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Monday, 5 September 2016

Battle of Guoloph 437 AD - Dux Bellorum Game

Ambrosius' army on the hill, Vortigern's army on the right

View from the opposite end

Skirmishers advance on both flanks

Vortigern's troops advance towards the hill

Several confusing melees ensue

Last Sunday afternoon Craig came over to my place and we played a Dux Bellorum game of the Battle of Guoloph, 437 AD. This scenario featured in an article by Steve Jones in an issue of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy magazine. The army of Vortigern is a Romano-British force with an allied Saxon contingent, notable more for its numbers than the quality of its troops. Ambrosius' smaller army has better quality Romano-British troops, including good cavalry and is deployed on a hill but has the problem of being heavily outnumbered.

This turned out to be a cracker of a game that went right down to the wire. Vortigern's army attacked Ambrosius' army on the hill and casualties quickly mounted on both sides. The shieldwall and warrior units in the centre ground away at each other and the cavalry combat on Vortigern's right flank was a messy and protracted affair. Vortigern's Companions were particularly effective but both sides reached 50% casualties in the same turn. Vortigern's army made a Bravery test first, the foot skirmishers routed but all the other units passed. Ambrosius' Noble Shieldwall unit passed but the Companions, including Ambrosius himself, routed on a roll of 11 when they only had to get a 10!

This was a great scenario which we both really enjoyed - such a close result. Incidentally Craig has designed a really, good comprehensive Dux Bellorum quick reference sheet which is much better than the one in the rule book. I don't know if he plans to post it on the Dux Rampant forum but I'm sure others would certainly appreciate his efforts.

Casualties mount on both sides

Vortigern's Companions break another cavalry unit

Both sides are on the verge of routing

Vortigern is victorious! 


  1. Nice looking game Cyrus! I still haven't tried the game yet which I must remedy some day.


    1. Thanks Christopher, I think Dux Bellorum is a great set of rules - really flexible and a lot of fun to play. I'm looking forward to the release of Men Who Would Be Kings later this month.

  2. Looking very nice indeed Cyrus!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Ray, it was a lot of fun.

  4. Looks beautiful, congrats Vortigern!

    1. Thanks Phil, the dice gods were on Vortigern's side.

  5. great looking little game there. would love to read more about your views of Dux Bellorum.

    1. Thanks Paul, it is a great set of rules for small to medium sized dark ages games. It is fully flexible in terms of scale and basing (all measurements are in base widths). What is really clever is the command point system which you allocate to groups and
      individual units but you lose these as you take casualties.