Long Egil sailed,
To Britain's shores guided,
By Loki, for reaving...
Coming ashore at the mouth of the Trent, Red Egil forged inland. Unfortunately for him, the local lord was a canny warrior, and what's more – literate. Knowing how the Romans defended the Saxon Shore before his ancestors seized their land, he used the same tricks against the Viking invaders, forcing Egil and his Blackshields back to the coast.
The lord's son, Aethelfric, was sent with a warband to chase down the interlopers, but few were their numbers – so few, in fact, that Egil turned in flight to cut them down. The shieldwalls met on a misty, dewy morning by the village of Getham...
The battlelines swiftly advanced towards each other. The wood in the centre of the field slowed Aethelfric and his huscarls, and seeing this led Egil to swiftly advance his Blackshields against the thegns on Aethelfric's left wing. If the English could be defeated in detail, maybe some honour could still be saved from this debacle.
|The lines close.|
|The Viking tide crashes home.|
It looked like the Saxon thegns would be swept away, but these were hard men, hard as iron, and though shields shivered and spears shattered, they stood firm. They wrought red ruin among the foeman, and as they pushed them back they hacked down the last of those foolish hirdmen who had placed their trust in Heimdall rather than Christ.
The Anglo-Danes moved forward, striking at the black-shielded sailors before them. Distraught at the slaughter of the hersir, they sought Valhalla at English hands. They found it, though they dragged many a Saxon soul screaming with them.
|The Anglo-Danes crash forwards.|
|Almost total casualties on the wing.|
Here Loki proved his salt where Thor had failed. His weasel words and cunning fingers carved womanly terror into English hearts, and the survivors of that nightmare of steel and shield on Aethelfric's left ran like cowards into the hills.
Again the Vikings charged the English left, horns blaring in the morning light. This time steel burst red through gut and bone, and the unforgiving English fell back leaving their dead for the crows before the triumphant Blackshields.
|The lines thin out.|
Now Egil attempted to lead his uncommitted sailors against the huscarls in Getham Wood, but their hoarse bellows and the clatter of axe on shield intimidated the norsemen into hanging back. This encouraged the iron English thegns, and they charged home again, surprising the hersir and butchering them like hogs.
Egil was alone but for the dead, bellowing defiance as Aethelfric and his huscarls burst from the trees.
|Red Egil alone before the English.|
Though Egil struck one man a killing blow from his ancient sword, he faced the very lords of battle, and he was rent with many deadly wounds, from crown to shin.
Seeing their valorous leader dead on the field amongst the best of his brethren, the last of the Blackshields fled to their ships, little knowing that they lay smouldering, charred and black, on the English shore...
The reaving was Loki's,
Egil lay dead on a field of iron,
Rent chain, bucklers broken
His falling un-omened.
Vikings: Warlord, 12 Hearthguard, 7 Warriors
Anglo-Danes: 1 Hearthguard, 12 Warriors
Half the Anglo-Danish army didn't even make it into play! A mix of crazy die rolls and impressive defensive abilities blunted the initial Viking assault, and after that there just weren't enough dice on the board for Egil's men to come back as the Lords of Battle strutted their stuff across the field. Intimidation and Hard As Iron are definitely going to be my go-to abilities in the club campaign...
Man of the Match goes to the Anglo-Danish Warriors who saw off twelve Hearthguard for the loss of only four of their own.