A true clash of dice and miniature men!

Yesterday we played the Clash of Dice and Men SAGA tournament in Lund, Sweden. Six players attended, which was a bit low as we expected around eight or nine in total based on the number of players in the area, and maybe an additional one or two from nearby cities. Nevertheless the spirit was good and the atmosphere was casual, several laughs were shared as warriors heroically stood their ground or fell in bloody carnage! As the tournament progressed, it became more and more obvious that the Jomsvikings had decided to send their opponents to McFeast in Valhalla – comming in hot to conquer two of the top positions in the final scores.

Final results
1. Jonatan (Jomsvikings) – 16pts
2. Fredrik (Normans) and Johannes (Jomsvikings) – 9pts each
3. Alexander (Anglo-Danish) – 8pts
4. Viktor (Irish) – 6pts
5. Kjell (Byzantines) – 2pts

Scenarios and scoring.
We had a total of four tables, each with a certain scenario in play and some with pre-set terrain features. Our aim was that everybody would play at least two or  three scenarios against different opponents, with the exception for some who got to play the same scenario twice. Note that not all terrain on the tables were considered ‘uneven ground’ but were there only for aesthetic reasons, and in some cases terrain features were laid out according to the pre-game procedure to allow more strategic play. The scenarios we played were Clash of WarlordsBattle at the fordSacred Ground, and the Last Stand.

The scoring format gave players 3 Victory Points for a win, 1 for a draw and 0 for a loss. Extra VPs could also be collected in each battle, where killing the enemy warlord gave players an extra 1 point, as well as 1 point if they killed troops worth of at least twice as many VPs than their opponent. This meant that players could harvest some extra points even if they lost the scenario, which encouraged playing and fighting to the very end even if you had no chance at achieving the scenario specific objective. It also helped to differentiate player scores after the first two battles so that the tournament first place was still open after 2-3 games. Below are some collected pictures from throughout the day (unfortunately I never got the chance to take a photo of the desert themed Last stand-table so you’ll have to do with these gorgeous green tables).

1
Normans vs. Jomsvikings fighting over a sacred burial mound.
2
The Anglo-danes duke it out vs. a Byzantine Tagma
5
Irish skirmishers try to halt the advance of the Jomsvikings in the battle at the ford, overlooked by a house nicknamed “Trump Cottage”.
3
Norman ranged units harassing Jomsvikings in the field.
4
French knights siezing a bridge and riding down two brave Irishmen, only to find themselves counter-charged and defeated by a pack of FEARSOME wolf-dogs!

6

 

Some thoughts on future clashes.
Overall the tournament went smooth with few (or no?) rules discussions that disturbed neither games or the spirit of the players. There are definitely some points worthy of mentioning that will be improved untill next time though. First of all is the prepatation of the tournament room and tables. As organizers we had planned to set up the tables and registration half an our before our starting time, but the night before the event we learned that we had access (thanks to the fascilities alarm system) to our rooms no earlier than 15 minutes before our scheduled time. This meant that preparing the tables, greeting players and clarifying the rules, scenarios and the day in general was way overdue. As a result the schedule ran about an hour late meaning that we did’nt finish until 21.00. Next time we need to prepare the table the night before in order to cut time on the tournament day and start up.

Secondly, we need to be a lot stricter on the timeframe for each game. Since most of us who attended are friends outside of the medieval world, and thanks to the casual atmosphere on site, the game length varied from table to table giving some players a lot more time to finish their scenarios than others – which in the end makes scoring a bit unfair. This can be corrected by both us organizers as we need to cut games that pass the time limit, and payers as we need to speed up our decision making and play by getting more experienced at the game in general.

On a last note, we need to evaluate and adjust our scoring system for the future, in order to allow more complex yet competitive scenarios and objectives. We’re really looking forward to the next Clash (maybe in June?) and we had a great after-action discussion over an evening pizza on what to change and what to keep.

Shoutout to our sponsors!
Last but not least we’d like to thank our two main sponsors for this event, Playoteket and Kulturkommissariatet, for their support of the gaming culture in general and the local community in in particular! Thanks to their sponsorship we could offer more tournament prices and some new terrain for our tables. So, if you’re in the area make sure to check out their stores (both physical and online) to pick up gaming aids, supplies and miniatures, or to hang out in the cozy battle bunker at Djäknegatan.

Until next time!

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“3, 2, 1, say VALHALLAAA!”
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