Saturday, 17 November 2012

Campaign - Nordic Heritage.

The last scan comes from the July-August 1990 edition of Practical Wargamer, written by the appropriately named Andrew Glasgow.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Campaign - 9th Century Dark Ages Campaign.

This scan is from the September 1990 issue of Wargames Illustrated and presents a Dark Ages Campaign idea by Kenneth Clark.

Next up - a Scottish based campaign.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Scenario - The Battle of Maldon.

The scan is from the January-February 1992 edition of Practical Wargamer by J. Aird.

We return to Essex and this article / scenario concerns the Battle of Maldon in 991. 

The Battle of Maldon took place on 10 August 991 near Maldon beside the River Blackwater in Essex, England, during the reign of Aethelred the Unready. Earl Byrhtnoth and his thegns led the English against a Viking invasion. The battle ended in an Anglo-Saxon defeat. After the battle Archbishop Sigeric of Canterbury and the aldermen of the south-western provinces advised King Aethelred to buy off the Vikings rather than continue the armed struggle. The result was a payment of 10,000 Roman pounds of silver, the first example of Danegeld in England.

Statue of Brythnoth in Maldon.

An account of the battle, embellished with many speeches attributed to the warriors and with other details, is related in an Old English poem which is usually named The Battle of Maldon. A modern embroidery created for the millennium celebration in 1991 and, in part, depicting the battle can be seen at the Maeldune Centre in Maldon.

One manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle said a Norwegian, Olaf Tryggvason, led the Viking forces, estimated to have been between 2,000 and 4,000 fighting men. A source from the 12th century, Liber Eliensis, written by the monks at Ely, suggests that Byrhtnoth had only a few men to command: "he was neither shaken by the small number of his men, nor fearful of the multitude of the enemy". Not all sources indicate such a disparity in numbers.

Next - A Dark Ages Campaign.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Scenario - The Cross of Waltham.

Another scan of a scenario by Lee Mills from the September -October 1990 Practical Wargamer.

The Essex based scenario concerns the escapades of Olaf the One Eyed and his attempt to wrestle the "Miraculous Cross of Waltham" from Tovi and the defenders of Waltham.

Next up - more Essex action with the Battle of Maldon.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Scenario - Viking Raid.

Digging around the (very) old wargame magazine pile, I came across a few interesting articles and scenarios for Dark Ages / Vikings and thought I would scan and post for interest.

First up is a 'Solitaire Scenario' from Practical Wargamer Magazine by Stuart Asquith from the early 1990's.

Hope you can make use of this one!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Crazed Naked Berserkers!

Berserkers, so prominent in Hrolf's Saga, are the remnants in Christian times of older stories. In pre-Christian Scandinavia, berserkers seem to have been members of cults connected with Odin in his capacity as god of warriors. Snorri Sturluson in Ynglinga Saga, recalling numerous elements of ancient lore, describes Odin's warriors in this way:

His men went to battle without armor and acted like mad dogs or wolves. They bit into their shields and were as strong as bears or bulls. They killed men, but neither fire nor iron harmed them. This madness is called berserker-fury.

The berserkers of the saga, who often appear as the core of the king's warband, are at times reminiscent of the retinue of warriors surrounding Odin and may ultimately derive from ancient bear cults. Debate has centered on the meaning of the word itself. Berserker could mean "bare shirt," that is, naked; berserkers, as a mark of ferocity and invincibility, are said to have fought without needing armor. The word, however, may also mean "bear-shirt," reflective of the shape and nature of the bear assumed by these warriors. More literally, it may refer to protective bearskins that such warriors may have worn into battle. When the "berserker rage" was upon him, a berserker was thought of as a sort of "were-bear" (or werewolf), part man, part beast, who was neither fully human nor fully animal. Although not specifically so called, Bodvar Bjarki is a berserker of sorts. He appears at Hrolf's final battle in the form of a huge bear, invulnerable to weapons. In both his invulnerability and his ability to change shape, Bodvar also displays preternatural abilities resembling those of Odinic champions.

The Úlfhéðnar / Ulfhednar (singular Úlfhéðinn), mentioned in the Vatnsdœla saga, Haraldskvæði and the Völsunga saga, were said to wear the pelt of a wolf when they entered battle. Úlfhéðnar are sometimes described as Odin's special warriors, with the pelt from a wolf and a spear as distinguishing features.

Here is a small group of crazy, pumped up and naked berserkers...viewers easily offended should look away now!

Ulfhednar Skeggi and his men prepare for battle!

Figures are from Black Tree Designs.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Viking Warrior.

First Viking Warrior done for a while. More to come...

Ingulbjörn prepares for battle!

Figure is a Foundry Viking.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Dark Age Villagers.

Rob (GM) has finished the painting commission for me of the selection of Dark Age villagers by Black Tree Design and Trent Miniatures so I thought I would put up a few pics of his excellent work. I still haven't quite finished all of my other villagers but a some point I will post a pic of the whole set up!

First up is Lady Angarad of St. Osyth, daughter of Ealdorman Godric.

Lady Angarad.

Next is Lady Angarad and her family, Ealdorman Godric and his wife Mildrith, uncle (and village blacksmith) Cynred and brother Hunberht.

Cynred, Angarad, Hunberht, Mildrith and Ealdorman Godric. 

Here we have Osbeorth, a local farmer and his family, wife Inga, sons Tohrwulf and Sibbi, daughters Waerburh and Bebbe.

Inga, Tohrwulf, Osbeorth, Waerburh and Bebbe, Sibbi.

A picture of the villagers together.

The villagers gather outside the Ealdormans house.

The next pictures are of the local druid Cadwallon and some slaves captured from a rival village.

The gathering at the stones of Crocky Grove.

The captives under guard.

Cadwallon and Frithegith prepare a hapless 'tribute'..

Stigath, Frithegith and Cadwallon.

A close up of Frithegith and Cadwallon.

Sorry looking captives wonder of their fate...

Next are some 'casualty' figures. Various injured and dead.


Lastly as shot of all the miniatures together.

Figures are all 'Ancients' from Black Tree Design apart from Lady Angarad who is actually the Trent Miniatures Maid Marian figure sculpted by Mark Copplestone.

All figures painted by Rob A aka GM.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Commission Update.

Have been a bit behind on everything lately, my daughter was ill in hospital for close to two weeks.  She's up and well now so I thought I'd better get back to our hosts painting request. Here's the latest Mark.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Skirmish at Thorringhall Wood.

After recovering from his injuries, Jarl Ragnar and his faithful bodyguard Rurik retreated from Arlesford to set up camp in Thorringhall Wood. Here they hoped to lick their wounds and await reinforcements from Ragnars brother Otrygg.

Whilst passing through the warband stumble across a hamlet in a clearing in the trees - as they approach the outskirts they see an ancient shrine to the battle slain, unaware that they have already been spotted and followed by the Saxon militia of Thorrington (near Alresford) under the command of ageing Ealdorman Tunberht.

View of the hamlet from the North showing the Church of Saint Harry Harrison.

View from the East with Ealdorman Tunberht's abode.

View from the South and Jarl Ragnar's approach.

The old pagan worship site of Jymdegrizz. A tribute to the dead.

Ealdorman Tunberht assembles his men.

Ragnar approaches the hamlet with Rurik in the background.

The Saxons make slow progress...

...and Ragnars drunken thrall cautiously move alongside the pathway... his bondi move through the edge of the forest with Ruriks beserkers in tow.

The Saxon ceorl move through the hamlet.

After sporadic bowfire between the sides, neither seems willing to commit to battle.

A face off begins across the hamlet as Rurik leads his men to the Saxons flank.

Ruriks beserkers and Tunberhts huscarl rain blows upon one another...

...and Rurik lets out a bellow as he cuts down Ealdorman Tunberht!

The Saxon forces looked on in horror as their leader fell to the ground - within moments they began to flee into the surrounding woods.

Ragnar congratulated Rurik on the well won victory. The warband were organised and guards posted. Tonight his men would sleep under thatched roof and dine on pork belly!


Viking Raiders (Rob)
Jarl Ragnar
1 unit of Hirdmen (4 x Hearthguard)
1 unit of Beserkers (4 x Hearthguard)
1 unit of Bondi (8 x Warriors)
1 unit of Thrall (12 x Levy)

Anglo-Saxon Defenders (ZM)
Ealdorman Tunberht
1 unit of Huscarl (4 x Hearthguard)
1 unit of Huscarl (4 x Hearthguard)
1 unit of Ceorl (8 x Warriors)
1 unit of Gebur (12 x Levy)

We fought this quick Saga battle that ultimately only lasted four turns! We played the '"Clash of Warlords" scenario with 4 point warbands.

Despite continuously moving forward to meet his adversary ZM had trouble getting his Saxon levy into the action and they spent most of the game crossing the fences in the hamlet. Robs viking raiders attempted a flanking attack but ultimately withdrew when faced by the relentless movement towards them of the Saxons. Rob began to retreat and ZM followed and gave a good chase but neither side was really able to commit to battle. After some moving too-and-fro and some sporadic bow fire causing some casualties, Rob managed to get his beserkers (under Rurik the Restless) to move to the Saxons exposed flank. Spotting this, ZM gave a manic charge into the oncoming beserkers with a handful of his Huscarl. In the ensuing combat, the beserkers came out on top and poor Tunberht was cut to pieces despite the heroic sacrifice of two of his bodyguard, ending the game. This was ZM's first game of Saga and to be honest he fared well despite being unable to use many of the abilities on his battleboard. Rob had learned from our first encounter and used the beserkers to good effect (unlike I had, where they were frustratingly held on the wrong side of the river!) and the flanking attack drew ZM and his best troops to fight. The dice-gods were with him today!