23 August 2014

Dux Britainniarum: Playtest 2

We had our second play test of the DuxBrit at the Hobby Bunker last Thursday night. We played the Border Tower Raid. Although, I thought we had the rules down pretty well, many questions again arose which I will go over at the end of the photos. The combat and movement all went well, there is a very simple engine to the game that is easily remembered.

It is a straight forward raid with a British Noble and 2 units out on a recon mission. The Angles have to capture the Noble to have a successful raid. Below you can see the basic terrain with the Border Tower in the farground. A river runs almost the full length of the terrain. This was placed before the game started. Otherwise 4 pieces of terrain was placed by each of us in alternate fashion with the Angle player going first. We then through a D6 to place the tower, as well as D6's to decide each of our starting positions. Adam additionally threw a D6 to see how many units he got to start with.  
Here si looking towards the tower, the rivers are from Wargamers Terrain, a local Massachusetts  concern run by Joe Linares. He was excellent to deal and really provides a first class service and product. I can highly recommend him. These are his FlexRivers Delux. They come in green, blue or brown water, I picked brown in a 3" width. I am enormously pleased. You can also see one of his swamps below. 
The river was a major obstacle, the swamp and trees medium obstacles and the hills a minor obstacle.   The fence around the hovel is a linear obstacle. The Angles started mid way up the board on the far side of the rivers. They had 2 groups to start. The Britons were also mid way up the terrain but on the near side of the river. The Briton noble had two groups of warriors with him. If I remember correctly the Angles started with their lord and two unit of elites.
The Britons started the rest of their troops within 6" of the tower.  This included their elite unit, 3 i=units of levy and their slingers. The Angles brought on their other units in the second turn as their cards were drawn.
The Briton Noble and his two units of warriors
The Angle Lord and his champion with two elite units.
The Briton levies advance to protect their right flank, while the slingers advance to cover the retreat of the recon group. The British elite group advances through the swamp to meet the Angles. 

The action heats up, it was very difficult for the Angles to the far left to cross the river. The penalty for a major  obstacle is -3 pips on each D6. Since 3D6 is movement you need at least a toss of 10 to even move 1"
The Briton warriors elect to enter the walled compound. Stupid!
The Angles decide to all head toward the escaping Britons, the levy move to counter the move .
Two groups of Angles combat the Briton elites.
The British warriors attempt to escape the rapidly approaching Angle elites. Step Forth cards are thrown about.
The battle turns against the Britons, their elites as well as one unit of warriors  have lost their Amphora
In a show of Bravado, the British Lord and his champion with the escaping Noble  turn around an attack the Angle  war party, they are thrown back but the Angles fail to overwhelm the British Nobles and they withdraw.

The Angles fail to capture the Noble, thus fail in their quest. We did not use morale in this game , I think that I lost 10 figures and Adam lost 6. I had three units lose their amphora and I think Adam had two units in rout. So it was a closely fought game with a marginal victory to myself.

So on to the points of confusion that arose in this game, again the TFL Forum was instrumental in clarifying things.
  • Card Sequence: Cards are only played on activation of a Noble, not at any other time. If a card is played in response by the non-phasing player, then that activation may take precedence (the example being the Step Forth card being played in response to a possible attack). The phasing player can change his initial plan and does not lose his cards if already played.
  • Unattached Nobles Movement in Varying Terrain: No clear rule, will go with the same modification as harassing troops.
  • Attaching and Detaching Nobles: Is at no cost and can be carried out twice in a single activation. What I missed is that an attached Noble does not suffer the reduction in command range to 3" if he is NOT engaged in combat.
  • Missile Kills on Formations of Units: Per firing player, may select one unit in a formation.
  • ZoC: If an attacking group fails to engage in combat because of failure of movement, the ZoC does not stop the attacking group at 4".
  • Movement through Varying Terrain: No hard and fast rule but Rich Clarke suggests the following; Imagine the obstacle is some boggy ground which reduces movement by one pip per dice. That ground is 5" away from your unit. You roll 4, 2 and 6. I'd let you move 4" with the first dice as you can move that full distance without getting into the bog, but then the 2 and the 6 are both reduced. The truth is, you can use any system you like for this, so long as you're consistent in a game. But that's the one I prefer. 

By the way Adam has some excellent photos on his blog the Fencing Frog.


  1. Looks an excellent game!!! Lovely looking troops!

  2. The game looks great, good close finish sounds good to me


  3. I'm quite keen on trying these out so thanks for being the 'canary in the coalmine' with the rules questions - I'm sure they will come in handy when we tackle them.

    1. Thanks Curt, it is work to get clarification on TFL rules, but really once the engine gets warmed up the rules just purr!