31 July 2011

Battle of the Valley

The 7th game in our ongoing Campaign was a Battle scenario, between the Pete and the Lad and I using the Age of Blood rules.  The Saga of Mancavesson the Mighty tells us:

Having oathsworth our warbands into the service of the King of Norway, we had embarked upon an expedition of conquest to Northern England.   The King had brought many ships filled with brave Norse warriors, but as usual we would be outnumbered by the forces of the northern Barons.  Yet we were not afraid of these Saxon farmers: This time we came not to take their valuables, but their land.

We marched from the sea, pillaging as we went, and took up a line of defence along a hill line some 5 miles from a major city.  A large river secured our left flank and the men of the Vik stretched out to our right as we waited for the Saxon force to approach.  A small boggy valley with a hamlet and a small stream running through it lay before us.  The Great Jarl who commanded in our area pitched his tents and had ale brought to him.  I was commanded to protect his encampment as well as hold the shieldwall line.  We unslung our shields and waited for the enemy with prayers to the AllFather on our lips.

The two Viking warbands deployed - me protecting the tented camp, the Lad preferring a more forward disposition in the valley so he could get to grips with the enemy quicker: he was obviously channeling the inner berzerker already.

The Greal Jarl and his mates caroused in their tents behind us
Warhounds sounded and the enemy appeared on the crest line across the valley...

The Saxons advanced bravely.  Some long range bow fire was exchanged and a few bodies dropped, but nothing significant.
The Saxon huscarls were coming for the encampment but at least it was all infantry - we had no horses of our own to stand up to enemy cavalry.
...and then a force of Saxon cavalry burst out of the hamlet where it had hidden, and rode forward to join the advance...

As the fyrd advanced slowed near the old Roman ruins, the lad charged across the river.  The sound of sword and axe on shield resounded in the valley and the boy was soon triumphant!

And then the well-timed advanced of the Saxon Huscarls and Cavalry impacted on my shieldwall -it held, but only just as the meat grinder began.  Brutal hand to hand action in which my men were outnumbered and fighting men on horseback.  They fought like lions and protected the camp, waiting for the Great Jarl to wake from his drunken stupor and led his bodyguard into action and reinforce us.

The inevitable finally happened and the viking line broke (after about 4 turns of combat though!).  The Norse fell back and reformed, their line much thinner now.
 But subtlety was never their style and they charged back into combat as the Great Jarl awoke and summoned his men to battle
With the Great Jarl's reinforcements arriving and the Lad moving to attack his flank the Saxon Ealdorman decided to withdraw and save the remainder of his men to defend the city beyond the next valley.  The Vik stood back to lick their wounds - it had been a fierce and brutal battle.  Of my 12 man warband, only 3 remained standing and they prayed that the healers would be able to save some of their oarmates.
On the brightside, there was plenty of accommodation available
And so the battle came to a close.  I then revealed to all the players that we had actually just re-fought the left flank of the Battle of Fulford Gate in 1066 (with some artistic licence of course) and achieved the same result as that day on the approaches to York.  Of course, the Norse didn't do so well a few days later at Stamford Bridge but that is another story.

Now to go bribe those healers...

30 July 2011


Played 2 games of Blood Bowl over the week against the Lad: 1 win to me and a draw.  My win tonight was 3:2 but that score belies the utter brutality of the match and which was one of the hardest I have ever played.

Ironically, it started brilliantly with me receiving the kick-off and getting a Quick Snap! result to start the drive with a free movement.  The ball bounced out on the kick-off, so I got a touch-back right into the hands of my catcher with sprint and wham-bam! An unheard-of single turn TD. Smiles on my side of the table.

The Lad then received the kick-off, and proceed to start pulling my team apart - literally.   4 casualties in a single turn!  I managed to snag the ball off him for another TD but by then the smiles were moving to his side of the table, especially when he learned of the rules for conceding if one player cannot field at least 3 players.  The Lad was on a mission as he went into the second half down 3 - 1 with my casualty box filling up quickly.

Over the course of the second half, he managed to get another TD and 4 more causalities and a couple of KOs, but fortunately for me the clock ran out before I suffered any more.  Just one more and I would have been toasted despite my 3 TDs.  It was a hard game in which my rats spent a lot of time running away cowering from those nasty big Black Orcs.

Then to add to the pain, when the casualties were resolved after the match, I suffered a loss of AV in one catcher, one blitzer will miss the next game, and my star thrower (skilled up with an Ag boost, Accurate and Sure Feet) died.  A Pyrrhic victory indeed.

Dead Skaven Pic from warmasterdk.blogspot.com

29 July 2011

Horse Stable

The last of my latest terrain works, this one is a stable for the village steeds.  I'm not as happy with it though and in retrospect made it a bit tall relative to the other huts and buildings.  I'm considering adding a hayloft, but then the removable roof will be kind of nugatory. I'll probably just characteristically procrastinate over it for awhile.

28 July 2011

Furrowed Field & Hamlet

I've seen a few of these about in recent weeks, and thought I'd have a crack at making my own. Its based on corrugated cardboard PVA glued onto another mdf coaster, and a bunch of routine flock/sand/dirt effects added.  Overall it ended up looking far more overgrown than I had intended, but it fits the bill for what I was after.  The next one might be a bit better tendered by Farmer Maggot & friends though.

Here it all comes together as a small Saxon hamlet, comprising of all my recent terrain additions, some low stone walls and the hovels I made awhile ago.

27 July 2011

Big Hut

This is the other resin building I got from Gripping Beast, a stone building (this one here) to add some variety to all the timber and wattle&daub ones in my village.  Again this was a high quality resin cast, with no pits or bubbles, and wonderful detailing which mad painting it really enjoyable.
Another of the Lurker's ex-partners waits impatiently for him to return, with a surprise under one arm...
I haven't based this one yet as it doesn't fit on my standard mdf coaster.   I scratch built the door from some foamcore and cardboard, making it a snug fit so I can remove it as required during a game.

On second thoughts, does that little bundle looks a little more like Ray???

Small Hut

Another new addition, this one is a resin building by Gripping Beast (this one here).  Its beautifully detailed, had no bubbles or pits at all, and was a joy to paint. A small mdf base finished it off well, with a small bowl at the front door for a more 'lived in' look.
The Angry Lurker's ex-Mrs surveys her new abode in the Man cave
I was tempted to make it as a raised storage building but in the end made it to fit next to the pig pen for the farmer, Tobias the Putrid, and his family.

26 July 2011

Pig Pen

Here is a bit of terrain I have been working on for awhile - a rustic style pig pen for my Dark Ages village.  The wattle style fences are metal by GB, the pig pen is scratch built by me.  Its made from coffee stirrers/icy-pole sticks, suitably cut up and distressed, The roof is removable roof and its all based on a mdf coaster (from Bunnings) which is becoming my standard size for basing small buildings and the like.  I was going to fill up the other corner with other farm style refuse but decided I liked the space in the end.  Now to obtain some pigs - to the Boats!

25 July 2011

Saxon Cavalry

Finished the first batch of Cavalry to spice up our Dark Ages gaming.  These figs are actually Wargames Factory's plastic Ancient Celt cavalry (from the boxed set), and the Thegn is a metal fig by Gripping Beast.  My mate Ken did all the painting and I did the basing, using magnetic bases by GF9.

24 July 2011

Blood Bowl: The Lad Triumphs!

Yep, he beat me fair and square 2 to 1.  It all started going wrong for me in the first couple of turns when my casualty box looked like this:

Later it looked like this and even my apothecary couldn't save me:
My line up was a joke and it was all down hill from there:

At the end of the day I had 5 casualties plus more than a few KOed.  It was a well deserved win indeed, and its a bitter sweet proud gamer Dad moment! :-)

23 July 2011

Expedition Map

Jarl Sean (of Sean's Wargames Corner) has posted a  map of  Midguard, in which you can track the saga of your warband's expeditions and mayhem - thanks Sean!


22 July 2011

Fantasy Football Fields

Sick of your BB pitch and want a customised one, but cant be bothered making your own?
FF Fields may have the answer for you!

20 July 2011

Good times in Geatland

Before any Quest, the Lads like to enjoy an ale or two in their new tents
Being our latest Dark Ages game - this time a Quest scenario.  In the Age of Blood rules, only Heroes can participate in quests so all those Huscarls and Berzerks had to stay back at the great hall, while the Hersir, Champions and special characters of the Lad and Ken went forth to help a beleaguered village in Geatland.

The village was surrounded by a large stone wall, but it has not been effective
Upon their arrival, the Hersirs are told of terrors in the night, who creep into the village and steal their children.
A great reward is offered to heroes who can lift the curse

Forward for Fame and Glory!

All manner of strange beasts lived within the dreaded forest - here our heroes were menaced by a giant hypno-toad.
Such encounters saw the beasts run off or dispatched, but  added to the sense of foreboding...

After much searching, the party discovers an old ruined building filled with the grisly remains of the missing villagers

And the ruins weren't empty either - with a scream and roar, a big ugly Troll emerges to defend his lair!

The Lad's sorcerer cats a dread spell, which saw the Troll turn and beat a hasty retreat!

Realising that there would be no reward if they didn't bring back the beast's head, our heroes pursue

At the top of the hill, the Troll stops and turns...and is joined by its mate.
For Odinn!

1 down, 1 to go...

The female proved to be a tougher opponent

...but the bigger they are, the harder they fall, eventually!

In thanks, the villagers reveal the tomb of famed warlord of Snorri the Miserable.  Our heroes gleefully sacked it of course and aside from gold and valuables, took the famed runed silver axe of Snorri and his helm of protection.

And like good Norsemen, when all the foes were dispatched, they turned to fight amongst eachother on how to divide the spoils!  They were all for spilling blood but I (and the village head-man) negotiated an agreement where the Lad took the Axe (+3 Broad Axe, add +2 Renown) and Ken got the Helm (+2 armour values, +1 renown).  Good times in Geatland!