Monday, February 20, 2012

Saxons and Vikings

For my premiere entry on the new blog, let’s talk Saxons and Vikings. This has been one of my favorite periods since I was a kid at the RKO Palace theatre watching Kirk Douglas storming Aelle’s castle. Odin! As you know, the toys do accumulate over time so I now have about 1400 figures for this period. For rules I started with some basic concepts around movement and combat lifted from DBA and added in lots of ‘chrome’ to enhance period feel, troop quality modifiers, etc.  An element consists of a dozen 28mm figures on a 6”X2” base and we can play a game with 50 or 60 elements per side to a conclusion in 3 or 4 hours.  My regular opponents enjoy doing this game occasionally but aren’t as in to it as I am, so there is little chance of engaging them in a campaign any time soon. Too bad, since campaign ideas have been floating around in my head for some time.
Interior of a viking chieftain's mead hall by Mike the artist
                                         Saxon hearthtroop
                             A peaceful North Anglian village, but for how long?
The rivals in this campaign are the small, lost to history 9th Century Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of North Anglia and the Viking sea king Orm Longsword. North Anglia is located on the West coast of Britain, wedged between Wales and Scotland. It is isolated from its neighbors by the surrounding mountains, but exposed to seaborne raids from the Vikings that infest the Irish Sea. King Burghred is old and spends more time in prayer and penance these days than in governing. His only son, Aelfred handles affairs of state these days. While not a natural warrior, Aelfred has improved the organization of the army and the efficiency of the state. His relationships with the other four leading families are a bit strained, as the crown is not necessarily hereditary.
Aelfred, brilliant organizer, reluctant warrior

Orm has his base on a barren island in the Irish Sea. He supports his followers on the proceeds of hit and run raids against Saxons, Irish, Scots and Welsh. He is a great warrior, poet, drinker and ring giver, and a foot taller than most men. Now in middle age, Orm dreams of a kingdom of his own. North Anglia, small, wealthy and isolated on its landward borders, seems tailor made. His own ships and men are too few to conquer and hold the land. He will have to forge alliances with other Viking leaders to defeat the Saxons.   
Orm Longsword confers with one of his captains


  1. Nice great hall interior; interesting campaign possibilities looming.

    Sounds like your games are rather larger than the ones I play - shown on -

    -- Allam

  2. I do tune in to the Nothelm Chronicles regularly. I'm enjoying the Whorled Cup story. Nice touch of the supernatural. People believed in that sort of thing, and it influenced their lives in ways that are hard for modern people to imagine.

    The focus of my gaming will be on the 'big battle' as opposed to raids, but about 150 figures are mounted on the 6"x2" stands magnetically so they can be removed for skirmish gaming.