Saturday, June 29, 2013

Battle at the ford #3, Dux Britanniarum AAR

So here comes the third AAR of the Battle at the ford, this time I and Jonas used the Dux Britanniarum rules from Too Fat Lardies. The two erlier games we used the rules Dux Bellorum and Hail Caesar and all this will end in a small comparison between the rules, no academic work but at leas some comments:)

We used the same base scenario, terrain and as far as possible the same OOB in all 3 games.

OOB (Dux Britanniarum)

Warlord - King Brochwel Ysgrithrog of Powys
Chamipon - Cadwgan
Leader - Einion
2x6 Elit
3x6 Warriors
2x4 Light horse
2x4 Missile

Romano - British
Warlord - Arthorius
Champion - Bors
Leader - Galahad
Leader - Hengist (Saxon Mercenary)
3x4 Elit Heavy Cavalry
2x6 Saxon Merecenary Warriors
3x6 British Levy

For this game we choose to run it as a Battle as per the Dux Britanniarum rules and not the usual Raids.

As the two warbands emerged on the agreed battlefield they started to prepeare for the upcomming struggle of power....

King Brochwel Ysgrithrog of Powys had been praying all night to get the attention of God and in the early morning mist he claimed to have seen a golden cross in the sky...clearly God was on the Welsh side this day...

Arthorius held a very inspirationa speech to his followers...“Men willingly believe that which they wish”...the men cheer !!!

King Brochwel was not as good Speaker as Arthorius it seemd...not to many cheering welshmen...

Inspired by Arthorius speech his champion Bors rode to the river challenge the Welsh champion Cadwgan to single combat...

With some taunting moves Cadwgan gladly accepted and a fierse combat in the river started...the combatants moved forward and back and it was hard for the spectatros to decide whom was winning...

After a while Cadwgan got the upper hand and Bors had a chanse to withdraw...but he was to proud and continued the fight...

It is claimed that Cadwgan used dirty tricks to defeat the noble Bors, but even so he was victorious !!! now the welsh force cheered like never before...

Arthorius and the british wasn´t that happy...a real loss to the morale of the British force...

Encouraged by the single-combat the Welsh force started to move for the river...and Arthorius had his men do the same...the battle had begun...

King Brochwel sent his Archers and Light Cavalry to the secondary ford to prevemt the Saxon Mercenarys to cross ower. The main part of the Welsh forces approaced the main ford as was Arthorius Levy and mounted Elite.

Encouraged by the Champion Cadwgan the Welsh warriors crossed the river to meet up the British...what cunning plan did they have in mind as they didn´t stay to defend on the riverbank...

The Saxon Leader Hengist moved with his warriors to the closest ford, but they was some what intimidated by all the Welsh cavalry that swiftly approaced on the other side...

Seemed like the Welsh had planed to catch the British levy before they would be able to form a shieldwall...

In the face of the approacing enemy the British Leader Galahad managed to for 2/3 of his levys in to a proper shieldwall. At the same time as Arthorius closed in with his heacy cavaly...

But the Welshmen dosen´t catch the moment, instead they choose to form a shieldwall of their own...

Dark age standoff by the secondary ford... The welsh archers on the hill manage to inflict the first casualtys in the Saxon ranks...

Just as Galahad managed to get the last group of levys in to the shieldwall the Welsh shieldwall charges...a fierce and very intensive battle dies on both sides but both shieldwalls holds on...

The battlefield as the first fights have emerge...

To support the levy Shieldwall Arthorius charge in with parts of his Heavy Cavalry, the last part of the Heavy Cavalry had been intimidated by some Welsh archers hiding in the fields to the left...

By the mere power of the Cavalry charge break a part of the Welsh shieldwall, but at the same time the Welsh elite manage to chase some of the Britsh levy on the flight...

By the secondary ford the welsh light cavalry starts to cross further up the river and expose the flank of the Saxon mercenarys...

In the main battle the British Shieldwall eventually shattered...   Arthorius can do nothing in support of his levys as his Cavalry are to disorganized after their charge...

Galahad tries in no vain to rally the fleeing levys...

By the secondary ford the Saxon mercenary starts to get a hard time in the fight with the Welsh Light horse and the threat of the Welsh warriors that had arrived...

King Brochwel withdraw with the remaining part of his Elite and Warriors, forming a new shieldwall by the main ford...

Arthorius order his Heavy cavalry to make a glorious charge at the Welsh shieldwall...

...and glorious it was...2/3 of the British Cavalrymen are slain by the Welsh...

Even with heavy losses Arthorius will not give up his cause, retreating to get the last part of the cavalry and they makes one last furious Charge...that shatter the remaining parts of the Welsh main line...and saving the day for the last remains of the British force...

By now the moral for both sides was down to a minimum, both forces was exhausted and decided to withdraw to their side of the river and continue the fight another day...

When we decided to end the day both forces Morale was down to one (1), fo a long time it looked like a sure Welsh victory but due to Arthorius to last charges the British managed to catch up.

Theat probably never would have happend if we where playing in a Dux Britanniarum campaign as Arthorius rather would have saved hex elite to fight anotherday then make headles charges in to a shieldwall...bu as this was a single game you can act more "heroic". Still a very fun and entertaining game, the time fly away and when I check the watch we played for about 4 hours, didn´t feel that long...

I will try to sum up our three games and give you at least some thoughts about them. First of all we like the all, they all have their different approaches to the Dark Age/Arthurian wargaming.

The rules we feelt approached the gaming most abstract and as the rules have a bit of new out of the box thinking you will have to play quite some games to a begining to get the flow in them, i.e. learning the rules.

In my mind they portray the dark age shieldwall combat in a good way, as the 2 forces will be looked up in combat for several rounds grinding each other untill one side loses heart and start to scatter.

The army lists are quite fluid so you can probably field the armys as YOU think they looked like and you interpretation of the history. 

Very well writen rules in a lovely book, a realy good game for a very good price £12.

As you probably already know HC are a very generic set of rules for a long era in history and as that it might not always reflect the Dark Age combats to it best side, so HC are the rules with the least periodic flawor. The rules are easy to learn and I think most of you come across them in one shape or another as several wargaming rules have origin from the same base.

The rules give you a quick and easy game, perfect for several playeras a side and you still finnish the game in an evening at the club, but you might need to buy the extra army lists book to be able to play point games.

The book are a stunning production with lots of inspirationa pictures but it will cost you £30.

The last of the three rules we played our secenario with was Too Fat Lardies, Dux Britanniarum. The rules give you a good period flavour and we feel that they represent the shieldwall combat in a good way. The use of Fate Cards that gives you a chanse to boost some of your actions are very nice, even if it makes the game a bit slower...all that thinking of what to do...

The actually rules could have been a bit more clearly written, as some times its hard to find rules or you have to look at severla places or they arn´t even there because the vriter have taken them for granted, could be my lack in english but i don´t think so. 

If you are a old TFL player you probably will not have any problem at all as the rules use the same core mechanism as for example Sharps Practise. But if you are totaly new to the rules you might have some problem to find all the answers. A good thing is that the TFL have started to release youtube videos of how the rules work, that is very good. You can find the first one here.

Despite the some times unclear rules Dux Britanniarum are at the moment my favourite rules, much because the Campaingn rules that are included that gives me the kind of games I like, they work fine for one of games to but then you will play in adifferent way then in a campaign game as shown in this AAR.

The rulebook are very nice, not as many pictures as in the other two but you will also get a extensive campaign system and background information about the era and land for £20.

So that was all for now.

I hope it have been interesting to follow My and Jonas "Battle at the ford" gaming and that you to will try out all three set of rules to find your own favourite.

They are all three good sets of rules and give good and interesting games, but with different means.

Good luck with the gaming!

Please also remember to visit Jonas exellent blog "a Conflict of Interests" dont let you get taunted by his blog banner ;)


  1. Exciting game. You are right, the campaign probably would have kept you from that last ditch cavalry charge. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Chris

      Indeed it would have, in a campaign game I absolutely would have saved my elit for a nother day:)

      Best regards Michael

  2. Great stuff Dalauppror and thank you for the rules comparison. It's very helpful, especially since you guys did a game with each rule set. Well done to you and Jonas.

    1. Thank you very much Sir ! Glad to be of service, it was a very fun thing to do and nothing we realy planed when we first played the Dux Bellorum game, after that game I just thought it would be nice to try out the same scenarion with other similar rules.

      Best regards Michael

  3. Really inspiring stuff! Great to see that Dux Brit worked well with your force lists. So far I have only ever played with the forces from the campaign in the book. I agree that Dux Brit isn't always easy to follow - finding things in the book is not easy to do. However, once you have worked out the core mechanics, it's a brilliant set of rules.

    I look forward to more AARs...

    1. Thnaks Andy !

      Indeed easyer after a couple of games. The last couple of games in my Kalmar Union War setting we played using Dux Britt with altered army compisitions and it have work realy good, one just have to think a bit so the forces don´t get to unbalanced, but I think I got it spot on each time, Jonas might be of another opinion;)

      Best regards Michael

  4. Brilliant idea playing the same battle with three different rulesets. Thanks for doing it!

  5. Thank you for this Michael, and its goodto read your summary of all three rule sets.

    1. Glad that you liked it Andrew !

      Best regards Michael

  6. What a great read. I really enjoyed reading your AAR. I'm going totally along with you about the Dux Britanniarum rules. Sometimes a bit confusing but very entertaining.

    1. Thank you Matey !

      Dux Britanniarum are indeed very entertaining !

      Best regards Michael

  7. Brilliant! Love the photos Michael!

    1. Thank you very much Rodger! Realy glad you like my work, makes one keep going:)

      Best regards Michael

  8. Great report and very nice overview of the rules. Lovely looking game as well and highly entertaining to read. I'm great fun with Dux Britanniarum at the moment!


    1. Thank you Christopher !

      Looking forward to follow your adventure with Hamarolf "The Battler" !

      Best regards Michael

  9. One more great AAR and the photos are stunning again :)

    1. Thanks for the support !

      Best regards Michael

  10. Nice AAR, Michael. I am just starting a solo campaign (not my choice) with Dux Britanniarum, I am quite enjoying the rules. I am presently running through the village raid scenario. It did take me 3-4 reads through to get an idea of what was being said, but I think I have a fairly good idea now. Still working out movement (my least favourite part of wargaming). I will look forward to hearing more.


  11. Totally forgot to comment on this one, sorry Michael!

    Brilliant AAR as usual! This was another close fought game, the shieldwall grinding just above the ford was very bloody indeed.

    And obviously I agree on everything Michael has written regarding the different rule sets. All give a great game, but with slightly different feel.