This week's gaming has been all SAGA. Last Sunday I got in a couple of games vs Andy's newly painted Anglo-Danes. Since that is my usual board, I tried something new: Joms-Vikings! No levies allowed in that lot so two points worth of JomsVikings (Hearthguard) and then four points of Warriors. To make it up to six points, Andy took Cnut the Great, the Anglo-Dane legendary hero, who uses both the Viking and Anglo-Dane boards. Round one went very well - once they get going, the Joms-Vikings get going! To the right you see them swarming all around the person of the soon to be late King Cnut.
We reckoned part of the issue there to be the complexity of juggling two boards (you have to split the dice before you roll) and the fact that I get a point's more troops when he uses the legendary hero. So I loaned him my levy bowmen and some of my warriors and we had another crack at it - this time with him using the Anglo-Saxons and two units of levy.
The Anglo-Saxons get bonuses by using their battle-board in combination with large (10+ fig) units. To further aid that, they also get melee levies, an ability to treat levies like warriors and another ability to help activate their levies. My anti-Anglo-Saxon strategy was pretty straightforward: get stuck in and chip 3+ guys off every unit. That approach was overall pretty successful and and the Joms-Vikings, despite some early losses, were soon looking pretty dominating once more.
I think the Anglo-Saxons have potential but aren't as 'easy' as a Viking style army (or the Joms-Vikings, when I keep rolling sixes) to get stuck in with. My impression of the Joms-Vikings from those games was that they seemed a bit 'wrong' but the developers seemed to stand by them on their forum and and I could see how their features might be turned against them. They were good games, as always, vs Andy and he has one excellently painted warband.... not sure if all those Christian symbols really suit the Joms-Vikings he was musing proxying as, after his experiences vs me!
My game vs Andy had been done on the fly but I was very keen to try the new 'Wooden Oaths' scenario out of Northern Fury: Multi-player with a twist - shifting alliances via use of coloured cards and variable victory conditions! Chris, Poochie and Adam were game and we all rocked up to the Cavs last Thursday to have a go. I gave the Joms-Vikings to Chris (while telling everyone to give them not a single point of wrath.....), took Anglo-Danes myself, Poochie had his Irish dogs and Adam his Varangians under the feared Harald Hadrada.
I was admittedly a little slow out of the gate - but the Anglo-Danes do rely on a slow developing attack rather than the mad rush. Joms-Vikings vs Varangians to my left quickly developed into a slog fest with Poochie's Irish also piling the hurt on poor beleaguered Adam. As the alliances shifted and I ended up on Adam's team I was finnally closing on the flank of Poochie's Irish. Just as I was about to launch the assault - Chris used his Joms-Viking ability (no warth for him, remember) to stop me and I lacked the activations to press on regardless.
Adam meanwhile had formulated a new victory condition: the heads of the enemy Warlords. He took the Joms-Viking leader down, then the Irish then... as the alliances shifted again, made a long end-run on mine. However, Halfdan Halfdanson's trusty DaneAxe laid him low. The game had become a bit mad in fact. We all tried to be on the same team at end turn four, which meant it was all on all and the new victory condition was not how much each team killed but how much each team had left! My Anglo-Danes, buoyed by Halfdan's example, went on a killing spree.
The Huscarls saw off a couple of Joms-Viking units, while Halfdan's warriors waded through all the Irish within reach (dead Irish tell no tales of Women and children initially beating off warriors...) and English levies even managing to kill their opposite numbers amongst the dregs of the Irish. I think the Irish had two dogs left, the Varangians their beloved fort, and the Joms-Vikings a unit of hearthguard. All in all a fun slaughter. I'd definitely play that scenario again (and soon, guys!) but definitely on a 4'x4'.