Category Archives: Viking Looters

New Viking Looter Cards

I’m going to run VIKING LOOTERS (the old Viking Raiding game by JIm Birdseye) at game camp next week.  Much of the game’s action is handled through the cards.  The file that I received from Brian Whitaker was great but not formatted for standard business card sized cards– I kept losing alignment during printing.  So to remedy this I recently reformatted the card deck to use a standard business card template originating from Avery.  This is their “Graduation announcement” template which should fit most business cards blanks, including 5571.  I’m very pleased with how these came out.  If you have a use for this kind of game, here are the rules and the cards (the important part).  Cards are in PDF and Word.  Rules are in Word.

Microsoft Word link
Adobe PDF link


(the last sheet is blank in both PDF and Word so you can write some of your own)

I think the end result is worth the effort.

This is a fun time and plays well with younger folks.   The rules aren’t much, maybe a page and a half at most.  The big laughs come with how you handle it as a referee. Enjoy!


Small Wars: Vikings and Frostgrave

Since I’ve been somewhat hampered in my hobby pursuits by having my house almost destroyed, all my study packed up and the walls demolished, I haven’t had ready access to things that I traditionally spend the Winter on, like painting up miniatures for gaming projects.  I’ll live, of course, but I have a need to bump up my forces on a few nearer term projects, such as running a gaming camp this Summer.  Fortunately, my friend John Montrie, being retired, has been around to provide a brush for hire, and he’s helped bump up my forces when I’ve had to exchange money for time for the past few years.  And thank the Deity for that, too– I don’t think I could have gotten Big Danged Boats or Frostgrave off the ground without his timely assistance.  As he’s off to China for a few months I thought I’d pop up to Rockville and visit, eat some Mexican food and pick up some troops I had him working on.  Needless to say, I’m pretty pleased with the results, or I wouldn’t be posting about it!  At Fall IN I had picked up another pack of Frostgrave Soldiers (the standard 28mm semi-medieval Soldiers, 22 figures, plastic, Northstar Games).  I also picked up some newer Frostgrave specialty figures– the Lich and Apprentice, The Crowmaster & Javileneer, and the Elementalist II & Apprentice.  All in pewter, 28mm, Northstar Games.

First off, the Goons.  These are the troops that make up the retainers and followers of the wizard figures in Frostgrave:

I gave John very little guidance.. if he has a fault at all, it’s that he tends to use the same four basic primary colors (red, green, blue, yellow) as uniform highlights. I don’t mind that so much, it allows me to cluster the henchmen in handy groups.  Still, I wanted something different so I asked John to focus on darker colors and purples.  He delivered!

Here are the new major characters in pewter:

Crowmaster and Javelineer

I understand what the Javelineer does.. he tosses Javelins.  What the Crow Master does I’ll have to read up on.  Maybe the Crow flies around like another set of eyes and spies on people.

Beast Crafter and Apprentice

This looks somewhat obvious- the Beast Crafter is some form of shapeshifter that can transform himself  into animal shape.

Elementalist II and Apprentice

This is the second form of the “Elementalist” Wizard from Northstar.  I think I might like the older figures better.. more dynamic.  Eh, what the heck, they’ll make good thieves.

Lich and Apprentice

I don’t know what a Lich is in Frostgrave terms.. I always thought it was the animated dead body of a powerful wizard– and usually appears as a skeleton in wizard regalia.  This looks more like Elric of Melnibone all tarted up or something.. no matter, it’s a cool figure.

That brings me up to 44 Soldiers from two packs, 22 cultists.  With the Dark Ages Vikings and Saxon figures I have painted up for SAGA and Battle Troll, I have something on the order of 120 figures I could use for “Goons” for Frostgrave warbands.  I’m still going to get the barbarian pack(s) and I’ll probably add some variety figures in there too (like a couple of all female warbands, a dwarf warband, a Chinese Warband, and an elven warband), but I have enough soldiers and wizard figures to comfortably run games of 10 players or more– maybe even a dozen.

Viking Looters

Another project I’d like to start running this summer is the venerable VIKING LOOTERS game.  This is a venerable convention game designed by the great Jim Birdseye years ago.  The scenario couldn’t be more simple – you are a Viking and need to get back to the boat first with the most loot (represented by pennies spraypainted gold). Your movement rate is based on the amount of loot you carry. All players start at the same distance from the boat. The fun comes in that each player is dealt several cards. Each card represents an event, usually bad for someone, usually the Viking himself.  The cards cause an opponent to drop pennies, fight battles, become pursued or otherwise delayed from returning to the boat. A turn consists of each player deciding whether or not to play a card on an opponent, or passing (not playing a card). Once all cards in a turn are played (face down on the table), the GM reveals them in an order that makes sense.

Yes, the “screw the opponent” factor is high.  I know I have plenty of fighting Vikings on board– about 44 of them.  However, I don’t yet have enough of regular people doing regular things– like the Saxon villagers, herdsmen, wenches, old women, and various random characters you meet in the game.  I’m still working on the villagers, but found a pack of Old Glory “Revenge” line Viking looters in smaller 28mm.  These are Vikings doing what  you associate with being vikings– raiding, drinking and taking stuff.

Most of these were crafted to have open palms for adding “stuff” to them.. like chickens, weapons, gold and jewelry, etc.

You can see there are some villagers in there– I also have some clergy. I am getting some sheepherders done and I still need some wenches and stock animals. Pretty much standard Dark ages figures.

I plan to run this game at camp.  As you already know, I have a great Viking Ship I built from a kit that I can use for a prop.  Scenery is pretty minimal.  I’ll add in a swamp that surrounds the ship except on the River side, with just one plank leading up to the boat and a big ship guard trying to rob you as you come on board– you can’t make it TOO easy!

Anyway, I love Frostgrave and always wanted to get Viking Looters off the ground, so that’s going to be my new project for the year.

I’m building a Viking Ship tonight.

My son Gar knows better than to ask too many questions.

“Why are we stopping at Staples, Dad?”
“We’re out of glue”
“Why do we need glue?”
“I’m going to build a Viking Ship tonight”

(Gar nods as if this is the most reasonable response in the world)

Last night, I did receive a package from LASER DREAMWORKS, a one man band operation that makes beautiful 28mm ship kits as well as game tokens and other items. Laser Dreamworks appears to be a one man band with a limited line of kits mostly designed for the Age of Sail era (19th century). I spoke with that one man band (Matthew Green) recently and he commented on expanding the line for Greek and Roman galleys, cogs and ironclads.

We are finishing up a few other projects related to our Kickstarter Project that resulted in our new range of cannon. We expect to have all that wrapped up by the end of the year and I will be able to turn my attention back to some new designs.

I have had several folks ask for both galleys and ironclads and tramp steamers seem to be high on the list as well. I would certainly like to get to all of them eventually. I will probably do a galley first, followed by some kind of modification kit that could turn one of my existing sailing ships into a ACW varient. But if you have something specific in mind, please send me photos! I like to do actuall ships rather than just make something up.

If you do facebook, you can follow Laser Dream Works there and get a glimse of what I am up to at any given time.

The ship kit I ordered was the Viking Long Ship, the LDW kit that appears to be easiest, cheapest and least complex.   It was everything that I wanted it to be.

Viking Longship LDW

Assembled and Painted, from the LDW website

The kit is laser cut bass wood, and already punched so there’s nothing to trim with a knife. The parts have an adhesive film on the back of all four sheets to keep everything in place on the template. The kit comes with one sheet of instructions, which is ample for assembling the Viking Long ship.

Using, really, only a few dabs of white PV glue, construction time was less than a half hour all told.  I went from one template sheet (which you can see punched out in the photos below) to a three dimensional Viking Longship in no time flat.

And the finished product is really beautiful.

I’m going to have to stain it at some point, but I just love the simplicity of the ships’ lines at this point.  See below.



Suggestion: Get the small square bases for your 28mm Vikings.  It’s a little tight across the middle.


The kit I received had like two extra prows and a selection of decorated shields. I could go with the plain ones included in the kit (which you see loose in the photos above), or use the ones with the fancy patterns. I’m going with the fancy patterned ones, but I’m holding off gluing them on so I can paint them properly. Likewise I’m not going to mount the mast permanently, it fits in the hole in the bench snugly enough to be detachable for easy stowage. I suggest that anyone buying this keep it in bubble wrap as the for and aft Dragon head and tail look to be kind of fragile when packed. I think the whole ship with masts down could fit into a shoe box with some padding.

At a piddling 20 USD for this kit, I MORE than feel I have my money’s worth. I bought this as a prop for my SAGA and Viking Looters games, but if the guy from LDW is going to make more in this price and complexity range, I may have to come up with a scenario for fighting Longships or something. WHAT A BARGAIN!

So, in the end, yes, I built a Viking Ship in less than an hour. I’m impressed with the work of Laser Dream Works and hope to get more of their ships.