25 players fought over the lands of 9th century England to determine if the invading Viking hordes could carve a significant piece of England for themselves, or if the English could resist the heathen onslaught.
This year the event was run as a Single Elimination with a Mulligan round to give those losing in the first round a second chance.
The Mulligan round featured 11 games. The 1st round followed immediately after and only saw 3 games, with 3 new players and 3 players trying again. 4 of the winners did not continue, including last year’s champion Chris Trimmer, due to it being up against Mr. Madison’s War. That left 10 players and 5 games for Rd 2. With 5 winners remaining, an eliminator was called upon to have 3 games for the Quarter Finals.
The Semis featured Carl Adamec vs Ty Hansen, and David Schneider vs the GM (playing as an eliminator).
Your trusty GM, (the long day to this point possibly causing brain-farts) promptly laid an egg in his game vs David, when both of his Viking factions went first in Round 1. In a questionable move, Halfdan was left too weak, and although he was screened off with units so that the English were unlikely to reach him, David played the English Traitors card, and removed part of the screen, allowing the English armies to reach and overwhelm what remained of Halfdan’s horde. The other city shires the Vikings had taken fell as well, giving the English an auto-victory at the end of Round 1.
In the other semifinal, Carl as the Vikings had one of his factions draw first in Round 2-4 and was able to stave off of Ty’s attempts to keep the Viking city count down. Ty conceded in Round 5, as he had no way of taking back enough city shires to keep the Vikings below 9, and Carl had already played both treaty cards.
The final pitted David as the English vs Carl as the Vikings. David bid 1 die re-roll granted to Carl to play the English.
In Round 1, the Vikings played a treaty card immediately, and Halfdan invaded Northumbria. The Berserkers were drawn 2nd, and by the end of their move, the Vikings had taken York, Manchester, Chester, and Carlisle. The English with two moves, retook York and Carlisle, which were held with one Norsemen each. At the end of Round 2, the Vikings held 2 city shires.
In Round 2, the Thegn are drawn first (The 3rd English move in a row). The first English treaty card is played. With the use of Thegn leadership (+2 movement), and Alfreds Gamit (add a Fryd card to attacks), Carlisle is retaken, and an English army attacks Halfdan in Chester. Halfdan survives, but his army is reduced to 1 Beserker and 2 Norsemen. The Berserkers are up next, and Ivar the Boneless invades. Carl attempts to take Lichfield with Halfdan, using the Viking Terror card to prevent the drawing of a Fryd card in defense. But David responds with a Spy card, allowing him to move an army from Oxford in response. Halfdan’s small force is wiped out and he is killed. Ivar invades York and takes it and Carlisle again. The Norsemen go third and Carlisle and Durham are taken completing the conquest of Northumbria. An attempt to take Lichfield via the English Traitors card fails, as the two Housecarl troops defeat the two Thegn traitors. The Housecarl move last and do not fight battles, but the lone Norsemen in York is removed via Rebellion, liberating the city. The second English treaty card is played, meaning the game will end with Round 5. The Vikings hold 4 city shires at the end of Rd 2.
In Round 3 the Thegn go first again. Chester is liberated from the heathen. The Beserkers capture Lincoln and York with their move. (The Vikings only get Reinforcements this turn, no new leader). The Norsemen are 3rd and take Leicester, but Ivar’s last beserker is killed in the fight. The Housecarl are last and attempt to retake Manchester and York, succeeding in the former, but failing to capture York when a Norsemen command decisions away from Manchester and tips the scales in York. The Vikings hold 5 city shires at the end of Rd 3.
In Round 4 - Berserkers are drawn first. Bjorn Ironside (11/4) is the leader. Bjorn’s army moves through York to attack Manchester. English play Danegold. Manchester falls once again. (The three remaining residents flee with their goat). Ivar returns to York leaving a large army in Lincoln). Norsemen are up 2nd. Ivar takes units in York, picks up Lincoln army and attacks and takes Lichfeld. Bjorn’s army leaves Chester empty and attacks Hereford. The English make a gallant stand and wipe out their army, killing Bjorn. The Housecarl are third. They attack Lincoln and Leicester and retake both. The Thegn are last. Manchester is retaken, yet again. At the end of the round the Vikings hold 4 city shires.
Round 5 (the final round as both English treaty cards had been played previously), The Norsemen are up first. Rollo is the leader. (11/4). English play Saxon Navy card to deny Rollo a number of landing sites.
Ivar’ moves with his army south, eliminates several English blocking units and eventually takes Leicester. However, his army is down to 1 Beserker and 7 Norsemen.
Rollo invades from the Irish Sea, and attacks what was formerly the city of Manchester (now just a muddy ruin) – (The goat, says “Are you kidding me?”), capturing it one more time. Leaves one Norse garrison in Manchester, and attacks and captures Lincoln. Rollo’s army has 2 Beserkers and 3 Norsemen remaining The Vikings control 6 city shires, needing to take and hold 3 more before the end of the round.
The Housecarl are drawn second, and Carl concedes the game, making David Schneider is this year’s champion.
Out of the 25 games played – the English were victorious in 15, to 10 Viking victories.
Next year, look for the Academy Cup – to be awarded to the gamer who has the best combined finish in 878 Vikings and 1775 Rebellion.