Saturday, May 9, 2015


Enjoyed back to back Saxons vs Vikings games recently. The rules we use are basic DBA mechanisms with the tactical classifications replaced by troop quality classifications. DBA is a great game but it tends to downplay differences if troop quality (Spartan hoplites are the same as Syracusan hoplites). When the tactical style of the opposing armies is pretty much the same and lacks variety, then it makes sense to downplay that in favor of the very real differences in quality.
Mike, King of North Anglia commanding his monks to pray harder as Vikings approach 
The other liberty I take with this game is to redefine element size. I like visually appealing games and I like toys. The basic infantry element in this game is a 6"x2" base with twelve 28mm figures mounted on it. The opposing armies each had about 65 or 70 of these elements. That allows us to play with two armies of about 800 men each represented on a one figure equals one man scale. 800 men would be a significant army in this period. And it looks like this:
    The Danes attempt to capture the bones of St Cuthbert from the chapel (top)
Since there are no tactical differences between the opposing armies, that leaves room for lots of period 'chrome'. We include rules for pre battle pep rallies to pump up the morale of the armies with appeals to the gods, passing around the alcohol, rousing speeches, shield banging displays of aggression and duels between champions. All of these are optional and entail both potential reward and risk. There is also an allowance for chieftains of sub sections of an army to bolster flagging morale by taking heroic risks. There are praying monks who might allow an occasional reroll of unhappy dice and a giant Viking king who likes to take a personal hand in the fighting. All in all a visually appealing game that 'feels' like the period it represents and is easily completed in about 4 hours of casual gaming.
        Viking king Orm Longsword takes a selfie before the fun starts

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