I downloaded the Ravenfeast free rules and gave them a whirl with my boy. We had a good time.
We quickly selected our forces - my boy got 400 pts and went mostly for elite types, while I got 300 and concentrated on much cheaper basic farmers with shields and spears.
|We ended up splitting our forces around a farm (the freshly tilled soil counting as difficult ground).|
The system was fast and intuitive and enjoyable to play. The only issue we had was with shield walls...
|A group of the local leiðangr forming a shield wall.|
The implementation seems pretty realistic. You can only move forward (or backward) in a straight line, and you get some bonuses to armour saves.
|The separate clashes - shield wall vs shield wall - develop, tying up the majority of models on the field.|
The problem we had is that the bonuses you get in a shield wall meant that there was a whole bunch of dice rolling with very little impact. Most of the models ended up with a "roll 5 or less on a d6" armour save against hits. And since most of our models were in mutual shield walls, not much seemed to happen for a while.
To be fair, both my boy and I played quite cautiously and we had pretty basic forces so we may have missed options that could've broken the stalemate earlier. And, of course, it's probably pretty historically accurate.
|After a long period of pushing, one of the shield wall melees finally broke up as one side had insufficient models to maintain the formation.|
Once one of the shield walls broke up and the combat devolved into 1 on 1 or 2 on 1 fights, the game got a lot more dynamic.
In spite of the shield wall quibble, we both had a great time and we'll be revisiting the game. I expect adding some Saxons, some Normans, mythological options and/ or some more complex scenarios will make the game more dynamic.