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Thread: Sigur delves into the Dark Ages (SAGA, Dux Britanniarum)

  1. #241
    Commander Noble Korhedron's Avatar
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    Re: Sigur delves into the Dark Ages (SAGA, Dux Britanniarum)

    I know how SAGA works, although I still need to get some dice, but what scale is Dux Britannarium at, and what does it play most like?

  2. #242
    Brother Sergeant shrubs's Avatar
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    Re: Sigur delves into the Dark Ages (SAGA, Dux Britanniarum)

    Nice Franks! I wanted to do a Saga Frankish army, but discovered they are considered one of the hardest armies to effectively play in the game. Really dig the Flemish too, and the color palette used on all three units. Strong yet believable, well done!

  3. #243
    Chapter Master sigur's Avatar
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    Re: Sigur delves into the Dark Ages (SAGA, Dux Britanniarum)

    @Noble Korhedron: ...and a true nobleman you are. Thanks for the 'like. I won the competition, at least the first round. As with all historical games you can play Dux Britanniarum at any scale. 28mm is the most popular it seems. Dux Britanniarum plays mostly like other Too Fat Lardies skirmish games, with some bits and bobs added. Dux Brit is set slighlty before the time SAGA aims to cover; pretty much right after the Romans left Britain and Romano-Britains have to fend off the ongoing raids/invasion of the Saxons. It's built around a very strong campaign system with one (or more) player playing Romano-British forces and the other player(s) playing the Saxons. The British have to defend their foggy island and hope some some Arthur figure to save them. The Saxons have to loot, pay their lord, and maybe dream to grab some land on the British mainland to become a lord themselves. There is an expansion adding Picts, Scotti and Irish with their own goals and tactics.

    The units each player has at their disposal are set, so you don't have to bother with army lists and points and such stuff. Roughly there are three (four) types of warriors to begin with: Levy (for the Romano-British player), Warriors and Hearthguard. Then there are Missile troops (slingers, javelinmen or archers). Basically juves who throw rocks and run off if caught. Units usually come in a six men format (at the start of the campaign at least). The big difference is that the Romano-British still use Roman tactics and may make use of the Shieldwall, which the Saxon Raiders won't. Within the campaign you will first play Raids mostly, but with time actual Battles will happen (including stuff like rousing speeches, duels of each lord's champions before the battle, holy men, the option of lots of alcoholic beverages which either raise the spirits or have your army be nauseous and tired the day of the battle, ...).

    At the beginning of the campaign you roll up your leaders. Each warband starts with a Lord, his champion and I think three more leaders. Each of the Lord and the Leaders have physical and character traits which may or may not come into play. Over the course of the campaign a leader may fall, the lord has to manage his resources, pay to their king, eventually even build keeps and whatnot. There are LOTS of things to do, but it's all kept very simple and manageable.

    Within scenarios the focus lies on the challenges of making the men do what the leaders want. Which of course always is the key problem of any organized military operation. The game uses card activation. Each leader has a card in the activation deck and cards are drawn one after another. If Saxon Lord's (giving them names of course is advised) card is drawn he may use his command points to activate troops, move on his own, or add bonuses to combat, rally troops and whatnot. Then the next card is drawn. Which of course might be say Saxon Leader 2 who then in turn can use his command points (usually fewer than his Lord's) to activate troops under his command and so on. This of course means that it is possible for one player to move all his stuff before the opponent can. It's not likely, but it can happen. Friction and all of that.

    Then there are the Fate cards. Each player has a hand of cards. The number usually is five, but might be modified by pre-game events. Each side gets certain cards as National Characteristics (Aggressive Charge and Goad for Saxons IIRC and Shieldwall Braced and something heroic to make a leader tougher and more capable for a turn for the Romano-British) plus a number of randomly drawn ones from the Fate deck. Usually a player may play one of these per turn, or a number of them if they get a Carpe Diem card. These Fate cards help you with combat and movement or let you do other neat things to you or the opponent. Nothing game-breaking, but very important if used right. They also decide what happens post-game once one side has taken off. Then some Fate cards also help you flee/pursuit, which can be very, very important as it decides if more men of yours get killed/captured or if a side won on the batttlefield, but it doesn't help all that much as the enemy got away mostly unscathed. All things to be considered.

    Once a unit moves in contact with an opponent combat is resolved. Each side rolls dice based on the quality and number of models (additional dice are added for leaders involved, for special fate cards, and so on) they got and rolls either lead to Shock or Kills. Kills have you remove a model, Shock is the morale system.

    As he game goes on units accumulate shock points. Shock decreases their ability to function in that is reduces their movement rates (movement is rolled for by the way. You roll either one, two or three dice.) and number of combat dice. Once the number of shock on a unit surpasses the unit's number of models it's not good, once the shock is more than twice as the number of men left they essentially run off. Leaders or the Lord may use command points to remove shock points from the units they are with.

    ...and that's it pretty much. The strengths of Dux Brit (and what I believe makes it a much stronger and satisfying game than SAGA, at least to me) are the campaign system, how it feels more like a wargame, the added uncertainty and the scenarios. In most Raid scenarios the Saxon player (me) usually doesn't even want to fight much. Get in there, grab the lifestock and run off with it (by the way, trying to drive goats off a table while a bunch of angry Brits run after you is a whole interesting experience in itself) before the former owners even come close or manage to form a fighting force. It's a great game. Wish I could play it some more actually.

    On the ever-good Meeples and Miniatures Podcast Dux Britanniarum has been talked about at length in Episode #91 , episode #120 and in between.


    @Codsticker: Yeah, the Archers are pretty good. I thought the infantry and cavalry were a-okay as well, but the archers, for being multi-part plastics, are really well done. More often than not plastic archers have weird poses. Not that much of a problem with this kit.

    @shrubs: Hmm, probably. Aren't there like three, four variants for Franks in Saga?

  4. #244
    Commander Noble Korhedron's Avatar
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    Re: Sigur delves into the Dark Ages (SAGA, Dux Britanniarum)

    Hmm, I may have to go with SAGA though; it depends on what Historical players are in Dublin are more interested in....

  5. #245
    Chapter Master Lost Egg's Avatar
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    Re: Sigur delves into the Dark Ages (SAGA, Dux Britanniarum)

    @Sigur - DB sounds interesting, I might have to give it a look.
    Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.
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  6. #246
    Commander Noble Korhedron's Avatar
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    Re: Sigur delves into the Dark Ages (SAGA, Dux Britanniarum)

    @Lost Egg: What's 'DB' again; De Bellis Multitudinis?

  7. #247
    Chapter Master Lost Egg's Avatar
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    Re: Sigur delves into the Dark Ages (SAGA, Dux Britanniarum)

    DB = Dux Britanniarum
    Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.
    Mike Tyson

    Lost Egg's Inadvisable Plog

  8. #248
    Chapter Master sigur's Avatar
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    Re: Sigur delves into the Dark Ages (SAGA, Dux Britanniarum)

    Yeah, it's a brilliant set of rules. Got a full review done, it should go online within the next weeks on Skirmishwargaming.com!

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