Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

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Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Dux Bellorum

Clash of lines
For our game at the club yesterday Martin was fancying a go at the Dux Bellorum rules from Osprey using his Twilight of Britannia troops against my Early Saxon Kingdoms fellows.

Martin had not played before and I was rather rusty only having played a couple of time s before and most recently during our demo game at Salute 2013.

We would play the Annals battle and both picked 32pt forces. I used: Foot Commitatus, 2 Noble Warriors, 2 Ordinary Warriors, 1 Skirmisher with javelins and 2 extra Leadership Points. Martin used Mounted Comitatus, 1 Noble Rider, 2 Ordinary Riders, 4 Ordinary Shieldwall, 2 Skirmishers with bows and 2 extra Leadership Points.

Rolling for the Aggressor and Repeller Martin rolled very high and would be attacking me with his Shieldwalls. I laid out the terrain with a wood on one flank and a cornfield on the other and we deployed our forces as per the image on the right.

Martin started with some desultory bow fire which my chaps shrugged off and soon the lines were closing. The first combat was initiated with the Noble Riders charging my javelin armed skirmishers in the in the corn, after two rounds of combat we had inflicted no cohesion point on each other (we were playing that you could only use a single leadership to avoid a cohesion point per combat). Eventually the infantry lines clashed and then I made my first mistake. The riders had finally inflicted a cohesion point on my skirmishers and forced them to recoil. I used an LP to take the initiative and move them away from the riders, this unfortunately allowed the riders to bugger off somewhere more effective as they were were not within one base width of an enemy unit - arse - I did however put a couple of cohesion point son with the javelins first though.

The infantry lines were now going at it hammer and nails and the Saxons were getting the upper hand but casualties were mounting on both sides. On my right a unit of warriors managed to tied down and beat up both units of riders who had become stuck in the woods.

Now things were really looking up for the Saxons, Martin had lost four units and myself none, the LPs' were really in my favour and I just needed to clear up. Of course now things started to go wrong!

Having beaten up all the supporting horse and skirmishers on his left flank my warriors fell upon his shieldwall on that side engaging to the front and flank. In one combat I had fifteen dice to get a six and did not roll one, Martin rolled his three attacks back and scored three fives killing off a unit of mine that was already down to three cohesion points. A few of my other units finally succumbed and things were looking quite even now.

Surrounded and they still fought me off!
My foot comitatus were pants, engaged from very early on against the shield-walls in about twelve rounds of combat they had inflicted a single cohesion point on the unit that they were engaged with - pants! They finally let me down badly, in the same turn, both Martin and I dropped to below 50% my comitatus made their morale roll and threw an 11 stupid buggers! Martin also failed a roll and we were both now at the 75% mark - both armies simultaneously routed.

An ignoble draw after it was all going so well. I blame those bloody la-de-dah Saxon nobles, effete in the fight and then running away when things got sticky.

More photos from the game. My collection is almost entirely Musketeer Miniatures painted by myself, Martins is Gripping Beast painted by himself.


  1. Great pics! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great looking figures and gaming, Paul. You are a maestro of rule sets!

  3. Thanks chaps.
    Dean, if you had seen me frantically scrolling through the pages last night you would not have said that :)

  4. Very jealous, that looks great.
    Been wanting to play Dux Bel again for a while.
    Must try and get across to Mansfield one evening...
    Martin's army looks splendid.

  5. How did you find the rules after such a hiatus? Were they better or worse - or more fun - than you remembered?

    I think they are great without having played them yet! Al the figures and painted and ready to go, I just keep thinking about basing them on round bases instead of rectangles...

    Hope to see another report on the rules soon!

    Cheers, Sean.

  6. That is some lovely eye candy! Great painting all around.