting I think.
I quite agree with Sane Max. Having a turnover because of a failed activation really makes a simple game suddenly very interesting and subtle. Not only does it make for interesting decisions for a player (which is a large part of my enjoyment when playing) but it also really gives an ebb and flow to the battle, and the fickle randomness that exists in warfare.13/01/2023 at 07:55 #182168Sane MaxParticipant
Oh, and when they describe themselves as ‘Miniatures Agnostic’ they are not kidding. Between Dragon Rampant and Xenos Rampant, if you have a figure in your collection you don’t know how to field, you are not doing it right.13/01/2023 at 16:18 #182189Andrew BeasleyParticipant
The activation system in The Rampant sets is the decisive feature. some players LOATH it – the Facebook page seems to be endless people going ‘have you tried playing it without the Activation system?’ …
The hardback rule set (v2) has added an ‘alternative’ rule just for this. You can now continue to try another unit after your fail if you and your opponent agree 🙂09/03/2023 at 20:45 #184093Steve BurtParticipant
Lion Rampant is a good set, but we have had a couple of games spoiled because one side literally never activated while the other activated most of their troops (you wouldn’t think you could roll 4 or less on 2d6 4 turns in a row, but you can). Allowing a re roll if the first activation fails, or making a unit with the leader always activate goes some way to fixing this.09/03/2023 at 22:14 #184096Darkest Star GamesParticipant
I am being dragged into a small (pun intended) campaign using 3mm minis and Lion/Dragon Rampant rules with reduced distances due to figure scales. DR allows for units to be of only 6 figures (as well as 12) so we are saying each unit is a small warband, so each “figure” is a portion of the warband and is removed with each hit received. The unit itself acts as if the majority individuals in that unit are of a certain type (ie, archers, Huscarls, heavy cav, etc). The one test game I have played in went swimmingly! Looked like a proper epic battle, ran smooth as well as quickly.
I’m not so sure this sort of thing could be done with the other rules, though maybe with Billhooks.
"I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."10/03/2023 at 14:24 #184112Jim WebsterParticipant
we tend to ‘tweak’ the activation system in the Rampant series. Normally we say if a unit fails, you just move on to the next unit and the failing unit is the one that doesn’t do anything
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