Saturday, 4 February 2023

Battle of Maldon

 This was a simple, free Print and Play game of the Battle of Maldon in 900ADish (?) between the wicked Danes and heroic Anglo Saxons.

These are the extensive rules.The Danes win if they capture Maldon, the Saxons win if they capture the Danish leader and either side can win by destroying all the enemy combat units. It all looks very simple you say, well...

I forgot to take a photo of the initial deployment, basically each side sets up on their baseline. The Saxons have three infantry, two cavalry and a leader. The Danes have four infantry, two berserkers and a leader. All units move one orthogonally, except the cavalry (two). All units have a combat strength of one, apart from berserkers with two. Leaders can move two and add +1 to combat.

John set the whole thing up on Powerpoint so we could play remotely, and although it is designed as a two player game, we played it as teams (which undoubtedly slowed it down but generated a fair degree of amusing chat).

The Danes pushed their two berserkers towards the bridge, while we had the brilliant idea of pushing forward a cavalry screen. You can only make two actions per turn, and only one action type for a given unit (so you can move once, then attack, or move two units, or attack with two units etc).

It turned out that horse cavalry against berserkers didn't work too well. In combat you draw playing yards, highest wins. Higher combat values give you extra card draws. In fact it was evens against the berserkers as we held the river crossing but we were unlucky. Our leader went to join the remaining cavalry which made it a bit more scary.

So scary we pushed them across the river to hunt down the enemy leader. Our cavalry+leader easily wiped out on of the enemy infantry, but not before his berserkers killed one of ours and pushed over the bridge.

The vikings moved away rapidly and managed to get a berserker close to Maldon. We didn't have any choice but to engage. 

We beat the berserkers, but then our cavalry was destroyed by some infantry, leaving the leader alone. Oops.

He was duly captured, but then one of our infantry managed to do the same thing to the Danes and destroyed the berserkers stacked with the leader.

The enemy leader had to run away (his capture would forfeit the game) and our brave Saxons polished off the last Danish infantry for an 'annihilation' win. Time for the Danes to run for the boats. All wrapped up in an hour or so.

What a great little game, a very clever design with lots to think about each turn. I also really liked to card based combat system, it reminded me of 'To the Strongest' but without the endless lists of modifiers. Highly recommended.


  1. Sounds fun - do you have the link to the game?

    1. You'd be best contacting John for the link. But yes, it was very thought provoking for such a simple game.

  2. Great little game I thought.



    1. Yes, I thought so too. Lots of interesting decisions to make.