We set up a six point game intending on using Heroes of the Viking age. Phil Flores had chosen the scenario, Battle at the Ford, Victory was the side that had the most forces(points) on the opponents starting side of the ford
When I arrived Phil had his Normans set out and was eager for battle. They were led by the Norman Hero Knight, Ivo Taillefer, on horseback. Taillefere led a formidable force, two units of mounted Knights, two units of foot Sergeants one armed with crossbow, the other with spear, and a unit of Peasants armed with bow.
I fielded the AngloDanes led by Harold Godwinson, King of England, and his two brothers, Gyrth and Leofwine, all three wielding Dane Axes. The King had brought 3 units of Huscarls, two sword armed forming one unit of 8, the other with Dane Axes. A unit of Ceorls armed with spear, and a unit of Geburs armed with bow.
We placed terrain, I chose a copse of woods close to the ford (represented by a bridge) on my side of the river, Phil chose a plowed field near the other ford on his side. I setup and moved first.
Not wishing to become a Norman pin cushion, I set up defensively, with hopes to draw him into a trap. I set my Geburs at the edge of the wood close to the ford, with Harold and his brothers close by. The Dane Axe Huscarls in the middle so as to lend support to either flank. The Ceorls and remaining Huscarls positioned the other ford.
Phil placed his Peasant bow in the middle, Taillefer, a unit of Sergeants, and a unit of mounted Knights, poised to oppose my Geburs and Harold. His other unit of mounted Knights and Sergeant crossbow poised at the other ford.
I perceived Taillefer’s plan was to weaken me by using Massed Volley, from the Peasants, and cross the ford with a superior force on weakened foe. Harold countered this threat with use of Shieldwall and Intimidation. Knowing Taillefer, eager for battle, was overconfident, Harold prepared his men and waited for the onslaught, and the counter attack he would order. Frustrated by Harold’s tactics, Taillefer forced the issue as the day was ending. He charged his Sergeants across the ford towards my Geburs and Harold. Pushing them forward they fell short of engaging my Geburs and were fatigued doing so. They were followed at a distance by Taillefer. I ordered my Gerbur to fire and caused one casualty, then Harold and his brothers charged at the exhausted Sergeants. Before charging Harold used Trapped, to place a fatigue on three of Taillefer’s units, this put my target of unit of Sergeants into exhaustion, cutting their melee ability in half. The unit of Sergeants were reduced to one very exhausted warrior, 4 fatigues, while my Geburs cheered Harold on. I finished off the lone warrior with Exhaustion, and charged Taillefer. The ensuing melee caused no casualties and the Godwinsons fell back. Taillefer, enraged by the carnage, charged into the Godwinsons, leaving his mounted Knights straining to catch up to support their leader. Here, Ivo Taillefer died a glorious death in a furious battle, taking Leofwine Godwinson with him. Had Taillefer waited for his Knights, for support, he could have survived the combat and defeated the weakened King Harold.
Using Heroes adds a lot to the game, they bring unique skills to the battle. Despite all the special skills and SAGA abilities, it all comes down to tactical strategy, and good dice rolls. Mastering your SAGA abilities is crucial!
It was a great game and learning experience!