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Setting the Scene.

Picture a lazy day in dark age Britain, a large white horse on a hill. Stones standing in quiet circles. Peasants out shovelling dung and forming autonomous collectives, while monks busily reshape their heads with small planks of wood ” Pies lesu Domine Dona eis requliem“…. Wack. This of course has nothing whatsoever to do with what took place at the Auckland wargaming club’s Dux Bellorum day, although like the movie (The Holy Grail) our games did contain a jolly good laugh or two.

The Player & Game Format

Mike who was there, but didn’t participate kindly lent me his Saxon/Irish army. Mark on the other hand was both there and early had late Romans while Nigel who hadn’t played before, but wanted too, used my Vikings. Nick was Pics because he could be, while it will be remembered I was using Mike’s Saxons albeit as Vikings, which they probably were all a long. Ben who hardly ever played, did, and had Vikings and Kieran used the late Roman list to field Normans. Simple really!

Six guys, six games on three, six by four foot tables in one day. All armies were mounted on 120mm/60mm bases and are of the 28mm variety. The standard movement unit (1U) was 75mm in these games.

Above Some of Ben’s beautifully painted Foundry/Artizan figures mounted on sabot bases for the day.

Below Norman Knight charge into action

Kieran versus Ben

This great looking Norman versus Viking match up was the only game of the day to run longer than the prescribed two and a half hours. As such, it was in danger of encroaching on our lunch break. Organizer, umpire and all round rule master, Nick stepped in decreeing the game would be decided by a final dice roll. The result of which favoured the Vikings, lunch was saved and there was much rejoicing.

Kieran’s scratch built scenery along with these two well painted armies made for a great looking game.


 Classed as shield wall these Norman heavy infantry clash with Viking war bands in a bloody battle to the end ……. well until lunchtime anyway.


Some close-up shots of the hand painted patterns on the cloaks of Ben’s Viking warriors.


Nick vs Nigel

Nigel gets a baptism of fire here when he takes on Nick’s Pics for his very first game of Dux Bellorum. Unfortunately the details of the game were lost to me as I had my hands full fighting Mark’s late Romans at the time. A victory for the Pics in the end I believe.

Above the main Pic/Viking battle lines engage in some argy bargy.


Left: Outnumbered Viking skirmishers eye their Pictish counter parts from across the table.

Right: Nick’s chariot arm moves forward on the flank while his war bands contest the centre.


The Pictish horde await there next victim while we all stop for lunch.

Below: The Late Roman general pins two Viking elements as the cataphracts move into charge range.

An unbelievable game against Mark’s late Romans deserves a special mention here as I had an uncanny run of luck allowing me to steal a victory from certain defeat. This should have been a convincing win for Mark as he completely outplayed me. Sending his cavalry around both my flanks he managed to break up my battle line before launching his deadly Cataphracts through the centre. They crushed all that stood before them without taking a single wound. In short-order my army was at half strength forcing the remaining units to take bravery tests at the end of each turn in order to remain in the game. That should have been the end of the story, but somehow I just hung in there. Three turns and twelve morale tests later my last four units were not only still on the table, but they had killed enough of Mark’s troops that he was also forced to start taking army morale tests. Turn five saw the late Romans fail their morale tests and in the words of king Arthur (from the Holy Grail) run away….. While my troops passed yet again notching up twenty tests in all and no fails.

Minstrel on loan from Sir Robin.

After Lunch match ups

Shown in the montage of photos below are the afternoon games which saw Ben’s Vikings take on Nick’s Pictish war band in a short, but brutal game. Mark’s Late Romans then schooled Nigel in the joys of fighting Cataphracts while I struggled against Kieran’s Normans. All and all a great day of gaming, many thanks to Nick for sorting it all out and to the lads for a Sunday well spent

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