It seems their last victory has made the Normans cocky. While their 1st army moved into Little Tipping to get its share of admiration by thankful villagers, the victorious 2nd army, though diminished, decided to teach the Vikings another lesson. Swiftly marching to the north east, the small but determined force laid an ambush and surprised a much larger Danish force on its way through the woods towards Little Tipping.
After the last victory, I drew the ‘Ambush!’ bonus card which allows to move one piece of terrain after all figures are set up to a maximum distance of L. My plan was to use my small 3 points army to take on the Viking 5 points force and, through the use of Ambush!, get into a position where I could kill off as many points as possible before succumbing to the superior numbers. This, I hoped, would give my 1st army a tactical advantage when it finally had to face its Viking counterpart.
Set up saw the Normans, consisting of one unit of levies, one of crossbowmen and one of knights, huddled together at the far right of the board behind a swamp. The Vikings lined up one large unit of Hearthguard consisting of 8 models, one unit of levies, one of Berserkers and one of warriors. This looked quite imposing! However, playing my Ambush! card I annoyed the hell out of K. by moving the swamp so that it blocked the way for her units, leaving them to circumnavigate it or trundle through the woods.
I began by moving my levies forward and use my SAGA abilities to shoot at K.’s levies while my crossbowmen advanced on the right flank. The shooting didn’t result in much damage but gave the Vikings time to move their huge unit of Hearthguards through the woods. As it clashed into my levies, I feared for the worst. But K.’s dice rolling was abyssmal for the whole game, and SAGA dice as well as D6 failed her miserably.
The levies were pushed back, but an astonishingly large numbers survived. The gap was immediately filled by my knights, who together with their Warlord charged the Viking Hearthguards only to get their feathers ruffled and having to retreat.
Angered by the lack of respect shown by the Norman peasants, the Hearthguard again threw itself into the line of archers. The (for them) sad result was archers retreating, but still surviving.
On the Viking left flank, events were developing a bit better as the warriors were finally in position to attack the crossbowmen, which took a beating and were pushed back. The next turn saw a combined Viking offensive which led to the remainder of my levies being LOKI-ed away while the crossbowmen were finished off by another attack by the warriors. I knew that my time was running out and hurled my knights into the Heartguard to at least deprive K. of this unit. Again, thanks to her dismal dice rolling, this succeeded pretty well and my knights were still standing while the Heartguard was gone. A stream of cursewords were heard from K.’s table side and she would have been gnawing at her shield if she had one. For want of one, she used her Berserkers to rush my Warlord. The result was mutually assured destruction – Berserkers gone, Warlord gone and all of the remaining knights gone as the poor devils had to serve as lightening rods for the Berserker’s hits.
After a tense battle, the Vikings were victorious but had lost 3 points of their 5 against my 3 point force. I admit that most of this was down to me playing dirty with the Ambush! card and being uncharacteristically lucky with the dice, while K. rolled as bad as one could imagine. Fortunately for her, she got luckier when rolling for saves: For campaign purposes, she managed to save 2 of the 3 points lost. My streak of luck continued and I did likewise. The Viking 1st army is now down to 4 points while the Norman 2nd army is down to 2 and has to retreat to the castle. However, I did achieve my aim of making life easier for my 1st army, which will have to face its Viking counterpart soon.