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The Dark Ages Come Alive at Scranton Memorial Library!

On April 23rd, Next Gen ran its first game day at the Scranton Library in Madison, CT. Scranton has sponsored Next Gen at the upcoming CT library conference in May (CLA 2022), so this was an opportunity to show what we can do. We decided on a scenario from the year 1066, in which Danish, Saxon, and Norman factions all tried to claim the English throne. The first engagement pitted the Danes under Harald Hardrada versus the Saxon Earls of Northumbria and Mercia. The two forces met outside the small village of Fulford.

We used the homemade ruleset Halberd, Mace and Great Sword (check out the initials), since it is very easy to learn and it greatly encourages teamwork between the players. Command and control are emphasized, so the team players really need to cooperate and make decisions based on the activation chips at their disposal.

The library teen program director, Colin Welch teamed up with one of the high school students, Cameron to play the Saxons. Two of the younger students, Jack and Will teamed up with veteran HMGS gamer Derek to play the Danes. Due to the Madison schools being on break, many of the regular students were away. Nevertheless, the small scenario was perfect for the 5 players.

The game started with a Danish attack on the right flank led by Jack. Will also used his initiative to shift his troops from the center to fall in behind Jack and support his lines. The Danish and Saxon shield walls met and there was a grinding slaughter as the units hit each other time and again.

At this point in the battle, the Saxons also started shifting troops to the right flank where all the action was taking place. However, they sent their mounted troops up the middle of the battlefield to threaten the Danish flank. The young Danish players felt they could break the Saxon shield walls before the cavalry could arrive. So they pressed the issue and continued to use valuable initiative chips, gambling that they could overwhelm the hard pressed Saxon infantry.

The game swayed back and forth, and casualties were severe on both sides. At one point, the Danes threw in their reserve of berserkers to try and punch through one last time. But the Saxon infantry held, buying time for the cavalry to sweep into the weakened Danes from the flank, literally cutting them to pieces and deciding the game with a Saxon victory.

Everyone had a great time and is looking forward to the next game day on June 4th, where Next Gen will host a gigantic WWII D-Day game using Bolt Action rules.

As always, check back here for more information about future games. If you'd like to schedule something, please let us know, as our calendar is starting to get booked up!

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