Today, true to my promise at Battleground, we did a try our of Valhalla.
It is a very easy to understand set of rules which, we discovered, had levels that needed to be understood regarding command and control not immediately apparent!
It really needs some time on a computer to upload pictures of your soldiers and create a warband.
Not having done this, we used the precalculated figures available from East street games website, where you can also freely download a PDF of the rules.
So, rules read and warbands downloaded, we started the trial game!
The battlefield we would fight over.
These are the standard Viking sheets. The warband is divided up into 'Benches' - of 4-8 figures who fight together in the game.
I found one error in the Saxon charts! - an amazingly tough peasant archer we nicknamed 'Conan the Bowman', I made him less tough for the game.
Having no Saxons, my Normans had to fill in!
We decided to test the game in a straight fight across the table, rather than working out a scenario. We started stationary, and came to regret it!
My first move saw my warleader order the other warband to take and hold the hill in the middle of the table...Success!
Lawrence, leading the Vikings, had less luck, scoring a 1 - which allowed the Saxons to order his other warband to go to the table corner!!!
Next turn, I managed to get a 2 on my order to my own warband, which meant it fell back 6 inches.
As with me, Lawrence got another 1 when he tried to get his errant warband back, and it completed its move to the corner!
I, meanwhile, managed to get my men moving. Having spent 2 of my 3 actions doing this, I got left behind!
Next time, a 'follow me to that tree' might work better!
Ians Saxons had reached the hill they were ordered to 'Take and Hold', my men now moved to cover their flank.
Lawrence sent his warleader closer to his men in the corner in the hope of getting them into position again!
However, his men had been ordered to follow him, so he ended up completely out of position!!!
Oh no, not again!
I tried to change my order to join Ian's band on the hill, but ended up falling back again!!
Lawrence finally succeeded in getting his lost men behind a rock!
I got alongside Ians men on the hill, just in time!
Lawrence had his men behind the rock run towards Ian's men on the hill.
Ignoring the shooting from Ian's archer, Lawrence moved a warrior into combat!
He lost the opposed 'Skill' rolls by 1 and took Ians warriors Strength + D6 - a total of 12 damage!
Another warrior attacked!
Another loss, but only 6 damage suffered.
This continued, the Saxons only lost one combat, but most of the Vikings were hurt, some very badly.
In the Saxon move, they had 3 attacks each. As the Vikings were already hurt, they lost a man dead first melee.
Ian used the archers second action to move on the flank of the next Viking.
The 2 Saxons quickly killed the next Viking!
Repeating the same tactic as before, the swordsman went on the flank of the next Viking.
In another melee action, the third Viking died.
Ian had some very good dice today!
The fourth Viking fought hard, but finally died too! - this melee is brutal!
The surviving Viking took a morale check and retreated. Lawrence's command dice meant the other Vikings also fell back!
The game ended! The devastating and rapid defeat of the Vikings attacking the hill decided the day.
I think we all learnt a lot about how the game worked today. I think a lot of odd things happened due to odd dicing!
I am not surprised a lot of people like this game!
After, we tried 'Battle Troll' - an odd game! - it is one I think we could play as part of an occasional campaign.
I managed to kill 2 of my 3 enemies, only taking a couple of wounds, but lost the battle as my dead opponents managed to gain Reputation from Insulting me and dying gloriously!