Monday, January 26, 2015

Open Combat - Finns v. Vikings AAR

This weekend's game was another delve into Open Combat using the Dark Age Finns I put together last week.

The scenario was Capture from page 43 of the rules. Two rival raiders, Finns and Vikings, both fall upon the same village at the same time.  The winner is whoever can get out with the most plunder.  Livestock, pigs, sheep and reindeer were considered neutral or submissive, and the two villagers and the dog were hostile.  My opponent took the Finns who approached from the "north" end of the table, and my Vikings from the lower side.

Below, a Finn target a villager. As a hostile, she attacks and scores a 6 on a mental attack and escaped.

My Vikings close in on the reindeer, who conveniently move towards them on their randomly generated moves. 

My Viking makes it off the table with his prize, a lady who is not that happy with her situation.

Fighting over the sheep in the pen.

The Finn, with the Nimble perk, jumps the fence, avoids a Free Attack runs off with a sheep. My archer tags him, but he still has enough Fortitude to get out.

The plundered village: 

Final score, Finns 10, Vikings 6. 

Open Combat's initial draw is the flexibility of force creation. There are no approved lists; characters can be as fast or strong as the points you are willing to pay.  My opponent and I also stumbled onto another element that added to the fun when we kept our character's scores secret until combat began. In most all games, each player can know the opponent's strengths and weaknesses by knowing the lists.  But in Open Combat, the exact power of each model can vary, giving one the opportunity to bluff and feint.  Obviously some trust in your opponent is required, but we're all gentlemen here.

The interaction with the terrain and objects may be the next best feature of this rule system. Figures are a part of their environment, and the terrain can be much more dynamic than usual. Every tree, fence and barrel can become part of the action.  


  1. Open Combat sounds very interesting. I like the idea of a bit of surprise and subterfuge on the table top! That woman the Viking captured looked like she'd be hard work. He'd be better off leaving her behind! :-)

  2. Lovely looking table set up; I like the addition of the animals too.

  3. Thanks for your thoughts on the rules.