Monday, 31 October 2016

Vikings v Normans Yarn

Berserkers lead the Viking charge
A fictional encounter between Vikings and Normans using Sword & Spear rules, written by Mark Lewis and published by Great Escape Games.

I'm sure there were disagreements between Vikings and Normans that led to some engagements, but Ian and I played this one just for fun.
My Viking front line units were three units of Huscarls, one unit of Berserkers and one unit of Warriors opposite the central wood. The back row were mainly Warriors. My original idea was to refuse my right flank by blocking the area between the central wood and the area of rough ground, hold the central wood with Warriors and then attack on my left flank. I put some faith into the area of rough ground to protect my right flank and occupied it with just a unit of Light Foot Archers.
Norman line up – in addition to Spearmen, Ian put most of his Knights on his left flank. The Norman lines were wider than the Vikings, but with only one unit of Knights as reserve on each flank. His Crossbowmen units were a threat if the Vikings didn’t close the gap quickly.
Initial Deployment: Vikings on the left, Normans on the right
Vikings: 1 General, 4 Warriors, 5 Huscarls, 1 Camp, 1 Beserkers, 2 Archers (Light)
Normans: 1 General, 4 Knights, 4 Spearmen, 1 Camp, 2 Crossbowmen, 1 Archers (Medium), 1 Archers (Light)

The Norman Knights started a wide flanking manoeuvre. Quite early on Ian realised that the undrilled Knights were not going to be that easy to control, especially as the distance to the General increased beyond the command distance. Because the Norman Knights were so wide and so deep, I decided to throw my plan out of the window and attack the infantry on this flank quickly to not leave the Norman Knights enough time to get into position to attack my right flank.
Norman Knights attempt a flanking manoeuvre.
Off to the right of this picture is another unit of Norman Knights heading for the edge of the board.

At the same time my Light Foot Archers in Rough Ground turned to face the first unit of Knights and started to harass them.
Bow armed Viking skirmishers harass a unit of Norman Knights

On the Viking left flank my Beserkers and Huscarls moved forwards while trying to keep out of the way of the Norman crossbows.
The original Viking plan to attack on the left developes.

The Vikings charged in. The Huscarls inflicted heavy casualties but the Beserkers failed to get any hits despite having Impact.
The initial Viking charge.

On the Viking right, the Norman Knight's lack of manoeuvrability meant the flank attack lost momentum reducing the threat on that side. The Viking Huscarls moved into position to attack the Norman Spearmen.
Viking right - Norman Spearmen prepare for the Viking charge.

Back on the Viking left, the Norman Crossbowmen turned in to threaten the left flank of the Huscarls. However more Huscarls were on the way to hit the flank of the Crossbowmen.
Viking left - It's always good to have back-up.

At the same time Viking Warriors were moving through the central wood opposed only by some Light Foot Archers. The Norman Archers evaded away and the Warriors were able to charge in to support the Beserkers in their attack on the Norman Spearmen.
Viking Warriors move through the wood to support the attack.

Over on the Viking right, units were being lost on both sides and the Norman Knights were at last coming into the Viking right flank. However it was too late and the battle was being decided on the other side of the table.
On the Viking right the Norman Knights tried to swing the battle.

On the Viking left the Vikings had broken through the single line of Normans. The reserve unit of Norman Knights charged in but was blocked while rampaging Huscarls hit the Norman camp.
I don't know why there is a 2 on the dice there - it must have got flipped.

The loss of the Norman camp, and several units, led to a tumbling of their Army Morale with victory to the Vikings.
"Let's negotiate"
"You are kidding"

The Norman lines were so wide that their Archers and Crossbowmen on the flanks had hardly any targets without manoeuvring, losing valuable time. The Knights flank attack charged off into empty air and were wasted; being Undrilled made them too unwieldy to be used like that.
This only left a thin line of Spearmen which made the Norman Camp vulnerable.


  1. Great AAR! I am also working on miniatures for the Viking era. I have a small Viking Army done and I am working on finishing an Anglo Saxon army for Sword and Spear. I plan to paint up more armys as I am using 6mm miniatures for my games. Thank you for posting this!