Our Saga campaign continued with a home brewn scenario: Slaves and Mayhem! Returning from his failed expedition to Ireland, Jarl Einar found his lands back in the north in distress. The thrice cursed craven Olaf the Orange had learned of Einar's weakened state and launched numerous raids into the Earl's lands. Einar was just planning his reprisal, when he learned that Olaf was about to strike one of his hamlets. Time to get even!
The objective of the scenario was for the Viking host of Olaf the Orange to capture civilians and burn the buildings they were huddled in. The buildings were set up in the middle of the board and neither player could deploy within 12" of them.
|The battlefield - Olaf's Viking's on the left, Jarl Einar's vikings on the right|
Olaf's host consisted of (from right to left in order of deployment): 6 hearthguard, Olaf himself, 10 warriors, 10 warriors, 6 hearthguard and a further 4 warriors way off on the left flank. Jarl Einar raced to meet the attackers with the following force (from right to left per Olaf's deployment): 8 hearthguard, 10 warriors, Jarl Einar, 10 warriors, 12 levy archers, 4 warriors.
|Jarl Einar leads his bold heroes|
|Crème de la crème: Jarl Einar's hearthguard|
I was lucky to get to move the civilians before the first turn (winning a die roll allowed the defender to move the civilians 4", on a draw they would move in a random direction). The villagers and livestock fled from the buildings nearest Olof's men on his left flank and centre.
|Civilians and livestock flee|
Olof had the first turn and advanced aggressively, if somewhat rashly with half his force. The hearthguard on the right rushed one of the buildings and the warriors to their left attacked the one in the centre. This took 3 actions each, which left the attackers quite fatigued. They failed to set the buildings on fire.
Jarl Einar reacted quickly. Einar's hearthguard rushed forward to form a protective screen between the fleeing villagers and Olof's men. A warrior unit rapidly occupied the building which Olof's men had been trying to ignite. Einar and the second unit of warriors advanced more slowly, ready to support the defenders.
|Olof leads his right flank in a reckless charge|
|Jarl Einar counterattacks - warriors occupy the central building and hearthguard form up in front of the civilians|
Olof would have none of this. He led his hearthguard to assault Einar's elite troops. The fight was brutal, and in the end all six of Olof's hearthguard were felled, but so were six of Einar's men. Olof's warriors charged the central building again, which was now defended by Einar's warriors. The attackers were thrown back with minor losses and regrouped around Olof the Orange, who had become somewhat stranded after the demise of his hearthguard.
|Brutal mêlée between the hearthguard units|
|The victors stand proud!|
Jarl Einar saw that the opportunity for a decisive strike had come. Pointing his spear at the trollspawn Olof he bellowed an order to the warriors he had kept in reserve. Einar's men hit Olof's warriors with the strength of Thor (assisted by combat boosts and the enemy's fatigue) and clove right through them. The way to the orange bearded villain was now open. A few quick strides later Jarl Einar was face to face with his enemy. An epic duel followed between the two mighty warlords.
Einar cast his spear, which struck Olof's shield and rendered it useless. A henchman raced forward to yield his shield for his master, only to be struck down by one of Einar's retainers. With a beastly bellow, Olof clove the warrior in twain with his axe. Olof twirled around to meet his nemesis, Jarl Einar, but was not fast enough. Einar danced past the fatigued brute, delivering an undercut that left a streak of red just below Olof's armpit. The combatants broke off, eyeing each other for what seemed an eternity. The corner of Jarl Einar's mouth curled up in a little smile when he recognized what he saw in the eyes of his enemy: abject terror.
It was time to settle the matter. Einar rushed the orange villain, fainting right, then left and finally striking Olaf from the right. Olaf parried the first blow, but was not quick enough to prevent the pommel of Einar's sword smashing his teeth in. Olaf the Orange fell. He would not get up again.
|Jarl Einar's warriors clear the way for a charge at Olaf the Orange himself|
As Jarl Einar pulled his sword out of the pile of meat at his feet, he knew that the battle was all but won. Half of the enemy host, including their warlord, had already been laid low and Jarl Einar's men still had plenty of fighting spirit left. The enemy could be allowed to scatter to the winds.
But that was not the Viking way! With their blood up, Jarl Einar led his blood drenched warriors in one last charge. The enemy warriors that had cowered at the edge of the battlefield up till then were the target. A short fight later, half of the enemy warriors were in Valhalla while the remnants fled.
What a glorious day!
|The remnants of Olaf's men are sent packing|