Sunday, 28 June 2015

Lion Rampant: Wars of the Roses Campaigns


Although there is a short section in the Lion Rampant rule book about linking games together to form a narrative style campaign, I wanted something a little more (but not much more) in-depth for mine. The Wars of the Roses are a bit difficult in this respect however, as we are neither talking about constant warfare in the usual way, nor are we operating at anything like the level of armies.

For me one of the appeals of Lion Rampant is that it is of such a low level, that we are talking about the followings of individual 'lords'; knights, esquires and gentry. It is already a very personal game, with pre-battle boasts and the gaining of 'Glory' as a result, as well as the 1:1 figure to man scale into the bargain and I wanted to retain that personal feel within the campaign.

As is usual I have provided a summary of the rules here (dropbox file).

I have referred to the Lion Rampant Wars of the Roses lists I created in the rules, but it will not be rocket science to work out the equivalent units outlined in the rule book, should you fancy using these rules for other settings.

The Setting

Disputes between individual landowners in the 15th Century generally came down to two causes, the most common was the inheritance dispute, where a manor or other area of land was bequeathed to one person in a will, but other individuals felt they had a right to it by the rather complicated laws of inheritance. The second most common cause was the pursuit of political power within an area, whether in your own right, or to another individual who you had pinned your star to, hoping to benefit from their gaining of power in some way.

So with those aspects in mind, I will assume that the rivalry between the players originally extends from an inheritance dispute, but that both are attempting to create an 'affinity' (i.e. a group of allies and confederate lords) in the area they live in, so as to dominate local politics. The end of the 'campaign year' will see one player elected as a 'knight of the shire' (member of parliament).

Subsequent campaigns will see the previous winner toppled from his perch (for whatever reason you like) and the whole process begins all over again. The fallen winner of course does get to call himself 'Sir' rather than 'esquire' or 'gentleman' though and begins the new year with some 'glory' points.

This is a map-less campaign in principle, but there is no reason why you cannot make one for your campaign if you wish, or even construct one as you go along, adding places where battles are fought after they occur. The aim of these rules are for them to be quick as far as campaign admin goes however, with just a few minutes of work after each game.

Bookwork

Keeping a campaign journal or diary might be useful, but all you really need to keep track of are your 'Glory Point' pool, your Retinue Rosters and those of the other gents and esquires you have gathered in your affinity. Improvements and reductions in forces available will be reflected on your force's roster sheet and you could even keep the other details on the back of that as a running 'account'.

I have tried to keep record keeping to a minimum, but it is difficult to give a campaign any depth without it. Likewise the Campaign Turn sequence also needs some scrap paper work doing and a few minutes with your opponents to plan out how the Campaign Turn will progress. It is however pretty quick and the fine-tuning of your Retinues can be done in your own time. I have assumed throughout that the primary concern is to get figures on the table as soon as possible.