Last week, my co-worker Phil and I decided that it was time for a miniature Viking throw-down, warband versus warband. Since neither of us had a strong opinion on a rules-set, we decided to see what was available on freewargamesrules. Eventually, we settled on a game called Ages of Blood by Tom Hinshelwood.

Ages of Blood is a simple, skirmish level game with a bit of Norse-fantasy flavour and a well-developed campaign system. As far as mechanics go, I think the game is quite good; however, there is one aspect of the game that bothers me. Before each battle, the players role dice to see how many non-combatants are present. Viking warriors are rewarded for each of these non-combatants they manage to kill during the battle.

Now perhaps I\'m just being naive. After all, Vikings were big, nasty guys with a homicide habit and killing women and children was certainly not beyond them. Shouldn\'t a game about Vikings include this?

No. Not my Viking game anyway. I don\'t mind playing wargames that involve innocent people getting killed, but only if I get to play the side that is trying to defend them. Is that hypocritical? It doesn\'t matter if it is. Every wargamer has a comfort-level, and it is not something that can be determined by logic. It is a gut feeling.

I\'m still looking forward to my big match-up with Phil\'s Vikings, but I think we\'ll set it on some uninhabited island in the Orkneys.