Fearsome raiders or peaceful settlers, the Vikings have captured our imagination for generatrions. The countless tales and sagas of their deeds are captivating and now you can create great sagas of your own using The Barons’ War game.
The period in which we have chosen to focus on for our first steps in the long history of the Vikings saw both raiding parties arrive on the coastlines and Danes settle across England within the area known as the Danelaw so it would be remiss of us not to represent this. Some of the warriors in our Viking list have the ability ‘Settled’, these are the Anglo-Danes, who have settled in England and would not usually be found on a raiding party so cannot be taken in a Retinue that wishes to use ‘Surprise Raid’.
‘Surprise Raid’ is an ability open to some Commanders that allows them to keep back 25% of their Retinue during deployment. When these groups activate during the first game round they are placed on any table edge, as long as they are more than 8” away from an opponent, and may act as normal. Very handy for catching your enemy by surprise and keeping them on their toes during the first round. Just be careful not to leave vulnerable groups trapped behind enemy lines.
In keeping with the theme of the previous Saxon list in my first post on this topic, the characters we have included are the mighty Harald Hardrada and his ally Tostig Godwinson.
Harald is a brute on the battle field, armed with a Dane axe and combined with his ‘Blood Lust’ ability, allows him to roll 2d6 for charge range and choose the highest result, he will be in the heart of the melee in no time. his ‘Rousing Presence’ will allow you to take a group of settled Anglo-Danes in a raiding force as he stirs excitement for battle in the settlements he passes through. Not only this but it also takes two casualties to bring him down, not a man to be trifled with im sure you will agree.
Tostig is a more shrewd character, eager to get at his brother Harold, he can force the will of those in his Retinue. His ability means he can issue orders without the recipient having to roll a morale check. His tyranny does take a toll on his followers however and for every order they receive in this way their morale dice will increase by one.
Again, we have included everyones favourite warrior classes in the list, such as Hirdmen, who gain an extra 2″ on their charge range when attacking a foe holding an objective, and Bondi who can form a shield wall to defend (but let’s be honest that’s not why you want to play vikings, right?). Both of these types have the option of weapon choice, meaning they can carry both a bow and melee weapon and choose which to use in any given round.
Next up we have the Berserkers, what Viking army would be complete with out our favourite axe wielding nutters? These fellows have the ‘Berserk’ special rule which means once they lose their cool they are no longer under your Commander’s control and must act as part of the Compulsory Actions phase. However, in their rage they gain +2 to attack rolls but lose -1 to their defence rolls plus they automatically pass any morale check they are asked to take.
We have also included the controversial Shield Maidens, despite the doubts of their authenticity, because, well, they are cool! These iron wielding ladies do not fear death and do not count their morale dice towards any morale checks.
Form the Anglo-Dane settlements we have the usual slingers, and archers. These warriors can often sway the fight and its a tough choice whether to include these handy ranged support groups or go for the more aggressive raiding Retinue.
Finally we have some mounted scouts, these can be taken in a raiding Retinue but you cannot choose these groups as the 25% left out during your initial deployment. The reasoning for this is, I imagine it is quite difficult to get horses on and off a longship with any haste!
Well, that wraps up my look at the Vikings. Join me next time for a glance at the Normans.