Thursday 27 January 2022

Midgard Bronze Age Playtest AAR

I have been speaking to James Morris for some time about his forthcoming rules Midgard. I have been looking for rules for my Bronze Age collection for some time and with Midgards focus on Heroes and heroic warfare these rules look like the may fit the bill.

So with that in mind James kindly invited me to join the playtest group and Chris Charlton set up a  game at the East Leeds club with Kev and his lovely collection of Bronze Age North Europeans. I was pleased to find as we played that Kev is an archeologist so had a real insight into the period.

Each side has heroes; leaders and can also have Shamen, your side starts with a number of reputation points which can be increased or decreased by heroic (or not) behaviour, so wounding an enemy in single combat will add reputation to your sides pot but refusing single combat or getting yourself killed will remove repuation.
The rule set also have an innovative move sequence which I like. More on this when James is ready to release the rles, I wouldnt want too many spoilers.

This is quite different to you go I go and works really well.
I hope we might see the rules published in 2022 and I can see a niche for this type of game in the market so hope it will do well for James.
Chris had organised two forces from our collections and mounted mine on movement trays as the units frontage for Midgard is quite important. Everything is measured in "Spear Throws" including units frontages, for 28mm figures a spear throw is 120mm. If I enjoy this as much as I think I will, I will need to rebase all mine as movement trays are a bit clunky and dont look very nice.

Our armies were evenly matched, I had the greater numbers whilst Kev had the more aggressive troops. One advantage I had was more cavalry and chariots so I loaded one side hoping to take advantage of this.
We marked might points with MDF disks so you can see my Hero below had 4 might points which made him a pretty full on hero.
We used glass pebbles as reputaion points, I guess you could mark this any way you want, I am imaging once published the rules will have bespoke markers you can source.

First move my chariots and one unit of light horse closed with Kevs only unit of horse quickly infliciting a casualty with javelin throws.

For the rest my units remained stationery and Kevs trundled forward, each unitmoves one spear throw but can move a second one if it passes a command test, Heros can spend a might point to allow a unit they are with to re-roll a command test.
The number of troops to a base doesnt really matter, skirmish units like these Javelins look better spread out whilst the heavier warriors look the part shoulder to shoulder.
Kevs troops already have really nice movement trays for the rules, I like these a lot.
It oesnt happen often but my first round of melee three sixes from three dice sees me winning.
Unfortunately my chariots though are seen off by an adjacent unit of Wariors with double handed axes who join the fray and are then forced to push on after their sucess . At the end of the round I have lost a unit of chariots and Kev a unit of horse we both lose a reputation point, my unit of horse is now engaged with the Hero trying to fight them off alone. 
In the next round Kev wisely issues a challenge which I accept, however his hero has 4 might points and mine has just 1, the outcome was never in doubt. I roll on the Hero death chart but it doesnt end well and I lose a reputation point.
In the meantime the warriors and skirmishers have closed elsewhere and missile fire has taken a heavy toll of both sides. It takes me quite a while to get my head around using Heroes properly and Kev gets the better of most of the combats early on as a result. On the right I turned my cavalry around hopeing to move them across my rear and into the gap I have created there beating Kevs cavalry. Instead I end up with a comical Grand old Duke of York secnario with them turning back and forth and refusing to pass initiative tests.
Gradually as I get a better handle on how to use my heros and use my larger numbers of skirmishers and warriors to gang up on units of Kevs on the left I start to get the better of the battle on that side. On the right however Kev destroys a couple of my units and breaks through my line.
Its a close run thing but by 10.30 Kev has lost his leader and a couple of heros along with some of his better troops, his reputation pot is almost empty and we call it narrow victory for me. I got lucky but learned some valuable lessons about both the rules and playing Heroic warfare in general.
A great playtest with some lovely figures and great company, thanks Kev and Chris and also James for allowing us to play test the rules. More to come on these in the near future I feel.


  1. Looks very interesting and I am sure you are right that there may be a niche market for rules in this era. I like the chariot crew in pic no 14 (I think) - must be an ancestor of Boudicca?!

    1. Cheers yes I did a bit of chopping to add that figure to the chaiot, I do like her.

  2. Fascinating period and l look forward to the rules vey much.

    1. I am sure we will be able to let you know when they are published.

  3. Looked a crackin and unusual game.

    1. So pleased I can finally get these on table.

  4. Interesting game. I'm looking forward to these rules being relesed

  5. Lovely looking game although not a period I am really familiar with, another ruleset into the pile 😀