As Part of the York (Jorvik) Vikikng festival this week I had volunteered us to put on a Viking wargame or two at the Library.
We had free reign of any of the large oak tables in the records/archives room upstairs and much to the bewilderment of other casual library users we staged a number of battled through the afternoon. Mostly Viking vs Saxon. Prior to this we had made a very simple DbA based skirmish rules mechanism to fight 1:1 skirmishes with warbands of around 20 figures per side. Thanks to Alex, Peeler and Richie for helping come up with the rules last Friday! We were aiming for something similar to the Toy Soldier rules we have that would allow complete beginners and children to quickly grasp a basic knowledge of what wargaming is while playing out a 30 minute game.
At this level there was no scenery needed as the game simply focused on the clash of two or three warbands, although we did have a few tress around the edges of the gaming area for effect. We played about 6 games in all, with various kids coming along to join in for a game. Mostly it was a straight Vikings in mail armour attacking un-armoured Saxon Fyrd. It rarely went well for the Saxons, even when trying cleaver flanking moves. The aim is to contact your enemy while remaining in formation (shield wall) but this often failed when a warband went 'berserk' and charged. One game saw both sides doing this with equally devastating results. Mostly the extremely simple rules worked well and allowed for some thought to be given to tactics and manuovre within the battle. There is lots of scope to expand them and archers and cavalry can be added also. I'd also hope to add scenery/scenarios to future games.
As usual with our outings a plesant and laid back affair it was! Apparently the Library is having a Roman day later in the year so we may be back for that one.