Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Moving border stones - Saga campaign part 5

Some people just don't get a break. Not only had the Jomsvikings spoiled Jarl Einar's raid in the previous game, but upon returning home he found that his neighbour had been moving the border stones again. This called for a reckoning!

We played a straight up "Champions of God" scenario, where the objective is to kill as much of the enemy as possible. Einar once again brought two units of 6 hearthguard, two units of 10 warriors and a unit of 4 warriors to the field. His adversary, Thorfinn Sigurdson mustered a unit of 8 hearthguard, 4 berserkers, two units of 8 warriors and a unit of 12 levy archers.

The battlefield was split in two by a large hill that ran along its length. Jarl Einar deployed his force on both sides of the hill, while Thorfinn placed the archers on Einar's left whilst the majority of Thorfinn's warriors were on Einar's right. Thorfinn himself showed his mettle by deploying BEHIND his archers, safely out of harms way. This caused a great deal of laughter within Einar's ranks and more than one rude remark which won't be reiterated here.

Thorfinn Sigurdson cowering behind his archers

After they had had their share of laughter, Einar led his men boldly forward. The whole line advanced at a steady pace. Soon the archers let fly their first volley but Einar's men, ever vigilant, put their shields together and survived largely unscathed. Thorfinn's craven tactics had roused the anger of Einar's bondi warriors, who soon made a mad dash at the archers. The archers took a heavy beating and were driven back. Einar's warriors also retired a short distance backwards, hoping that Thorfinn would take the bait and charge after them.

The archers learn their place

Positions at the start of turn 3

Thorfinn failed to take the bait (he was probably too confused and scared to rouse his men into action) and instead held back. Einar decided to try the same trick on the right flank and directed his unit of hearthguard to attack Thorfinn's hearthguard. Einar's men had the upper hand due to a nasty combination of several Saga abilities but Loki, the trickster god, decided to intervene. A short fight later all six of Einar's elite warriors lay dead or dying whilst only one of Thorfinn's hearthguard was incapacitated (a twisted ankle I hear). What a disaster!

The warlords' hearthguard duel on the right flank

Emboldened by this success (or afraid of being overshadowed by his bodyguard), Thorfinn finally grew a pair and led a charge on the warriors on Einar's flank. Einar's warriors were felled, but so were a great many of Thorfinn's as well.

Thorfinn Sigurdson leads a charge with his warriors

Turn 4, just before Einar's warriors on the left are killed

This was the opening Einar had been aiming for the whole time. With a bellow, the mighty warlord led his remaining hearthguard at Thorfinn and his men. After Thorfinn's warriors had been driven off by his henchmen, Einar challenged his craven neighbour in single combat. The fight was short and nasty. In the end, Einar stood bellowing at the heavens over the corpse of his erstwhile enemy while his hearthguard mopped up the remainder of the enemy warriors.

Einar challenges Thorfinn in a duel...

... and stands triumphant!

Jarl Einar's triumph didn't last long, for immediately afterwards the enemy berserkers sprung into action. The enemy madmen had been standing back eating mushrooms for quite some time now and the wait was just too much for them. The berserkers did not seem the least bit fatigued by the long sprint and, with frothing mouths and large axes, fell upon Jarl Einar. Einar's warriors raced to the rescue and put an end to the berserk madness, but it was all in vain. Jarl Einar had been slain.

With both warlords dead and much of their force depleted, Einar's boys didn't think there was much point in continuing the battle. The survivors began their retreat under a hail of arrows, which succeeded in felling a few more of the retreating Vikings.

Several nasty combats later, the remnants of Einar's host begin to withdraw

The last hearthguard takes an arrow in the back

Positions at the end of the battle

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