Saturday 30 March 2013

Battle Report - 21-March-2013 - Dux Britanniarum

Finally, the first battle (rather than raid) of Andy and my Dux Britanniarum campaign. Aelfric's been acclaimed Warlord, so he can now bring the Britons to battle. The evening didn't start well, as while fetching stuff from my workshop I managed to drop the entire box of my Saxons, which resulted in my first half hour at the club being spent reattaching spears and shields, and in a couple of cases heads. Ouch.

Anyway, so... We roll for choice of terrain, almost getting a river (it requires a tied roll, which we haven't managed since the demo game Rich Clarke ran for us!), but Andy gets first choice, picks a big hill (wisely) and a couple of big woods (perhaps less so). I add another smaller wood, the infamous stone circle and an inconsequential smaller hill. The main bit of terrain moving that happens (after its been placed) is that Andy moves the hill (I guess so I can't), and then I move two bits of wood as close to it as I can.

Andy's rather cramped deployment.
We roll for deployment: I get the centre, Andy his right flank, which puts a lot of trees in his face, and means his basic choices are to come round the woods or sidestep across and take the hill.

Before that, though, comes the pre-game phase. I win initiative, and roll for Aelfric's pre-battle speech - given I have a Scop (Oswulf the bard) I get a +1, which results in me getting +1 on Aelfric's leadership rating for the day: added to his +1 for being a Master of Arms (I've lost count of how many times I forget that in the heat of battle) means he's contributing five dice to combat. Andy goes for petitioning the gods, and gets a good result - +2 on his Force Morale, which he needs, given he rolled badly and he's one down for losing the previous raid.

My turn again: I decide its time for a challenge. Andy can refuse at cost of 3 Force Morale, which he can ill afford, so Godric goes up against Bedwyr. It's a bit of a lottery, is the champions' challenge, a dice game with some skill and bluff involved. I roll dreadfully in my first round, and no better in the next few, and Godric ducks out of the fight: -2 Force Morale to me. Andy very wisely decides not to tempt fate any further and start the battle.

This is what us Saxons call 'a target'.
The opening few runs through the deck basically see Andy take the hill and then lose two of his hearthguard to long range shots from Lavinia's archers (rolling boxcars for the two casualty rolls didn't help!). Meanwhile, I start my hearthguard working round the left flank behind the trees. I get excellent dice for this, getting to the far side of the wood in about four turns, while my three groups of warriors basically line up at the bottom of the hill and wait.

"Odin! Odin!...."
I have to admit, I'm not looking forward to the likely fight at this point - as long as Andy stays on the hill and doesn't break his formation up, I'm attacking upslope against a shieldwall, which means he's ignoring my first kill and he gets to allocate my hits as he wants. To give him something to think about, I peel off Ecgwine and a group of 8 warriors, and send them round the right flank, so now he has two flanks to worry about.

The Britons defend the hill.
Don't fancy charging up that hill.
It takes my hearthguard two turns to make it through the wood onto the left-hand slope of the hill. Andy elects to come off the hill to take them on. I'll refrain from comment, but draw your attention to the picture caption on the second-last picture on his report of this battle, and the following two pictures, the latter particularly not being one for those of a sensitive disposition. Let's just say it was a +6 win to the Saxons and leave it at that.

Not a pretty sight.
We reconvene after Salute, when the Britons will attempt to break the siege of Caer Lind Colun, and the Saxons will have another group of warriors at their disposal. I haven't yet decided whether to spend more money on more mercenaries.


  1. An enjoyable report with great pictures, thanks for sharing.

  2. Splendid report and terrific pictures, Mike. The "not a pretty sight" photo made me laugh as it is very much a gorgeous sight of Dark Age splendour!! Looking forward to more after Salute!


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