The turn sequence alternates between attacker and defender, by the mobility level of troops. Skirmishers go before mounted units who go before foot units. But this sequence can be interrupted by leadership abilities. Each unit must pass a bravery test in order to move (or if it's the frenzied sort, not to move), and again, you may use leadership points to influence them.
Thus, Leadership Points provide a welcome additional level of complexity and thought to the game. Your general generates a number of Leadership Points -- which can be more or less depending on how much you're willing to pay. You then allocate the points to units or groups at the beginning of the turn, and spend them during play to achieve different effects. You can spend them to cancel hits on your units, to interrupt the sequence of play, or to modify your dice rolls for bravery. So, rather as in Saga, you must manage resources and set priorities in order to win.
So is it Dux vs. Saga, then?
|Another ruleset to learn?|
Moreover, Dux Bellorum covers a different historical period than Saga: both are Dark Age games, but Dux Bellorum runs from the Romano-British era through the Saxon invasions, into the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. It ends pretty much where Saga kicks off -- with the Vikings. You can just about stretch Dux to include early Vikings, but if you are particular about your little round-shielded warriors, they just ain't from the same time.
This, along with basing issues, complicates the inter-compatibility of your model collection. If you have your Saga figures on square bases, you can fit up a movement tray easily enough. (Or use the rather unsatisfying work-around rules in Dux itself.) Round bases will make this more of a chore. Your figures will not be strictly accurate for the period, but you can probably make do with every army except the Normans, who just need to stay at home.
Anyway, I quite like Dux Bellorum, which seems a solid, well-designed game with plenty of interest on its own, and as a way to play with an existing collection of Saga models. I look forward to some games.