Saturday, January 28, 2012

HOTT Vikings vs. Normans

Yesterday our young neighbor was over to play games – we usually play Savage Worlds on Fridays, but I didn’t have much of an adventure prepared so we were done early and I thought maybe we’d introduce Christopher to Hordes of the Things.

We let Christopher decide which army to play and he thought it’d be cool to play Vikings. When I explained the different troop types he decided that his Vikings would all be “Warband”.

Whether Finnegan was being cagey and picked them knowing they’d utterly DESTROY the Vikings… or he just happened to have it in his mind that he wanted to play them, he chose the Normans…

Now it’s always been my policy that whenever introducing someone to a new game I really don’t try too hard. I’m not saying I totally throw games (well, sometimes I do…), but I generally like them to feel like it’s a game they could do well enough at and that it’s a fun, challenging game.

Normans utterly destroy Vikings. Always. I probably should have just said; “pick another army, Finnegan.” But for some reason I let him play it… but I warned Christopher that it would probably be a totally military disaster for the Vikings…


1x Knight General
7x Knight
1x Spear
2x Bow
1x Rider

1x Warband General
11x Warband


We ended up playing two games. I knew the first one would be very short…


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

General Christopher Axe-Breaker arrays his Viking forces. Despite my attempts to explain that simply lining everyone up in a single line was the best plan, he insisted on breaking the army up into three groups and left the general at the back…

The Viking Horde surges forward.

Christopher Axe-Breaker moves his warbands forward some more.

Almost there.

The Normans ended up the defenders and Finnegan simply passed every turn holding his army in a line just before the gates of his stronghold.

At this point he decided to chrage!

They didn’t have far to charge… barely enough room to get up to a good gallop – they crashed into the Viking line with a fearsome crash and sent Norsemen flying hither and thither.

In the first bound of combat the Normans destroyed FIVE of the Vikings stands! Four fell before the might of the Knight’s charge up the center of the line.

…and one unlucky band of Vikings fled as the Norman archers darkened the skies above them!

Now in DBA that would have been the end of the game… But they were playing HOTT so The Vikings had to lose ONE MORE stand to be lost.

One the second bound the remiaing Viking tried to surge forward into the fray only to lose another three warbands… for a total of EIGHT stands… 2/3 of the army…. Yeesh.

It didn’t help that Christopher rolled a startling number of ones!? So even when he was fighting stuff that didn’t Quick-Kill (The Bow/Shooters and Light Horse/Riders) they were easily doubled and destroyed just the same…

Anyway… I then made them switch sides so Finnegan could get a sense of how utterly hopeless the game was. In retrospect I probably should have gotten out some different, more evenly matched armies so Christopher could see that it’s not ALWAYS so one-sided. That this was a particularly bad match-up – Or allowed him to defend and set up some terrain – because warband vs knights isn’t so gbad if you can throw out a pile of bad-going to hid in/ambush from …


So this time we have Duke Christophe of Normandy defending against the Hairy Hordes of Finnegan the Short.

The Hairy Hordes of Finnegan the Short begin their long slow march across the battlefield.

Steadily onward…

GARF! One for One – Norman Knights ride down a Viking Warband – while another Viking warband beats down the flanking riders!?

In the center the Norman Knights rode down two more Viking Warbands, but the third, overlapped on both sides and fighting the Norman Knight General (+4 vs. +1) beat bacck the general breaking up the line!!

Their success didn’t last long the following bound the Knight General trompled them into the dust…

At this point we had to call it as Christopher had to head home. A victory for Duke Christophe’s Normans – but not the stinging defeat Finnegan had laid on him in Game One. Despite all that he seemed in good spirits about the whole affair and will likely be back for more!


Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

This afternoon I manufactured some spears and lances and got seven stands worth of Scottish Spear and five stands worth of West Frank Knights finally assembled (they now just need to be primed). They join six stands worth of Anglo-Saxon Spear currently occupying the painting desk. Which will I get to first…? Probably one of the batches of Spear, as either will finish off an army…. Although the Knights would probably paint up quicker… Hmmmm…

Before that I’ll be posting the Pre-Feudal Scots Warband elements I finished up this morning along with an Army Marker for the same.

Perhaps before I finish the batches of Spear I might have a game report up. This next Wednesday is the first Wednesday of the month and that’s game night. I think we’re going to be playing some DBA to get primed for the Dark Age DBA Campaign Weekend. Maybe I should see if I could get one of the batches of Spear done for that!


  1. Thanks for posting an excellent account of an interesting gaming session.Great looking armies btw...

  2. Yup. Also good to see how much thought you put into introducing a young newcomer to the game.

  3. One of the things I really like about your blog is the way you include your kids into your gaming. Gives me hope that in a few years, I might get to do something similar with mine.

  4. I am living the Geek Dad dream and lovin' it!

  5. Sounds like the young general took the defeat well and is ready for more. That's great! Seems like he'll give his opponents a run for their money soon enough.