Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dragon Rampant - Review

A few weeks ago I got a advance copy of the upcomming rules in the Osprey wargaming serie - Dragon Rampant by Daniel Mersey.

I thought I should try to give an objective review of the rules, but it can be a bit tought as I really love the Lion Rampant rule engine and I and Dan also working on the Pike and Shot rules -The Pikeman´s Lament togheter that also uses the same rule enginge...

I hope my short review any way will be of help to decide if youe will spend about £12 on a set of fantasy rules.

I haven´t really played much fantasy wargames or done much fantasy project sins I stoped playing Warhammer Fanatsy some 10 year ago, a small detour in to LoTR miniatures ofcourse, but not much more, sins it coulden´t really compete with historical wargaming.

One thing that I have wanted to start up are a "Skägglavefantasy" (Treemoss Fantasy) project as my matey Jonas, unfortunate he lives some 450km south of me, so I haven´t had a chanse to participate in any of his games, but he is a greate inspiration. Now I might have the rules to get me going...

Dragon Rampant 
Author: Daniel Mersey
Illustrator: Craig Spearing, Mark Stacey, RU-MOR
Short code: OWG 13
Publication Date: 20 Dec 2015
Number of Pages: 64

So what to expect from Dragon Rampant, is it just Lion Rampant with a Dragon on the cover ? No not really, but one thing that should be cleare are that the rule engine from Lion Rampant are more or less the same and described with the same text, but with a fantasy touch. For me that is not a problem as I love the Lion Rampant rule enginge and way fix something that are not really broken.

Even with the same basic rules Dan have done a greate work to add tha fantasy flavoure to the rules as well as he have added special rules for Warbeats, like trolls, dragons and other stuff you ofcourse want to include in your fantasy games.

To handel these warbests and heros Dan introduced Single or reduced model units and Strenght points, wich gives you the possibility to field a single mighty hero/wizard with 12 wounds/Strentht points. It is a good solution to be able to keep the 6 or 12 man units but in a 1 to 3 man unit, each model just have more wounds, my only issu are how to keep track of them as I have small dices on the gaming table to see how wounded a mini or unit are... but the problem shouldn´t be to hard to solve.

The main thing that makes Dragon Rampant different from Lion Rampant are the Fantastical Rules, this is the rules that add the "Fantasy" to it all, like Flyers, Magic, Undead etc. You may, to a cost (most often), add Fantastical Rules to any of your units, this making them most often more expensive in point cost so a Dragon Rampant warband will be of lesser size in miniatures compared to a Lion Rampant retinue.

You will also find 6 new scenarios in the rules, all with a fantasy flavour to them, if you field a Warband of halflings you might want to try the Ringbearer scenario.

 As in Lion Rampant there are no "official" army lists for Dragon Rampant, but Dan have ofcourse been kind enought to include 15 sample warbands so you will have a good guide in how to build you warband and also give you ideeas of how to use the Fantastical Rules when deciding your troops pros and cons.

NO you can´t !.... you always need to have at least 4 units in your warband, so you can´t only field 3 forest troll shamans from the Borderland army list as you thought when reading it... Ofcourse there are a max limit of number of units to, and that is set to no more than 10 units, so the 12 units of Goblin-ambushers @ 2 points each, won´t work either.

So are the Dragon Rampant worth it´s £12 investment?

Yes indeed, at least in my point of view, as I already are a keen Dragon Rampant fan and I love to be able to go through my LoTR collection and also maybe building me a new warband from my plastic pile as well to have a look at all new stunning fantasy models that are out on the market, now I got a well designed and cost effective set of rules that give me the kind of easygoing game I want !

Happy Lucia to you all :)


  1. Thanks for the review Michael. Post Xmas these rules will go on my list of stuff to purchase. At present trying to focus (not very successfully) on Pikemen's Lament and Bloody Big Battles.

  2. Nice review Michael! You reminded me I forgot to order my own copy.

  3. Neat! I see you had the same idea with a Treemoss fantasy setting using these rules. Will be funkar to se what you can make for this :D Thanks for the mentioning. Cheers/ Jonas

  4. Thanks for the review and happy Lucia to you too - my littlest sister is a Lucy and we used to celebrate this day for her when we were children.

  5. Great to see it in print Dan.

    i think I spied one of the models I painted up in there too :>)


  6. I might have to put this on my wish list too.

  7. I have both Lion and Dragon Rampant on my Christmas-wishlist. As far as I understand do combinations of these rules enable you to play skirmishes anywhere in the roughly 3000 years between the Trojan and Italian wars. And let us not forget the posibility for fantasy gaming...

  8. Can you tell me if there is an undead army list in the rulebook?

  9. Looking forward to these....
    Thanks for posting the review.

  10. Ohhh I will look forward to the pikemans lament, I thought when I was playing the game this would adapt very well to ECW! Plus it might get me to paint some more troops up.

  11. Hej, var ett tag sedan du skrev denna men jag har en fråga. Vilken storlek på bord spelar ni på? Vi har varit rätt ambivalenta kring detta då vissa föredrar större bord medan jag själv är partisk mot mindre (3x3 fot) pga av platsbrist. Har ni hittat något som känns lämpligt?

    1. Hej Hector

      Vi brukar oftast spela 2-3 spelare/ sida och då med ca 18-24 poäng / spelare på ett 4x6 bord.

      Om vi spelar ett normalt 24poäng/sida så brukar vi spela på 4x4 bord. 3x3 borde funka bra oxå om man justerar hur långt in man får ställa upp. Jag brukar föredra mindre spelyta för att man snabbare ska komma i strid.