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Subject: Dux Bellorum AAR rss

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Dave Lowe
United States
New Mexico
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Posted this on a yahoo group utilized by gamers in the Albuquerque, NM area. Game was played using 15mm armies.

I played my first game of Dux Bellorum this past weekend. Dux Bellorum is a set of Arthurian wargaming rules covering the period AD367-793. They are authored by Daniel Mersey, who's previously published rules include, Glutter of Ravens and Song of Arthur and Merlin. DuxB is punlished by Osprey. What follows is a brief AAR.

My opponent commanded a force of sea raiders consisting of approximately 350 men. The majority of his force (4 units) consisted of experienced Noble warriors. The raider leader was joined by a unit of companion warriors. One unit of ordinary warriors and a unit of foot skirmishers with javelins rounded out the raiding party. The night/morning before the battle, the raider leader provided his troops with all the mead they could drink (purchased tactic). This boosted the aggression of all the warriors and the companions, but at a cost of their unit's cohesion.

I commanded a force of Romano-British consiting of approximately 400 men. The majority of the force (5 units) consisted of ordinary Shieldwall troops. The Romano-British leader was joined by a unit of Shieldwall companions. One unit of Noble Shieldwall troops rounded out the defending Romano-British force. The force was also joined by several "local leaders/warriors of renown" (extra points were spent on leadership) ensuring the Romano-British force would be well led. Additionally, shortly before battle, the army was joined by a group of monks from the local monastary (purchased tactic). The monks added additional leadership/morale to the army.

The sea raiders deployed in a long line with the skirmishers on the right flank and the warrior companions on the left flank. The Romano-British deployed in a continuous shieldwall, with the companions on the left flank and a group (2 units) of ordinary warriors on the right flank. The monks deployed behind the right flank to lend their support to the 2 units of ordinary warriors. The Romano-British anchored their left on a patch of woods.

The raiders surged forward and it quickly became evident that the skrmishers were headed around the Romano-British left, presumably to engage the monks. The main lines clashed, while the Saxon warrior companions took on the 2 units of ordinary shieldwall. The Romano-British Shieldwall withstood the initial Saxon charge and what followed were several turns on intense melee. Just when it looked as if the Romano-British army might gain the upperhand the raiders won several key melees. While all this was going on the raider skirmishers unleashed a volley of javelins on poor monks. They followed this up with a charge and butchered the poor monks to a man.
In the end, both armies broke in the same turn, ending the battle in a bloody draw.

The game has some interesting mechanics that revolve around Leadership Points (LP's). LP's can be spent to assist movement and morale, as well as to assist in attack and defense. The pool of LP's are reduced as units are lost. This can lead to some really hard tactical decisions. The ability to purchase "strategy/tactics," like "mead" and "monks" also add some interesting aspects, as well as flavor, to the game.

Had a great time and will be playing this system again soon.

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