Hammerhead Show after action photo report: Battle of Dunnichen

Yesterday saw the first Hammerhead Show for two years, and a great experience it was too. I saw plenty of old friends, met some new ones and had a good time running our Battle of Dunnichen 685 game with the Morris & Chums gaming group.

Jeepers, it was cold in that hall to start with! (Fortunately it warmed up during the day and we were near one of the heaters thoughtfully provided by the organisers). Me, Tom and Martin modelling our new Midgard T shirts with as many layers underneath as possible!

We played a single, relaxed game over the course of the day, but it was a close-run contest that finally saw victory for the Picts. The strategy for Bridei Mac Bili seemed to be a combination of ‘charge them in the face’ (Tom WD’s preferred tactic) and ‘get round the flanks’ (every sensible commander in history).

The game all set up and ready to go: Picts at the top of the shot, Saxons holding the hill at the bottom. Ecgfrith’s goblet of Reputation is visible at the front.

A closer view of the Saxon battle line. King Ecgfrith is centre right with the raven banner.

We had some great conversations over the day with gamers, with several enquiries about how the Midgard rules worked, which periods they could be used for (any setting where you have heroes leading warriors armed with swords, spears and shields) and when they are likely to be published (no date yet I’m afraid – watch this space). I also managed to slip away for some shopping, acquiring the Victrix Norman Knights set (straight onto the workbench for conversion into Noldor); the Bello Ludi WW1 rules, cards and dice from Caliver Books (looking for a 28mm large skirmish set for some Battle of Arras 1917 action); more magnetic basing supplies from Coritani/ Magnetic Displays; and some metal Picts from Gripping Beast (Andy Sherwell was shocked to hear that I had a couple of gaps in my collection – now sorted!)

New signage: Tom WD somehow worked his marketing witchcraft to provide QR codes for the posters, giving a direct link to the game details on this site.

Next show up for us is Partizan in May, for which we have started hatching plans for a much bigger battle in this period: Degsastan 603. I managed to play this on my kitchen table over Christmas with Matt, but I’m hoping we can pull out the stops to get something momentous onto the gaming table this time out for a very large game of Midgard. See you there!

Curious Pictish locals gather to watch the fight (sadly no popcorn in those days)
Horses being held while waiting for their masters to return from the battle.
The Picts close in: King Bridei (centre) leads the charge from the back.

The spear markers on the ground mark the ‘salient points’ for this scenario – any unit holding this position at the end of the turn gain Reputation, which goes into the goblet.

‘Charge them in the face!’
As the battle lines clash, Pictish chieftain Erp gains great Reputation by leading the first charge of the battle AND calling out Saxon thegn Cerdic in single combat! Cerdic dispatched the Pict pretty swiftly (you can see that he brought his best kit) but battle is most certainly joined.

Pictish skirmishers harry the Northumbrians while Erp leads his ‘death or glory’ charge into the Saxon centre.
Bridei’s mounted Picts begin to work their way around the Saxon left flank, starting with the hapless skirmishers, but progress is slower than expected.
Pictish hunters coming round the Saxon right flank. The standing stone is by Scotia Grendel, available from Coritani/ Magnetic Displays
Turn 4: the sound of horns and thundering hooves is heard as Northumbrian thegn Berct and his warriors finally arrive on the Saxon right flank. Not bothering to dismount, the vengeful warriors chase off the Pictish skirmishers. However, Berct falls, shot through the neck by a Pictish archer.
Ecgfrith holds firm against the Pictish onslaught with his heartguard. However, he is struck by a javelin and wounded – being ‘Fated’, he cannot use his Mighty Deeds to prevent this.
Although the Northumbrians have held the centre so far, Ecgrith’s hearthguard are now losing the fight. Things come to a head as Ecgfrith is hit by yet another Pictish javelin and falls, dead. With a Reputation loss of 5 for the Saxon king, the goblet is now empty and the Northumbrians break and flee. Victory to the Picts!

7 thoughts on “Hammerhead Show after action photo report: Battle of Dunnichen

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