Saturday, 17 November 2018

Dux Bellorum beyond the Foyle

Happily ensconced on the Foyleside, we got in a quick and bloody game of Dux Bellorum. Lee led my Angles in their first game - a force consisting of warrior companions, one warband of noble warriors,  five warbands of ordinary warriors and some bow-armed skirmishers. The Angles took javelins for their warriors as a stratagem. I was the aggressor with a much smaller force of Ulstermen - warrior companions, four warbands of noble warriors, and some riders. I invested in two additional leadership points as a stratagem. As a result, although the Angles had the numbers, the army of Ulstermen were both better trained and better led.

The Angles deployed in a long line behind a muddy stream, their nobles and leaders in the center of the line, and the skirmishers at their extreme left. The Irish were spread out more with the companions second from the left, and the riders on the extreme right. 

In the opening turn, both armies made haphazard advances. One Germanic warband in particular struggled to make their way out of the river while the rest of the Angle warriors formed up in two new blocks. The Irish riders decided they didn't want to let the Anglian archers fire away at them as they negotiated the river and made a daring sweep between the closing lines outflank the Angles on the Irish left. 

Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way and the riders were caught by the howling Anglian warriors. The Irish king then threw himself forward to help extract them, and the supporting noble warriors did the same. The noble warriors of the Irish centre were outside of charge range, and so held back, while the right-most Irish warband flung themselves across the river into the Anglian skirmishers.

Despite their ferocious charge, the Ulster noble warriors only managed to inflict a single cohesion loss on the skirmishers!

As the Angles in the centre moved forward, the last uncommitted Ulster warriors charged into them. Over on the left flank, the Irish riders managed to pull out of the melee and negotiated their way back around the left flank. After a second round of combat, the Irish noble warriors managed to disperse the skirmishing Angles. 

The Irish riders charged back into the fray - now on their own terms - and the Irish noble warriors in the river shoved past the floating corpses of fallen archers to charge the Anglian warriors (still stuck in the muddy river) in the flank. In the centre, the Irish king was more than holding his own, resisting the attacks of the Anglian earl, and focusing his own attacks against the much more fragile common warriors. Everywhere, the Irish nobles were getting the better of the melee, although they were still outnumbered and there was always a chance that numbers would eventually tell.
But ultimately it was too late for numbers alone. Over two rounds of combat, the Irish riders, and then most of the Anglian warriors fled from the field of slaughter. Only three warbands still stood facing the Ulstermen, and those were spread out across a wide area.

The Ulstermen started encircling the Anglian earl and his companions to deliver the coup de grâce, the amphibious melee in the river ended in the Irishmen's favour and the Angles were routed. As the sodden warriors fled, the heart went out of their countrymen's fight and the last of the Angles pulled back to lick their wounds. 

We'd never played a game between two warrior armies before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. A lot of wild charges probably. Well, we got that sure enough. Happily, although both forces were warrior-based, they were actually quite distinct. With their aggression and cohesion ratings of 6, I reasoned that the Irish were both savage and resilient enough that all those extra LPs could be spent on blocking hits rather than increasing their attacks. Meanwhile, Lee threw all (as in every single one) of his LPs into his attacks. The outcome: my noble warriors shrugged off a lot of potential damage, while the less resilient common Angle warriors were cut to pieces. Another fun game of a cracking little rule set.


  1. Lovely looking game that sounds like great fun too! I'm prepping Saxons and late Romans to have a go at this game, I've already bookmarked your earlier posts about Dux B for inspiration!
    Best Iain

  2. Nice report with splendid figures!

  3. Excellent battle report

    Take care