Friday, 21 October 2011

Battle of Ulvik Fjord.

Our usual gaming group was at a bit of a loose end and down a couple of players the other night so we decided to try an impromptu test game for our planned Viking/Saxon campaign using the Strandhogg rules.

We kept it simple - two players (Andrew & myself) with one Noble and a warband each. As we had not playtested the rules yet we had a third player (Rob) as the referee to oversee the game rules and look after any villager/npc movement.

The warbands were set up as below -

Jarl Thorir (Noble w/ hand weapons)
Hæimkæll (Warband Leader w/ hand weapon and warhorn)
Rautr, Aðaldir, Áfasti, Reyrkir (Warriors x4 w/ hand weapons and shields)
Aldir (Archer w/ bow)

Jarl Ragnar (Noble w/ hand weapons)
Jari (Warband Leader w/ hand weapon and warhorn)
Ringrími, Ámungr, Skjörr, Þjólfr (Warriors x4 w/ hand weapons and shields)
Sveirgir (Archer w/ bow)

The brief scenario centered around a scouting raid led by Jarl Thorir on the neighbouring village of Jarl Ragnar across the Ulvik Fjord. Ragnar became aware of Thorir's plans and was waiting to the north of the village when the attackers arrived...

The peace of the sleepy village of Ulvik is shattered as Thorir and his men charge into the village. Jarl Ragnar awaits...

The first couple of moves were essentially the two small warbands charging into the centre of the village to join battle. Thorir had drawn a card that allowed his archer to open fire at great distance but use the 'Close Range' template.

Ragnar leads the way to meet the attackers. Thorir's archer, Aldir, chooses his target well...but misses! The arrow thuds into the shield of the shocked Ringrími just behind...

As the two warbands lined up to fight, a couple of rounds of arrows were fired off but to little effect. Ragnars archer Sveirgir managed to pick out his opposite number in the oncoming group but Aldir managed a save roll despite his light armour!

Ragnars man, Sveirgir, returns fire - he hits his target but the arrow has no effect. Aldir laughs, the gods are with him today!

With the bowmen having little effect (due to some lucky rolls) the opposing warbands waste no more time and get stuck in. The village rages with the sound of clashing steel and wood as the villagers start to flee.

The warbands crash into hand to hand combat...Hæimkæll and Jari face off against each other.

After a couple of rounds of intense fighting, Sveirgir, Ringrími and Ámungr lay dead on Ragnars side. Thorir's men, Áfasti and Reyrkir were also now in Valhalla. Hæimkæll and Jari continued to fight it out with no quarter being given. Ragner and Thorir traded insults across the din of the battle...

The battle rages. Ragnar shouts across the battle at Thorir. Anhild is upset that her goats have been disturbed and remonstrates with Aldir. Aldir laughs... (again)

The battle seemed to turn at this point. Þjólfr (with the grey and yellow shield) had been hanging back but saw his opportunity and charged into Rautr (with the purple cloak) slaying him instantly. Skjörr (with the green and yellow shield) managed to kill the two handed axe wielding Aðaldir and then under the influence of Ragnar, the two warrior decided to charge into Thorir. The Jarl met them both with a bellow and promptly cut them both down...

"Glory or Valhalla!!" Þjólfr and Skjörr rush to their ultimate doom...

With Skjörr lying dead next to him, Þjólfr starts to wonder if this was a good idea.

Hæimkæll finally managed to win his epic battle against Jari. The few left standing - Thorir, Hæimkæll and Aldir - turn to face the lone Ragnar...

Ragnar stands alone...

Deciding that discretion is the better part of valour, Ragnar makes a hasty retreat back to the hills to gather more men...

...and Thorir claims his glory!

Overall a simple and fun game. It has certainly helped us learn the basics and we all particularly liked the missile fire, the template idea providing a nice touch should your shot miss the mark. Melee felt a little bit clunky at first and shields seemed to be an essential but we gradually got used to it. We will probably try a couple of games with more warbands and larger forces to see how the Command Radius and formation rules work out. Once we have dissected these rules a little we may try out SAGA and see how it compares.

Now I just need to finish painting up those rather shiny looking animals...  

Friday, 7 October 2011

Workbench Update 2 - More Work in Progress.

In addition to the new Saxons I have also made a start on various other minis to swell the growing ranks of Vikings and Saxons.

First up are a few 'Viking Heroes' I bought from Simon of the Big Red Bat Cave. I have based and undercoated some of them including a Thor figure, the huge 'Rollo the Granger', 'Brogger the Bold', 'Happy Thoruiv the Flatulent', all from Foundry and Gripping Beast's 'Sven Forkbeard' swinging the large Danish axe. I feel sorry for the ones standing behind Thoruiv the Flatulent...

"What's that smell??" (middle row l-r) Brogger, Thor, Sven (front l-r) Rollo and Thoruiv.

Next are a small unit of Viking archers (also from Simon) all from Foundry.

Sigurd indicates which direction to fire in...

Lastly are a few Saxon villagers and an oxen pulled cart from Foundry, plus an unidentified plastic pig that I have no idea where she came from. Based and undercoated she seems to fit ok as a big ol' sow though!

Some Saxon villagers go about their daily business, blissfully unaware of what lies in wait for them.

A quick snap of the whole lot...

Figures from Foundry and Gripping Beast.

Our group are still leaning towards the Strandhogg system for our rules of choice, despite the release of Saga. They look to be a simple but effective set - for a great detailed review of them check out Cor Blog Me!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Workbench Update - More Saxons.

Despite the major distraction of primarily working on some WW2 bits for our planned Troops, Weapons & Tactics campaign over recent weeks I have made a start on the next batch of Saxons/Vikings etc and thought I would put up a quick post.

Above are 12 new Saxon types and an early Saxon Chieftain to the right. The are all Gripping Beast miniatures from the 'Saxon/German Tribes' range. I have managed to get most of the basic painting done on them so only need to think about detail and flesh work. Slightly anachronistic but in the background are some partially done Crusader Miniatures WW2 Germans and a wonderful Foundry sentry with his rather upset alsatian guard dog. Also on the back line are some Musketeer 'Inter-War Period' minis and the stunning 'Male Werewolf' from Reaper, probably one of the best werewolf sculpts I have come across.

Figures by Gripping Beast, Crusader Miniatures, Wargames Foundry, Musketeer Miniatures and Reaper Minis.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Mystery Solved!

Finally managed to track down the identity of the 'mystery figure' - was looking at the Mega-Minis site as suggested by Jagatai (thankyou) and in a round about way decided I was looking for a Barbarian of some sort. To cut a long story short I found the Lost Minis website and searched for 'Barbarians' - first thing that came up was the 'Barbarian Personalities' set from Asgard, sculpted by Jes Goodwin (who did lots of Citadel stuff) and though there wasn't a picture I deduced he was 'BP8 Aurock Storrirkin' - Stuff of Legends fortunately had pic and confirmed this:

He is the one on the bottom left. Don't know why this bothered me so much but I was on a mission to find out! I am usually pretty good at identifying old minis and was determined to track this one down! Thanks for the suggestions guys.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Mystery Figure...

Can anyone out there help me find out who made this chap below?

He has a 'viking' feeling' to him, with a strong fantasy element. Searched all over the web and still none the wiser :-(