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.
Ultimately, the Scots and Saxons want to translate plunder into Renown (combination resources/victory points) and settlements. The Romans and Britons want to avoid that and keep all the land under their control. Therein creates the conflict.
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.
The Last Vikings (Strategemata) features two battles from the Great Northern War – Kliszόw and Fraustadt. Apart from those rules necessary to give each battle its flavour, the same system applies to both.
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.