Thursday, November 3, 2011

Norse Invade Wales

I reconnected with my pal Gary whom I haven’t played any games with for far too long and arranged a last minute battle this evening. I finally got to try out my (relatively) new Welsh DBA army. Gary brought his own Norse.

Up until now the only Dark Age DBA armies we’ve had to play with have been Anglo-Saxons/Angli-Danish, Norse Vikings, and Normans… At first it was just the former two… and the Vikings pretty much always beat down the Anglos. Then I put together a Norman army, and THEY pretty much always beat down BOTH! I had three other armies for Dark Age England but never really got around to painting them up; Irish, Welsh, and Scots. For a long time I thought “What’s the point? They’re just a bunch of Auxilia and Psioloi or Warband or Warband and Spear…. What chance have any of them against Blade or Knights!?” Well I sat down one night (or manybe it was a few nights…) and came to the conclusion it’s all in the aggression factor and home terrain. Welsh and Irish and Scots have low aggression and would almost always be defending against the Vikings and Normans… and there’s a whole lot of Warband and Auxilia and Psioloi in those armies… The key it seemed would be to sit in the bad going and wait for the Knights and Blade and Spear to come in and then ambush them!

Worked for the Germans fighting the Romans, right?

So I finally got around to painting up my Welsh and Irish, and even made some new terrain for them (I’ll be needing to make some MORE soonish!) and have been itching to have a go with them ever since…

Well…. Here’s how it turned out…

[Dyfed, 987AD]


The Norse under Gary Blackchapel invade Wales and come into conflict with some cagey Welshmen led by Tymm Brownwyn


Norse Viking (III/40b) attacking Welsh (III/19a)


Norse Viking (III/40b)
1x Blade General (Gary Blackchapel)
10x Blade
1x Bow

Welsh (III/19a)
1x Warband General (Tymm Brownwyn)
9x Warband
2x Psiloi


As I mentioned this game was arranged rather hastily at the last minute…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

So when Gary called I had to clean up a bit…

By the time he showed up I’d cleared off enough of the table to have a game (actually this pic was taken after the game…. But you get the idea…)

The Norse form their battle line… the Welsh hide in the woods and on top of hills.

Actually I couldn’t have asked for a better deployment zone – two steep hills and a wood between them! (I need to make some more terrain tiles…)

The Norse advance… The Welsh continue to hide.

Gary moving his troops about.

The Norse expand their line a bit.

Steady lads…

I extended my line a bit too…

Almost there.

It’s almost like they knew what they were doing…?

Finally the Norse got close enough and a reasonable PIP roll so they decided to go in on their left flank – Four Blade up a steep hill to fight the Welsh Warband.

Once we sorted out the combat factors this seemed like less of a good idea… but they were committed… so…

The outcome of the first clash wasn’t as disasterous as it might have been. The Vikings fought one warband to a standstill, pushed a second back over the hill, and lost one stand…

Of course the next bound was mine and I pushed that warband back into the fray.

Another stand of Vikings down.

Gary kept it together and turned on the flank of one of the Welsh Warbands that had pushed into the gap (which then turned to face their Norse attacker). Even odds and someone was going to be gone…

This time it was the Welsh…

The welsh concentrated on the remaining Vikings at the other end of the hill – I think I even brought in some nearby skirmishers (Psiloi) to overlap and just make the odds that much better.

Nearly all the Vikings cleared off the hill and the batter seeming a little more desperate!

With another good PIP roll Gary decided to shift attention to the woods in the center (at least there the Welsh wouldn’t have the hill advantage!)

Again, the first round wasn’t as disastrous as it could have been – due to Gary picking the right battles first. The Norse fought one warband to a standstill and pushed back the General and the other Warband.

As on the hill however on my following bound I simply reorganized and returned to the fight.

First the Bow were pushed out of the woods with the Warband General in hot pursuit into the gap overlapping the Blade on either side. Both of those Blades (including the General) were subsequently vanquished and the battle was lost…

Welsh… Not an army for carving out empires… but damn… best leave them alone and Never, EVER go into the woods or up a steep hill after them!

Fun times… I’m excited to try out the Irish. Being mostly Auxilia and Psioloi they don’t have the “quick-kill” that Warband have against Blade, but they do have a bit more speed… maybe turning flank will be their thing…? It’ll be interesting to see how they play out….

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

More painting… maybe even some more games…


  1. Great looking game, you messy boy!!

  2. I love my Welsh in Viking-era games and have delivered way too many crushing defeats to those who should know better..
    Tho' I usually use the CvG option.


  3. Well, it's widely known that the Vikings simply didn't bother with whales, and also just left the Irish to their forests, preferring to stay in their cities in comfort! Now you know the reason :)

    But I will defeat the Teenage Visigoth's Welsh hordes one day, to this I swear!!!!