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Dragon Rampant questions
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So I’m just about 75 percent done with my Goblin army- it’s 30 Oathmark infantry, six metal characters, and 4 Reaper Bones Ogres. I got the Little Big Man transfers to go on their shields and banners. Was going to do them with a blue-gray skin in homage to the Rankin-Bass Tolkien stuff, but it looked terrible. So they are a light olive. Tried to do something more traditional and less cartoony than the GW standard. Did good old bad guy red and black for their main colors. They might get some Gnoll support.
Dwarves are getting their 30 man base, the six characters, and A Griffin and Fucking Owlbear from Reaper Bones. It’s all built but not painted. They are going to be a hill dwarf army, sort of a Celtic/Viking thing on their transfers in green and gold. When the Oathmark Heavy Infantry comes out, that will add some Elites with two-handed weapons.
I have the Elves too- same 30 man base, six characters. Right now they have two Heroscape dragons (whatever the green one is) but I’m thinking about other monster options for them. They have a kind of sea elves deal going on with their transfers so I might do some kind of aquatic thing or a sea dragon.
My standing Skaven army, fully painted, direly needs some Jezzails. But $45 for 3....darn.
The overall goal is to have a few versatile, medium sized armies that can be used in multiple game systems...and to keep it all with a 70s/80s vibe. I love the Age of Sigmar stuff, but I’m kind of pining for simpler times.
I really like the Oathmark models. They are just like the Frostgrave plastics, and they are more like true toy soldiers than, say, a Sylvaneth Kurnoth Hunter. They build and paint up quickly and there is an absolute minimum of bullshit details.
For DR, Im running mostly 5 man reduced model groups. So not huge R&F units...yet!
As for terrain, I got this neat set of 2D neoprene river pieces for like $25. A Bolt Action stone bridge that fits it perfectly. Some colored MDF buildings from War World...that I just about set fire to because they were a total pain in the ass to put together. I used like a whole bottle of wood glue on them. They look pretty good and are REALLY inexpensive (with a sale and a £5 new customer coupon they were like $35 shipped). But the stream of profanities as I assembled them last night...wow.
Still haven’t played...trying to get that happening this weekend. I’m going to try the Song of Blades and Heroes rules too. And maybe the new Saga set with Age of Magic, it looks really neat. Thinking about trying “Fantasy Bolt Action”, Warlords of Erewhon, as well. But DR looks like it is exactly what I want, and with summer coming up I’m hoping to get my kids involved in creating a story that we can play through with a few games.
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EXCEPT...this is a game like Gaslands where what you put into it in terms of creativity really pays off. I’ve come up with a sort of simple fluff for it, and made faction rosters that include unique names for each unit and appropriate special abilities So the Elf archers are Serulean Bowmasters and their Ice Bows give them +1 to their shoot value. Goblin Fanatics are their Light Foot choice and they have mixed weapons so they can throw spears, axes, shields, whatever. For the spellcasters, I’ve taken the given spell list and embellished it a little. So the Goblin Shaman has three Visions he can cast to various effects and the Light Missile class gives him a Pointing Bone shooting attack.
A little work- all of it a lot of fun- goes a long way to making the simple rules more specific and more narrative. The sample army lists are helpful in inspiring ideas...our skeleton army has become the Vampires of Black Imperial Blood faction. They are a Summoner (Count Ivan), that raises skeleton warriors and archers, a unit of elite mounted Vampire Knights (lead by Duke Piotr), and a Werebat (Light Foot/Lesser Warbeast) that hulks out when he takes damage- but it’s an unstable transformation and he might go back to human at the wrong time. I’m actually going to use a Heroclix Man-Bat figure for his beast form.
The humans are going to be fun because I’m doing a mix of male and female Frostgrave soldiers, Frostgrave Barbarians, and Oathmark humans. All from different Liberated Principalities. They are lead by a Council of six wizards (including the Anna and Elsa figures that Northstar makes). They have a Beastmaster with an Owlbear companion. They are...The Human League.
As for the rules, I love them. The activation system is great. Each unit has a move, shoot, and attack value. 2d6 over it, and they do their action. Fail, and it’s like a Blood Bowl turnover. This makes choosing what to risk going first is a big deal, and you might find yourself either with a sweeping turn where everything acts or on the back heel when nothing does. Spells and Leader effects give you a couple of bonuses/rerolls but there’s always a chance to whiff your entire turn.
Regardless, units fight back with a Defense value if they are attacked so you can still retaliate off turn, and it kind of has that LOTR thing where there is a winner and loser, with the loser getting pushed.
After playing Warhammer for the past 2+ years, it’s refreshing to do single roll combat resolution. No armor or save rolls.
It plays really quickly and the scale is super flexible- it works for just a couple of units with small numbers of models or with big armies and larger regiments. I’m finding that I like 3/6 model regiments, with each representing two strength points toward the 6/12 totals. You can rank ‘em up or just follow the cohesion rules. We kind of do both depending on the unit. For example, Dwarven Hearthguard have Wall of Shields, so it makes since to have them in loose formation until they activate this defensive bonus, then they go into R&F.
Really just a fun, simple and high spirited game with TONS of room for you to make it your own.. The rulebook is -excellent- and I really like the light tone- Mersey makes some decent jokes throughout, including a rather unexpected Fields of the Nephilim reference.
I had thought I was going to try some of the other systems with these armies but I kind of think Dragon Rampant does exactly what I wanted.
But in the end, I just need a reasonable rules to put fun minis into table, and the game does that perfectly. It allows me to make, for example, Elven cavalry as Greater & Lesser Warbeasts, so they get less issues when in the woods.
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are different it’s really just a +1bump on the shoot value and the Heavy is a 7+ shoot instead of 6+ (since they are harder to reload/aim/fire/etc.). However, you can use the weighty projectiles trait to reduce the movement and get a 1 point discount on a Heavy, and on Light you can pay 2 points to make them Sharpshooters. So Heavy could be crossbowmen, Warplock Jezzails, a giant throwing boulders, or a cannon. The light could be pistoleers, slingers, or wizards with magic missiles. Then, you can also bring in other traits from other profiles, like Ranger or Evade.
So with the Elf riders- Elite Riders, add Ranger and I’d give them level-headed to remove Wild Charge. Maybe give them a 1 point increase? You coud also give them the Skirmish ability from the Scout profile. This could all make them different than a Warbeast, that might have Fear, breath attack, cunning, etc.
I think that is the only place where the rulebook goes wrong. All of the traits should be provided as options for all units at a cost.
But yes, if you remain strict to the profiles and rules- it is definitely more generic.
If it's restricted you can always break it. But if it's free points system, I feel that the designer had thrown the towel and let the players do whatever they want.
The process of distilling fantasy unit types into a small number of units is of great interest to me, and I think Dragon Rampant did very well on that front. At least, like you said, it provided great guidelines. And I found shoehorning your favorite fictional units to those unit types very, very fun and rewarding.
Michael Barnes wrote: ..this is a game like Gaslands where what you put into it in terms of creativity really pays off.
A little work- all of it a lot of fun- goes a long way to making the simple rules more specific and more narrative.
These are 100% the type of games my group enjoys. I vastly prefer being given a foundation to build my own fluff on top of than the set in stone lore of something like AOS. We've been playing Song of Blades and Heroes and Gaslands non-stop because of how much creativity those systems allow us to introduce. Every time I go to the store now I'm looking for cool minis/toys to try and work into the games.
Side note: I downloaded an $8 copy of Super Mission Force and it's also really fun. I've had a blast just statting up a bunch of Marvel and DC characters to field. Need to try Dragon Rampart as well.