With Autumn closing in the nights in the Shed are getting chillier and darker, but hey where there is a will there is a way and Monday night saw another pitched battle Saga style.
Once again I elected to play the Anglo Danes and were facing up to Mark’s Vikings.
We elected to play five points aside with the following forces
1 units of Hearthguard (8 men strong)
2 units of Warriors (each 8 men strong)
2 units of Levies (each 6 men strong)
1 unit of berserkers (4 men)
3 units of warriors (2 x10 men and 1 x12 men)
This was to be a straight pitched battle with winner takes all – no turn limit.
As before I have decided to write this in the first person narrative.
Winter has passed and as expected the spring winds from the North have brought the dreaded raiders to the shores of England. Mustering my trusted band of warriors we set out towards the small hamlet of East Withering to confront the pagans encamped on edge of the great wood. Reinforced by a small contingent from across the river we checked our gear and advanced towards the Viking battle lines.
Arrayed in front, beating their shields in unison the Northern raiders advanced. Their swords, axes and spears glinting in the early morning sun. Realising that the opposing force had no bows with which to threaten my own troops I sent forward my skirmishers.
It was my plan to draw these invaders into a trap around the hamlets edge. The buildings would break their line and allow my men to target the two divided groups. They continued to advance. Suddenly the skin clad berserkers broke free and advanced on their left flank. These brutes would need to be dealt with swiftly/. Calling on Christ and the gods of old a band of my trusty warriors crashed into the right flank. Surely my strength in numbers, a strong wall of shields and a will of iron would prevail. Alas the ferocity of the Norse was too great as they beat a path of carnage through my men. In a matter of a few minutes all lay dead or dying. The Berserkers in bloodlust had decimated a fine body of men but had in the process destroyed themselves (my dice rolling was rubbish).
Honours even as two units lay decimated. Time to unleash my archers. Two flights of arrows fell amongst the Viking left flank, but stout shields and chain prevented few casualties (only two dead). With a cry of Odin the Viking warriors charged my levy, who without martial training and armour succumbed to blows of the pagans.
I had to regroup, could the men of the North be lulled into sense of security. They continued to advance.
Now was the time to unleash my dogs of war, my huscarls against those arrayed on my right flank. With a cry of havoc they marched forward, confident that their arms would carry them through. But alas the gods conspired against me, to a man the Vikings slaughtered my guard.
With one body of men left my bold warriors stood their ground as the battle drew to a close. These too fell in a whirlwind of blades. Although the path to my opposite number the Viking Warlord lay open. With a final bow I charged across the field to meet the Northern warrior. Exhausted from my efforts I threw myself into one final fight. Damn he was lucky as my sword shattered on his shield and his own blade ripped away my defences.
In summary: This was a completely one sided affair, the Vikings were just too strong (all credit to Mark for playing the battleboard well) and very lucky. My hearthguards assault by all reckoning should have emerged victorious and opened the route to the Viking Warlord. Alas it was not meant to be and once again the Anglo Danes fell victim to the Vikings. One day I’ll get the hang of this force.