Blood Eagle Design Notes II

Blood Eagle, like its stablemates, is a narrative skirmish game. As such it is not really suitable for tournaments or serious competitive play. It is much more comfortable in a campaign setting.
Narrative Skirmish is term coigned a while back to describe games where players find themselves creating detailed backstories for their warbands and heroes, then find themselves acting out those stories in play. In such games winning and losing become less important than the enjoyment of the game itself.
When you look at the wealth of stories and sagas available in the Northern European milieu you can see how narrative games fit in very well.
A simple example, the battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. As you probably remember the vikings had invaded Northern England and after defeating the Earls Edwin and Morcar were relaxing enjoying their spoils. Many did not have their mail armour to hand, just shields and hand weapons. The last thing they expected was for Harold Godwinsson to force march his army north to face them.
What is memorable about this battle is not the slaughter that ensued and Harold’s victory, but the story of lone Viking who held a narrow bridge on his own to give his comrades time to get themselves into battle formation. Many brave saxons died to this hero’s blade until one sneaked under the bridge and speared him from below. It is a marvellous tale and one people have remembered and retold for almost a thousand years.

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