Thursday, 10 December 2015

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

With the Vikings busy in the last turn attacking my Temes garrisons they were unable to shut down quite so many of my supply points, by spreading out to occupy the villages. This enabled me to net twenty-eight points of supply which I spent on recruiting the same number of warriors who were distributed among the front line fortifications.

I would have liked to have withdrawn the five man garrison at Dorchecestre (just off map grey hex top centre), but they can't reach Readingum and so will have to do their best in the face of another likely assault. King Eathelred has joined the garrison at Basengas to improve the fighting qualities of the garrison (It really pays to put the Kings and Princes in the front line as the warriors and Earls strike better when they are present, and I realised the error last move, only too late).

In addition to the reinforcements I have fed more Earls into my front line towns to add to their defences. With a Viking supply turn due next, this turn will be a likely turning point in the struggle. If the Vikings flop in front of one of these key towns as my chaps did in front of Lundene then they could be in trouble.

So with a slight delay as the Vikings went off into the woods to build scaling ladders and facines, we pick up where we left off with Vikings clambering over walls and slaughtering Saxon garrisons, whilst fanning out into the wider countryside to occupy as many areas as they can in preparation for the upcoming Viking re-supply phase.

The action for turn twelve has the Vikings consolidate their hold on the Temes by taking Readingum and Dorchecestre. So taking the actions in order.

Assault on Readingum
Attacking with four kings, sixteen Jarls (so much for attacking in groups more than eight!) and seventy three warriors up against a defence of two Earls and thirty-five warriors with a +3 defence factor. The Vikings needed a 3 or a 6 on a D6 to breach the walls and negate the +3 defence and bring on a very one sided battle within the streets of the town. They throw a 6. What !!!! Oh well how sad, never mind. The Vikings wipe out the garrison losing twelve warriors in the fighting.

Assault on Dorchecestre
Not much better here for the forces of Christendom as King Guthrum, two Jarls and twelve warriors go up against my five Saxon warriors and a +2 defence, needing 1,3 or 6 on a D6 to breach the walls. Off course they breach on the first attempt by rolling a 6 and slaughter the garrison without loss.

So to summarise the situation at the end of April, the Vikings now hold the Temes and the following VP/RSP areas; Lundene (4), Readingum (3), Welengaford (3), Dorchecestre (2), Abbendun (2), Wantage (1) Lamburnai (1), Sashes (1) Leobriban (1), Esingun (1) for a total of 19 VP's needing 21 VP for a minor victory with still three turns to go and a Viking resupply phase coming next. So at a minimum they can add a further nineteen warriors to their force next turn.

The casualty lists show thirty-four Viking warriors lost for three Saxon Earls and sixty Saxon warriors.

I had hoped that Readingum would have cost the Vikings more than just the loss of twelve warriors and their breaching on the first turn, with just a 33% chance of doing so, negated my beefed up garrison ready to sell their lives dearly for Wessex. Mmmm, this is going to be even more tricky than first thought and as I predicted, the turn looks likely to be pivotal to the campaign.

As you can see Ragnar is looking a lot more confident than he sounded a couple of turns back and I am sure we will hear the thoughts of the Pagan soon.

Viking Comments Turn 12

Well I got the easy attacks out of the way last turn so now its grit your teeth time as every further attack I make will get harder.

First let’s review the Saxons,
They appear to have gone into dormant mode which is just what I want; there is some more reinforcing of the obvious targets and also pushing the unwanted King into Basengas . Good news all round.

My move is pretty obvious even though I do have a choice on what to do, I could use ship movement and attack Basengas now or I could mop up the two towns around the Temes (its harder than you think to remember not to spell things properly). I have to take Reading to win and I should take it now as it both lets me free up the defenders in London and also lets me max out my army for the tougher battles to come.

A quick glance next at the supply table to see when more Saxons can be expected to turn up; it shows that I will get two turns of attacking before additional forces come on the board plus I get more warriors next go as well. This means he will have to strip garrisons further back in order to beef up the front line and I can bring on the reinforcements anywhere along the Temes to deal with any threats if they occur.

Right then, time to gird my loins and start the attacks. (By the way the position of official Kings Loin Girder is currently available, previously held by Vince the now Handless)

I detach Guthram with a small force to finish of Dorchester, I use the London Garrison to send out one warrior occupying forces to as many supply points as I can reach and the remainder join up with the Horde to attack Reading.

The Reading attack goes far better than I hoped with my first breaching roll being a success and allowing the ravenous horde to pour into the city. In the combat the advantage of having Kings in any fight shows up as I can now only miss hitting the enemy on a 2!  Needless to say everyone hits and the Saxons die to a man in one round but not before taking 12 warriors with them.  Jammy Oiks (this will baffle anyone who is not English)

The assault at Dorchester goes just as well despite it taking two rounds to breach the weak walls, the Saxons fail to hit on any of their defence rolls and so Guthram moves in to start dividing up the loot.

The key is now Basengas as that gives me enough points to win the game, let’s see what he does. I will have to assault it as I cannot get all the way around it to lay siege. (The key hex is 714 and I can only get one man to go in it which he can then easily push out with a sacrificial attack from Winchester.

However he might just throw everything he can into Basengas which would be very nice.


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  2. We prefer the term:

    Great Non-Denominational Happiness ,Tolerance and Wellness Collective.

    1. None of this revisionist Viking history please, you're as bad as Andrew Roberts on Napoleon.

  3. Don't bring that axe with you to the Christmas game "Mr Steve". You could have someone's eye out with that.


    1. I seen him strike that assertive pose many a time. It just needs the speech bubble "I think it's your round".

  4. That pose means " its definitely your round"
    You may need to look that phrase up