Friday, October 4, 2013

Dark Age SBG: Vikings vs Saxons

I've been hunting around for a Dark Age rule set for awhile. I've tried a few free rules, a few paid for rules. I liked some of them or parts of them, but for whatever reason, I couldn't settle on one.

A few nights ago, on our regular gaming night, we didn't have anything planned. So when my friend, came over I gave him a choice, X-Wing or Vikings vs Saxons using the latest version of GW Strategy Battle Game. I still refer to it as LOTR:SBG but it is officially The Hobbit: SBG. he picked SBG. We didn't make any changes to the rules or army lists as we didn't have a lot of time.

Base on what figures we had about 20 each of Sax and Vikings, I threw together 2 army lists. For the vikings we used the Isengard list. For Saxons we used Rohan. This, to me, represented very roughly Vikings and Saxons. One side better fighters with more Armor/gear. The other side, the lesser trained/armed Fyrd running to protect their homes. Basically we got some F4/D5 Warriors vs F3/D4. 

The Vikings:
Warband 1
Huscarls = Uruk-Hai w/shields
Warband 2
Bondi = Wild Man of Dunland
Berserkers = Uruk-Hai Berserkers
Warband 3
Bondi = Wild Man of Dunland
Archers = Ruffian w/bow

The Saxons:
Warband 1
Huscarls = Warriors of Rohan w/Shield
Warband 2
Fyrd = Warriors of Rohan No Shields/Throwing Spear
Warband 3
Fyrd = Warriors of Rohan No Shields/Throwing Spear
Archers Warriors of Rohan, Bow

Since the Vikings were raiding the Saxon's, the Saxon's setup first. The Vikings rolled to see which board edge each Warband would come on. They ended up with one Warband per board edge.
I had my Saxon Huscarls on the right. Archers on a hill in the middle and Fyrd cowering behind walls on the left.

The Viking perspective, Huscarls on the left, Bondi up the center and right.

 The Vikings advance into the village center. My Saxon's fall back to form up.

 The Bondi advance towards the Fyrd behind the walls. They did not realize my Fyrd was waiting to shower them with Throwing Spears.

First Blood goes to the Fyrd. The Bondi Leader begins to rethink "I'll just storm over the wall" approach. Both Viking Warbands that came in on the side edges move into the center.

 The Vikings are forming up to assault. 2 More Bondi die to Throwing spears. My Archers couldn't hit the ground if they tried. 

 My Fyrd on the extreme left get cocky( it will cost them later) and hop the wall to go after the Bondi that pulled back from the field, but there is a Viking rearguard.

The Fyrd hold the line, chucking more spears. My Huscarls fall back to the cliff edge. I'm afraid of the Viking Huscarls. Better Fight and Defense scores. I let my Fyrd do the fighting against the weaker Bondi and it's paying off.

 Steady men, let them come.

Saxon Huscarls zero kills. Fyrd has 5 kills!

Fyrd claim another victim with spears on the left. Too be honest here, I had a hot hand when I was throwing the spears and I always went for the less armored Bondi.

The Vikings move up and get ready to charge. I've run out of "redeploy" room. Time for my Huscarls to earn their pay.

The Fyrd and Bondi go at it hard. Both sides taking casualties. The battle goes back and forth. For the rest of the game we each will feed more troops into this fight. My Standard Bearer, a Saxon Leader was outnumbered fight after fight. He was surrounded by corpses at the end of the night.

My 2 little Fyrd on the extreme left got cocky and charged a lone Bondi. What is the growling mouth foaming beast before them? Oh crap one of the two Viking Berserkers. They where very brave and will be missed.

The Bondi and Fyrd battle continues to rage. I feed in more Fyrd and since my archers couldn't hit anything, I threw them into the fray.

The Main lines clash! I couldn't avoid it any longer. He had Priority so he charged in and picked his fights. My response was to bring my archers off the hill to lap around the sides.

The Fyrd are heroes, tying up the 2 groups of Bondi and 2 leaders.

The Huscarl fight was hard, but I hang on. One mistake I made was not leaving myself room to fall back, In the SBG rules, if you can't fall back after loosing, you fall to the ground and your opponent gets double the attacks. This cost me 2 Huscarls.

On the far right it was a straight up fight, 3 vs 3, but his troops were better. After the first round, it's a 2 vs 2.

At this point The Vikings reached 50% casualties, which means for them to charge they would have to take a moral test every time. And it was late so we had to call it. I was 1 or 2 models from breaking myself. It was a Saxon Victory but costly. The Vikings will have to sail back home licking their wounds till next year.

The rules worked very very well for Dark Ages. We will do this again. Time to make up some army lists as opposed to using LOTR stats. Also I have a small campaign in mind.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this, good terrain and miniatures, well done.

  2. Our lads now dwell in Vallhalla. So all in all a good end. Oh and we will be back, lock up yer daughters and wives, pigs,sheep, cattle. Heel lock it all up!!! It is a long sea voyage!!!

  3. Very cool terrain and battle report. My buddies and I are doing a similar thing using Lotr rules for a Game of Thrones campaign. Looking forward to the next one


  4. Hi there did you ever write profiles for dark age using Lotr? I'm looking to do the same thing. Thanks Tom

    1. We used Uruk Hai profiles for Vikings and Rohan profiles for Saxons