Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The SAGA of Ragnar Hairy Pants II

More SAGA last night. Ragnar Hairy Pants went forth once more. This time he was up against those soft southerners, the Normans Kniggets. Ragnar tool his usual band of heroes: Himself, 2pt Hirdmen (one unit) 1pt Berserkers, 2 x 1pt Bondi Units and 1pt Thralls as one unit. Jason's force was led by Comes Robert de Comines, 3pts Knights in two units of six, 2x 1pt Sergeants units with Spears and 1pt Sergeants with Crossbows. They came ready to attack under cover of night (in Jason's newly reopened and not well lit 'Man Cave') and so only the one test figure was painted (the eight painted warriors below are some of mine - Viking Mercenaries! Being, at heart, simple creatures, we played clash of Warlords again. I made one big rules error in the game - though in my defense Jason had my book for a while before the game so I couldn't brush up on the rules - I gave the Thralls benefit of light cover for their save in melee too. So they lasted 33% longer than they should have. In reality, the Hirdmen waiting in reserve behind them would probably have had to dirty their hands. Sorry about that Jason, you may not have cracked that flank but should at least have had the satisfaction of crushing those Thralls!
It was cold, night was falling, and we were somewhere inland of the Frankish coast and still hadn't found a good church to sack and set a warming fire too.I was too huddled against the cold to see it at first but Wulfgar gave the alarm and I could hear my lord Ragnar curse to Hel. 


Normans on horses with some of their weak foot soldiers and what looked like some former Vikings to aid them.

The crossroads lay before us and Ragnar had some Thralls along to help with carrying away our spoils from the next church, so he had the lowly bowmen take up position in some trees overlooking it. He then had some Bondi to the right, so as to restrain the Berserkers and some more Bondi and his Hirdemen with himself on the left along the road.
The Normans were sending some of their Warriors - albeit ones armed with bows so little better than our own Thralls - though a swamp to their centre. Meanwhile, their Warlord advanced some Knights up the road and.... I could see the glint in Ragnar's eye. Another unit of the Norman Knights was making their way alone around to our right.
Sacrifices and imprecations were made to Frigg and three of our Bondi sent themselves straight to Valhalla in their eagerness to fight the wommanish Norman Knights.

The horsemen were so surprised to be charged by Vikings on Foot - or scared to fight us eye to eye like true men - and so weren't all ready to take part in the fight.
Praises to Frigg! Our men heave beaten off the enemy horsemen! Sadly we only sent three to Hel.

This time.

The Norman Knights were furious in their vengeance and rode the last three Bondi down.

All the while, the rest of the Norman force seems to be standing back and watching.

Are they afraid?
My Lord Ragnar beckons to us all over his shoulder and we make our way through the trees. He holds quick counsel amongst his loyal Hirdmen and between them they hatch a plan.

Ragnar thinks the Norman Warlord is unsure how to use those skittish horses against our shield wall. Clearly, they tire easily so when they are exhausted he intends to unleash our Berserks!
The Hirdmen are there already to hold the flank by the Crossroads. But what's this? Thralls repulse a Norman charge. And again!The gods are surely with these low born scum.

The Hirdmen are unhappy though. I made a remark about 'Hirdmen in rags' and now they feel their honour has been slighted. I better take myself over to the right, but not too close to those Berserks either!

The lot of the battlefield Skald is fraught with danger at all turns.
Surely this must be the Hirdmen's chance for glory? A fresh unit, (more recent) former Vikings this time, is crashing against the Thralls. Those must be the gods' own woods though. The Thralls have prevailed again!

Meanwhile, Ragnar awaits the Norman charge. It comes quickly - clearly the Norman commander needed only a little more encouragement.

They are skilled riders, I'll grant them that, they've managed to charge right through their own warrior line and into our Bondi. The Bondi are not dismayed and somehow manage to slaughter several of the Norman Knights. Could the rumours of Ragnar being a member of Odin's cult be true?

Ragnar seems to call on the favour of all the gods of Asgard at will!

Now the darkened skies wash blood-red and I can hear the howls of Fenrir on the wind.

Behind me, the Berserkers clamour and yell and Ragnar gives a bloodcurdling cry and we are all caught up in Ullr's call to glory.

Perhaps it is kindest that the falling night was there to hide his death.

Because that Norman lord fell alone and bereft of his kin and loyal Knights.

He was mighty at his end, sending several more Berserkers gladly to cross the Bifrost Bridge but Ragnar casually dodged the waving hooves of the Norman's steed and ran him through with his great spear.

Awesome game thanks Jason - I know you are itching for a rematch (and now Poochie feels he is missing too much fun!) and I think I'll find it hard to stop a more focused wedge of Knights. It's going to be even worse when you get around to mounting some of those warriors so that they can benifit more from your battleboard and be a faster screen to stop me tiring you out on the less important parts of my army. 

Hmm. Maybe Halfdan and those Anglo-Danes should make an appearance? 

Thanks for reading.

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