Hexing Lion and Dragon Rampant.

hex lion rampant

I really enjoy Dan Mersey’s rules and I have Dux Bellorum, Lion Rampant, Dragon Rampant, The Men Who Would be Kings and Rebels and Patriots.

After joining the Sheffield Wargames Society about a year ago, I was introduced to some great miniatures games on hex or square grids. I liked the speed of play that these brought rather than lots of fiddly measuring. When COVID reared its ugly head and we started playing games over the internet, it rapidly became clear that grids were the way to go when playing with Zoom or Skype.

So, taking both the above into account, it seemed to make sense to have ago at seeing if Lion/Dragon Rampant could be played on a grid. What follows are my thoughts on how this might be done. These are based on Dragon Rampant but could easily be applied to Lion Rampant.


There are four movement rates in Dragon Rampant. Foot move 6 or 8 inches and mounted move 10 or 12 inches. One of my design criteria was to be able to play on a small Kallistra hex grid eg 8 x 8 with each hex representing 6 inches. I decided to have a 1 hex move rate for infantry and 2 hexes for mounted. In order to give lighter units some advantage in movement, I introduced some turning restrictions. Heavy foot (basic 6″ movement) and heavy mounted (10″ basic movement) can only turn 60 degrees or about face for free. Other turns cost a hex of movement. Light foot or mounted (base move of 8 or 12″) can make two such free turns in a turn. Scouts/skirmishers can turn as often as they want for free.


The original rules have 1/2 movement rate in difficult going such as woods. I can’t have 1/2 hex movement so the rule is that most troops who are allowed in such terrain must remain stationary for a turn after they move in. Those with the Fleet Footed trait can move freely as usual.


Troops can only shoot or charge into their front 3 hexes. Also, Armour is reduced by one if shot at or charged into their rear three hexes.


This was relatively easy – just divide the existing ranges by 6 to give the range in hexes. Eg Foot missiles (18″) are 3 hex range and Short range missiles (6″) are 1 hex.


In order to maintain the ratio between shooting ranges and movement, I decided to make it the rule that a unit must charge into the enemy hex to initiate close combat. The alternative was to add a hex to missile ranges. If you don’t do one of these, troops may be able to charge straight in without taking any fire when they wouldn’t be able to do this in the original rules.


Units retreat 1 hex. If this is blocked, the normal rules apply.

Size of units.

As it is really unit strength points that matters in this game rather than numbers of figures, I generally made one figure = 2 strength points and used markers to indicate casualties. I made large monsters etc 6 or even 12 points per model. This helps make sure that there is enough room in a hex, particularly when two opposing units are in close combat.

The trial game worked well – it ran smoothly and quickly – and seemed to maintain the feel of the original rules. I look forward to any comments or further ideas!

3 thoughts on “Hexing Lion and Dragon Rampant.

  1. I’ve been Playing To The Strongest (gridded ancients game) – it works really well on-line. There is an ECW variant that has gained considerable traction at Scimitar Its the first time I’ve come across an ECW set that works – joy!

    Have you looked at Fantastic Battles by Nic Wright – (Who did Irregular Wars). Not had cance to play but looks really good. VERY well set out beautifully illustrated & this time there are even rules for finishing the game đŸ™‚


  2. Hi Pete and good to hear from you. I have heard good things about TTS ECW and perhaps ought to give it a go. I have heard of Fantastic battles – I have Nick’s Galleys and Galleons and Irregular wars, which are a hoot. Oh dear – so many rules, so little time! Currently also enjoying One hour wargaming and Portable Wargame.



    Liked by 1 person

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