So my recent return to miniature painting was sparked by the Dark Ages/Viking campaign that the club I regularly game with wanted to run. I got a bunch of minis, painted them all up and had a horde of Saxons ready to go.
I believe we played one game.
I knew we had a bunch of guys with figures and I had an interesting set of Viking rules called Strandhogg that I'd been meaning to try out. So I put out the call and a couple Saturdays ago we had a fight.
I set up a pretty simple smash and grab raid between two forces of Vikings and Saxons. Here's an overview of the battlefield form the Saxon side (say the Viking table edge is North):
Each side had two warbands made up of around 50 figures. There were 10 buildings in the village stretched out along the center of the table and each building had a slip of paper under it. Some of the paper was blank, but some of it was loot -- sacks of gold, religious artifacts, a pig -- six treasures of varying victory point value hidden among them. You could also score points for taking out warband commanders and the overall noble in charge of each army group. Both sides set up and then made a rush for the gold.
Well, a bit of a slow rush:
Warband groups generally move at the speed of their commander which is 6 inches. There was quite a bit of distance to cover, but the Saxons on the east side of the board reached their buildings first and quickly scored some impressive loot. The Vikings you see approaching them ransacked their buildings only to find...nothing. So they were going to have to beat up the Saxons opposite them and take their gold instead.
Meanwhile, the slow pace really hampered the western side of the board:
The Vikings maintain good order through the hedges, but the Saxons race ahead to check out buildings across a wide front. It would be a bit before those groups came into contact.
But back on the other side of the board, things got busy in a hurry:
The veteran warriors from the viking line plowed into the Saxon archers on the right of the photo. One of the interesting things about this game is how chancy combat is. Although the archers are terrible melee fighters, they did manage to get the odd kill in from time to time and they managed to stand tough a surprising amount. However, they aren't really built for this kind of fight and were slowly cut down by the Viking's swords.
Missile fire in this game is really fun. You get this clear acetone template that you lay down over the target. Then roll a d10. Roll low enough and you hit the target. Roll high and you miss, but there are other target zones on the template. If another figure is under a target zone and you roll its hit number -- you hit that guy instead. The Saxon player never darkened the skies with arrows, but the Viking levy troops (the group in the upper-middle) started hurling javelins into the Saxons, specifically trying to target the leader. Although the Saxon leader survived several rounds (and wound up with a shield that was mostly javelin), the relentless pelting eventually got through and he was taken out.
On the other side of the board, the Vikings found a pig:
Meanwhile, the eastern side of the board turned into a real meat-grinder:
What you don't see in middle are the two mighty warbands that crashed into each other. Now only a handful is left from either side. The warriors were more evenly matched and bad rolls had everyone dropping like flies. But on the right side of the picture you can see the Viking veterans. Having dispatched the archers, they're now rushing towards the loot-bearing Saxons.
And really, that was pretty much it. Back on the western side of the board, there were a couple of sharp exchanges, but the Vikings had so clearly routed the Saxons on the eastern side (plus the pig) it wasn't even close. The Vikings were victorious.
Everyone seemed to have a good time and was keen to try out the game again. I need to come up with some sort of fast movement rule to help folks cover ground or deal with chasing down heavily-laden opponents and such. But once combat was joined things moved at a fair clip and combat was a real roller-coaster. So hopefully we can get in a few more sessions and my little dudes were not painted in vain.