18 April 2011

The Battle for the Bridge: Part 3

This is the conclusion of a battle report in three parts.  Find part one here and part two here.

When we left our intrepid viking heroes, the Lad's warband was battling it out at the bridge with the Saxon Lord Uhtred and his gang.  After some initial success, this engagement had bogged down and no further progress was evident after one of the Saxon champions was hacked down.  In the meantime Ken's lad's had gone off on their own to investigate the circle of standing stones in the forest grove, and the majority of Steve's raiders were pushing the looted treasure in a giant wooden rabbit while waiting for three of the lads to get back from a quick raid on a hamlet (which had seen one huscarl knocked unconscious by a drunken viking swinging a tankard of ale).  And just then a horde of Saxon reinforcements arrived at the far end of the valley - a dozen armoured thegns led by Ealdorman Aeltelm and supported by 10 or so bowmen and out for blood  - Good stuff! Time was running out for the Vikings...

The battle at bridge was not going well for the Gizar and his men - unable to get more men onto the bridge and use their superior numbers, it was becoming a battle of attrition which was taking too long.  And then the Lad unleashed a secret weapon - the Sorcerer!  Summoning the clouds and storms a Dread spell began to effect the Saxons and two of the spearmen broke and ran, leaving the Saxon line unsupported...

Seeing his chance for glory slipping away, Lord Uhtred did the only thing he could - and challenged the Viking leader to a duel on the bridge! No norseman could refuse and so the mid-stream struggle began!
"I'll put a fiver on the nasty bloke with the big sword"
In the meantime, Steve's three huscarls were running back to the main body of vikings like startled gazelles (well, startled gazelles dragging heavy crates of loot that is) and Ken 's lads were surprised by a wild Berzerker emerging from the forest.  Striding into the stone circle, the Berzerker declared that this grove was sacred to Thor and that he was Thor's Champion sent to protect it. Ken's leader accepted the challenge and went to fight, both combatants eschewing shields to swing both axe and sword.  The other vikings looked on in admiration, while also hoping it would be over with soon so they could scarper before the Saxon reinforcements arrived..

Fortunately the duel in the grove was over rapidly, and Ken's warriors started to run back to the wooden rabbit.  The same could not be said of the bridge duel though, as each hero used all their rerolls to attempt a mighty blow, but they were well balanced foes and no openings could be found.  And all the while the Saxon horde thundered closer...

And so the vikings realised that they had better stop sodding about and work together to get across the bridge before they all went to Valhalla a little bit earlier than they might have otherwise have hoped.  Ken's returning men lent a shoulder to the rabbit and it started moving a bit quicker, and the remainder of the Lad's vikings at the bridge decided that treachery was totally OK and  charged the other Saxons there.  Chaos ensued, while the Saxon reinforcements formed up with their archers on the left flank and the thegns prepared to make contact.  Steve's returning huscarls realised they were uncomfortably close and would have to face a volley or two of arrows.  Mind you, Saxon bowmen had been completely ineffective in previous battles so there wasn't too much to fear

...until one of them caught a shaft in the middle of the back and went down hard.  In an unusual show of solidarity, one of his mates dropped his crate of loot, picked him up and dragged him off.  I hope the Gods were watching and reward such charity.  In the meantime, the vikings decided to clear the bridge of the swirling melee by pushing the Rabbit through them.  Warriors from both side were forced to scatter, and one of the Saxons was obliged to ditch his weapons and try to swim for it.

As the 'treasure rabbit' rolled off the the bridge, and the Saxons advanced, the vikings began to furiously chop away at the bridge supports with axemen.  A hail of Saxon arrows fell amongst them, felling two northmen.  And the Saxon thegns began their charge...

As other vikings dragged their wounded from the doomed bridge and likely drowning (hardly a fit death for a warrior), the last axeman chopped through the final support and with a loud ripping noise, the bridge was unseated and swept away.  Furious Saxons threw insults across the river, but the northmen laughed at them knowing that nothing now stood between them and getting home with their booty!

A blast of a game which came right down to the wire, with the last axeman chopping away the final support under a hail of arrows.  I don't think its gets much closer than that!

Scenario wise, it worked very well, with the small side stories adding a great deal of fun and character.  The Saxons were much more dangerous this time around and the vikings lost far more wounded this time.  Bowmen were far more lethal in larger numbers and shooting at closer ranges than we had seen before.  Don't think we'll ignore them again as we did last time.

At the end of the day, lots of loot and experience for all, including the Saxon lord Uhtred who while ultimately unsuccessful, was undoubtedly heroic.
Hail the Victors!
The only bummer of the day was that our mate Peter missed the game, but given that he was touring the Turkish battlefields of Gallipoli and Troy the day we fought this, my sympathies don't run too deep!
Observations by the Lad: I can't believe how many criticals I rolled and how many Saxons i kicked in the river. Also my sage helped by casting the spell of dread and forced 4 Saxon spearmen to run away (another two after the bunny came through crushing a Saxon flag bearer). Cool fun


  1. fricken hilarious, mate! love the trojan bunny (that had me in stitches), your table, terrain, the clever representation of the muddy river, the humor and the beer!! brilliant stuff, keep up the great work.

  2. Very cool battle report. Great figures, terrain and write up!

  3. Damn good battle report, very well written, excellent action and great pictures! Love the storytelling aspect :-)

  4. Great batrep and nice photo's, a giant wooden bunny?? Sounds like the beers were taking effect long before the game even started!!

  5. Great report! The giant wooden rabbit is inspired.
    Looking like a very characterful rules set.

    Now.. if you were to build a giant wooden badger...

  6. The trojan rabbit. Cunning plan.

  7. I think your chaps look brilliant - and you have a Trojan Rabbit! Great blog.

  8. Is this skirmish based? What rules did you use?

  9. Eddie - yes its a skirmish game with each figure being treated as an individual. We are using "Age of Blood" which are both free and excellent! I highly recommend them, and they would work for skirmish gaming in any period where Hand to hand combat predominates.

    There is a link to d/l the rules at the bottom of the post here: