I went to Guido’s place Friday night for a small game of WHAB. He prepared two Army lists for a 500 point-per-side game, of Picts v’s Vikings. We played on a 4 x 4 table, it was basically a meeting engagement and we rolled for the game duration of six turns. We rolled again to decide who would command which army and I rolled Viking!
When I saw the size of my force and the number of Picts arrayed out on the opposite table edge facing me, I was not sure that it was the best roll to win. My Hersir commanded a small Viking raiding party of 20 Hirdmen, 6 Bondi archers and a dozen Thralls.
Facing us from across the battlefield were 69 Picts, including seven Cavalry! Arrayed in four units, the main unit consisted of 41 Soer-Chele lead by a Mormaor, 10 Doer-Chele bowman, 10 Doer-Chele crossbow and seven Eachraidh (horseman). I must admit, I was a little anxious, but rather than stand back, I advanced as fast as I could towards the Pict lines.
In the ensuing battle, my Thralls managed to defeat the Eachraidh in combat and chase them from the battlefield, clearing the left flank. The Hirdman advanced under missile fire through the centre in a rush to get stuck into the Soer-Chele and my Bondi archers forgot about their bows, attacking and defeating the Doer-Chele bowman on my right flank.
The Thralls then turned their attention upon the Doer-Chele crossbow and inflicted casualties with fine javelin throws. The centre became a clash of iron and wood, which initially resulted in a drawn combat, between my Hirdman and the Soer-Chele. Because we were outnumbered, the Soer-Chele began lapping around the sides of the unit, but this turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
The Hirdman called on their Norse Gods and defeated the Soer-Chele in combat, sending them into retreat, but at first they could not catch the retreating Picts. Regaining their breath and aided, by a ‘snake-eyes’ from Guido, the Hirdman caught up with the retreating Soer-Chele and slaughtered the unit.
The Vikings won the day, suffering less than a dozen casualties and smashing the Picts in return.