Sunday, April 23, 2006

Game Report: The Battle of Stamford Bridge

This was a test game between Cpt Arjun and me in anticipation of the 1066 campaign we're intending to run in 2007 (yes: not only do the Napnuts buy figures way in advance of actually using, or even painting them, but we do also plan in advance!).

The rules were Warmaster, and the scenario we used saw the invading Vikings set up separated by the river Derwent: in the picture above, you can see Earl Tostig's forces on the far bank, while Harald's are on the near bank. The Vikings start off with several disadvantages - they cannot be brigaded, and they suffer a -1 penalty to armour saves. Historically, they were at Stamford Bridge to receive hostages from a previous victory, and had taken off their mail byrnies. Harold's Saxons caught them by surprise, and it was a bitter struggle for survival.

Although we've seen this happen before in the War of the Roses campaign , this Warmaster game had some of the most imbalanced die rolls ever: at one point, two units of Saxon Fyrd in column attacked a single Viking skirmisher unit in line - 9 dice versus 6, with no saves for the Viking skirmishers. The Saxons rolled no hits out of 9: the Vikings rolled 5 hits out of 6, with no saves from the Saxons. This was the most extreme of several improbable die rolls, and it meant that Earl Tostig's isolated forces held out against the Saxon onslaught far longer than expected (and killed a unit of Huscarls!). In the end, a tumbling melee drew Harold Godwinsson into a melee with Earl Tostig, and the battle was decided by the death of Harold.

Further pictures and detailed commentary are here, in our gallery.