Friday, October 10, 2014

Vikings from Black Tree

This past summer, Black Tree Designs had one of their massive 50% off sales. I hardly needed anymore Vikings (as if "need" is a word any wargamers ever needs to utter) but I really liked the look of some of their packs.

I've been rereading some of the Icelandic Sagas lately and these Vikings seem to fit into the aesthetic of those tales. Survival was more precarious in Iceland, and minor transgressions could be a cause for murder. With their furs and axes, these Vikings seem more like men out to settle a feud rather than hop on a longship.



The unit below will be fielded as Norse-Gael hearthguard in SAGA, which I hope to focus on in the future. Their Challenge mechanic is interesting, but I've not played them enough to make the most of that faction's abilities. 


I also purchased three packs of the Viking villager packs that should be finished soon.

Reading Recommendations

Any of the Viking Sagas are recommended. On one hand, many can be tough to read, for they contain genealogical lists and side stories that are tangent to the narrative. Overall though, the sagas are a fascinating look the social values of the Norse people in the dark ages - as viewed through the lens of the thirteenth century Christians who wrote down the sagas.  Two of the best (and most violent) are Egil's Saga and Njal's Saga. 

I have previously recommended Finn Gall by James Nelson . The second book in that series Dubh-linn continues the story of Thorgrim, a dour Viking and his son Harald. Tired of raiding, Thorgrim is stuck in Ireland without a way home and becomes caught once again between Vikings jarls and Irish kings and princesses. The books bear some resemblance to George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series with its multiple POV characters and political machinations for control of a throne. However, Nelson's books are fast moving and efficiently-told tales that have come out twice in two years.  Sorry, George.


  1. Very nice work on these. I'm still waiting on some Normans I also ordered from BTD during the last sale. Best, Dean

  2. As always nicely done. How do the figures compare in size and bulk to Gripping Beast (easily mixed, or best kept in separate units)?

  3. Alan, they look great... all your figures look great.

    A question; As I recall aren't the BTD figures a bit smaller than Gripping Beast? Can they be mixed?

  4. Doh! Just read Kevin's comment... Sorry.