Headed over to The Brother's house yesterday to meet my new nephew and get game in. After a bit of general catching up with him and his family we got down to the gaming. He'd surprised me with his newly painted Pagan Rus force and offered The Eldest the helm of his Welsh so we set up for a three way clash.
We played a four point per side game with The Brother and myself just using the standard starter warbands (Warlord, two hearthguard and two warriors with one of my hearthguard being beserkers) The Eldest settled on a mounted warchief, two hearthguard choices (one of which was also mounted) and two warrior options.
The Brother and The Eldest claimed two corners of the table for deployment so I took the middle of the opposite long edge.
The first turn had all of us begin to advance toward our opponents holding fairly closely together until an opportunity presented itself.
It was the second turn when things began to get interesting. The Pagan Rus it appeared had brought a hard climate with them as The Great Winter swept across the board slowing down all the warbands as they advanced. While attempting to push up and come across into the Welsh flank my unit of Hirdmen (hearthguard) found themselves getting bogged down in the Frozen ground and were unable to complete their second movement. The Welsh thanks to Children of the Land were able to move through the forest at a fairly rapid pace considering the weather, however the Teulu (hearthguard) cavalry found themselves isolated in the dim twilight that the Pagan Rus had bought with them and exhausted themselves with their panicked cries for help and frenzied searching (Fear of the Dark).
My warchief decided at this point that perhaps the Pagan Rus needed his attention slightly more and he swept across the battlefield to lend his support to his Beserkers and their accompanying Bondi (warriors). The Hirdmen ran into more trouble with their attempts to close with the Welsh running into Holy Ground. The Teulu horsemen took time to rest but then spotted some Pagan Rus Militia and proceeded to taunt the men who broke ranks in order to close with the infuriating Welsh. Meanwhile the Priodaur managed to catch up to the Teulu, but as the Pagan Rus force reshuffled to cover the hole in their battle line the Endless Wastes claimed the lives of three of the Welsh horsemen.
The winds gusted and snow again fell as The Great Winter came back in full force. The last mounted Teulu vanished into the Endless Wastes. The last Teulu disappearing into the unknown proved to be too much for the Priodaur on that flank as they too began to suffer from a Fear of the Dark. The Viking warchief was forced to change his plans on the fly as the oncoming mist and snow meant the Beserkers would be unable to close with his ideal target and ended up with both flanks just continuing their steady advance to close with their enemies. The Priodaur faced with the oncoming Viking Bondi hurled their javelins with accuracy but the swift discipline of the Vikings prevent any of the brave men from falling to the cowardly Welsh attack. The Teulu emerged from the forest at that moment putting additional pressure on Vikings facing them.
The Pagan Rus reposition ready to attempt to fend of the obviously incoming Viking rush. The isolated Priodaur lost more men to the Endless Wastes. The Welsh Teulu pulled back into the forest hoping to lure the Viking men into an Ambush in my opinion. The Beserkers after being held back from their targets for such a long time swept into the Pagan Rus line calling on Frigg and Ullr, the Militia were Standing like Bears and with a warcry of For The Khagan! the melee began. At the end there was nothing left but corpses and one rather battered and shocked looking Pagan Rus man.
As luck would have it capricious Loki was attending this battle and that lone Pagan Rus warrior was claimed as his. Unfortunately The Great Winter showed no signs of breaking and the warriors again found themselves battling against the very earth itself just to move. The Bondi closed with the Priodaur but were replused losing over half their number and only managing to pull down a single Welsh man. The Priodaur heartened by their success against the Bondi hurled their javelins at the Hirdmen but with the adrenaline pumping in their veins they were unable to even look like hitting any of the professional Viking warriors. It was this moment that the Welsh warchief found his mettle and bravely charged the remaining Viking Bondi. He fought valiantly but was cut down by the Welsh man. Once again Fear of the Dark and Endless Wastes took out more of the Priodaur on the far flank seemingly forgotten by their warchief.
The Viking Hirdmen charged the Welsh warchief but a nearby Priodaur managed to leap into the melee saving his warchief from being cut down at the cost of his own life. The Welsh warchief with bellowed command smashed into the Hirdmen along with the Priodaur. The Hirdmen cried out to Thor, Ullr and a rainbow bridge appeared to Valhalla itself with two of the brave men crossing over then and their causing their fellows to fight with a redoubled effort with the Priodaur being forced back and the Warchief left to fight alone against the now frenzied Hirdmen who while managing to kill the last Viking was only left in his saddle thanks to his resilience. The game came to a close with the last Priodaur on the Pagan Rus flank being swallowed by the Endless Wastes.
Awesome game! The day went to The Brother with twelve victory points. The Eldest and myself tied with six points each. The Eldest plans to keep her force more tightly packed next time she plays against the Pagan Rus and I'm going to be practicing judging distances better so my warchief kills are stolen at the last minute by nearby warriors :). As always when I play The Brother he's put up a companion post on his blog Stand and Deliver! feel free to go check it out.