About Me

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I'm a bit of a born-again wargamer! I played many of the Games Workshop games when I was in my teens and early twenties, but left the hobby behind when I went to University. Over the last few years I have gradually got back into it and am literally having a ball! I'll play pretty much anything now, ranging from ancient historical to the far future! I think that I get more out of the painting side of things than actually playing, but that might just be because I get more opportunity. Hence the title...this blog is all about the colour of war!!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

A Cattle Raid

Last Tuesday my freshly painted Viking army got their first outing on the table and it was a really fun, tense game. George had intended to bring his Saxons, but an incident involving his foot and a step meant that they now need to go in for some repairs! So instead he brought his Romano-British forces and used them instead. OK, a little anachronistic, but still very Dark Ages! The scenario we played was the Cattle Raid from the Age of Arthur book and the Vikings were aptly determined as the raiders. In this game, the Vikings have raided a village while the main body of the defenders are away, but they have returned just in time to intercept the Norsemen leaving with the livestock and some villagers for the slave trade! There are 3 groups of 'baggage' that the raiders have to escort off the table and winning or losing revolves mainly around that. So I placed my forces in front of the road with the Bondi on the flanks. I gave them thrusting spears with the idea that they should be able to hold the flanks while the Hirdmen did the dirty work. The Hird was in the centre with throwing spears and javelins with the aim of taking the fight to the enemy. The bow armed Bondi were out on my right, which turned out to be the wrong flank, as I wanted them to weaken the cavalry that was inevitably going to be present. However, George massed them all against my left! And so to the battle!

Unfortunately I only had the camera in my phone and the lighting at the club can be a little low at some of the tables, so apologies for the fuzziness of some of the pictures. 

After the first couple of turns the Vikings have surged forward  as befits their nature! The baggage is out of shot on the road to the left. The Romano-British knights have thrown themselves against the Bondi on my left. The Hird over there (with the king) have started to turn to get them in the flank.

The Romano-British skirmishers in the centre have been driven back and the Hird are getting excited about chopping up the Welsh allies in the centre (white shields). The other enemy have formed a shield wall behind their skirmishers while the Viking bowmen have come up to disperse them.

The knights crash into the unfortunate Bondi. Despite the thrusting spears and rankss, this unit just could not cope with the better quality knights and the two characters in their midst.

The Viking King eyes up the Welsh cavalry beyond, waiting to see the outcome of the knights' charge and whether  he needs to lead his Hird against them or block the approach of the farther away horsemen.
After two vicious rounds of combat the Bondi break and flee, but are cut down to a man. The victorious knights descend upon the captured baggage and free one group. They are too late to save the farthest group, so it's one apiece! Who will secure the last group to the right of the picture?
The knights barely have time to cut the bonds of the women and children and turn their mounts before the Viking king brings his Hirdmen around and charges towards them! The decisive moment of the battle approaches! 
Meanwhile, in the centre the Welsh allies fled before the ferocious charge of the Hird and they did  not stop until safety was reached in the hills far from the battle. On the right, the skirmishers continued to exchange arrows. Eventually the Viking numbers would tell and the Romano-British archers would run, leaving the shield wall to also get whittled away to nothing.

Having seen off the Welsh foot, the Hird move around to pin the Welsh light horse on their ponies. It is imperative that their King be left to deal with the enemy king without interruption! Over the last turns the Hird would charge time and again, but the Welsh would flee from them, just to return thanks to their leaders skilled direction. However, eventually the fight would be forced and the fighting ability of the professional Vikings would tell.
On the left the battle is decided! In a furious charge the Viking King  led his Hird against the knights and he singled out the one known as Arthur. In a single blow he felled the Romano-British general and all about him his fellow warriors cleaved and hewed at their enemies. The knights morale broke at the sight of their fallen hero and they turned and fled. The remaining baggage was firmly in the hands of the raiders!
This was a really fun game. It was very fluid and full of movement, rather than just two battle lines clashing. I think if George had been more aggressive with his Welsh horse he could have caught the last baggage group and won the battle, but as it was he let me pull him into a fight he couldn't really win. But we both really enjoyed it and that's what matters the most. And it just proved again that WAB really shines in Dark Ages battles with the heroes meeting up to the expectations of the Sagas and poems!


  1. Good batrep and figures my friend, good outcome....

    1. I totally forgot I'd put comment back to being moderated! Sorry TAL! I think I'll just set it back to the old method!


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