VIKINGS ??

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Lycanthropic
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Post by Lycanthropic » Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:34 pm

"For six long miles the beautiful Seine river was covered with Viking vessels, carrying an army of thirty thousand viking raiders to lay seige to Paris" - An account of the Viking raiding army of Rollo the Walker in 885 AD. Rollo the Walker, so called because he was such a giant that no horse strong enough to carry him could be found, and therefore he always had to walk.

So thirty thousand raiders are enough to justify a FoG Viking raider list?

Delbruck
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Post by Delbruck » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:02 am

I may not be the Hans Delbruck, but there is rumour of a distant relationship to the Delbruck of Young Frankenstein fame :wink:

As to the Vikings - I have no real problem with HF offensive spearmen, but it might have been intersting to allow early and/or raiding armies the option to be MF impact swordsmen. Thureophoroi, Roman auxilia, and Almughavars are allowed such options. Perhaps Viking allies or the use of the Norse Irish list will allow the Vikings more flexibilty

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Post by tamerlane » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:19 am

timmy1 wrote:Nik, I do hope you noted who you were disagreeing with here. To have such an authority on the list...
There aren't many Franco-Prussian war veterans around are there

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Post by hammy » Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:44 am

Lycanthropic wrote:"For six long miles the beautiful Seine river was covered with Viking vessels, carrying an army of thirty thousand viking raiders to lay seige to Paris" - An account of the Viking raiding army of Rollo the Walker in 885 AD. Rollo the Walker, so called because he was such a giant that no horse strong enough to carry him could be found, and therefore he always had to walk.

So thirty thousand raiders are enough to justify a FoG Viking raider list?
There were large Viking forces, they nearly always came by sea but where is the evidence that these 30,000 fought in anything other than the usual Viking shieldwall? In small engagements then yes Vikings could and probably would addopt a looser formation but I don't see much evidence for them as a mass of loose order troops rather than a solid shieldwall.

FWIW shieldwalls work pretty well in small scale skirmishes, loose formation individualistic Vikings would be cut down by both enemy mounted and enemy shieldwalls :(

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Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:19 am

Fulgrim wrote:But even if Off.Sp seems pretty good out of battelfield behavior i do beleve that on indivual basis they did deserve to be graded "Swordsmen".
The Offensive Spearmen category already assumes the use of swords when appropriate. (see the rules, P.130).

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Post by Fulgrim » Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:39 am

rbodleyscott wrote:
Fulgrim wrote:But even if Off.Sp seems pretty good out of battelfield behavior i do beleve that on indivual basis they did deserve to be graded "Swordsmen".
The Offensive Spearmen category already assumes the use of swords when appropriate. (see the rules, P.130).
Yes, but it doesnt show unless 2 ranks deep...

But anyways - im NOT standing at the barricades regarding this - Off.Sp seems good as i wrote above. I can live with that, from my point of view, this ruleset doesnt give room for a broader, more complete/complex, representations of troops. I really like FOG, its fun to play and battlefield behavior "feels right", and i accept that there is always flipsides to every coin. (read rulesets).

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Post by shakespear » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:04 pm

Is there a Viking list? What book?

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Post by hammy » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:21 pm

shakespear wrote:Is there a Viking list? What book?
Wolves from the Sea, due in January :(

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Post by Probert » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:23 pm

I'd be willing to think about Vikings in a Shieldwall as HF with Heavy Weapons. While the evidence indicates that spears were present, the Viking raiders in a sheildwall would have placed great reliance on larger hand weapons according to accounts I have read. The formations were certainly undrilled, as the combatants were likely to be drunk before and during battle, and two opposing shieldwalls could break into individual combats at any moment.
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Post by nikgaukroger » Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:08 am

That all sounds rather "Hollywood History" rather than anything else to me.
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philqw78
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Post by philqw78 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:12 am

The drunk bit rings true in my opinion.

Claudius
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Post by Claudius » Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:15 am

Is BG drunkenness a "+" or "-" POA during charges/impact?
During melee?
Cheers!

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Post by philqw78 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:17 am

I think its a plus to cohesion (oxymoronic) tests and a minus to everything else :lol:

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Post by Kaptajn_Congoboy » Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:25 am

Hollywood history it is. I would dearly like to see the accounts that give repeated examples of excessive drinking before battle - I cannot immediately recall any. The weapon composition of the scandinavian raiding party or in things like the "Great Army" is difficult to determine - our sources from the period are few and far between, with a lot of our assumptions hauled out of medieval sources.

The earliest levy law, the Graagaas/Grågås of the 11th century, demands as the minimum the levied freeman to bring a shield and an axe. Later levy laws make a spear the next thing the levyman should bring (shield and axe is, in fact, associated with the newly grown or very poor levyman) The norwegian viking age archaeological material does have a lot of axes, but graves are not necessarily representative of the broad mass of the period - there are plenty of spears and javelins as well. The "Danish" or sometimes "Broad" axe is somewhat rarer, but definitely there, as is a number of the heavy heaving spears sometimes described as "Atgeirs" or literally "Hoggspjot" ("CuttingSpear") in the medieval sources. The swedish material has a somewhat greater number of spears, but not excessively so. The danish material, especially from the richer districts of Jylland and Sjaelland, has more decorated and high-status material, but fall something in between. However, spears and broad axes as well as swords and arrowheads regularily appears in chieftain's and richer graves. The weapon composition seem just that, very composite.

Our sources on the berserkers are rather weak as well. In the medieval sources, which are the ones that mention them the most (typically in sagas that detail viking age events) often equal berserker with outlaw, or with a "hard man" - often someone in the sagas is mentioned, and after his name the description is "he was a foul/mean berserk". There are no contemporary accounts of berserkers imbibing alcohol or drugs - the poisonous mushroom theory was an early example of "ethno-archaeology" where trance-inducing drugs used by Siberian shamans in the 18th century was launched as a theory by a medical doctor. The accounts that exist show that they indeed did exist - they were banned in Norway by Earl Eirik Ladejarl in 1015 according to the Heimskringla - but the mentions of their appearance are brief: people who are especially sour-minded or angry often are called berserkers, and they seem to be associated with wild predators - "Ulfhe(th)nar" (Wolf-pelt) is a saga poetry kenning for berserker (which might mean "Bear-jacket"). They are mentioned in some medieval sources (detailing the viking age) as an unruly if effective shock troop component of some armies.

The only real description comes from the Ynglingasaga (based on the poem Ynglingatal) where berserkers are mentioned as soldiers of Odin (which in the Heimskringla is made out to be a mythic king, later worshipped in scandinavia as a god):
Odin could (magically) make it so that in battle his foes became blind or deaf or drunk from fear, and their weapons bite no better than sticks, but his own men went mailless and were mad as dogs and wolves; they bit their shields, were strong as bears or bulls, killed all men, and neither fire nor iron bit them; that is called berserk-walk (gangr, which has a slightly different connotation in old norse; it often just describes behaviour rather than literally a walk)

marty
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Post by marty » Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:22 am

Vikings was the second 25mm army I painted many years ago and I had fun using them for many years under 7th and warrior.

From a purely selfish perspective I was quite pleased when I heard they were going to be graded off spear as Vikings had always been speed humped by mounted under these other sets of rules.

Looking at it from a less self interested perspective I would worry that an off spear classification would make the vikings too strong in the face of shock mounted. Is there much evidence on how well dark age shield walls stood up to shock mounted? Apart, of course, from Hastings. An Off spear classification is going to leave a Viking shield wall just about impervious even to the most anachronistic shock mounted (Heavily armoured Knights).

I would be interested to hear what those with a more detailed knowledge of the Vikings think about this (I used the because they seemed sorta cool, rather than because I had any great knowledge in the area)

Martin

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Post by madaxeman » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:38 pm

[quote="hammy"]

As for spear losing combat effectiveness when disrupted they lose no more combat effectiveness than any other troop from disruption. Grated their opponents may benefit from an extra POA but strictly that is the opponent of the spear getting better not the spear geting worse :twisted: [quote]

Hmmm - iffy logic indeed. :roll:

Offensive spear means they are good against mounted, suffer badly in terrain, and are nip and tuck against every other type of pedestrian out there in the hairy dark ages. I would have been hoping for someting a little more "Viking-ey" in their characteristics than this mix. :cry:

(oh, unless of course they are armoured and everyone else is protected. In which case they will rock and roll. :D )

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Post by hammy » Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:23 pm

madaxeman wrote:
hammy wrote:
As for spear losing combat effectiveness when disrupted they lose no more combat effectiveness than any other troop from disruption. Grated their opponents may benefit from an extra POA but strictly that is the opponent of the spear getting better not the spear geting worse :twisted:

Hmmm - iffy logic indeed. :roll:
Just being pedantic really :(

Some of the Vikings will have the option to be heavy weapon but I can't offhand remember where things are with armour. I have a feeling that the Anglo Danish might have more troops with armour than Vikings.

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Post by tamerlane » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:45 am

marty wrote: I would be interested to hear what those with a more detailed knowledge of the Vikings think about this (I used the because they seemed sorta cool, rather than because I had any great knowledge in the area)

Martin
Brother dear, I know that you use them because you look more like a viking than anyone else I know. But then I come second.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:14 am

marty wrote:
Looking at it from a less self interested perspective I would worry that an off spear classification would make the vikings too strong in the face of shock mounted. Is there much evidence on how well dark age shield walls stood up to shock mounted? Apart, of course, from Hastings. An Off spear classification is going to leave a Viking shield wall just about impervious even to the most anachronistic shock mounted (Heavily armoured Knights).

I would be interested to hear what those with a more detailed knowledge of the Vikings think about this (I used the because they seemed sorta cool, rather than because I had any great knowledge in the area)

Classification works for me. IMO it will get the right result against their historicalm opponenets, which is the main thing; how they operate against anachronistic opponents is a bit incidental.
Nik Gaukroger

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Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:15 am

madaxeman wrote:
Offensive spear means they are good against mounted, suffer badly in terrain, and are nip and tuck against every other type of pedestrian out there in the hairy dark ages. I would have been hoping for someting a little more "Viking-ey" in their characteristics than this mix. :cry:

What would you see as more Viking-ey? ANd would that be based on history or Hollywood :twisted:
Nik Gaukroger

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If he does not, why humiliate him?" - Canon Sydney Smith

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