Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Friday, 26 January 2018

Ragnor's Recruiting Trip (Dux Britaniarum)

A message from our latest correspondant, Mal.

This scenario was set around Ragnor's Viking raiding band (Mal)  returning to their ship with their hostages/captives, in the face of a Saxon (Dave) rescue mission.  Ragnor's plan was to mask the Warriors with their hostages with a screen of archers and levy, while the Warriors, captives in tow, made directly for the longboat, around the right flank. A mob of Viking berserkers were also available to spoil, delay, upset any promising Saxon attack. Ragnor and his personal elite hirdmen waited anxiously at the longboat.

The plan all started quite well and the Viking archers quickly slew the Saxon archers without giving them a chance to reply. Unfortunately (or possibly due to leadership incompetence) the Viking berserkers became enraged by the approaching Saxon shield wall, that they immediately charged and met their summary demise despite supporting fire from the Viking archers.  During this slaughter the Viking levy succeeded in forming their own shield wall opposite the Saxons a wary stand-off ensued. Meanwhile the Viking warriors, captives in tow, moved across behind the shelter of the levy shield wall, toward a light wood on the right flank.
Over by the beach Dave had amassed his 3 units of Saxon Levy and his unit of elites, against the single unit of Viking elites holding the Viking encampment.  However, acting on a sign from Odin (umpire Phil) and also heavily outnumbered, the Viking Lord fell back, thus avoiding immediate contact with the approaching Saxon horde.
All this time, the wary shieldwall stand-off continued centre table. Convinced that this well dressed Vikings, led by the striking Lagertha, could not just be levy, Dave moved his Saxon Lord and his elites up, to support a concerted attack on this imposing Viking shield wall.  The Viking Lord responded by moving into a flanking position behind the Saxon Lord, with his unit of elites.
Calamity! Thor was not with us! The Saxons seized the initiative, turned the tables and struck the Viking Lord and his bodyguard, first with levy and then more seriously, in the rear with elites and a Carpe Diem!? The Viking elites repelled the levy but were driven from the field to cower in their leaky longboat by the gloating Saxon elite.   Viking morale was not good.  However, with Loki’s stealth, the Viking warriors had now passed behind their levy Shield wall, traversed through the light woodland and arrived at the rear of the Saxon elites.  With wolfish grins and bared steel, these mighty warriors fell upon the Saxon rear (another Carpe Diem) driving them from the field after a mighty struggle.
All was not done.  As the victorious Viking Warriors moved to escape to their longboat with their captives, they were struck in the rear by a group of Saxon levy rallied by the Saxon lord himself.  After a close fought contest this levy scrum were driven off and the warriors, now joined by their Lord and master, recaptured their scattered hostages and rallying the exhausted warriors.

Centre table, the Saxon warriors finally realising that this well dressed shield wall opposite, were mere levy, now moved to attack! Disaster, poor dice rolling, a misplaced Strong Arm card and shock slowing movement, resulted in the charge falling short in confusion.  The Viking archers, finally realising the ineffectiveness of their harassing fire, now moved around the flank the Saxon shield wall, while both shield walls finally met in inconclusive combat.

By this time, the Saxon lord realised the game was up and retired. They would have to buy the captives back. So the poor hostages were finally dragged into the longboat, to be taken to their uncertain fate in Norway. However Ragnor was not a happy man. He had lost 2/3rds of his elites and a good number of warriors and levy. OK, the Saxon upstart would think twice before tangling with Ragnor’s men again, but Ragnor could not afford this rate of loss. So, a sort of marginal victory for the Vikings, but not for the poor hostages!

No comments: