The Viking leaders offer a distinct advantage in that they can pick up and drop troops off as they move and can perform something akin to an overrun if they can whack all the defending locals in one round of combat. I forget which Viking leader begins the game, but Dennis gets one to start and draws others from a deck of cards each turn.
Hollandspiele’s game covers four battles from the period – Tinchebray, which was fought in Normandy, and might be seen as an early scene-setter for all the fractious and violent dispute that would occur between England and France over the centuries to come; The Standard, where the Scottish King David, keen to help his niece, Matilda, in her claim as well as helping himself to a slice of the English north, lost big against a smaller and ad hoc English host; Lincoln, where Stephen might well have thought: ‘With friends like these…’; and Wilton, which historically was another example of Stephen’s less than wonderful luck when it came to being in the right place at the wrong time.
Vikings 878 is an entertaining game like the other Academy wargames. Simple to understand, the cards switch things around enough during the first few playings until you learn how many cards of each type are in a deck, and the little minis are a step up from the cubes.
Trafalgar 1805 certainly has plenty of colour – sixty minis (supplied painted if that is your purchase option, and flaunting their national ensigns from the stern) will deploy on ten sea-effect tiles, whilst their crews will bustle around on ship logs dedicated to each of those sixty ships, loading different types of ammunition (advanced game), fighting fires, fighting enemy crews, and taking axes to fallen masts, canvas and rope in order to clear the broadsides and ready the ship once more.
The Europa system from GDW/GRD was probably the most ambitious game system from a size perspective: If I recall rightly, 16 miles to the hex with division counters supplemented by regiments and battalions; aircraft at group level (or is it squadrons?)