Sunday, 6 December 2015

Alfred the Great - The Great Heathen Army 871 AD, April Turn Eleven

When a massive Viking army comes down the road from London with five Kings and fifteen Jarls there is really only one thing to do - RUN AWAY!!!!!!

Or as we say in the Wessex army "make a tactical withdrawal". I don't have the strength to risk a field battle with the Vikings and my recourse has to be to try and take advantage of my force multipliers, namely the fortified hexes that force the Vikings to fight for their victory points and hopefully lose a lot of warriors in the process.

With just one Viking resupply period left, I have to hope to do enough damage between now and then whilst husbanding my own forces to allow me to still be contesting issues at the end. So with that strategy in place I put the army into garrison throughout Wessex, even sending off forces from Welengaford to occupy the vacated hexes at Dorchecestre and Abbendun to force the Vikings to fight for them if they want the VPs, which I think they will.

My Royals have pulled back into Wiltunscir to form a reserve, hopefully to take advantage of any Viking slip up whilst taking my defences apart.

Well I can't say I'm surprised, but my Temes forward defence took the brunt of the initial Viking attacks. So lets take the fighting one at at a time:

Assault on Walingaford
The five Viking kings, thirteen Jarls and seventy-six warriors hurled themselves at the walls with the scaling ladders to the fore. My brave garrison of one Earl and twenty warriors threw them back twice inflicting twenty casualties before being overcome on the third assault and dying to the last man without causing further losses to the invaders.

Assault on Dorchecestre
The Vikings send in a paltry force of one Jarl and ten warriors to attack the garrison of five warriors, but fail to get over the walls on the first attempt losing four of their warriors and falling back to Walingaford.

Assault on Abbendun
Again one Jarl and ten warriors move in to attack the walls and fail at the first attempt but my garrison fail to inflict any losses on the attack. On the second attempt they successfully scale the walls and in the subsequent fight wipe out the garrison for no loss.

So the balance sheet shows two fortified hexes lost to the Vikings that nets them five Victory/Resupply points and inflicts casualties on the Saxons of one Earl and twenty five warriors for the loss of twenty five Viking warriors and four moves to go.

I think that is a good result for the Vikings as I would have hoped to have inflicted at least another ten casualties in the fighting, but instead hung on to Dorchecestre for another move which might be almost as good. The Vikings will look to replace these losses in their last resupply so I have to hope to do much better in the next set of combats if I am to stay in the game to the end.

There are forty points available and the Vikings need twenty one of them to get a minor victory.

So the Vikings now hold
Lundene (4), Walingaford (3), Abbendun (2) and three villages (3)
for 12 VP/RSP (Victory/Resupply Points)

Whilst the Saxons have
Wintanceastre (4), Basengas (3), Readingum (3), Cippenhamm (3), Wilton (3), Dorchecestre (2), Malmesbury (2) and eight villages (8)
for 28 VP/RSP

Note; The Vikings have to garrison Saxon areas to get the points, whilst vacant areas revert back to Saxon control.

We will see what Ragnar has to say about things, once he has washed the blood off!

Viking Commentary Turn 11

First I would like to answer the hundreds of you that have been asking about the delay in seeing my Turn reports. Because the Vikings move second in the turn and I am also not stupid, my turn report gets delayed until after I have received the Saxon following move. For example, I have just completed my turn 11 move and after sending it back my next action is to write up my thoughts on what happened. When I receive JJs move 12, I will send off my move 11 for adding into the blog.

Well surprisingly the Saxons have completely dispersed sending their army into garrisons, My initial thoughts are that this is a mistake, I know he has another re-supply turn next go so he might be trying to maximise his forces and he has also sent the Kings as far away from my army as possible to keep them safe, lets wait and see.

So I have to attack something. Checking out the garrisons of the Royal Estates leaves me with Wallingford as the obvious target so the Great Horde head that way and attack, The Saxons have also put five men into each of the Religious Sites to the North so I detach two groups from the London Garrison each consisting of a Jarl and ten men and sail up the Thames to attack them as well. I also send out a warrior to re occupy Saches and Leobriban and what I assume is now called Lambourn by using my Thames movement ability.

I have spent a little time considering what went wrong previously in attacking towns and in fact it was more bad luck than anything else. Royal estates are in fact a 33% option for both attacker and defender so it’s not that bad; if I get in of course I have an even greater advantage so it’s got to be worth a punt,

As it happens I fail the first two goes and the defender hits both of his attempts!! I lose ten men each time One more go, hooray, I'm in , as it happens I get lucky/unlucky , my warriors and Jarls hit and just score enough to wipe the defenders out , my army of Kings who really pile up the casualties Miss! on the only roll that could do so. Never mind as I didn't actually need them, The Saxons miss in return so I capture Wallingford.

At Dorchecestre I fail on a 50/50 to get in and the Saxons hit killing six men so I retreat (I think I might have just made a mistake and that should have been only three) Oh well.

The reverse happens at Abbendune, I breach the walls, kill everyone and the Saxons miss.

This experience tells me that I need to disperse my Kings more to make better use of the easier “With a King”  hit table and that having  thirteen Jarls in one group is pointless as the table only goes up to eight plus.


  1. As expected "Mr Steve" offered battle and when you refused took out Walingaford. I must say I am surprised he took Abbendum without further loss. That could cost you in the final reckoning.

    Still, no sense in giving battle to the main Viking army at this stage. You would only have taken a "whooping" if you had.


  2. Yes exactly so Vince, I have a feeling this game might come down to possession of the odd village or religious site and that might be determined by the potential of the Saxons to be able to sally forth towards the end to snatch back some territory from a weakened Viking main force, hence the decision to let the Vikings "knock themselves out" securing their base on the Temes.

    I have made an error in my set up, that sprung immediately to mind when I saw the results of the last attacks, and I will look to remedy that in the next moves if I can, but I think the game will be decided pretty much in the next couple of moves, but I don't think either of us are confident in calling it just yet.

  3. I was annoyed that I lost so many in my attacks, surprisingly by actually bothering to look at the rules on the assaulting of Towns made a really big difference .