So here is a picture of my boys arrayed for battle:
|Plastic knights from Conquest Games, metal crossbowmen from Crusader Miniatures|
My chosen 4 points consists of 8 warriors with crossbows and 12 mounted knights. The knights I plan to use in two units of 6 to combine versatility with striking power. Ever since the first time I tried that with my Vikings I have always been ready to sacrifice a saga die for fewer, but larger, elite units.
So with the Normans ready, I set up a test game against my Vikings.
The idea was to test a combined arms approach with the Normans. The crossbows would fire on the Vikings as they advanced and then retreat back, allowing the knights to charge a weakened foe.
The Vikings were to use their standard tactic of "CHARGE!"
Of course, it didn't quite work out like this...
NORMAN TURN 1
|Norman Turn 1 Battleboard selection|
|End of Norman Turn 1|
VIKING TURN ONE
|VikingTurn 1 Battleboard selection|
|A tentative advance|
|Norman Turn 2 Battleboard selection|
|A couple more dead Vikings. Nothing else!|
So, due to their dispersed formation, two of the Norman crossbowmen were not able to contribute to the melee. I did have some kind of idea they were shielding the knights, but to be honest that was a bit stupid of me... So the white dice on the left were what the Normans had to roll. Needing 4+ (Normally 5+ but a viking ability reduced their own armour).
The Vikings on the other hand started with two dice each for being hearthguard (the red ones). You'll notice there are only 4 figures, but I had removed one to power the Valhalla ability by the time I took this picture.The black dice are what they gained from their abilities. 19 in total. And they only needed 2+ to hit. Normally 4+ but crossbowmen lose a point of armour and the Vikings also spent the Norman fatigue marker to reduce it again. The two saga dice pictured are to remind me that the Vikings could also re-roll all their misses (again from an ability)!
So no surprises in the next picture...:
NORMAN TURN 3
It was at this point I noticed a significant tactical error... Just out of shot at the bottom of the above picture was the Viking warlord. He had advanced with the hearthguard and was now sitting by himself within 12 inches of the mounted Norman warlord. So, if activated, the Norman leader had no option but to charge his foe. But of course, he could take his pals with him...
|Norman Turn 3 Battleboard selection|
|Not where you want to be when you don't have a horse.|
So the inevitable happened and the Normans rode into battle and trampled the Viking warlord, thereby winning the scenario. It was a bit of a letdown when you make a mistake like this in an actual game, but it also reminded me how fast the Normans can be.
|The Bitter End|
So what did I learn from this? Well, I think I might want to consider returning the hearthguard to 3 units of 4 and see how it affects the dice I get to use. I also really want to get some bowmen levies as they have access to an ability which lets them fire at double range, something the crossbows can't do. I still like the idea of massed fire with my Normans.
So with that in mind I think I want to set the game up for another go!