The Jomsvikings were a possibly fictional company of Viking mercenaries who'd fight for anyone who paid their substantial fee. The Joms were highly selective in deciding whom to admit to their order. Membership was restricted to men who proved themselves with a feat of strength, often taking the form of a duel. Once admitted, the Joms required adherence to a strict code of conduct to instill military discipline. Any violation of these rules could be punished with expulsion from the order.
Members were bound to defend their brothers, and avenge their deaths if necessary. Jomsvikings were forbidden to show fear or to flee in the face of an enemy of equal or inferior strength, though orderly retreat in the face of outnumbering forces appears to have been acceptable. Spoils of battle were equally distributed. No Jomsviking was permitted to be absent from their stronghold, Jomsborg, for more than 3 days without the permission of the brotherhood. No women or children were allowed within the fortress walls, and none were to be taken captive. No women? No wonder this mercenary order disappeared!
While their existence is a matter of debate, I became convinced they were real once I received a batch of them to paint on commission. I'll leave it to our Swedish bloggers and experts to offer an proper opinion.
First up are 8 hearthguard with Dane axes. These Crusader figs mix well with the Gripping Beast figs that'll make up the rest of this warband. In Saga, they'll get a +1 bonus to their attack roles due to the Dane axe but they'll suffer a -1 penalty to their armor values due to the lack of a shield. In Saga, these fellows will be stone cold killers.
It's good to be back painting 28mm for Saga. The thing I'm loving about the Joms is that you can come at them with a brighter palette than an ordinary Viking warband. So, look for more high fashion and color in this fabulous Dark Ages warband!