Thursday, 8 April 2021

844 Viking Raid on Lisbon

For our battle this week I had promised Phil a game with my Al Andalus figures. Unfortunately for him I have been listening to an audio book on the Vikings, it was Al Andalus with a twist. In 844 a number of raids occurred as relatives of Bjorn Ironside raided down the west of the Iberian Pennisula eventually ending up at Seville (which formed part of a mini campaign some time ago) , so as a one off battle I thought we would play the landing at Lisbon. This took place in August 844, historically the Vikings skirmished with the local Muslim forces for around 13 days before boarding their ships and heading further south. Historical records are pretty sparse that I can find so we have lots of licence to make things up. The Muslim forces were commanded by the governor of the local area Wahballah ibn Hazm. His objective is simple throw back the invaders before they can get a foothold. 

So as ibn Hazm sips his iced tea and no doubt eats another fig/date he is disturbed by the urgent message that black ships have landed on the coast. He has heard rumours of these devils from the North and now black smoke can be seen in the distance beyond the headland. As he rushes to the gates he shouts orders to bring his troops and guards to arms. He will take with him only the fastest and lightest troops knowing that the best way to defeat these invaders is to throw them back into the sea before they are established.

At the beach the Norsemen have already landed from their longboats and jump ashore already armed and ready to go
Sven Ironside (made up) has already led a group of Norsemen upto the watchtower on the cliffs where it has been torched and is already burning
The Muslim forces arrive behind a light cavalry screen
Wahballah leads his forces towards the beach, a mix of light infantry, light cavalry and some mounted crossbowmen
Some of the Norsemen have been taken narcotic substances and are literally berserk,  Probably a bit hot to be wearing those skins ! 
The rest of the invaders disembark 
It wouldn’t be right for the Vikings to hold back so they don’t....
Light infantry move into the Orange grove for protection
Hirdmen and other armoured men attempt to chase down some of the mounted troops but they are successful in evading the wielded axes
ibn Hazm is playing a cautious game 
The berserkers charge into the woods at the earliest opportunity
More Muslim infantry is arriving
Some of the light cavalry becomes dangerously isolated but they somehow manage to get a shot off before escaping !
The Viking infantry charge in....
Whilst ibn Hazm holds the line....these barbarians are stupid all they can do is charge forward !
The Vikings are beginning to become exhausted a combination of the fighting and the hot weather ?
They have battered the Arabs who have taken a lot of casualties but have held together 
The raid is over and Sven flees back to the boats , he will look for easier pickings further down the coast
The last Norsemen are ‘mopped’ up and put to the sword........
A defiant shout from Sven as he climbs aboard his longboat.

We played with lion rampant which gave a good a close game, the Vikings got stuck in but some clever play by ibn Hazm used his mobile to good advantage. He was lucky not to fail many evade tests and managed each time to escape the clutches of the Viking assaults. Nice to play a game with very different troops on each side.

Not much cycling here as the weather has turned really cold, but the weather has been fantastic and with a holiday weekend we have been out doing some lovely walking. Each time I share photos I realise what a beautiful area I live in. With the public holiday we headed away from the Lake District to avoid the crowds and headed To the Pennines.

Looking East towards the Pennines from the diminutive Dutton Pike but it gives fantastic views
A place called Great Asby  Scar just south east of where we live, not only. Some impressive geological features but the structure in the background is thought to be a Romano-British hill fort.
One of the many stone circles in Cumbria dated around 1800 BC
Then back up on the Pennines to a place called High Cup Nick

Luckily all these places are only a short distance from where we live.

33 comments:

  1. A lovely looking game with beautiful terrain and scenery Matt...I love the longship! Great pics of the rugged countryside too, it's certainly a beautiful part of the country

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Keith...can’t really have Vikings without a longship πŸ‘

      Delete
  2. At least Sven was able to make it back to his longboat and make good his escape. Looks like a lot of good action and a close result. Your landscape photos are inspiring. You live in beautifully rugged country. I had never seen the term "nick" before. I think I would equate the feature to either canyon, ravine, or coulee in my part of the world often with a layer of rimrock at the top.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jonathan. Our landscape is beautiful but quite small in some respects. High Cup Nick is pretty much a single one off feature on this side of the Pennines going back to ice age. Having visited a number of ‘landscapes’ in America what we don’t have here is the same grand scale.

      Delete
  3. The longboat makes such a good ‘scene setter’, great photography as always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank Norm.....it’s easy to take photos when the landscape is spectacular πŸ™‚

      Delete
  4. Wow! Very cool scenario, Matt - models and terrain as well!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice game. I spent some time looking at your longship as it’s the exact model I am attempting at the moment. πŸ˜€
    Cutting it down to a waterline was a bear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Stew.....I do remember it being a pain cutting the base off πŸ˜₯

      Delete
  6. A great entertaining game, very challenging trying to harass the invaders with lightly armoured troops and not getting caught when evading their charges. I was certainly helped by the poor courage check scores, as you say the heat and niggling casualties finally got to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Phil......you handled the cavalry well, they certainly have the advantage in mobility, I think, I needed you to fail a couple of evade rolls. I was quite impressed with the mounted crossbows as they are normally quite ineffective.

      Delete
  7. A lovely looking game as always Matt and you have some beautiful countryside near you:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Steve.... Cumbria is pretty nice πŸ‘

      Delete
  8. A fine game, lovely to look at, but my vote goes for the landscape pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks David....we are lucky with the outdoors up hereπŸ˜€

      Delete
  9. Such a gorgeous raid!! Very nice Matt!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great game report, and lovely scenery.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wonderful stuff Matt, a great game and some fine pic's.
    Bad day at the office for the Norsemen.
    Cheers
    Stu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.....they will blame the heat, all that chain mail and wolf pelt bad for fighting.

      Delete
  12. Lovely looking game, great longship! Full size terrain is nice too!
    Best Iain

    ReplyDelete
  13. Splendid stuff Matt

    Lion Rampant gives you a fun little game and can be quite flexible.

    All the best. Aly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know some find them frustrating but for me it is not about the rules more about the narrative and Lion Rampant a quick and easy contest around which we can play pretty much the games we want πŸ‘

      Delete
  14. Looks great, Viking vs Arabs makes me think I should watch the ‘Thirteenth Warrior’ again!
    😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you sir.......I will have to check it out ? Is that the Kirk Douglas film

      Delete
    2. Googled it an no more modern so I am off to watch it πŸ˜€

      Delete