Monday, July 26, 2010

Ragnarr's Revenge

I saved the best for last of the three BrianCon battles. This of course is hard to say when all of the gaming were in and of themselves awesome, every one of them! To conclude the day we broke out Pig Wars and kicked it into Viking gear once again. I'll let the photos do most of the talking here, suffice it to say we had six full-sized, fully painted warbands on the tabletop as well as some amazingly cool terrain and scenery. I pasted the text in places below that details the overall scenario of the battle, special rules used in conjunction with the stockade, and each individual player's goals and initiatives. Brian did a great job on these, and even though it was technically three versus three, players on the same side quickly found that their own goals ran in direct opposition with their allies. Onward!

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

After getting into a feud with the clansmen of Erik the Vain, who Sigmar accidentally drowned while trying to baptize, Sigmar is on the lam and has requested Christian charity and succor from the tenants of an Irish rath settlement. Sigmar might not have been entirely honest with his hosts as to the size of the band pursuing him, but it’s too late now, as Erik’s clansmen have surrounded the fortified farm. One of Sigmar’s men went for help and Sigmar’s clansmen are may be on their way.

A fairly empty stockade, as most are out working in the fields...

Irish scouts call everyone to action as they take refuge in the fort

CHARGE! Ragnarr leads his band of berserkers and warriors to the walls

Ragnarr Ketilsson's Mission:

At last. Your people are awakening to the danger the men of the cross pose to your people and their ways. The murderer Ignolsson must be punished with death. Leiknarr is weak to even accept an offer of cattle for his son’s life and place in Vahalla. Imagine how the Gods must laugh at a death by drowning while bowing to a god of peace. You will not suffer such a fate! You’ll die a warriors death, but not before earning as much glory as you can.

Forces: one 140 point Viking band – must have berserkers.


Personally slay more enemy than any other leader on the table

Kill Sigmar Ignolsson

Kill any priests you encounter

End the game with more warriors + cattle or slaves than you started with.

Brothers of Ragnarr and their Missions

Skógi Ketilsson

With Erik’s “untimely” death, you are next in line to inherit Leiknarr’s wealth. It would be a shame if the old man died on the battlefield today but even if he doesn’t, your time will come soon enough. Of course, you must do your part to restore the clan’s honor or your men will abandon you. It would be a shame to simply kill Ignolsson when you could extract a reasonable price in cattle from him. Vengeance is fleeting, but wealth lasts. That unstable lunatic Ragnarr would also be trouble…

Force: one 140 point Viking band – may include berserkers


Survive the encounter

Extract a blood price of not less than 30 head of cattle from Ignolsson

End the game with more strength than Ragnar

End the game with more warriors + cattle or slaves than you started with.

Leiknarr Ketilsson

Pah! What a mess. Serves your idiot son right for defying the old gods and hanging around with that defiler Ignolsson. Still, honor demands that your son be avenged or that Ignolsson pay an appropriate price. Fortunately you have friends in the Thing that were agreeable to the price you suggested. Once he is desperate enough, he’ll find a way to pay the price… or he’ll be dead. Either way is good for you.

Forces: one 140 point Viking band – may have berserkers.


Survive the encounter

Kill Sigmar Ignolsson or extract a blood price of not less than 40 head of cattle.

End the game with more warriors + cattle or slaves than you started with.

Scenario Special Rules (Pig Wars system)

Scaling the stockade

To climb the stockade walls, a model draws a card and consults the table below.

Unarmored 8 or better to successful scale the wall

Partially armored 10 or better to successfully scale the wall

Fully armored Q or better to successfully scale the wall

A model may be helped over the wall by up to two friends. In this case, draw a card for each man and choose the best one. A model may not use a shield during a turn spent climbing or helping another model climb. The suit of the card drawn determines how the model lands. On a red card the model lands on his feet and is ready for action. On a spade, the model has fallen clumsily and is stunned. Place the model prone. Anyone attacking the model treats it as a rear attack until the prone model’s next turn during which he may stand and act normally. If the card is a club, the model suffers will suffer a wound if it falls the entire height of the wall. If being helped over the wall and he model failed his climb test, he will instead fall on his helpers, cushioning his fall, but stunning all of them as above. If the model is climbing the wall at a place where there the fall would not be great, they are stunned instead. If the model’s card exactly equals the required card, they are caught halfway and are perched precariously atop the wall until next turn. Next turn draw a new card to determine how the model lands. A model may not scale the wall at any location that could be defended by an enemy model.

Hard Cover

A model with at least 2/3 concealment behind an obstacle that would provide hard cover and stop a missile may save against missile attacks at two levels higher than normal.

Ragnarr and his elite berserkers

I was playing Ragnarr's band, which is why they got top billing, and I made the most direct attack on the fort, but that was just a small part of the overall battle. There was action occurring all over the table! Getting into the fort was hard enough, but more Irish were coming out of woods and attacking our flanks and rear. It was very exciting to say the least.

My goal was to get in there and crack some skulls, very straight forward, but Andy (my ally) was trying to parlay first in order to get some cattle for the loss of his son. That fell through, and he joined the fray after all. Ken, the last brother, was embroiled in no-man's land between the archers and slingers on the stockade walls and the Irish coming out of the woods.

At one point, the Irish in the fort who had been sheltering Sigmar (Brian's warband) decided it was no longer worth it, and Bob's warband (Sigmar) was in dire straits indeed, and didn't have an ally in sight! Tom played the Irish coming out of the woods, and his morale checks didn't fair too well. I guess I wouldn't either if I returned from hunting to see my home absolutely swamped with berserkers!

Ragnarr's dead filled the woods

The remaining agendas and goals for the rest of the players:

Brion Mac Domhnaill

You have offered Sigmar protection and can hardly go back on your word to protect a fellow believer from the pagans. However, it seems your guest has been less than forthright about his predicament. Your lookouts have spotted Sigmars men approaching. Hopefully you can hold out until they arrive.

Forces: one 140 point band, a small group of non-combatants (all unarmored militia with improvised weapons), and 20 cattle and assorted livestock.


Survive the encounter

Protect the non-combatants and if needed, see them to safety

Preserve your livestock

Preserve Sigmar

The Irish start the game in their rath. They may bring any and all livestock into the rath or have it hobbled and hidden in a wooded area. Anyone moving within 6” of the woods will hear mooing and if they enter the cattle will be revealed. You may also choose to hide any of your men you wish in any of the wooded areas. They will be revealed only if an enemy enters the woods or when you choose to place them on-table at the start of any of your moves (required to move or fight with these models). Most of the non-combatants were sent away, but a small number remain inside the fort. You may arrange any of the provided barrels, wagons, etc. in any way you choose.

There is a souterrain under the floor of the larger hut with a passage out of the rath that exits at the large bush on the north side of the mound. Four models per turn may move from the rath to the exit.

Sigmar Ingolsson

Damn Erik and his ridiculous vanity, demanding to be baptized in his armor. Now his father is demanding 50 head of cattle to satisfy the blood price. A ridiculous sum, but the pagans take their feuds seriously. You have 20 cattle, but not 50! Hopefully your men will reach this place in time…

Forces: one 140 point Viking band. Christian – may not take berserkers


Survive the encounter

Either kill the leaders of the Ketilsson clan or negotiate a new blood price that you can afford.

If the end is nigh, find a priest to receive last rites

Sigmar starts the game in the rath with the Irish. He is accompanied by up to 4 of his followers, which can include no more than 2 veterans and cannot include the standard bearer. The standard bearer and the rest of the followers will enter from a pre-determined table edge on turn one.

Gunnvaldr Ingolsson

You have followed your brother’s lead and accepted the Christian faith, but with less gusto and more trepidation than your brother. This episode with Erik seems like a message from the Old Gods and many of your men agree. Still the bonds of clan must be satisfied and destroying the Ketilsson clan strength would improve your own position. Perhaps if they can be reduced in strength, a bargain can be struck for your brother’s honor. Of course, if your brother were to die in battle you would be left to lead the clan…

Forces: one 140 point Viking band. Christian – may not take berserkers


Survive the encounter

Either kill the leaders of the Ketilsson clan or negotiate a new blood price that you can afford.

End the game with more strength than your brother and with the Ignolssons stronger than the Ketilssons

Enter from a pre-determined table edge on turn one.


  1. Love the scenario and the write-up. I absolutely agree that Skirmish games should have a storyline and a certain RPG element to it for maximum fun.

    We are currently using Age of Blood for our Viking and Saxon gaming and having an absolute hoot with it (some stuff at my blog if you are interested).

    So when can we expect to see the next installment in your Pig Wars saga?

    cheers and thanks for sharing your awesome terrain, figs and games!

  2. Thanks for stopping by Paul. This was a fun game for sure, but our Viking prime mover skipped town on us and moved! We need to break out the figs for another go nonetheless, getting these guys on the table always makes for a memorable game. I've have the Age of Blood rules printed for some time, perhaps it's time to give them a proper look.

  3. Well as he didnt take all the figs and terrain you've still got options!

    The AoB mechanics for warband creation and development are really very good - I think you'll like them indeed, judging from the above.

  4. Too true Paul, I can see you're going to keep me on track with Viking shenanigans!

    Clicking on the Vikings label you'll see the warband I painted up, as well as some other equally cool 'big battles' we did.