Sunday, 11 February 2018

Repurposing my 25mm Vikings

Back in the days when I played 25mm WRG Ancients it was common to raise a discrete army of your choice and to pit it against the armies of other players. These match-ups were usually unhistorical, and one's opponents were often WRG super armies like Seleucids and triple-armed Late Romans. This left me with a couple of isolated armies which haven't been used for decades.

I offloaded my Later Greek Hoplites years ago and I'm planning to sell my Sassanid Persians, but I thought I'd repurpose the Vikings. Although the army would be relatively small for a game like Impetus, it will comfortably stretch to two skirmish-level warbands.

I had originally thought of using Saga, but I'm now more likely to try Landwasters and Raven Feeders, the official Dark Age variant of Dan Mersey’s Mediaeval rules, Lion Rampant. Some people have criticised Dan’s rules for being too simple, but I’ll live with having fun and finishing a game, or even two, in an evening.

When I first started collecting this army there weren't many multi-pose packs about, so I bought figures from different manufacturers and ranges so that every figure was unique. This mixture will now work to my advantage. The unarmoured infantry are pretty generic anyway, while the more stylistically-specific armored figures should split well enough into typically Anglo-Danish and Viking forces, though I do have some doubts that they would have been very distinguishable by the 11th Century.

The Lion Rampant Mediaeval categories readily translate into Dark Age types. OK, I’m aware of armour development, but this is a game not a scientific simulation, and the important thing is 'relative' difference.

These are the Mediaeval game categories and the Dark Age types I will have:

Foot Men-at-Arms
Anglo-Danish and Viking Huscarls with two-handed axes.

Foot Serjeants
Armoured spearman - Select Fyrd or Viking Hirdmen.

Foot Yeomen
Unarmoured spearman - Great Fyrd, and Viking Bondi who will be additionally armed with mixed weapons (i.e. will include archers).

Fierce Foot
Viking Berserkir and Ulfhedhnar.

Anglo-Danish skirmishers and Viking scouts with various missile weapons.

Next step is to take the figures off the old bases, throw away those afflicted with lead rot and then rebase the survivors on 2p coins. For skirmish games I really don’t like the look of rectangular bases, and I’m not keen on movement trays either. If I’m short of figures I can press some half-painted ones into service as I have plenty of those in the lead mountain. These were on my workbench over twenty years ago, but were packed into a box when I moved  house and have not seen the light of day since. I'll post some pictures when I've reorganised and rebased them.


  1. If you want to use them for Impetus you could always put them on sabot bases the size of each units footprint. I did that for all my games using old 6th ed armies - no rebasing required

    1. I’ll bear that in mind but I have 25/28mm French-Italian Wars armies and loads of 15mm Dark Age and Mediaeval armies which I could use for Impetus!

  2. Interesting idea and much easier than starting again from scratch.

    1. Resuscitating them was on my to do list for some time, but it was getting into Dan Mersey’s skirmish rule system through The Men Who Would Be Kings that provided the catalyst.