Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dux Britanarium - First Game

On October 13th, I managed to get in a solo game in of Dux Britanarium. What I found was that the game flowed really well and the turns moved quickly even with some fumbling on my part and the distraction of having the TV on at the same time.

What the scenario did teach me is that if you are not in a shield wall and you are Romano-British, you are dead.

The game started with the table setup. Since I was the only one playing, I used all of the terrain that I had available. The farm itself comprised three buildings. Since I only own one dark age building, I used some Russian Front Ukrainian buildings to fill in for the other two. The farm had sheep and a pair of cows/oxen as well. Below is a blurry picture that looked better at the time I took it.

And to the east of the farm...

To the north of the farm was some fields. It was from this direction along the road that the Saxons would enter.

I have attempted to spare you from some of the worst of the setup shots. Here is a table level view of the farm. Note that this is before I noticed in the rules that it needed to be three buildings.

The pre-game festivities had the Britions getting some good rolls from a stirring speach from their lord and adding to their overall staring morale. The Saxons sought some advice of their gods who gave them bad omens. The twins decided that they would rather live and sit this battle out. With the Saxon lord having his group morale lowered by the bad omens, he decided that the only way to have a happy force was to open the bar. Drinks for everyone! Well it seems that this did the trick and they were back up to their original starting morale. Both sides agreed that it would be best not to mess with a good thing and lets get the show on the road.

The Saxons had two turns of movement in which they could advance unmolested across the board. This would have been great for them if not for the abysmal movement die rolls. The entire force did not clear more than nine inches from their edge of the board in two turns.

Once the Saxons had their two turns to move, the Britons began to arrive to save the farm. I thought the Saxons moved poorly, well the Britons had nothing on them. The Saxons bottlenecked themselves attempting to move up the road. This left a column of warriors stuck behind the elites and skirmishers.

And a closer picture of our Saxons heroes.

The Britons eventually arrive.

Both forces utilize the road and head towards each other. The Britons get seriously bogged down and are stuck between a small wood and a field while the Saxons begin to get underway. The Saxons send a lord and a group of warriors to raid the farm and the Saxon skirmishers run to the farm to look for a better position to harass the Britons. This proves to be an excellent move as the skirmishers reach the farm as do the warriors who immediately begin to search for loot.

The advantage was definitely in the hands of the Saxons when the two sides finally met in combat. With only the single group of British elites in the front who were being shot at by skirmishers and attacked by two groups of Saxon elites, it lead to a route of the British elites.

The elites falling back through the British warriors behind them severely shook the British warriors. The Saxon Elites pressed forward and engaged a group of the British warriors while the Saxon skirmishers turned their attention to the approaching British skirmishers. Notice that I have yet to acquire any casualty figures. Instead I resorted to using my IABSM tokens to mark casualties and dice for shock.

One group of British warriors was routed off of the board. Giving more shock to the regrouping elites and causing a group of levy to nearly break as well. The second group of Warriors charged forward and hit one side of the Saxon elites as shock was beginning to wear these warriors down.

The British had some success against the Saxons with the counter charge but it was too little too late. With the levy having not been engaged and the Elites and Warriors already broken, the Saxons moved forward their fresh troops forward. To preserve what was remaining of the British force, the British decided to leave the field to the Saxons who were more than happy to raid the farm.

The game was not as bloody as I thought it would be. The shock was the deciding factor. The Saxons had a very good run of Fate cards in their initial combat. The Saxons lost 2 of their elites. The British lost two elites, three warriors and a skirmisher. I still have to resolve how much loot the Saxons walked away with. What really amazed me was how quickly the action proceeded. If I would not have had the distractions, I could have resolved the game quicker than the setup and take down of the terrain went. I think i will try for a wider table next time. I used a 6' x 2.5' table that was a bit narrow and probably lent itself to creating the choke points.


  1. Nice pictures, looks interesting in 15mm but i've already got loads of 28mm. Glad you enjoyed playing! (i love the rules personally)

    1. So do I. I think Rich has done an exceptional job with these.

  2. Chris,

    Glad you got a game in. How did it play solitaire with the cards?


    1. Actually it worked rather well. The game was great fun. I want to get a few more games under my belt before trying it with others. However, I think my Britons will probably loose my kingdom if things keep going the way they are.

  3. Great report. I am Umpiring my first game this Saturday, after having played solo once. Should be interesting...
    Hopefully I'll be able to get some pics of the complete Uruk anf Gondorian starting forces, provided I can finish the last bit of painting this week.

  4. Looks great!

    One small point: you don't do all the pre-battle stuff with raids :D (it gets replaced by much terrain-moving and dicerolling for start locations instead).

  5. Chris looks like a good raid. Often the RB layer needs to cut his losses and leave the field to the Saxons.