Review: The Raiders for Dux Britanniarum. The Picts, Scotti & Irish in the Age of Arthur

Rating: 4 stars

In Dux Britanniarum, we saw very two-sided glimpse of Dark Age Britain, as the Britons fought the arrival of the Saxons and other Germanic tribes. This was, of course, only part of the story, and with ‘The Raiders’ supplement, Too Fat Lardies look to the West and the North as both Briton and Saxon are assaulted by the Irish, the Scotti and the Picts.

Though historical and archaeological evidence is minimal, Richard Clarke has drawn on sources such as Gildas, Nennius and the Venerable Bede to piece together an historical picture of these feared raiders.

Raiding forces tend to be lightly armed, but deploy a higher proportion of cavalry – this is reflected in the rules for new units.

The first half of the book gives the details of the Picts, Irish and Scotti: their forces, reinforcements and how they campaign. In addition to these three raider forces, this part of the book also gives details of a variation of the existing British force for the Men of the North. This entails replacing a unit of Elite Warriors and a unit of Warriors with two units of Shock Cavalry, thus giving the British access to a much more mobile force.

The Second part of the book includes the changes that are need to the game rules in order to use this supplement with the existing rules. This includes changes to the Fate Deck (The Raiders supplement comes with an additional card deck, which gives fate cards for the new forces), terrain generation (as we are no longer simply dealing with the more civilised Roman parts of Britain) and also rules for covering same-force combat (and how the fate-decks work). Rules are then given for Raiders and Noble Raiders, Commanded Skirmishers, and Skirmish, Raider and Noble Raider cavalry, as well as War Hounds for the Picts.

Dux-Maps

The third part of the book looks at changes that are made to the campaign system, looking at career paths for the new forces, and how the Raiders add to the existing campaign. Map symbols such as structures, industries and armourers now take in meaning in this new game. We also have two beautiful new maps, drawn once again by Coral Sealey; one of the lands of the Irish, the other of the kingdoms of the Picts and Scotti.

Finally, the book gives several ideas for using this supplement in your games of Dux Britanniarum. You can use Raiders as a random event in your ongoing campaign between Britain and Saxon. You may use a Raider force as mercenaries. You could use the book for gaming a campaign of Irish or Picts invading the lands of the British. Finally, you could indeed forget Britain all together, and fight a campaign to unite Scotland under the Picts or Scotti, or fight to become the High King of Ireland. Any of these options is now open to you.

The Raiders supplement, whilst not essential to your games of Dux Britanniarum, will add much more flexibility and scope into you games, and give players some new forces to master.

The rulebook is well produced – it’s a 40 pages full colour, paperback book, and the cards are again very well made, although, and this is one of my only disappointments with this supplement, it would have been nice to have them in a box, rather than just plastic wrapped.

The new forces for this game are very accessible, with manufacturers such as Gripping Beast, Crusader and Westwind already producing miniatures for them and since the basic outlay of troops is only for about 40 miniatures, with between four and eight being mounted. Further reinforcements of you troops would only require between 20 and 30 more models, so you could build up your forces slowly.

All in all, this isn’t a book that you would want to pass on, if you are a fan of the original game.

The Raiders for Dux Britanniarum is available from Too Fat Lardies in paper and electronic format.

 

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