From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
The SAGA Age of Vikings book presents 12 very different factions to players. This series will review each one in turn.
Who were they?
The Normans were descendants of viking raiders who took up and offer from the King of France for a grant of land in exchange for stopping other vikings raiding up the Seine river. This arrangement worked well for both sides, with the Normans soon becoming a French duchy and keeping their agreement to stop other vikings from raiding France’s interior.
The Duchy of Normandy gradually extended its land holdings and power, until one Duke felt powerful enough to make a play for the throne of England.
The Norman lists includes options for Breton forces too, as these frequently featured in Norman armies, when the Normans weren’t raiding Brittany. One unique option is that up to 8 of your Warriors may be armed with crossbows. Otherwise you make take mounted Hearthguard, or mounted Breton Warriors who always come with javelins. Your levy have either javelins or bows.
William the Conqueror is one of your named characters, or you may take a Breton character and fully commit to the lighter Breton force.
The Norman list is flexible, giving you options ranging from a powerful elite force of mounted Hearthguards to a lighter force based around the javelin. Warriors will often be used to hold key points of the battlefield while Levy harass the enemy, and Hearthguard pounce on any weak points.
The Norman Battle Board has a little bit of everything, and a successful general will be one who can bring all these pieces together into a cohesive sequence in critical turns of the game. The Pursuit ability give you a free charge, while Volley Fire doubles the range of your bows for a single attack. The Gallop ability gives a free move to a cavalry unit as long as a foot unit was just activated nearby. Getting these abilities into the right sequence will be your key to victory.
The Normans have a difficulty rating of 1, making them one of the easier armies to play. It’s tempting to simply mount up all your Hearthguard, take a bit of Levy fire support, and have a fun time charging around the battlefield. And why not?