16 April 2011

The Battle for the Bridge: Part 1

...being the next installment in our Dark Ages fun and our Age of Blood campaign!   This time the vikingr warbands of Ken, Steve and the Lad will fight a battle scenario against some very angry Saxons.

The Scenario

Ealdorman Aelthelm of Northemberland has been informed of a raid on his lands.  He is not amused and orders the fyrd assembled to hunt them down.  However, he knows this will take time and the raiders will already be trying to make good their escape.

To buy the time he needs for the fyrd to assemble, Aelthelm orders one of his vassals, Lord Uhtred, to ride ahead with his retainers as an advance force and hold the bridge.  This bridge is the only way to cross the low-lying swamps in the area and the chokepoint will give an advantage to its defenders.

If all goes well and Uhtred holds the bridge against the raiders, the fjord will come up form behind and crush the raiders; recovering the pillaged loot and gaining Aelthelm great prestige.  And if it goes horribly wrong then he wont have to worry about Lord Uhtred looking sideways at his sister and trying to gain a foothold on his position as Ealdorman anymore...

Crews from your three ships have raided a nearby village.  Laden with booty they are now making their way back to their ships and leave before the local Lord can rally a pursuit.  To get to the coast, the northmen must cross a bridge which is the only means of negotiating the coastal lowlands and swamps.

As you approach the bridge, you see that a small but well equipped guard has been dispatched to hold the bridge, while dust on the horizon behind you shows that some kind of force is approaching to trap you.  But how long until it arrives?  You could move faster if you dump the booty but then how will you pay your men and finance the next expedition? And what is that strange noise coming from the woods to the South?

Special Rule: After pillaging the village, your men needed a means to carry off their ill-gotten gains.  Unfortunately they got a bit excited with all the burning and  torched all the carts and waggons.  Thus, the men crafted a giant wooden rabbit!  The rabbit can be moved 1 inch for every 2 men pushing it, with a minimum of 2 men pushing.

...'and then you, Thorvill, Olaf and me leap out of it...'
Giant wooden rabbit inspired by this one from Monty Python's "The Holy Grail"

The Layout

The battlefield is a small Northumbrian valley with a road running East to West.  To the West (and offtable) is the pillaged village and the direction of the expected Saxon reinforcements.  The the East a large and swift running river blocks is surrounded by marshlands and the only exit is via the old wooden bridge. (click for bigger pics)

On the northern side of the valley is a small hamlet, with a few small hovels and a number of plowed fields with crops.  A number of villagers are celebrating a mid-season feast around the campfire.  Harold the Missionary has recently moved to the hamlet and is trying to convert its mostly pagan population.  He has his work cut out for him.
Foundry Vikings painted by Fran aka Angry Lurker - now settled in their new village!
Harold the Missionary, fig by Heroes of the Dark Age and painted by me
On the south side of the valley a large forest covers most of the table edge. This is where the villagers hunt game and have erected some sacred standing stones in a small grove.

The game commences with the Lord Uhtred's Saxon warband in position on the bridge, and with the vikings (and their giant wooden rabbit) in the centre of the table.

So what happened?
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming up shortly!


  1. I love the poses. Nice table!

  2. LOL!! The rabbit!! :-D
    Great little game and a great set up.

  3. Look, if we were to build a large wooden badger . . .

  4. I like your table layout, looking forward to part 2

  5. It's almost a shame that you're playing on such as beautiful table and I can only think to make a comment about the Trojan rabbit...

  6. LOL! Look forward to part 2 :D

  7. Good to see the figures in use my friend.