The Making of Viking Dawn - Part Four

Viking Dawn The Making of Viking Dawn
Part Four

The Viking Dawn game we’ve been talking about is based upon the Pig Wars rules developed by Tod Kershner and owes a great deal to the many ideas posted to the Pig Wars Yahoo group (http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/PigWarriors/) as well as a great deal of input from members of various Maine wargame clubs. This truly is a collaborative effort.

Read Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Five here...
Viking Dawn intends to replicate one of the many Viking raids along the Saxon coast during the so-called Dark Ages.  As such it is a very individualistic rules system. Figures will be mounted individually and grouped in units of approximately 20 figures. This is intended to roughly represent the complement of a single longship.
The Barbarians
Mike Paine is a member of The Barbarians, a wargaming club that meets semi-regularly, originally formed in Greenville, New Hampshire.  The Barbarians play mostly 18th-20th century but will try anything. 

Mike is known for his scratch-building skills, making all of his own terrain and ships, and for loud, fun games at conventions in New England.  Here, Mike turns his attention to a Viking long ship.

Below left: This viking long ship, named the Sea Dragon, was scratch built by Mike Paine. Photo taken by Kelly Paine. Below Right: Viking long ship with hand painted sails by Mike Paine. Photo taken by Kelly Paine.
Viking long ship with hand painted sails by Mike Paine Viking long ship with hand painted sails by Mike Paine
A.  Mounting

All figures will be mounted individually.  Ideally, each individual figure would be mounted on bases 20mmx20mm.  On the rear vertical side of each base a color stripe would be added so that each unit has its own unique code.  In addition, using a different color, an appropriate number of vertical stripes would be painted on each base representing the figures morale grade.  This will be zero, one, two or three stripes depending upon the figure's experience level.  This is the ideal. 

Since all clubs will be keeping the figures that they paint it is possible that some might want to mount their figures differently.  (metal washers are available).  However, all figures must be on individual stands and you will want to make certain that the figure's morale grade is easily recognizable.

B.  Morale Classification

The easiest way to quickly identify the morale classification of the figure is to paint a vertical stripe along the back of the base based on the following:

0
=
Untrained Militia.
1
=
Trained, but not necessarily tested troops; average.
3
=
Trained and tested veterans.
4
=
Elite.
Northern Conspiracy
The Northern Conspiracy is an historical miniatures wargaming club that has been in existence for about 25 years. It draws its approximately 30 members from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts and meets for gaming or business monthly except in December, in Portsmouth, NH. Games are drawn from all periods of history with a focus on the "horse and musket" period by many of the members.

We can be identified at many of the gaming conventions, both local and national, as the guys with the Penguins on our shirts.

Members participating in Viking Dawn project:

Michael Bailey
Leo Murphy
Mark Decoteau
Charlie Galemmo
Phil "Achmed Ericson" Hammond

Below Left: Leo "The Looter" Murphy.
Below Right: Michael Bailey
Leo Murphy Michael Bailey
Below Left: Wargames Factory Viking Spearman from Leo Murphy's collection, Below Right: Wargames Factory Viking from Leo Murphy's collection.
Wargames Factory Viking spearman from Leo Murphy's collection
Wargames Factory Viking spearman from Leo Murphy's collection
C.  Armor Classification

All figures are considered to be in one of three categories for purposes of defense.  They are Unarmored, Partially Armored or Fully Armored.

UA Unarmored
No defensive armor except perhaps a helmet.
PA Partially Armored
Either a chainmail hauberk or a shield.
FA Fully Armored Both a chainmail hauberk and a shield.

D.  Weapons

All figures may be armed with a single primary weapon.  Whatever else the figure is armed (sculpted) with will not count either in cost or in combat.

Spears
The majority of figures in each unit.
Swords Leaders, Standard Bearers, the occasional veteran soldier.
Axes
Both one-handed and two-handed versions by a minority of raiders.
Bows Trained bowmen would be rare, but present in a Viking force.
Chris Boynton
Chris Boynton is a regular game master and player at Greenhouse Games in Gardiner, Maine and a member of the Maine Historical Wargamers Association.  Last year Chris worked with a group at the Greenhouse to assemble and paint barbarians for the Battle of Sabis game at Huzzah!  This year Chris is helping to paint Saxons defenders for the Viking Dawn game.

Below: This unit of Gripping Beast plastic Saxons was painted by Chris Boynton in Maine.

This unit of Gripping Beast plastic Saxons was painted by Chris Boynton in Maine
E.  Buying a Raiding Force

Each club participating in Viking Dawn will be given a "purse" with which they can purchase their forces.  When purchasing troops of different types the following formula will be used:

(Experience Level x Hit Point Multiplier) + Weapon + Armor  = Total Cost

A figures experience is based upon how many stripes it has.  No Viking raiding force can contain Untrained Militia.

The Hit Point Multiplier represents how many hits a figure can receive before it is killed.

x3
All leader figures
x2
Berserkers
x1 All other figure

To this base cost you then add the cost for a weapon.

0
For improvised weapons (Vikings would not typically carry these)
1
For Spears or Clubs
2
For edged weapons or bows

To this you add the cost of armor to get the total cost of a figure.

1
Unarmored
2
Partially Armored
5
Fully Armored

Example: An Elite figure (three stripes)  who is also a Leader would have a base cost of nine points.  3x3=9.  He can then be armed with a sword  +2  and be fully armored  +5.

The total cost for this leader figure would be 16.


F.  Unit Organization

•    Each club may purchase up to 300 points worth of figures.
•    Each club may field a minimum of two and a maximum of three units.
•    All units must include one leader figure.
•    All units must include one figure with a standard.
•    No more than 10% of any group can be classified as berserkers.  i.e. two figures in a twenty figure unit.
•    No more than 20% of any group can be armed with bows.  i.e. four figures in a twenty figure unit.
•    Units should be built in multiples of four figures since morale is based on losses in four figure increments.

Adler Hobbies
Gordon Pittsley is the owner of Adler Hobbies, a wargaming shop in Hollis, New Hampshire.  Adler Hobbies is a self-described, "mom and pop brick and mortar store…"  Adler Hobbies offers gaming at the shop "annex" and supports local gaming events such as Flames of War tournaments, and conventions such as TotalConfusion and Huzzah!
 
http://www.adlerhobby.com

Recently, Gordon and a group of friends spent an evening assembling their viking commands for the Viking Dawn game at Huzzah!  You can read all about it at AJ Wright's blog:

http://ajs-wargaming.blogspot.com/2011/03/viking-dawn-project.html

Below Left: One of the Thursday Night Regulars at Adler Hobbies in Hollis, New Hampshire assembles his Vikings war band!

Below Right: Pictured here are the Thursday Night Regulars meeting at Adler Hobbies in Hollis, New Hampshire to assemble their Viking force for the Viking Dawn game.

One of the Thursday Night Regulars at Adler Hobbies in Hollis, New Hampshire assembles his Vikings war band! Pictured here are the Thursday Night Regulars meeting at Adler Hobbies in Hollis, New Hampshire to assemble their Viking force for the Viking Dawn game.
G.  Heroes

Each club starts the game with a single "hero" figure.  This represents the overall commander of all your club's forces.  The figure costs nothing.  This figure may be armed and outfitted in any manner that you want.  The one caveat is that any figure armed with a two-handed weapon (axe, bow) cannot be fully armored as they could not effectively use a shield as well as the weapon.

For ten points you may purchase a concubine to accompany your hero figure on the voyage.  They have no effect on the game, but allow you to journey in comfort and make ribald comments during the game.

For five points you may purchase a shield-bearer to accompany your hero. The shield-bearer will carry an oversize shield and possibly protect you during the battle.

The original Pig Wars rules for the Dark Ages are still available in PDF format from Tod Kershner.  Email Tod at:

tkershner@charter.net