Having studied History at University (when I was supposed to be reading Economics) I always feel a little less than professional when I refer to the Dark Ages as the Dark Ages – but it fits. The glory days of Rome were well past and there were many years to go before the golden age of the Renaissance appeared. Even in China we had just come out of the Tang Dynasty and were heading into Five Dynasties. (907–960) and then Song Dynasty. The glory days of Yuan when the Mongols took over China were not until 1200 C.E. or so.
I have always had an interest in the Norsemen however, especially as I did study the Vikings in those misspent university years. The project Vikings in 6mm – the Project Start came as a result of reading some historical fiction around Erik Bloodave. I have been doing some research over a Tim Horton’s coffee or two and have settled on the following armies. I intend to purchase enough figures to build them so that they can be used for both DBA version 3 and Basic Impetus
|Army Name||DBA Army||Basic Impetus|
|Viking Army||III/40b Viking Army 850-1280 CE||14.8 Viking 789-1066 CE|
|Andalusian||III/34b Andalusian 766-1172 CE||18.3 Later Andalusian 961-1072 CE|
|Anglo-Saxon||III/24b Anglo-Saxon 701-1016 CE||14.9 Later Anglo-Saxon 789-1016 CE|
|West Frankish||III/52 West Frankish/Normans 888-1072 CE||15.3 Normans in Normandy 900-1072 CE|
|East Frankish||III/53 East Frankish 888-1106 CE||15.11 Eastern Franks & Ottonians 898-1125 CE|
|Leidang (Norse)||III/40c Leidang 790-1070 CE||Haven’t worked this one out yet 🙂|
I had to do a bit of converting troop types and rules to work these together for two different sets of rules. Firstly there was base sizes. I did consider using 60mm base widths with 30mm depth for pretty much everything as both rules would work with that as they both use base widths for measuring ranges and move distances. However one thing I am very short on in the Philippines is space, so a 2′ x 2′ (or 60cm x 60cm) playing area was the first constraint. I then decided that I would use standard DBA/DBM bases of 40mm frontage. As both sets of rules use base width measures it would still work OK.
The second task was to determine a conversion between Basic Impetus and DBA trop types. I settled on the following conversions:
|DBA Troop Type||Basic Impetus Troop Type|
|3Wb||FL or S|
|3Kn||CP2 or CP1|
I reckon by the time I finish I will have a few more to add to the list.
As for basing, as I am using 6mm figures, I am planning on basing 4 x 6mm figures for what would be a single 15mm figure on a 40mm base for the likes of 4Bd (16 figures to the base). For loose order (3Ax etc) then 12 figures to the base (normally 3 x 15mm figures). Light troops will be 6 to 8 skirmishers. For mounted troops I will be using a ratio of nearly 3:1 for all except Light Horse. So 3Kn will have 9 or 10 figures on the base. LH will be 4 figures on the base.
It just so happens as well that I believe the next issue of Slingshot from the Society of Ancients (Slingshot 324, May/June 2019) will have an article about a Dark Age campaign using 6mm Viking figures, among other things. In fact, just checking their Twitter feed there will be DBA Danelaw Campaigns as well as Tweaking DBA 3. I’m looking forward to that issue (and joining the Society of Ancients is recommended for anyone interested in Ancient Wargaming).
As for figures, I really only have a choice between Baccus 6mm and Heroics and Ros. Both have good ranges of Dark Age figures. For the Andalusians I will need to trawl through the Crusader ranges. Most likely that will be Baccus who have a larger range of Saracens and Seljuqs. Goths (as a nice hairy barbarian type) will also make an appearance in these armies doubling for some of the Finns and Slavs or Rus.
And yes, just what a wargamer needs, another project and more figures. I think I will slip off now and start my modern Soviet fleets in 1/3000!