Monday, 21 January 2013

First Game of Dux Bellorum

I went round to gaming buddy Matt's over the weekend, for our first attempt at playing Dux Bellorum. We had both read the rules, the figures were supplied by Matt from his dark ages collection which have seen much use over the past few months as various Saga factions. These round based minis were simply popped into some Lord of the Rings multi-bases, instantly converting a skirmish army into the rectangular bases required by DuxB.

For those unaware of the game, DuxB is a dark ages wargame designed for use with a range of figures, no scale is assumed, since all measurements are made in base widths (BW). Since our figures were on bases about 110mm wide, we decided it was near as damn it four inches, much easier for older imperial brains like ours. Movement 8 inches, shooting range 16 inches, that kind of thing, very easy to visualise, even if pre-measuring is allowed.

The game was suprisingly quick. There were a couple of areas which required a re-read, but after a couple of rounds we settled down with our interpretation and rattled through the game. There's only half a dozen unit types to remember, with a small stat line, so it clicked into place fairly easily. In fact, we finished so quickly that we swapped armies and played again. I find myself more and more liking simple rulesets, it's quite important when switching from game to game on a monthly basis.

Apart from this speed, first impressions were mostly favourable. The battles seemed to make sense, movement was logical, and there was enough decisions to be made to keep it interesting. We just lined up and fought to the death, but next time we will most likely follow the scenarios (our experiences with Saga was that each faction seemed to vary in performance depending on the nature of the scenario).

I do have a minor niggle that the factions all seem very similar and troop choices are not particularly varied, though that makes sense for dark ages warfare and is probably my fantasy wargames brain taking over. It's early days as yet, too soon to make meaningful judgement, more games have to be played. Watch this space.


redmanphill said...

I like simple game rules but it still has to allow for some good tactical decisions. SAGA just about suits that.

Old Fogey said...

I agree. Saga is quite possibly the finest skirmish game I have played, siimple rules but much tactical choices to be made. I am hoping that DuxB turns out to be a similar beast, our introductory sessions are always to ensure we have the mechanics sussed. The cunning ploys and double bluffing comes after a few games. Next game we are using more mounted missile troops, so it will be less of two lines meet in the middle and slug it out, which is my main fear for the infantry based forces.

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