Sunday, 29 January 2017

Last 3 Dark Age (Saxon vs Norman) games for 6x6 challenge

Three more Dark Ages games using Dux Bellorum were played out this week. This completes all six games of the 6x6 challenge for this period.  A reminder of my 6x6 selection and progress:

  • One Hour Wargames (Tank on Tank) SciFi Variant - this will force me to work through the rules in a series of games. 3 Played
  • Dark Ages with Dux Bellorum (Osprey) - my new project and with the rule book ordered and in the post. 6 Played - Complete
  • WW2 Naval (Pz8 rules) - a good quick game I can use if struggling with the challenge.
  • WW1 OHW - it has been a fair while since I played this period and a good excuse to get the old Peter Laing figures out again.
  • Galleys and Galleons (Ganesha Games) - I purchased these rules a while back and have not got around to making the model ships, which should not take too long to build the 5-6 models required for a game.
  • Hundred Years War using Lion Rampant (Osprey) - Recently completed the painting of these armies. Mini campaign mapped out ready to start.
The first three Dux Bellorum games I played used the rules without modification. During the games I was finding the use of leadership points to cancel hits was too powerful, even when reducing this to the cancellation of 1 hit (particularly when two shield walls going at it toe to teo). So for the last three games I tried reducing unit protection by one. So to hit a shieldwall was 5+ and a bowman unit 3+. All missile fire remained at 5+ as per the rules. To partly compensate for the increased likelihood of hits the cohesion factor  (number of hits before unit routs) was bumped up by one. I also stuck with the original approach to leaderships points with no restrictions.

The other area of consideration is where the combat loser is pushed back three inches. Not straight forward when using a 6 inch gridded tabletop to play on. During the games I tried a one square push back, ignoring the rule, and the losing unit taking a bravery test with a failure resulting in a push back. I ended sticking with the pushback rule as I had started allowing two units to occupy a 6 inch square.

After playing through the three games I was quite happy with these modifications and the last two games were most enjoyable.

Game 4 - was a quite a large game of 52 points a piece. The Normans were the aggressor and the Saxons as the repeller where positioned on the hill. The Norman cavalry moved around on both the Saxon flanks, while their bowmen attempted to soften up the centre before their spearmen units (Noble Shieldwall class of troops) pushed onto the hill.

Both sides lined up for battle
The Saxon second line of Housecarls prepares to enter the battle
The Norman attack loses momentum and is eventually thrown back by the Housecarls.
A Saxon victory! The game had been played ignoring the loser of combat being pushed back. It was after this game the decision was made to reintroduce the loser gets pushed back.

Game 5 - this game tried out a smaller Saxon force with additional leadership points. The Norman's pushed their cavalry around the Saxon left flank while their centre quickly ground down the first Saxon line of bowmen and Fyrd. The Housecarls were partially drawn into the centre battle and those remaining on the hill were eventually overpowered by the Norman cavalry. Additional leadership points are possibly better used for more mobile armies.

Normans see off the first Saxon line of defence
Norman cavalry attack the hill
Housecarls in their final defence just before the Norman centre joint the battle for the hill.
Game 6 - saw the surprising inclusion of some Saxon cavalry as I wanted to play a game with both sides having some mobility. The game was quite straight forward with cavalry attacks on opposite flanks. The Saxon shieldwall dealt better with the cavalry attack and soon after in the centre holes started to appear in the Norman shieldwall, which were exploited by the Saxons to win the game.

Saxon cavalry quickly move up while bowmen engage in missile fire.
Norman's counterattack on the Saxon left flank.
Saxons get the upper hand and Norman forces are whittled down

That's one 6x6 challenge successfully completed. The last few games have convinced me to stick with Dux Bellorum rules. I will be soon adding a Viking army to the Normans and Saxons - paper armies are quick to produce. I will be sticking with these paper armies and not buying any replacement Dark Age miniatures. I like them and am looking around for another opportunity to use some paper armies.


  1. "One Hour Wargames (Tank on Tank) SciFi Variant - this will force me to work through the rules in a series of games. 3 Played"

    I only count 2 Played, unless you haven't blogged one of them :)

    1. Still one to write up. Have the photos and some dim memories. Good pick up :-) alternatively I might get in a quick game if the photos make no sense.

    2. I'm trying to track the games being played by 15 people. I'm always worried I'll iss one. Glad I didn't :)