Monday, April 15, 2024

Scots Going a Viking

A Headless Body Production
Venue: Ferrell Fire Hall, Monroeville, NJ.  Where 5G goes to die.
Event:  Kozcon ADLG organized by Don Manzer.
Players: Phil Gardocki running Scots Isles, list 187
              Kevin Swanson running Viking, the Leidang option, list 166
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 200 points per side.  Round 1
Scale: 25mm 

KozCon is held in memory of our good friend and avid gamer Dave Kozlow who passed away in 2012.  If you've ever had the opportunity to play in one of his many games at HMGS events you know that he was not only a great person but also a notable credit to our hobby.  In light of Dave's five year battle with cancer ALL proceeds from KozCon are donated to the American Cancer Society.

The Forces:
Scots Isles and Highlanders of 1182
Commanded by MacLeft, the Competent, MacCenter, also Competent and MacRight, who is only Ordinary.
Clans Jordan, Ramsay, Brantly and Clàrsach, Heavy Swordsmen 2HW, Elite
10 Other bands of Stalwart Islemen Heavy Swordsmen 2HW, 2 are Mediocre
2 Wee bairns, Light Infantry Bow
2 Levy Levy
4 Heilandr Archers Medium Swordsmen Bow
2 Irish Mercenaries Medium Swordsmen 2HW
Breakpoint of 24

The Leidang*
Commanded by Ragnar Lodbruk, the Strategist, Olaf Dimbulb, the Ordinary and Ivar Bone Spurs, also Ordinary, a strong force of men.
6 Huscarls well armored and armed with cruel axes and missile support
6 Bondi with spears and missile support
6 Bowmen
1 Levy
2 Returning Raiding Parties, Impetuous Swordsmen.
Breakpoint of 22

* From Wikipedia, "The Leiðangr was a form of conscription (mass levy) to organize coastal fleets for seasonal excursions and in defense of the realm typical for medieval Scandinavians and, later, a public levy of free farmers."

Display Conventions: When you see a word bubble like "Ouch!" or "ᛟᚢᚲᚺ!" or "tha sin a' goirteachadh!" or "Douleur!"or "Mah poofy culur bahookie", this implies a disorder from missiles. Letters in parenthesis represent some value change for the specific unit. For commanders it is s for strategist, b for Brilliant, c for Competent and o for Ordinary, u for unreliable. For troops it is e for Elite, and m for Mediocre. Other abbreviations, Hvy Heavy, XB Crossbow, LB, Longbow, Jav Javelin, 2HW 2 Handed Weapons, B Bow, Kn Knight, HKn Heavy Knight, HC Heavy Cavalry, Md Medium, Sgt Sergeants, LC Light Cavalry, Chr Chariot, Cat Cataphract, Pa Pavise, LI, Light Infantry, HG Hand Gun, FKn Foot Knight, Hvy Spear, Heavy Spearmen.

Inappropriately capitalized words are used to highlight terms that are specific to the game. For example Brilliant, Competent and Ordinary have specific game values for the commanders.

"XX" implies a unit killed in that location on that turn.

Any inaccuracies and vagueness as to specific units is to be regarded as fog of war and should be considered as part of the fun.

A request for information.  I am looking for a vinyl mat of the appropriate size for 25mm games.  Someone showed me the company for one, but that was so yesterday and I forgot.  I am also looking for one sized for 300 point 15mm armies, 4x6 feet is close enough.
The Board:
The Vikings win the initiative and elect to defend in the forest. So it is the Scots turn to "Drar til viking!"


The terrain fell where it lay.  All attempts to adjust it failed.

We both wanted the coastal area.  That means one of us was making a mistake.

Olaf defends the camp with a large command of 8 units, 3 elite and armored, and most with missile support.
Ragnar's forces are a near mirror of Olafs.
The remaining Viking command cannot be seen. 

This is Mr. Ivar Bone Spurs of Bugården 79, Bergen, 5003, Norway. He can not be seen. Now I am going to ask him to stand up. Mr. Bone Spurs will you stand up please

Mr. Bone Spurs has learnt the value of not being seen. However he has chosen a very obvious piece of cover.

The great leader, MacLeft, has taken a position next to the coast.  He has a force of nearly all Heavy Sword, 2HW.  With him are elite members of the Clans Jordan and Brantly.
Behind the hill is MacCenter.  He can be seen. His forces are bolstered by the Clans Clàrsach (Harp) and Ramsay.
In the wood on the right is MacRight and his forces.  He cannot be seen.

Most of you will get the references to the Monty Python skit, "How not to be seen".  If not, here is a link.

Turn 1:
Typical Scottish plan.  Charge forward and see what breaks.
The plan was actually more subtle than that  I intended to stage my attacks focusing on the Bondi first, where my 2HW has the advantage of winning ties.   And draw the Huscarls into counter attacking.

MacLeft and MacCenter are in lockstep on approach

MacRight emerges from the woods and can now be seen.  I forgot that the wood would slow down his march and he would have a tough time catching up with the main lines.
I also forgot to shift left on the march.  That came back to bite me later.

My ambush markers can now be retired.

The only good picture of the camp.

The Monty Python figures are no longer available at my source, Medieval Mayhem.  But are at other stores with a quick google search.
The Norse advance to a hail of taunts and minstrel tunes.

Loosed arrows strike Sir Lancelot's Patsy, Concorde.

Ivar Bone Spurs continues to not be seen.

Turn 2:

MacLeft approaches to charge reach

The lines are just about a perfect match.  The Vikings have more Huscarls, 6, that are better than my 4 Clans.  But my swordsmen are better than his Bondi, and a lot better than his bowmen.

MacRight finally gets the slide movement down and will soon be shooting at the Viking left.

The Viking main combatants advance, leaving their bowmen behind.

My original plan was to charge the perceived weaker units.  But this formation, while protecting the bowmen, is offering overlaps everywhere.

MacRights slow march is providing overlap potential against MacCenters right.

Turn 3:
Time for a bio break before the main assault.  This is Kozcon, and other games attract the eye.

Operation Crusader put on by Lee Sowers.  This is his own rules he has been working up.
With a great ululation, the Scots charge.  The French Taunters, bolstered by the Knights that no longer say nee push the waters edge.  But Clan Jordan and Brantly are both disordered in their charge.

MacCenter's command also charge.  Winning none, but losing none, of his opening battles.  The disorder markers you see are from earlier archery.

MacRight extends his line and offers desultory salvos of arrows.

With the lines solidly engaged, there isn't any movement.  A Bondi is routed, Clans Jordan and Brantly,  pick up more disorders.  So too the Taunting French and Sir Robin.

MacCenter has better luck.  One clan picks up a hit, but his axemen have put double hits on a pair of Huscarls.

Ivar Bone Spurs (still at Bugården 79, Bergen) can now be seen.  He has brought several lads from the local bowlers club.
And a minor miracle, MacRight's swordsmen hold.
Turn Next:  (the Moose ate my turn counter...)

MacLeft's command has a disaster as three units rout, exposing the flanks of several others.
MacCenter forces continue to hack with only minor effect.  Lancelot continues through scene 27 with a long run to the front...
Doctrine would normally have MacRight's archers just plink away with their bows.  But the surprise arrival on their flank is forcing they to engage directly.
Losing 3 units of heavy sword and all the disordered units has the Scots demoralization count at 15 of 24.  The Viking count is still in the single digits.
The sides trade units.  But the Vikings have punched a hole and are attacking the flanks.
The Scots have one unit in reserve, a mediocre heavy sword, but also with 2HW.  Unfortunately, there are two targets to choose from.

For MacCenter, fortune has turned.  2 Viking units rout, including a Huscarl.  Lancelot (next to the Ramsay banner (blue, center)), continues his long run into scene 28!

MacLeft is in a bad position, but is still holding somewhat.

The Demoralization level for the Scots hit's 20.

The Vikings are just at 11.

Turn Next after Next:  (Mynd you, møøse bites Kan be pretty nasti...)

As Sir Robin's minstrels music fades off the bottom of the frame, the battle becomes a whirling chaos.
One Isleman unit flank charges a unit, routing it, then pursues to near the shore.  The Young Islemen (mediocre) put two hits on a Huscarl.  Another Huscarl routs and Isleman into the Clàrsach Clan.

Clan Ramsay rout their opponents.  Lancelot rushes the guards in scene 28, slays both the gate wardens, dozens of bowmen and the Herbert's fiance.  Another unnamed Islemen picks up a 3rd rout for MacCenter's command.

MacRight's Irish charge the flank of the berserkers, but falter in the charge.
The carnage upon the viking this turn was enormous, adding 8 to their demoralization score to 19.  But to no avail as the Scots hit theirs of 24 for the game.

The game on the next table.  Normally I would say something about it being more interesting than mine, but no.  The English seem to have just forted up in the corner.

What went wrong?
First was I didn't pay full attention to the introductions.  I didn't know the Bondi units also had missile support.  So I was over confident there.
Then the approach of MacRight through the woods was faulty.  Failing the first turns slide meant I was in charge reach of the ambush out of the gully.  Which caught me in the woods for a -1.  Only great luck on my side kept the command intact on the opening charge.
But when he went to a saw tooth formation to protect his bowmen, I saw an opportunity to cancel his inherent advantage of better armor and missile support.  But the overlaps were not quite enough of an advantage on the initial charge, and then luck broke even and I never caught up on the left.  But it favored me in the center as I avoided damage on the charge, then my 2HW made itself felt.  Leading to 6 or more points in just one turn.

All in all a good game.


  1. Phil, you have a sense of humor after my own heart.. And yes, I too have a Medievil Mayhem Python army! Looked like a fun game - but then again, "It's ony a model."

    1. Datatatata! We are the knights of the round table!