Saturday, May 14, 2016

Hammer and Tongs - Viking Day 2016

"Mercians smell of goat dung!"
"Ooooh! You take that back, Aethelbert!"

For those of you living under a rock, last Saturday was International Viking Day (you mean you didn't know? Shame on you!). To celebrate, NWA held it's annual Dark Ages event, this time using a home-made variation on the Lion Rampant skirmish rules. Different to SAGA, but still easy to learn, and quick and fun to play.

Paul takes his wargaming seriously (or is that not seriously enough?)

I played two games with Ian KH of This 28mm Life, Once against his Anglo-Saxons and once against his Normans. I ended up losing both games (quelle surprise!), but had couple of successes along the way. I fielded my Anglo-Saxons in both games, using 2 units of Hearthguard (or the Rampant version thereof), one of Sergeants, one of Fyrd and one of missile troops.

In the first game against Ian's Anglo-Saxons, things started quite promisingly with my two units of hard men supported by the archers steaming in to take on Ian's best troops. One of my units fared quite well and the archers were doing sterling work in support. However, the unit with my leader had the worst of their combat and followed up with a disastrous morale role, breaking from the field and forcing morale checks on the rest of the army! The Fyrd and the Sergeants valiantly tried to stem the rot, but couldn't cope with the numbers against them and were dispatched by their foes. Only the archers remained on the field having inflicted more casualties than they took.

My Anglo-Saxons start off protecting the ford.

Ian's objective was to capture the ford from me

I won initiative. the Fyrd cross the ford as the Hearthguard moves ahead in the distance.

Hearthguard in the lead, while the missile troops head to the hill onthe flank.

Two small Hearthguard against the might of the enemy. Maybe not the best tactics?

Ian's Fyrd has God on their side!

Ian's Sergeants form a shieldwall...

...just in time to meet my Hearthguard's charge!

I won, but still the odds are against me!

When you're on to a good thing, stick to it! I followed up with another charge, but the buggers wouldn't run; they kept saving their morale tests!

My Fyrd finally crosses the river to take on the flanking force of Ian's other Fyrd unit.

Bad news! My second Hearthguard unit, including the warlord, breaks for the rear! (Note ominous Battered maker)

The warlord manages to rally his men and turn back to the fray.

Ian's warlord and retinue then pile in...

...followed up by his Fyrd unit. The Fyrd were too much for the delicate princesses of the warlord's retinue, who break for the rear , never to be seen again! (The shame!)

My Sergeants finally managed to activate and cross the river, piling into the Fyrd  in a brutal act of vengeance.

Too little, too late though. My forces are scattered with my last Hearthguard unit about to be overwhelmed.

Fyrd vs. Fyrd.

Ian's Sergeants were better than mine :-(

My last unit of Hearthguard are being pushed back on the right of the picture, soon to be driven off the table. The Fyrd on the left are about to be overwhelmed  as well!

Ian's victorious warlord, Aelf Garnett: "Bloody foreigners!"

My archers loose a final volley before conceding the game.

In a near mirror of the first game, the Anglo-Saxons came out swinging, but ended up on the wrong side of a drubbing. If I'd played a bit more to my strengths and used the Normans' abilities against them things could have ended differently. Instead, I stood my ground and ended trampled under the hooves of the impetuously charging Norman knights. My archers only just missed managing shooting down all the knights, but paid the price of being out in the open!

Ian's Stormin' Normans!

Including knights!

My sergeants started across the river this time. Strength in numbers!

Guillaume de Connard leads his knights.

Ian's sergeants

One hearthguard unit...

...and the other. Will they put up a better fight this time?

Hearthguard, fyrd and archers start behind the ford. Ian's object was to try to take the ford off me and end the game in control of the river crossing.

The second hearthguard crosses... be met by a wild charge by the Norman knights!

While the clash takes place behind them, the warlord and his retinue, plus the sergeants, move up on the main body of Normans.

"Feel my spear-point, Norman scum!"
The hearthguard go down swinging against the wall of horseflesh!

The other hearthguard and the warlord take on the Norman sergeants.

Inconclusive combat!

The knights follow up against the weakened hearthguard...

...and then crash into the fyrd, which had foolishly crossed the ford at the wrong moment!

Ian's second unit of knights charge my remaining hearthguard and warlord!

The sergeants are then sent packing!

The warlord goes down swinging, his loyal retinue dead around him!

Keep running lads!

Safety's this way!

Only the archers remain, wisely on the other side of the river (all this time they'd been trying, unsuccessfully, to find another crossing point!)

The archers spray missiles at the approaching sergeants

They peppered the advancing knights.

A reduced force manages to ford the river and gain the other side!

The archers repel the sergeants' charge across the river.

"Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough!"

Archers charged by the knights. They managed to knock off one on the approach...

...and another in the combat!

Still, there's a lot more Normans to come.

One more charge by Guillaume le Connard puts paid to the Anglo-Saxon resistance!


  1. Nice report, these armies look furious and beautiful!

  2. Brilliant, but mow I want to play Saxons snd Normans.

  3. Wonderfull battle report! But I'm very happy with the many pictures! Very inspirational for me!


  4. Love it, what a great way to celebrate the day!


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