Saturday, October 31, 2015

Saxon Revolt - LOTR SBG Battle Report

A Saxon lord has led his lands in a revolt against their Danish over lords. Gathering his men, he sets out on a march towards the nearest Danish settlement with thoughts of rape and slaughter. Most of his soldiers are nothing but peasants with spears and shields, but he is confident that superior numbers can win the day. 
The Danish lord hears of this planned assault, and prepares an ambush for the Saxon mob. Using his household troops, archers, and cavalry, he devises a scheme to squash the rebellion. 
Choosing the location of the ambush carefully, the Danish lord positions his archers on some cliffs near the road. He plans to pin the Saxons against the river and then sandwich them between his shield wall and cavalry. 
The Saxons are blissfully unaware of the impending attack as they march down the road. 

The Danish archers wait in the trees for the perfect moment to attack the column

The Danish lord has his men ready to wheel around the cliffs and bar the exit from the river valley while his cavalry swoops around the rear. 

The archers start the battle with a volley that drops two Saxons. Reacting to the attack, the Saxon lord dispatches several men to climb the cliff and deal with the archers. He continues down the valley road. 

The Danes begin to wheel a shield wall around the cliff to face the Saxon mob as their cavalry continues the long ride around the impassible cliffs. Danish arrows fell two more Saxon warriors while the small group of Saxon slingers are able to bring down a single archer. 

The danish shield wall forms in a position to block the Saxon advance. The archers on the cliff have a wide open shot on the mob and 4 more peasants fall. The warriors scrambling up the cliffs catch an archer and swiftly dispatch him. 

The shield walls meet and the Danish lord prays his few men can hold until the cavalry can join in the fray. A single Dane and 4 Saxons perish in the initial charge.

As the Danish cavalry rounds the cliffs the Saxons surround the few remaining archers and cut one down.

The shield walls continues to grind together in the distance. The danish cavalry rounds the cliff and charges into the exposed slingers, killing one outright. The final two Danish archers on the cliff are gutted by the few Saxons.

In the horror of the shieldwall 4 more Saxons fall while only one Dane joins them in the dirt. The Saxon lord is carving his way through to the rear of the danes.

The cavalry deals with the slingers, killing the last two of them and heading towards the Saxon rear. 

In the melee at the end of the valley, an arrow takes the life of a Saxon and three Danes are gutted by Saxon steel. 

The Saxon lord has carved his way through the shield wall, opening it up for destruction from all sides. Realizing the threat of the cavalry, the Saxons form a rearward facing shieldwall.

Grasping initiative at the perfect moment, the Danes pull back and consolidate their shield wall. The cavalry prepares to charge the Saxon peasants facing them. Two mounted warriors stay behind and manage to kill one of the saxons as he comes off the cliff. The archers' arrows pluck another victim from the wall, while one more Saxon dies in the shieldwall fight.

The Danish cavalry crashes into the peasant shieldwall, killing one. As the Saxons swarm the dwindling Danish troops. Three danes fall to the rampaging warriors.

In the closing moments of the battle, the initive goes to the Saxons. They throw everything at the danes, managing to cut down 2 cavalry and a warrior. In their hubris, 4 fall to Danish arrows and blades. Shocked by the number of men they have lost, the Saxon lord manages to rally his men to fight another turn.

The Saxons close in on the small knot of a danes that seek shelter near a boulder. They hack their way through to the Danish leader and cut him down. With their leader dead and their numbers low the remaining danes run for the hills. 

In a futile act of defiance, the danish cavalry push through the Saxon rear guard, trampling 3 more Saxons while only losing one of their own. They then join the warriors fleeing the field, leaving the day to the Saxons.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cavalry for Saga

I just finished painting and basing a unit of 8 cavalry for my dark age games. The figures are Gripping Beast Saxons, but I plan on using them for any faction that I need cavalry for. The figures were all great, as is expected from Gripping Beast. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Viking Beach Assault - An LOTR SBG Battle Report

Harrold Harroldson had heard tales of Vinland for years. He set sale for that far off world with 5 well crewed ships. After a month at rough seas, his ship is the only one to make it to the rocky shores of the modern Labrador coast. As he sails along the shore looking for a suitable spot to land his beleaguered ship, he fails to notice the shadowed forms flitting through the misty trees. Spotting a creek that has cut a ravine through the rocky bluffs, Harold makes for it as his men cheer their imminent return to solid ground. 

The skraeling chieftain has had his scouts watching the strange ship since the early dawn. He has never seen the white demons before but has heard tales of slaughter and rape from other coastal villages. He knows that the closest place the ship can safely land is near the creek, and prepares a savage welcome for the white ghosts. 

The skraeling archers conceal themselves in the trees on top of the cliff. The chief orders a small group of men to hide in the boulders on the far side of the creek while he prepares the majority of his men to block the ravine entrance.  

The ships keel grinds onto the shingle beach while the skraelings lie in wait

As they notice the skraelings moving down the beach towards them the vikings pile out of their ship as fast as possible. Limited room means they will only be able to reach the sand a few at a time. As stone tipped arrows fly from the cliff one viking is snatched to an early grave.

With the ship as cover from the archers, the vikings try to get men on the beach to defend against the fast approaching attack of the advancing Skraelings.  
The archers drop two more vikings as they leap over the gunwales of their ship.
Keeping the initiative for the moment, the vikings manage to throw together a small shieldwall before the skraelings meet them. With weak flanks and few men, it is unlikely they will be able to hold on long. 3 are killed in the first skraeling charge, while the skraeling chief takes a minor wound. 


As more vikings reach the beach, the skraelings push in closer to the boat. In the melee, two warriors from each side are slain the surf.

leaping to the beach on the other side, another viking falls to the archers. 

The skraelings seize the initiative and pin the vikings up against the boat, removing any opportunity for reinforcements to join them on this side. The viking chief hurls himself over the gunwale and manages to dodge all 6 arrows that the archers launch at him.

The pinned vikings are slaughtered, losing 3 more men. The skraelings begin to lose their zeal as 2 more are skewered by viking steel. 

The chief orders a couple of warriors to block the reinforcements on the far side of the ship while he moves in on the remaining vikings.

The vikings are surrounded but not defeated, giving as good as they get with each side losing another 2 men.

The viking chief attempts to organize his few remaining men for a final push. They are pinned in a bad spot as the arrows fell another warrior.

Seeing the end in sight, the archers take careful aim and drop 4 of the viking warriors with arrows to the back. All hope is lost for the vikings as the chief and his last man are surrounded and clubbed down.

The vikings inability to get men on the beach had them constantly overwhelmed by numbers. This, coupled with the excellent shooting by the native archers led to their demise. With 20/20 hindsight, the vikings should have sent a detachment to deal with the archers and then sweep around behind the rear of the main skraeling attack.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Cliffs and Hills

I finished putting together some new scenery pieces last night. I wanted some cliffs and hills for certain scenarios. The hills work for last ditch defensive positions, while the cliffs work well for ambushes by ranged troops. Hopefully I can get a lot of use out of them!

The hills are stacked layers of foam insulation sheet. You can just glue the sheets together and then carve them into shape with a utility knife. I coated the cliff portions with cat litter to give texture. The whole piece can be spray painted. I did the hill brown and the cliff gray, but any base color will work. At this point all you have to do is flock the hill and dry brush the cliffs. Very easy and affordable for some simple topography.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Ambush on the Road - LOTR SBG Battle Report

After a meeting of Saxon lords on Eoforwic, the Lord Osbert and lady Aethelwyn are returning to their stronghold in Northumbria. Escorting them are 2 captains each in command of a 9 man troop. The Saxons are spread out in column along the narrow roads, with a vanguard and rearguard. The lord has 4 mounted warriors riding ahead as scouts.

As the column enters a valley, Osbert muses on the possibility of an ambush. The rocky hill to the right and the wood beyond the ford to his front both look like a possible hiding place, and the Scots have been somewhat ambitious lately. He considers lodging at the inn to his left, but decides to push on. 

Despite misgivings and ale cravings among the men, the column continues forward past the inn. Osbert just wants to get his wife home as fast as possible. 

As the horse's hooves clatter on the rocks of the ford, shouts and war cries erupt all around the column as Scots burst from every possible hiding place.

Two Scot warlords with a combined force of 27 men have successfully sprung their ambush. A small force is placed to block the ford, while two forces to the rear are well positioned to tear into the panicked column.

The Saxons react immediately to the threat. The cavalry spur through the ford and into an open field, ready to add support when needed. The vanguard pushes towards the ford with the lord and lady. They plan to punch through the small Scot shieldwall as fast as possible and then outrun the men to their rear. The rearguard forms a shieldwall in an attempt to hold off the Scots until the lord can make his escape. 

 The Scots on the left charge the Saxon rearguard. The aggressive charge catches the Saxons off guard and 3 fall to the ground with ghastly wounds.

Keeping initiative, the Saxon lord orders his men into the ford to meet the small Scot shieldwall. Timing their charge perfectly, the Saxon cavalry hits the Scot rear while they are distracted by the men to their front.
The Saxon rearguard remains engaged while Scots begin to bypass them and rush towards the ford.

Another Saxon falls in the rearguard. At the ford, the cavalry charge cuts down 4 Scots! 

With the situation in the rear dire, Osbert consolidates the shieldwall their himself. The ford is nearly in Saxon control. If the new wall can hold off the Saxon mob to the rear for long enough they should be able to make a fighting retreat to the edge of the field.

The Scots rush the newly formed wall and are met by spears and shields. 2 men from each side fall to the ground.

At the ford, the Saxon cavalry continue to mop up Scot survivors, felling 3. The Scot lord at the ford manages to dispatch a single Saxon warrior. 

The Scots gain the initiative as the Saxon shieldwall falters. A Scot warlord and his men  push in to surround the Saxon lord. Other warriors move to tie up the Saxons in combat so none can support their lord. A single warrior makes a rush for the lady and grabs her around the waist. She shrieks as he howls in triumph.

Disaster strikes for the Saxons! Osbert's head is swept from his shoulders by the Scot warlord's ax. Spurred on by the death of their lord, the Saxons manage to kill 5 Scot warriors while only losing a further 2.

The Scots maintain initiative despite dwindling numbers. They begin to drag the lady off the field. She will form a fine trophy. The lord organizes his men to make a fighting retreat. Seeing their lady being dragged away. The Saxon troops rally and charge the Scot wall, killing 2 while losing 2 more of their comrades.

Seeing his numbers fall dangerously low, the Scot warlord turns and flees the field! Many of his men follow hot on his heels. The few brave enough to stand and fight retreat with the lady to make a last stand in the rocks. 

The Saxon cavalry crashes into the Scot's final position, killing 2 and routing the rest. The Scot holding the lady sees that their is no way to escape with her. He casually slits her throat before beating a hasty retreat from the rampaging Saxon cavalry. It is a bittersweet victory for the Saxons as both their lord and lady are now corpses.

This battle was a lot of fun. The Scots almost had the day. By losing too many men they were forced to take a courage test. The lord failed as did almost half of the remaining men, sealing their fate. I plan on re-fighting the battle, but with the Saxons retreating to the inn and defending it instead of pushing for the ford.