Sunday, 27 December 2015

All Fyrd Up

It's been a whistlestop December, but we have one last stop before the annual review: The Anglo Saxons!

Freeman's Catalogue, 872AD

PROPER Anglo-Saxons, that is. Not the BBC's cack-handed adaptation of an historical tour-de-force. (I mean come on - ITV did a cracking job on Sharpe. Where was the electric guitar intro?)

But I digress. I've been quite lax in getting my SAGA warband painted. And after their impressive debut battle, I've decided to undertake a little ethnic realignment (doesn't sound the least sinister, does it?) and turn my Anglo-Danes into Anglo-Saxons.

Anglo-Saxon Geburs for Gripping Beasts' SAGA Viking Age.
Henry Fyrd

Though they really kicked some Viking grunnr in the battle, I think Anglo-Saxons make for a better match-up. Aside from being historical antagonists, I think the present a pretty good rock to the norse hammer, but with the potential for a counter-punch.

I may be being unfair to the Anglo-Danes, but after playing five battles with them, I found I was just lobbing fatigue at the enemy. In fairness, it may be a different style against, say Welsh or Normans, but against a close-combat force like Vikings, we all found a bit ... wearysome.

Anglo-Saxon Geburs for Gripping Beasts' SAGA Viking Age.
Harrison Fyrd

Anyway, it only took one battle to sell me, not just on the Anglo-Saxons, but also on the Fyrd! I love the fact that the Geburs (or are they Ceorls? The battle board and rulebook don't seem to agree - the lowest rank of fighter either way) are key to this army, and when fielded in the proper numbers, with the proper buffs, they can hold up against the enemy's elite.

Anglo-Saxon Geburs for Gripping Beasts' SAGA Viking Age.
Fyrd Maddox Fryd

For these, I used the Gripping Beasts' Dark Age Warriors box - which gives you 40 warriors at a very good price. They have very basic arms and armour (deliberately so, which makes them very versatile) and match up nicely with the Anglo-Saxon Thegns box (although you'd be limited to head and weapon swaps - since the arms and torsos are mailed).

So these poor chumps have to go to war with nothing but woollen tunics to fend off the Dane axes. I did scatter around a few helmets (basic pot helms, to distinguish between the more elaborate helmets of the Thegns). They also all get shields, since the Anglo-Saxon Geburs have an option to be better armed if they give up their missile weapons (so no slings or bows here).

Anglo-Saxon Geburs for Gripping Beasts' SAGA Viking Age.
Gerald Fryd

For the tunics, I'm sticking with my green theme, mixed up with some undyed cloth. I'm not sure if Dark Age fighters would have been so uniformly attired, but I'm rationalising it at follows:

  • They would if I'd been in charge.
  • They'd all have access to the same locally-sourced vegetable dyes, so clearly all this lot grew in their little hamlet was cabbages.

Anglo-Saxon Geburs for Gripping Beasts' SAGA Viking Age.
Francis Fryd Coppola

So tunics of Death World Forest or Elysian Green for the dyed-in-the-wool fighters, plain old Zandri Dust for the great unwashed. And the usual mix of browns and greys for breeches, leggings and shoes (there's a lot of mixing up to be done if you don't want things to look uniform),

Anglo-Saxon Geburs for Gripping Beasts' SAGA Viking Age.
Bruce Frydsythe

Of course, you can't see much of this from the front, since the shields hide most of the body. And yes ... I *know* that's the point of a shield, but no-one told me that when I was carefully painting in the belt buckles that you will never see,

Anglo-Saxon Geburs for Gripping Beasts' SAGA Viking Age.
Proof: all the stuff you're missing from the front.

For the shields, I kept to the yellow-and-green style (once again sacrificing a bit of historical verisimilitude for tabletop clarity). Golden Yellow base, then Castellan Green to mark them out (a different shade of green to my Huscarl Thegn unit, for additional distinction).

Anglo-Saxon Geburs for Gripping Beasts' SAGA Viking Age.
I need to get better at freehand shields.

I like the models, and I like the scale too. In fact, I think they work better with other Warhammer models (apart from humans obviously). By keeping things on 'true' 28mm scale, it makes 'heroic' 28mm infantry (like Gor) look properly bestial; and monstrous things, really monstrous. To me, it seems more fitting that human warriors in a fantasy setting should look outmatched by the fantastical stuff.


There should be 12 Geburs to a unit, so I'm only halfway through with painting 6 (all part of my 'paint by halves' masterplan). Hopefully, this lot will encourage me to crack on (although they're currently vying for my attention with my Dungeon Saga set).

Besides, we're coming up to the end of year tally, so I need to push as many completed figures across the finish line as possible. Tune in on New Year's Eve to see if I've succeeded in out-painting my purchases this year!

1 comment:

  1. A-well-a
    Fyrd fyrd fyrd
    Fyrd is the word
    Everybody's heard
    About the fyrd