Saturday, May 1, 2021

Old Friends

 Hi all,

I sing of Haemar inn Haegi,
gift-giver, sword-weilder.
I sing of his glory,
his deeds are remembered.

So, I made the mistake of watching the "Little Wars" viking episodes, including the one where they debut their Ravenfeast game.

Haemar, friend-feaster
gift giver, mead bringer.
To his hall, his huscarls,
his hirdmen he called.

This, of course, prompted me to dig out my Wargames Factory figures, and try out the rules.

Fast friends he feasted,
great logs were burning.
High heat in the Hall,
mead-tempers flared hot.

The scenario I played was "Fight for Honor", which has two leaders square off, with a chance of their warbands piling in to the fight.

Proud boasts were shouted,
hot words were cutting.
Like sword blows exchanged,
no shields to bar harm.

The figs are serviceable, but don't really compare to some of the other options.  They were, however, cheap as chips, as I got a good deal on them at the time.

Hot tempers flaring,
to night air were carried.
Harsh words to harsh blows,
brothers now foes.

I did spend some time on them, back in the day, so they generally look okay on the table.

Haemar our chieften,
swift striking, quick witted.
The first blow he struck,
the honour was his.

The opening rounds of the fight saw Haemar tear up his opponent pretty well.  In Ravenfeast, leaders have 3 wounds - one more, and Haemar's nameless opponent would go down.

Jarl's men close-watching,
his life's blood saw spattered.
In wrath they strode forward,
our chieftan to slay.

In the scenario, if the leader takes a hit, and fails morale, his men pile in.  Haemar's in trouble!

At Haemar they struck,
sharp spears hard-piercing.
His heart's blood they sought,
to spill on the soil.

Attacked by multiple foes, Haemar fights at a disadvantage, and is badly wounded.

Against many stood Haemar,
proud-fighter, sore wounded.
As waves against sea-rock,
the foe-line did break.

However, Haemar's men rush forward.  Can they relieve him before he falls?

To Haemar we rallied,
gold-giver, war-leader.
Hearth friends and hirdmen,
to his side we strode.

The first rush of Haemar's men takes out some of the opposition, but they don't quite break through to the man himself.  

Fell blows were given,
false friends struck down.
Many hewed Haemar,
though he would not fall.

The fight starts to even up.  Snorri, one of Haemar's Huscarls, draws off the opposing Jarl, while Haemar deals with the man left on him.

Hearth-friend of Haemar,
strong Snorri, quick killer.
The foe-jarl did battle,
While Haemar slew men.

Behind the duel, more drama.  Arne, a hirdman (i.e., a grunt), duels and kills one of the opposing elite troops - a multi-attack berzerker.

Young Arne, axe-wielding,
struck down the bear-sarker.
Great honour he won there,
from Haemar a ring.

Haemar re-engages the opposing Jarl, with assistance from Snorri.  I'm missing a pic here, where the loose enemy Hirdman on the far left moved over to attach Haemar.  Snorri ended up dueling the opposing Jarl solo.

Brave Snorri, stout hearted,
to Hel sent the false friend.
Who's death-stroke killed Snorri,
he feasts with the gods.

With the opposing Jarl dead, Haemar rallies his surviving men, to drive off their erstwhile friends, now foes.

Brave fighters of Haemar,
drove false-friends, quick fleeing.
From hearth's hold they drove them,
to feast there no more.

The Ravenfeast.  Odin's hall has many new warriors tonight.

The ravens fat-feasted,
the corpse-reap was hearty.
Odin was happy,
his war-throng swells more.

So, that was pretty fun.  Ravenfeast seems pretty accessible, lets you take a range of fighters, is absolutely character-driven, and seems to produce a fairly engaging game.  Although the mechanics are pretty simple, I can see them becoming a little unmanageable if you tried to run much more than a dozen models or so - but it would probably work quite well as a multi-player game.

As it happens, between the Little Wars stuff, trying the game, and a little late night perusing, I ended up springing for a box of the new(ish) victrix vikings.  Kind of looking forward to them, though I suspect it'll be a few weeks anyways, with the mail the way it's been.

Gratuitous shot of the Fenris-cat, who took an interest in the battle.  Also, how about that house?  The Cub's work - he's developing a real knack for terrain.


  1. Nice looking game, that sounds a lot of fun. Skirmish games with Vikings are a good option for a quick game, there’s supposed to be a 2nd edition of Lion Rampant next year with Dark Age lists.

    1. Yeah, I just heard about that. Going to try and build towards an LR force, I think.

  2. Inspired report, great presentation...A nice looking game with beautiful figures, terrain...and cat!

    1. Thanks, Phil. He is a handsome cat, at that ;)

  3. Looks like time well wasted as 'they' say. Good stuff.

    Kudos to the Cub on his work.

  4. Fun looking battle, appropriately named cat and nice work on the terrain!
    Best Iain

  5. I made the same mistake with the little wars Tv. Now my last two posts are unexpectedly about the dark ages. I thought the rules were a fun lite game. Worth every penny (free).

    Though you did the impossible and got the wargames factory miniatures to look good. 😀

    1. Thanks, Stew! They're actually not bad, they're just . . . not great. Serviceable. I do have some of the Victrix on order, and am eagerly anticipating the upgrade.