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...


  1. Great report, models, and photos.

    "plenty of accommodation available"

    Nice, grim sense of humor too!

  2. Another excellent addition to your campaign. Great terrain and battle! Hopefully what men you have left will heal and be able to recruit some more fighters. How did your son's warband fare?

  3. Thanks Gents, we are still waiting on word from the medical hut...

    The Lad's lads fared pretty well actually - 1 killed in the archery duel at the opening of the battle but the fyrd typically weren't much chop in the melee so he cleaned them up without loss.

  4. Great report Paul. Glad to the Vikings come back into it at the end. Great photos too mate.

  5. Nicely told. It would appera these are 15mm? I'm new to all this, that's why I ask.

  6. Love the terrain Paul good job on that, and sweet batrep too.

  7. Bloody great looking battle...your table looks excellent..me jealous!! :-D

  8. Cheers fellahs

    Irish Knight: all these are 28mm scale, just like those at your blog.

    Paul: we are all jealous of your Bods' village!

  9. Bloody great batrep, great table aswell.

  10. Very nice AAR !

    Like the your gaming board very much !

    Best regards dalauppror

  11. great game, nice piccies.

    -- Allan