Saturday, 30 July 2022

More Rampant Ramparts

 Having bigged up the 'Lion Rampart' article in the July Miniature Wargames I do have a slight complaint: it was a tad vague on one detail. "Surely not," I hear you cry "wargames rules that are ambiguous? Say it ain't so!". The issue relates to what I see as the key difficulty with gaming a siege on the tabletop, namely that sieges are clearly campaigns. They go on for a long period, with happenings in slow time punctuated by happenings in quick time. If one wishes to get all one's toys out on display - and what else are they for? - then one ends up with the table being the map and the map being the table. 

This typically means that the slow-time stuff works fine, but there is a problem when we need to move to the quick-time stuff, typically assaults and sallies. The 'Vauban's War' answer to this is to pretend there isn't a difference and that one can just switch to a tactical ruleset and carry on. This was so obviously bollocks that we didn't even try it. Instead I quickly knocked up an abstract high-level set using C&C dice, but they haven't been used to date because in our playtests everyone seemed to prefer the grind of bombardment and starvation. I think that the answer to this dilemma which has been decided on by the author of 'Lion Rampart' is to admit defeat and put the toys back in the cupboard. A lot of action will be pen and paper until there's a need to set terrain up, get the little men out and play a scenario. I say that's what I think because it would seem implicit, but he never actually comes out and says it. 

It all makes sense, but I rather like the look of how my home made town and castle all looks and want to leave it set up to be admired, although admittedly only by me and the window cleaner. So, I've chosen to go for two 'tables' side-by-side. The first is the town and is the one on which the final assault (*) will be fought; the other is a space on which scenery will be set up and taken down to fight out the smaller actions along the way. I think this is not only aesthetically pleasing, but actually beneficial based on what I remember of how 'Lion Rampant' plays in practice. More of this in due course.

* And one thing I really like about these siege rules is that there will definitely be a final assault come what may.


  1. Hahaha your comment about wargames rules being vague on detail resonates with me! I just had a first game of 1914 by Great Escape Games on Friday evening and neither my host (the rule buyer) nor I could find any reference in them to close combat/melee! Now, it could be, as suggested by my worthy opponent on the evening, that the writers believe actual hand to hand combat was so rare (given one side of the other usually broke before contact was made) that they just left it out as being irrelevant - but it does seem a bit odd to me, particularly in a wargaming context!

    1. The first edition of Peter Pig's WotR rules 'Bloody Barons' didn't include any melee factors for mounted troops. It's presumably easy to overlook things that don't fit in to the way the author plays games, but might be required by someone with a different approach.