Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Norse Gael is Blowing through

Myself and Paul are alternating games and last Thursday was Saga's turn.  I decided to try one of the boards from the Raven's Shadow supplement, and rolled out the Viking-variant force, the Norse Gaels.

I'd only played the Gaels once before, but recall their main abilities revolved around the use of Challenges, and these could prove deadly.

Paul had his Anglo Danish, who are a tricky proposition in terms of toughness, but not hugely mobile.  We rolled for scenario and got the duel, where both warlords start within spitting distance and are in for a slog to the death.

Here we see them eying each other up with D12's for life point counters.  Whilst above it is apparent how far away their allies would be.

Now we both realised there would be issues with this match up.  Paul is a regular on the forums and already knew that the Norse Gaels were broken (to use the parlance) for this scenario; on re-reading the challenge rules and the Warlord rules I picked up the situation pretty fast.  

In short at this range warlords could stand still or charge one another, nothing else.  And only a sporting fool would play the Gaels and not load up his leader with challenge dice, modifiers and a challenge, as it is the only situation in which a warlord can be killed by a single hit; as a successful challenge always kills one model outright - and an isolated Warlord cannot use an ally to take the fall...

And there you go.  Whomp.  After a turn of grace, we realised it was simply procrastination to carry on, Paul blinked first and charged, scratching me in combat.  Battle joined I got a challenge ready and in the ensuing roll off  I sixed him for an 11-0 victory, before any other warriors so much as swung a sword.

It was a hollow victory really.

Given it took all of fifteen minutes it seemed only fair to reset and change scenarios.  We opted for the default Warlord battle; similar, but permitting our lords to start in the battleline.

Indeed this is what Paul's Anglo Danes should excel at, and to that end he did form a tight shieldwall at the back of the board.

The Norse Gaels came on hard this time, but suffered some terrible early luck when a unit of warriors charged slingers on a rocky outcrop.

This unit, this god-damned unit is rapidly becoming my bogey foe.  Recently in an unrecorded battle they drove off two cavalry charges in a similar circumstances.  This time they all but wiped out my warriors, winning the challenge and then thrashing us after a lacklustre melee round on the Gaels part.  Led by the wargames worlds ugliest man (see picture) they are a peasant force to be reckoned with.

But the rest of the battle was going better.

Our heavy warriors tore through the enemy ranks, and along with my warlord were taking a heavy toll.  But the numbers were no to stack up; at the end of the battle neither warlord had fallen, but there were more Danish dead than Norse, but more of the Norse were high value warriors.  Paul's slingers had gone on to pick off a more lightly armoured unit of axemen and with the small number of hand to hand casualties it still resulted in a narrow points win for Paul.

So after a couple of hours, honour was restored.

Personally I like the Norse Gael list.  Like a lot of the supplement lists they are trickier to use well, but as a result more fun to play.

Just don't expect to get any satisfaction from a duel!

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