Saturday, 21 January 2017

Saxon vs Norman Paper Soldiers Game

This weekend I was able to play a game of Dux Bellorum using my recently completed Saxon and Norman paper armies. While the rules are technically for the period AD367-793, I thought I would still give them a go.

I was trying out the rules on a gridded wargame table. Having read the rules through they seemed to fit quite well to a 6 inch square grid. Foot units move 1 square and cavalry 2 squares.

Armies lined up
For my first game the Normans had...

3 x Foot bowmen
3 x Noble Shieldwall
1 x Mounted Companions
2 x Ordinary Riders

And Saxons...

1 x Foot Companions
3 x Noble Shieldwall
3 x Ordinary Shieldwall
2 x Foot bowmen

The Normans were the aggressor and the Saxons the repeller force defending the hill.

After initially exchanging a few volleys of arrows the Normans advanced
The Saxon Ordinary Shieldwall proved remarkably effective
The Saxon Noble Shieldwall waiting for the Norman assault on the hill
The first Saxon line had done its job and a weakened Norman attack was soon routed

I found the rules worked well for me. The decisions a player has to make with their leadership points to weigh up whether to assist units (or groups of units) with their movement, attack and defence made for an enjoyable game. Even for the first game which can be a bit stop-start as one gets used to the rules and have to look up rules.

This will be counting as my first game of Dux Bellorum 6x6 challenge.


  1. Very interested to see that your Dux rules transfered so well to grids. I recently picked them up after being disappointed with the e-version on my Kindle (due to formatting of charts) and there is a lot of eye candy in the book.

    Your game looked quite Hastings like :-)

    look forward to your further thoughts on DB. I want to do a pair of 1066 armies this year and have started amassing slope hex tiles from Kallistra ....... though no figures yet!

  2. I need to work on stats for two unit types: Norman spearmen which I think should fit in between noble and ordinary shield wall units, and Norman cross bowmen. I am now working on my paper Viking army.

  3. Let us know if you quickly find that it is better to spend points on defense (canceling hits) over offense (increasing the chance to hit). That seems the biggest flaw I hear people express.

    1. My first impressions were: for ordinary units spending leadership points on defence was best, and using multiple leadership points on a noble unit when attacking proved effective.