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 -

(Andrew)
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)

(Mark)
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...  

11 comments:

Rodger said...

Very good report. The photos are great too. Only played Strandhogg twice but enjoyed not Saga yet. Strandhogg we played with 6 players and two warbands each. Great fun.

Ray Rousell said...

A great looking game, with excellent pics and figures.

Sean said...

Nice report, I am definitely interested in hearing more. One question about the names, did you come up with them yourselves? I liked them a lot and they seemed to have a little more flavor than some of the Age of Blood names.

wardy-la said...

Thanks for the nice comments chaps! Hopefully once we get going and make a decision on rules I will get more reports up.

Sean - some of the names I did borrow from previous knowledge (Thorir, Ragnar, Jari, and Sveirgir for example) but I took a lot from a random name generator here - http://ajs.com/~ajs/cgi-bin/mkname.cgi?list=Norse which is really useful for names to add something to your game.

Dan said...

Great look gaming and well done battle report. Thanks for sharing!

Paul´s Bods said...

Anyone who disturbs goats gets what he deserves!!! :-D
Nice looking game
Cheers
paul

Zombie Master said...

Lies, all lies, we were victorius with not even a scratch. Our archers were accurate as if guided by the fates themselves and we had more fun with the goats than anyone can imagine...

Sean said...

Thanks wardy-la, a useful resource. And goats are fine but sheep?! That's disgusting!

captain arjun said...

Always nice to see a game of Strandhogg being played.

Did you use the morale rules though?

wardy-la said...

Hi Captain.
Yes, we did use the morale rules - to be honest a couple of the 'deaths' in the game were probably fleeing warriors. In fact I remember Þjólfr and Skjörr were actually trying to leave combat with Jarl Thorir after a failed morale roll - he hacked them down as soon as they turned their backs!
Mark

captain arjun said...

Thanks.

You are right about shields being the best piece of equipment to have; I think this is a flaw in the rules and have changed the melee rules - you can read about them on my blog:

http://corblogme.blogspot.com/2011/08/strandhogg-rules-modification.html