HoTT Norsemen!

No, you haven’t accidentally clicked on a Tom of Finland website. Better luck next time ;o) It’s been a while since I got my toys out, but over the past few days I’ve been playing a variant of what I think was the first scenario I ever posted on here. Basically it’s designed to create a static enemy position, but with the added spice of reinforcements arriving unexpectedly. The HPG (human player general) will have little clear intelligence as to when they’ll arrive (if at all), what they’ll consist of, or from which direction they’ll enter the fray. Of course it’s just another variant of one the oldest solo set-ups of all, but it’s been fun playing it…which after all is the main thing!

So, this is how it stacks up. A roving band of Vikings have been caught off-guard, and have taken up a strong defensive position with impassable terrain covering their flanks. They elect to form a shield-wall, and behind them stand their leader – an Icelandic witch of great prowess – and a magician who hides his lack of scruples beneath his pointy green hat. They won’t shift, and they won’t cut and run; to defeat them, they have to be wiped out to the last man (or woman). The NPG (non player general) will simply attempt to maintain the cohesion of the shield-wall, reinforcing it where necessary, and direct the two magic users to take out the most vulnerable or most dangerous enemy units. The Norse army consists of 8 Blades and 2 Magicians.

As the HPG you command a force of Carolingian Franks consisting of 3 Knights, 3 Shooters (bowmen) and 6 Spears. Your most potent weapon is the Knights, and here I’ve varied the usual HoTT rules somewhat. Knights have the potential to “quick kill” Blades in this scenario; if the Blades are beaten (but not doubled) by Knights, throw a D6 – with a throw of 4 to 6 saving them, and anything lower meaning that they are destroyed. Clearly it will be in the interest of the Vikings to direct their magical attacks primarily against your Knights.

To add a little spice to what would otherwise be a static encounter, Viking reinforcements may arrive once per game. After the end of game turn 4, dice at the start of each Viking turn. If a 6 is thrown, reinforcements have arrived. Throw a D6 once more to determine the make-up of the reinforcements:

1 – 2: War Dogs (1 element, Beasts)

3 – 4: Frost Giants (1 element, Behemoth)

5 – 6: Valkyries (2 elements, Flyers)

Then throw a D6 again to determine point of entry (your baseline, your left flank or your right flank). Note that although the reinforcements can move that turn, if  they are out of command range they will need the extra Pip to do so. The priority of the reinforcements is to single out and attack your most vulnerable unit(s), or your General if he is accessible to them. As the HPG you lose as per the standard HoTT rules, so in this sense the NPG has the edge over you!

This has produced a fairly balanced game so far, and naturally has a huge potential for variation and development. Simple but effective! Here are a few pics from three different games:

My Knight General sandwiched between Norse warriors and Valkyrie:

Valkyrie surround a unit of Carolingian archers:

Enter Frost Giants, stage left: