Fjord Serpents – Vikings at War was not a project that sprung up out of the blue, it was the culmination of decades of dedication and absorption into Dark Age history.
For over 20 years, Luke Payne has devoted much of his time and effort into re-learning the lost arts, fighting styles, craft and knowledge of the Dark Age Scandinavians (Vikings), Rus (early Russians) and Eastern Romans (Byzantium).
This has culminated in the forming of a major reenactment society, several large public events (like the Viking Culture Day) and the founding of Hammer of the North (a traditional weapon and armour manufacturing business).
During the pandemic years, all of these activities ground to a sudden halt, and like many Luke found his creative outlet shut down and out of reach. He decided to channel that excess energy into Fjord Serpents – Vikings at War, tapping into his other great passion, miniature war gaming.
An avid wargamer for over 35 years and publisher of several comic and gaming titles from the early 2000s, Luke took up his notebooks with 100’s of gaming ideas and found a gem of an idea that has transformed into what you are now looking at.
* 11 objectives were originally written down as a focus for the project. Direct from the notes scribbled down many years ago, these were:
1. Modular ships and crew (game pieces), collectible in design and interactive in game.
2. Highly strategic, but graceful, easy flow rules, that can be played in campaign or competitive mode.
3. Inner depth to the rules that see pre-planning and good execution rewarded (outside of dice rolls), and fool-hardy fumbling penalised.
4. Plenty of customisation and variables in fleet design (e.g., Crew, abilities, ship types, ship upgrades, heroes, special characters etc.)
5. A realistic movement system based loosely on real sailing and rowing but streamlined for speed and fun in game. Gauges may be used to replicate this.
6. A unique valour system that can enhance game experience and create real decision making during the course of the game that effects outcomes greatly. (Eg. Valour could be gained by achieving victory in battles and primary / secondary objectives; but can also be spent I game in critical, Heroic actions to tip tide of luck in your favour. This will then reduce your overall achievement at the end of game, but maybe give you ‘saga’ points towards your reputation)
7. A dynamic and exciting combat system that incorporates boarding actions during ship-based conflicts, enabling players to clear enemy ships, destroy them, capture them and have other unique interactions based on crews and characters.
8. A fjord-based map and terrain system that directly effects gameplay and movement, but also historically looks the part of Scandinavia where these fleet actions took place.
9. A leader creation system that gives them flavour and personality, which could include positive and negative traits plus unique abilities
10. Playable, dynamic factions with their own unique flavour and abilities. Leaders could have faction and battle traits they possess. Known Characters could bring their own to the game, pointed accordingly.
11. Viking history and sagas interwoven through the rules and game.
Interestingly, all of these points have been woven into the final product even if many are further refined in delivery.
Many highly talented artists, sculptors, editors and play testers have been involved in what has become Fjord Serpents – Vikings at War. But that is a story for another day….
We thank you for your support and urge you to help us to promote and spread the word about Fjord Serpents – Vikings at War in any way you can. It is an ambitious project, and we are determined to make it a success and support it well into the future. But in order to achieve our manufacturing goals we need funding pledges.
Many thanks 🙂