Last night I played host to Snicket and we played a game of the new osprey medieval rules, Lion Rampant.
Having managed to sort out some units of figures for us to choose from we went for the recommended 24 point retinues and ended up choosing identical sets consisting of a unit of mounted men at arms (containing our leaders), a unit of expert foot serjeants (halberds), a unit of normal foot serjeants (spear), a unit of crossbow and a unit of archers. The men at arms are six figures strong and all the rest are all 12 figures. Unlike warhammer there is no need to rank them up (which we kept doing out of habit!) unless they are using a formation like schiltron that serjeants can use. The units can move in blobs with figures all with 3" of a central figure.
We rolled for a scenario from the book and got 'Defending the Indefensible'. One retinue were defending and object (in this case a siege cannon) placed in the middle of the table and the other retinue were trying to smash it. All the attackers had to do was get a single figure in contact with the cannon and they win.
We rolled for attacker/defender and Snicket got to attack while I got to place up to 10 points of my force around the cannon and the rest at the table edge. Snicket set his retinue up at the opposite table edge.
but Snicket scored enough to kill my leader...
The game would be decided on whoever could activate their unit. Their followed a tense series of rolls where we both failed to get our units into action. My acrchers wouldn't move forward and risk being ridden down by the knights and Snickets horses were blown from all the charging around and needed convincing to make one last move.
We were both really impressed by the rules. Once we got in to the sing of things they were easy and characterful. The retinues are just the right size for a smart little force without having to spend months working on them and the activation system lends a level of tension as you try and get your troops to do what you want them to. The moral system works really well, once a unit is down to half strength then their effectiveness is drastically affected. The game is a lot less bloody than things like warhammer meaning that casualties tend to be more of a trickle than a flood and this has the effect of keeping the units effective for longer but also gradually wearing units down rather than simply disappearing in a puff of smoke. We both agreed that we'd be playing it again. It seems to be really customisable so would suit lots of different games. A really neat little set of rules that work well for a really pretty reasonable price. Who'd have thunk it?