Pillage the Village at PAW

As followers on Facebook will know, last weekend (1 and 2 February) I went down to cover my local show, the Plymouth Association of Wargamers (PAW) show. My local club, the Brixham Berserkers went down there and joined in the fun by running a game, Pillage the Village. I’m a great believer in letting people join in with a game: participation is the way forward.

The game involved twelve Vikings (split into three “benches” or groups) raiding a village with twelve Saxons trying to defend the village and get their kinsfolk to safety. Each villager or livestock was worth a point. The one with the highest score wins. We used the Valhalla rule set by East Street Games.

Casey Vandenberg and Rossco Watkins had worked hard on making the board. Martin Oaff and Paul Burkin – both regular painters for WSS – had painted up the miniatures beautifully. This they had done in less than a month. And me? Well, I’d painted up “Randy the Wonder Cockerel”.

Our test games had gone very well with the games being pretty evenly split. At the show we had several memorable games with several good stories such as the bearded lady (the model looked like a female, but had a beard). One reoccurring story stood out above all others, namely that of a certain feathered cockerel. For a bit of fun, we gave Randy the cockerel some special rules. He was hard to grab, you needed a six on a D6 and each turn he’d struggle and peck at you, causing damage on a 6 with his beak and spurs.

In one of Saturday’s games, a Viking managed to grab Randy with a lucky 6. However, Randy did not like being grabbed and with a stunning turn of luck, he rolled a number of successive 6s, blinding the raider in one eye. This was repeated the following turn in the other eye before Randy flew off. The same Viking players came back the next day vowing vengeance against the cockerel. With the mission “get that cockerel dead or alive”, they sent eight Vikings into the chicken pen after him! This time, they were determined that Randy was coming with them at all costs! It was highly amusing to see all eight of these hardened Norse warriors in turn trying to grab the poor cockerel before escorting him back to the Viking longship. However, they did successfully cage poor Randy. While the Vikings lost that game, albeit only narrowly, they did manage to secure their chicken.

To my great delight, Clive Dudley – the show organiser – awarded the berserkers “Best Demonstration game at PAW 2014”. Rossco was particularly chuffed as he had set his heart on wining a trophy.

The scenario will appear in the next issue of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy (issue 71). “Randy the Wonder Cockerel” does not appear in the scenario, but will reappear at our next outing of the game at Legionary 2014 in Exeter.

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