Monday, 23 November 2015

Dragon ships from the mist: Saga campaign part 1

Back to the dark ages! Our club's Saga campaign has now begun and for starters, Jarl Einar and his fearless Vikings decided to raid Ireland. A blind traveller had recounted tales of the fabled wealth of the Emerald isle, which Jarl Einar just couldn't ignore. We played a scenario where my Vikings have just got off their boats and are moving inland when they get intercepted by the Irish. The side that inflicted more losses in six turns would be the winner (Champions of God from C&C).

I painted this longship for the game. I've named it Jörmungandr (the mythological world serpent).

Jarl Einar's boys started advancing through the dense terrain. On my right there was a hill, where I placed a unit of 8 warriors and 12 levy archers. To their left, I had my warlord, a unit of 8 warriors and two units of 6 hearthguard. The Irish had two units of 8 warriors in a forest on my right, two small units of hearthguard led by a warrior priest huddled in a cottage in the centre, two champions (individual models) behind this and a unit of 8 war hounds in a field on my left. My plan was to advance en mass and use my archery to force the Irish to come closer.

Deployment: the Vikings have disembarked from their ships

Different view of the deployment

Irish warriors sheltering within the wood on my right

The Irish priest and his hearthguard cravenly take shelter in the hut

I did not get far before the hearthguard on my left received a shitstorm of rocks and turd from the wood to my left. This was the "Sons of Dana" ability of the Irish, representing native rabble ambushing me from within terrain. Coupled with a couple of nasty boosts, this incapacitated three of my elite warriors!

I continued advancing and, having learned my lesson, kept a counter (Odin ability) in play for most of the game. This would eliminate the worst of the Irish shooting, but would reduce the number of dice I had available. My archers soon got within range and opened fire on the Irish warriors.

The Irish warriors moved closer, throwing javelins at my men with little effect. This was a mistake, as Jarl Einar was now within range to lead my warriors into a furious melee, which killed 7/8 of the enemy warriors.

Irish move forward to throw javelins at the Vikings

Jarl Einar and my surviving warriors were now exposed and fatigued in front of my army. The Irish threw in more troops, who pummelled my warriors with javelins and then launched an attack with their hearthguard and warrior priest (warlord). My warriors and hearthguard took losses, but so did the enemy hearthguard, who were now dangerously exposed.

Jarl Einar leads a charge which all but annihilates the first unit of Irish warriors

Jarl Einar saw an opening and, coupled with massive boosts, led my second unit of warriors against the priest of the crucified god and his bodyguard. The enemy proved easy pickings and Jarl Einar ran the enemy warlord through with his spear in an epic duel.

Duel between the warlords and their retainers in the centre of the board

However, things turned sour quickly after this. My hearthguards on my left launched a very favourable attack on the war hounds but, rolling dismally, took a beating. The remnants of the Irish warband moved forward and pummelled the Vikings with javelins. One by one the norsemen fell. My survivors were assaulted by the remaining war hounds and the last unit of Irish hearthguards who, with some lucky rolling, managed to cut down my remaining warriors and Jarl Einar.

Jarl Einar stands defiant after his retainers have been cut down

I released one last volley upon the foe, felling several more of them, and started my retreat to the ships. Jarl Einar was dragged unconscious and bloodied, yet alive, to the ships and the Vikings hastily cast off. The battle had been a tight one, but in the end I quite simply ran out of men. A 15 - 11 point victory for the Irish.

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