The Viking Legal Team in Action

The Viking Legal Team in Action
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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

"One - Hour Wargames" Dark Age Army Lists

"what do you mean my army list can no longer have Viking berserkers!!??"

Army lists - people love them, people hate them.  Bottom line is that they are as useful and beneficial as gamers and game masters let them be.  They certainly help newbies get started with a game, perhaps get interested at all.  The trick is to not let building killer lists be the goal.  Altho optimizing a list is OK, the list needs to be typify the warriors of the time, not be some strange amalgamation of fantasy and competitiveness.  In that light...

Have been tinkering with the rules a bit as you'll have seen.  Trying to find some balance with the RAW forces in the Neil Thomas "One - Hour Wargames" force matrix on p. 64 to put it in an historical context.  It's worth noting that the powerful d6+2 Warband are 0, 1 or 2 Units max in a force.  I have been invading Strathclyde with a force of five Warband and a Skirmisher, which probably explains some of the problems I've had fending them off!  Ergo, here's some lists that are close to the RAW for those who want to try them out for pickup or historical match-ups.

Design notes for these lists.  I've toned down Warband from +2 attack to +1.  Overall, they were a bit overpowered and deserved the +1 if in large numbers.  This is balanced by allowed certain lists to have two upgraded to +2 through the combination of a single upgrade to Household, and the second having a Hero attached. Thus the NT result is obtained, but I end up with a troop type that can be deployed as an entire army without being overwhelming.  Using their speed, they can still often get onto a flank, especially if they pick good Skirmishers as options - I'll eagerly playtest this out of course!

Part of the desire is to stay within the spirit of the rules and allow neither super-units nor super-armies, a sin to which most gamers are prone.

Also, I've switched the definitions to d5 average dice from the original NT d6, as the swing of results was a bit too extreme - it was often more important than good tactical play.

Unit Definitions

Warband attacks at d5+1
Cavalry and Infantry attack at d5
Cavalry, javelins attacks at d5-1
Skirmishers, javelins attacks at d5-1
Skirmishers, bows attacks at d5-2
All shooting has a 3-shot limit or optional ammo supply rule in effect - part of the Dark Ages supply and organization problem.  If you want unlimited ammo, go get yourself civilized!

Late Dark Age / Early Medieval Britain Armies

The assumption is that there are six Units in every army.  All start with 3 -4 of the six Units being Infantry, whether Picts, Scots, etc.  Then they can round off their force with additional Units. They are directly based upon the force matrix on p.64 of the 1HW book, which has no historical designations to them.  I've fit them into likely historical counterparts.  However, you can always field an army using another group of figures that better represents it in you opinion, of course.  Or you can just ignore this altogether!  

As the scale of the game is approximately 1/10, most of these little "nations" and their warlords would be hard-pressed to raise more than a few hundred specialty warrior types on their own, altho all would have some sort of profesional warband of personal followers - the richer and more famous the patron, the more warriors he'd have in his personal household. I'm working with a "typical" force for this sort of regular, small scale battling between 400-700 man forces.  Big enough to really make trouble and steal a lot of stuff, but small enough to move quickly and live off the land.

Variations for All Armies
  1. One Household Unit [either 18 Hits or +1 to D5 attack]
  2. One Levy Unit [either 12 Hits or -1 to D5 attack]
  3. Those in italics may not be upgraded in quality.  
  4. No Unit may be up graded past +2, or downgraded past -2.
  1. You may field 1-3 Units of an Allied force from another list.  
  2. If 1-2 Units, then every turn, you must roll a d5 for each Unit and on a natural '2' it will not move while the leaders debate what's in their best interest.
  3. If 3 Units, a Personality may be taken for the Allies, in which case they will not need to roll as in #2 above.  This Personality counts against any total Personality limit chosen by the players for the battle.
  4. Personalities may only affect or attach to Units of their own list, Host or Allied.  

4 Infantry
1-2 more Infantry, OR 1-2 of below:
1 Skirmisher with bow
1 Warband
1 Cavalry
Quality Option: If six Infantry are taken, may take two each of Hearthguard and Levy.

3 Infantry
1 Cavalry, javelins
1 Skirmishers, bow or javelin
1 Cavalry, javelins OR
1 Skirmishers, bow or javelin

3 Infantry
1 Cavalry w' javelins, OR
2-2 Skirmishers w'javelins or bows

4 Infantry
1 Cavalry w'javelins
1 Skirmishers w'bow

Viking Invaders
3 Infantry
2 Warband
1 Skirmish Bow OR
1 Infantry

Danelaw Norse "Vikings"
4 Infantry
1 Warband OR Infantry
1 Cavalry OR
1 Skirmisher, bow

These may be mercenaries, raiders, an area plunged into civil strife and banditry, fallen Romans, whomever has lost the vestiges of civilization, clan, tribal or otherwise.  Note that this is NOT an option from the 1HW lists, but will work if the Warband are only +1.
4 Warbands
1-2 Warbands, OR
1-2 Skirmishers with bow or javelins

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