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Friday, 30 September 2011

Orkneyinga Saga

Broch of Gurness, Orkney Islands

Another view of the Broch

Entrance to the Broch

Orkneyinga Saga covers the lives of the Viking Earls of the Orkney Islands from the ninth to the thirteenth century, and like many Norse sagas, it is a cracking and blood thirsty read. Part myth, legend and history the saga inspires many gaming scenarios ideally suited to Saga, the new dark age skirmish rules published by Gripping Beast. We recently visited the Orkney Islands and seeing the sites there, really seems to bring the events in Orkneyinga Saga to life. If you're interested in reading the Orkneyinga Saga there's an online version here:

I’m still waiting for my pre-ordered copy of Saga, unfortunately postage down under takes forever sometimes. I thought I’d post some photos of sites in the Orkneys (Viking and Pict) we visited, together with photos of my six point Viking and Anglo-Danish warbands. I also have Normans that I’ll use for these rules. I’m currently painting a Pict warband and I’m sorely tempted by the GB Welsh and Irish ranges! The great thing about Saga is you don’t need large forces (30-40 figures) and the game is apparently fast, fun and quick to play. The Saga forum has lots of information about the rules, downloads, inspiring photos of warbands and is definitely worth checking out:

Vikings with Jarl (Warlord), Beserkers, Hirdmen and Jomsvikings (Hearthguard) - figures Gripping Beast, Artizan & Foundry

Viking Bondi (Warriors)
Viking Warband with all six units
Anglo-Danish Eorl (Warlord) with Huscarls (Hearthguard) - figures Gripping Beast, Artizan and Crusader.
Anglo-Danish Ceorls (Warriors) - figures Gripping Beast, Artizan & Foundry
Anglo-Danish Warband with all six units

Replica Pictish stone, Brough of Birsay, Orkney Islands - original is in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh
Brough of Birsay - the buildings here are all Viking era

Another view of the Brough of Birsay


  1. I picked up a copy from Alex while in France for an event. It looks pretty darn interesting and hopefully I'll get some mates from the club to play a game or two.
    Nice looking units and I'm looking forward to some game reports when you receive your copy.


  2. Saga is a great game, I had the priviledge of constructing the terrain that features in wargames illustrated 288, you have some nice looking figures and hope you enjoy the game :)

  3. Thanks Christopher and Andrew, I can't wait to get my copy and play a game of Saga. I'll definitely post some reports. Looking forward to Wargames Iustrated 288, it sounds great.



  4. Mike,

    we need to have a game once the new rules are in your hands!


  5. Matt

    Got my copy yesterday they look like a lot of fun. A game would be good.