Monday, September 16, 2013

Swords for Hire - Angry Monks!

by Mike Wood

One of the more unusual options available to the Saga wargamer is a unit of Monks. Not your usual fare? We take a look at the 'Sword for Hire' unit of Monk Levies and their Rules in the Saga wargame....

They may not be the ultimate in combat units, but they do have a couple of side-effects that may be of use to some Saga players.

Gripping Beasts unit of Monks

Here is what Gripping Beast has to say about the role of Monks in the Saga Wargame....

Angry Monks:
Like Lindisfarne, abbeys and monasteries were easy preys for the Vikings during the Dark Ages. Isolated, poorly defended but offering many riches, they learnt to live with the frightening prospect of longships appearing, vomiting their crew of savage Norsemen. With their settlements burnt and pillaged, most monks would flee in the wilderness, seeking shelter in a lord’s estate or the security of a nearby fortified settlement. But some of them could not forgive, and would take arms and seek vengeance, which took the shape of a holy crusade against the Men of the North. Such bands of desperate monks could join a Warlord’s warband, as long as they felt his cause was just and inspire him to fight the enemies of God and wash his sins in their blood.

Swords for Hire:
The Avenging Monks may be included in any warband that does not use the Viking Dice (see Saga page 6). They cost one point, and may not be included in a warband that is led by a Hero of the Viking Age.

Monks: This unit is made of 12 models, fighting on foot. They have exactly the same characteristics as Levies (and count as Levies of your warband), but do not have any ranged weapons nor any other equipment options. Each Monk is worth ½ victory point (like Warriors).

God’s Shepherds: As long as The Avenging Monks are within S of their warband’s Warlord at the start of the turn they generate one SAGA Die.

Martyrdom: Each time a Monk is killed or eliminated during an enemy’s turn, their controlling player may immediately take one unused Saga die, roll it and place it on his Battleboard.

Brief History:
The Vikings raided the Monks of Lindisfarne in the summer of 793AD. Strangely, there is no conclusive proof the raiders WERE Vikings, just "northmen". Whatever the nature of the raids, the intent was plunder, slave taking, desecration and worse.
A year later, Jarrow was attacked and just a year after that the monastery on Iona was raided. The Viking Age seems to have begun! Raids on Iona took place several times, one in 806AD leading to a great massacre of Monks. The last raid being in 986AD when a group of Dublin Vikings came looking for rich pickings.

This provides the Saga player with a chance for a unit of Monks out for revenge to help a Warlord. They can provide a Saga dice and if killed, they can give the Warlord extra dice as well. Sacrifice indeed!

Below are links and images of some of the models available to the modeller that add some variation to a unit of 12. Some are not "so angry" as others but all are good opportunities for painting up in various ways or even for some conversion.

Gripping Beast (12 models - seen at top): link.   (4 Models - below): link.
Gripping Beast Monks
Scheltrum Monks: link.

Scheltrum Monks

Redoubt Enterprises: link.

Redoubt Monks

Conquest Games (not so angry Monks!): link.

Conquest Games Monks

Black Tree Design: link.

Black Tree Design Monks

and a link for Perry Miniatures: link.

Perry Miniatures

If you have any more sources for 28mm scale Monks, please add them to the Forum Link below....

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