Saturday, 16 January 2016
Dragon Rampant First Few Games
My first game was a home match, the diminutive dining room table just about big enough for a standard 24 point game. The chaos warriors faced off against Bretonnians, with both armies containing just four units each. We warmed up with a straight up pitched battle type affair, then rolled up a scenario for a second game. Just like Lion Rampant the games run easily, there's virtually no rules checking involved, just the occasional glance at the profiles - I still think the last page of the book should contain a summary of all the profiles rather than the frankly useless blank profile chart. The Bretonnians brought along a spellcaster but it seemed to have little effect. All in all, a decent enough debut for the ruleset.
Two sessions, four games, the rules are easy to pick up and genuinely fast play (every rule set claims to be fast play these days, with varying degrees of veracity). I can understand why the system is popular with the more casual gamer and at wargaming shows - they are ideal for this kind of audience. For myself, I wonder about the longevity of the system. With about a dozen profiles designed to cover the multiplicity of troop types in fantasy gaming, there's lots of duplication involved. A Blood Beast Daemon of Khorne has the same profile as a griffon. A unit of ogres has the same profile as a unit of marauders. Chaos knights are the same as Empire cavalry. For a rich and varied background like the Warhammer Olde Worlde, I am unsure they are suitable. For low fantasy gaming, like Lord of the Rings, they are probably better suited. This is not so much a criticism as an observation - the rules are simple to learn, quick to play, highly abstracted - beer and pretzels style gaming.