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Prepare for Shieldwall!

With the second lockdown, a number of wargamers must be feeling the pinch with no games being played. I am lucky that my lodger is also a wargamer, so I'm still able to get the odd game in.

As gaming is vital to my profession, particularly the 'Let's Plays', it is good that I have a gamer in my 'bubble', otherwise, we wouldn't be able to do any! Last Friday I asked James what he would like to play. To my surprise, he said Warhammer Ancient Battles (WAB).

Picts on a hill waiting for the Vikings...

So, I dug through my old copy of Shieldwall supplement for WAB, which I can't say I've played it in perhaps a decade. We've played plenty of Roman fights and some medieval (playtesting for a Lake Peipus article), but nothing dark age-y.

Sneaky Vikings attempt an outflanking manoeuvre.

It is funny how things come back to you. I dug out my treasured copy of Shieldwall and chose a Pict army (no general, no pikes!) while my opponent opted for a Kingdom of the Isles Norse army. This was going to be a nasty fight!

Meanwhile, the Picts advance into the centre.

I initially set up my Picts preparing to defend the hilltop but the Viking General had plans to roll up my flank and so sent a character-filled Boni unit plus a Hirdmen unit to roll up my right flank. I could no longer hold back and be defensive; I needed to attack and with such a powerful force on the flank, the Viking centre had to be weak.

The Viking centre is rolled up.

My two main blocks of Picts advanced, assisted by noble cavalry and were successful at routing a unit of Bondi and pushing back a unit of hirdmen, while my cavalry charged down the Viking archers. However, on the flank, my attempt to stop the Viking steamroller was slowly failing.

Attempting the block the Viking rampage on the flanks.

The game ended with the Viking centre destroyed but with my one flank in retreat. Calculating the victory points put me ahead on units and standards, so gave the Picts a minor victory. Despite the length of time that had passed since our last game, it all came fitting back into place and reminded me how much I, no, we both enjoyed the old game. You might have noticed the one unit of Picts needs some paint, maybe now's the time to finish the army.

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