Anyway back to the grindstone!
Play opens as the Norse, travelling in convoy with their three loot-laden pack mules, spot the Baron's undead horde mobilising in the ruins of an old monastery further down the road.
Momentum (the player with this gets to activate first, decide what order melees are to be resolved - generally a good thing!) went to the Norse as Erik Erikson quickly marshalled his loyal band to ready themselves against the undead threat.
Meanwhile, like a disturbed anthill, the ruins seethed with movement as long dead limbs sprang to life...
Spreading out into a better offensive line the Norse moved up the road. Letting fly, Bruni Bersi's aim was true as one of the skeletons shambling into the open crumbled to dust.
Suddenly, letting out a great snarl, a feline shape descended from the sky. Much to the dismay of the mule team, a vicious Manticore now barred their way. Hastening their panicky charges off the road, the mule handlers scanned the ground ahead for a new way through and took heart in the lusty ballad that Snorrison, their Bard, sang out.
Reacting somewhat differently, Bruni Baegseg, the berserk, let out a howl of delight - here was a foe worthy of him at last! Charging forward, Dolf Hamrison at his side, they fell upon the terrible beast! Hacking and slashing the bloody pair found a chink in the manticore's savage defenses - its death throes drew a loud cheer from the rest of the raiders!
When rolling to see who won momentum for the next turn we got a draw - a cut scene - time for the heroes to get busy!
Thirsty for more carnage, Dolf Hamrison spotted his next target - leaping effortlessly over the wall that ran by the roadside, the great wolf charged into Horg, one of the Baron's pet ogres. Despite the whirlwind of claws and teeth assailing him, the great hulk managed to fend the attack away. Tightening his grip on his mighty bludgeon, he readied himself for vengeance...
Bruni Baegseg tilted his head back and bellowed a great victory roar - the red mist was descending and his axe hungry for more bloody ruin! Yet it was not to be for this great warrior - spying his chance with a beady eye, Khleg the Executioner loped forward, bringing his reeking axe up and down in a great arc that ended firmly planted in the Berserker's chest. Falling with a look of utter incomprehension on his face Bruni was no more!
Hroarr Sveinbjorn had seen the danger too late. Yelling in dismay at the death of his comrade he dashed forward with spear levelled. The Executioner, fresh from his butchery, was not ready for this counter attack and the spear found its mark. Hroarr attempted to drive the thrust home and avenge his brother-in-arms yet the Ogre's thick hide and chainmail jerkin turned the spear point away (Despite using a Havoc Token - available to characters to augment attack/defense/buy extra actions.).
Now that the skeletons were on the move momentum fell to them...
The four remaining skeletons that had come under fire on the road had skulked into the cover of the trees. They now broke cover and rushed at Erikson himself! Nearby the mule team began to skirt around the swirling melees in front of them - heading for a gap in the trees and the clear road beyond! Close behind them Arved the Treeman lumbered inexorably on.
Back on the road, having seen one of their most renowned fighters fall and Hroarrs valiant attack fail, the band of four Norse warriors also threw themselves at the dread figure of Khlegg. As they charged forward a terrible apparition drifted towards them - a spectre, raised from the crypt and bound to the Baron's evil will, loomed over one of the terrified fighters! Alarmed at this turn of events the Norse shaman, Sundafyllir, began to chant the preparations for an augmentation (can be used to add up to 4 extra dice in a friendly model's attack who is within range). Behind them yet more skeletons moved onto the road in the shadow of a huge Bone Giant...
The skeletons continued their advance followed by the Bone Giant, moving off the road to head off the mule train. Meanwhile Snorrison gathered his wits sufficiently to move to a position to better support Erikson.
As the clash of steel rang out once more Khlegg the executioner, for once, felt the bite of the blade himself, as he succumbed to the combined assault of Hroaar and his fighters. Icy fingers seemed to wrap around Sindr Sverrir's throat but he somehow fended off the spectre's supernatural attack. Holding onto his sanity by the skin of his teeth and emboldened by the shaman's magical intervention, he struck back but his blade whistled harmlessly through the foul apparition's shroud!
Facing a flurry of scimitars and spearpoints Erikson ducked and weaved, parrying the skeletons savage jabs and amazingly surviving the vicious assault (three havoc tokens helped!).
Seeing a lull in the fighting he hopped backwards to stand shoulder to shoulder with Snorrison, ready for the next onslaught.
By the crumbling monastery Horg raised his great club high and brought it crashing down towards Hamrison. The agile creature deftly sidestepped the brutal but clumsy blow, but was left with nothing for a counter attack of his own...
The Undead advance seemed overwhelming and momentum fell to them once more.
Gnashing their teeth at the loss of their quarry the skeletons turned from Erikson, and instead charged Arved, hoping to fell the great Treeman. Acting quickly to even the score Erikson and his bard flanked the skeletons and charged one of the spearmen in the rear rank.
Suddenly everything seemed to stop as a terrible rending noise rolled over the battlefield as the Bone Giant strode through the trees, boughs crashing at its feet. With an unearthly howl it raised a huge boulder above its skull and fixing the mule train with its baleful eye socket sent the projectile crashing down. Knutr Onundr stood in the path of the missile - he stood no more. Behind his ruin also lay the remains of one of the mules. Stunned by the terrible attack Grimwald and little Hlafred threw themselves desperately at the towering creature!
Sundafyllir the Shaman, worried by this turn of events began preparation of an intervention to assist in the defence of the now beleagured Norsemen.
And well he might as the Baron, sensing victory, glided over the monastery walls to fall upon Hroaar. Frustrated by the lack of targets in the swirling melees ahead of him, Bruni Bersi the archer saw his chance for glory - he ran forward to assist Hroaar against the dread figure of the Baron.
Hamrison's grim struggle against Horg continued as he parried the ogre's next swipe. Launching into a counter attack his claws raked across the ogre's side in a glancing blow, yet failed to wound the obstinate hulk. Enraged by this pinprick Horg lashed out wildly, catching Hamrison beneath the chin and sending the noble warrior crashing to the floor, dead!
Rejoicing in the death of another of his enemies, the Baron's great sword crashed into Hroarr's shield. Quick as a flash, he turned the blow to one side and smashed the shield into the terrifying visage before him. A low and malevolent laughter emanated from the Baron's bony helm at such a pathetic blow... Hroaar desperately pressed home his attack yet the spear point seemed to meet an invisible wall as it plunged towards the Baron's black heart! Joining the fight the archer swung true with his sword yet his fear got the better of him and the thrust carried no strength.
Behind this desperate struggle the Nores warriors still faced the spectre. This time it turned its evil attention to Brandr. The first attack was turned, yet it was only a feint and Brandr soon felt the very life force being sucked out of him. Badly weakened he tightened his grip on his sword and steadied his resolve. Sindr chose his moment well to attack but yet again his axe passed harmlessly through the insubstantial creature.
Arved easily batted aside the skeleton's assault, yet Erikson and Snorrison failed to hit their target in the swirling maelstrom.
This round of fighting ended in a dreadful scene as the second band of skeletons fell upon the undefended mule train. The poor lead beast didn't stand a chance against its cruel and inhuman attackers!
Again momentum fell to the Undead...
Not much moved across the bloodied fields as most of the combatants were engaged in melee. Having dispatched his plucky opponent Horg lumbered over the wall and crashed across the road in Angered - one of the Norse fighters held up by the spectre's dominion over the highway. Gazing up at the Bone Giant the shamanbegan to chant the incantations of a spell that would hopefully negate the huge terror. Feeling the power course through his arms Sundafyllir cast his incantation of disruption forth but it passed harmlessly by the giant...
Bitgter fighting raged on by the monastery - the Baron turned and effortlessly swatted the archer away like a fly, although Hroaar was ready and defended his attack. His determined counter attack (pepped up with a havoc token) hit home but again couldn't penetrate the Baron's arcane armour.
Again Arved easily turned the skeleton's wild assault and answered it by delicately stepping on one of them, grinding it to dust.
Halfred was next on the Giant's agenda. Managing to half dodge its crushing blow, the brave halfling still succumbed to his wounds!
Meanwhile the other band of skeletons carried on their rampage in the mule train - however they failed to wound the last mule and it ran, terrified, from the field!
Seeing all this and having just dodged a giant and bony fist himself, Grimwald's courage deserted him! Heading for the hills he ran...
Grimwald sat back, fear still dancing in his eyes. A circle of grim faces flickered in the firelight of the near empty longhouse. The Headman stirred from his revery and spoke,
"Then we must assume Erikson and his brothers fell nobly at the hands of this dread foe you speak of.
It is good, a warrior's fate..."
And so ended our game - would have liked to have played another turn - but time was against us...
Lots of fun though and would definitely reccomend you try it!
I'll try and write a more comprehensive review of the rules at a later date...