Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Roman Empire Invades the Isle of Berk

Gaming With The Boy – Part II

Finnegan decided he’s like to try and play the Romans . The obvious opponent was my Vikings (the Hairy Hooligan Tribe!). He’s a HUGE fan of Cressida Cowell’s How to… Dragon Books. In one of the books (How to Speak Dragonese) the Hairy Hololigans’ take on an outpost of the Roman Empire!?

Finnegan decided the Hairy Hooligan were more of a “Warband” type of Viking than “Blade”…


The Legions of the Roman Empire lead by “The Fat Consul” have invaded the Isle of Berk and are marching on the village of the Hairy Hooligans!


Romans are the attackers, Vikings are the defenders.


Hairy Hooligan Tribe
1x Hero General– Stoick the Vast
9x Warband – Viking Warriors
1x Shooters – Viking Archers.

The Roman Empire
1x Blade General – The Fat Consul
4x Blade – Roman Legionnaires
4x Spear – Roman Auxiliaries
1x Shooter – Roman Archers
2x Riders – Roman Cavalry


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

Finnegan and his legions (and his reference guide for Roman tactics).

The Hairy Hooligans arrayed before their village, ready to defend the Isle of Berk.

The Roman Legions advance.

Finnegnan demonstrates how the Romans march.

Finnegan demonstrates how Roman cavalry gallop.

Gallop they did – he got a whopping big 6 PIPs and couldn’t hold them back any longer!

The following turn they contacted the left of the Hooligan line. One unit of Roman Cavalry shoved one batch of hooligans back into a creek, but the others were soundly thrashed by the hooligan warbands further down the line! Romans down one.

There was considerably less distress at this "setback" than there was in our last game. Finnegan, is seems, is considerably less concerned when it’s the “bad guys” losing – even if HE’s playing the “bad guys”…

Hooligans surround the remaining squadron of Roman Cavalry…

…but they’re made of sterner stuff and throw back their assailants.

The Cavalry once more charges in trying to shove the Hooligans right back into the water. (the Hooligans threw them back, however).

The Roman battle line advances ever closer to the Hololigan village.

Once more the Hooligans on the left of the line assault the Roman cavalry…

…and finally they are undone… Romans down two.

At the other end of the line the Hooligan archers started harassing the Romans with volleys of arrows, forcing the Roman archers to retire and regroup.

The Legions of Roman advance ever closer….

Finally the battle is joined…

Just look at those neat battle lines… that wasn’t going to last long!

The horrendous din of metal on metal, metal on wood, metal crushing bone and rending flesh and the fearsome cries of the Hairy Hooligans could be heard as far away as the Bog-Burglar Islands and had Big-Boobied Bertha wondering what the terrible racket was…!?

One legion of Romans was vanquished and a hole in the Hooligan line developed where Romans had done their worst…. Others were thrown back here and there. The wild Hooligans pursuing where they could. The neat battle lines in complete disarray! The fat consul shrank from the might of Stoic the Vast.

Romans down three, Hooligans down one.

(a number of turns of bad PIP rolls – for both of us – followed, so only one or two stands would make contact on any give turn as there was nothing resembling “groups” left on the table…)

At the left of the line the Hooligans struck back! Shattering a unit of Auxilia at the far left,, but being thrown back by Legionnaires elsewhere.

Romans down four.

They shattered a unit of Auxilia at the far left, but were thrown back by Legionnaires elsewhere.

The Auxilia at the left of the Roman line finally got up the nerve to enter the woods and find out what was making that fearsome howling noise… as it turns out, it was THE BERSERKERS!

The Berserkers lived up to their “dangerous” reputation and crushed the Auxilia spearmen to their front.

Romans down five.

The Fat Consul had got up the nerve to rejoin the fight with Stoic the Vast…

… but was again thrown back by his… uh.. vastness…

A fierce battle continued between some hooligans and auxilia at the left of the Hooligan line over a couple of turns neither refusing to give ground…

Eventually a lot of Hooligans Got back into it with one of the legions – supported on both sides…

… and the Romans were surrounded and crushed!

Game Over.

100% less tears shed over this battle, which was shocking, considering it was a pretty sound thrashing!! Maybe it was because it was “bad guys” he was playing… or maybe it was because it was all in the context of a story he understood rather than a head-to-head "competition"… Regardless it was good times for all and I’m looking forward to playing lots more!

I actually didn’t expect it to go this well, when he diecided that the vikings should be Warband. All those Blades at+5 and Spears at +4 versus my warbands at +3… but that Warband quick-kill got them more than a couple times….

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Probably more HotT and DBA stands… and more battle reports – I promised The Girl she could play a battle with her mum’s army of “HotT Chicks”…


  1. Super game- great to see the future of wargaming being introduced and encouraged at an early age...

    BTW the Hairy Hooligans do indeed sound more warband to me too...
    best wishes

  2. Great game; congrats on the lack of tears. This morning I stopped the girl from cutting the pad of her finger with scissors and was rewarded with a tirade and screaming tantrum. Your kids are clearly made of sterner stuff.

    My regards to Big-Boobied Bertha...

  3. :-D Hairy hooligans. great looking game

  4. Great report and it's good he's having fun! Can hardly wait to hear how it goes with the girl. (:
    I think you're right about the lack of tears over the "bad guys" and it fitting in with the "story". I know I don't mind losing as much if I'm playing bad guys and/or I can see it fitting into a good story.