Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Battle for the Gates - Rebellion in 1088

So this past Saturday saw the third battle in our series of linked games, the Danes seeing the mess the kingdom had fallen into and with the Anglo-Saxon's rising up and the Normans in all sorts of trouble, decided to prosecute their claims to the crown.

The Vikings then brought their full force to the fore in attempt to prosecute their claims and where confronted with the Anglo-Norman army before the gates of a local Burgh seeking to achieve a quick victory the Danes launched into attack - but it was not to be and the Saxon shield-wall and Norman cavalry reversed the drama of the previous battles- with some very smug Saxon Lords grinning as the Vikings fell short...... (only battle they have won so far so I think they are a bit too optimistic:P )

I have decided to add a little bit more character to this unfolding saga as well :)

Dramatis Personae: 
 I used the random system in Dux Britanniarum to come up with the reputations and simple backgrounds.

The Danes: 

Earl Greg the "Mad" - An Anglo-Dane of great repute to have a constitution of an Ox - with the breakdown of control of the Norman overlords he seeks to rebuild the Danelaw and maybe rule over it in a broader Anglo Dane Kingdom. 

Earl Peter the "Ironside" - Another Anglo-Dane seeing his kinsmen rise up against the Saxon and Norman overlords joins Greg the "Mad" in recovering their lost kingdoms 

Earl Jon the "Devil" - A Danish Earl who has seeing fighting in the previous 2 battles and reputed to be a master of the sword and the spear(seems to roll allot of 6's) and has the raven banner as his standard.

The Anglo Normans: 
The Normans having been battered by successive defeats has seen a rise in the power of the Anglo-Saxon Earls the Normans in decline and this army now see's the army of the midlands and the south come to defend thier lands against the "old" foe.

Lord Niel the "Righteous"- A Norman lord now fighting for his lands and life a  Devout man who made it across the channel to support William and build his wealth in England.

Earl Wal the "Silent" - A supposed master Horsemen but he spends most of his time on foot with a flagon of wine in one hand! He draws his bloodlines from the ancient houses of Mercia and possibly sees the chance to rebuild his descendants kingdom.

Earl Ian the "Bold" - the son of one of Harold's Huscarls seeing the chance to throw off the yoke of Normans and Danish.   

 The Battle
 On a quiet Saturday afternoon on the outskirts of Lincoln the two armies faced off each other.  Earl Greg "the Mad" had command after the Danelaw declared for the Danish Royal houses and the Anglo-Danes again rose up under the banner of the raven.  That England was once again in flames was certain and already rumors of more Danish and now Norwegian raiders where on route to retake lost lands was rife amongst the Saxon and Norman lords.  On his right was Earl Jon the "devil" and to his left Earl Peter the "Ironside"

In-front of him and his men stood Earl Wal the "silent" a man of Mercia surprisingly of  of many words at times and though noted for using a hose liked to be on foot, to his right one of the remaining Norman lords who had not fled in shame to London Lord Niel the "Righteous" and his retinue of knights and then to his left Earl Ian the "bold". 

The armies deploy with the Anglo-Normans refusing a flank a little to try and entice the Danes forward.

The hosts face off and the insults begin and so does the drinking of beer.

Norman Knights form up and begin to focus on which targets they are about to pick out and run down.

Norman crossbows seek to flank the danish lines

At the begining of the game Wal the "silent" was surprisingly true to his reputation and started the battle with a muted direction to his troops and as such in confusion they fell back!

Seeing the confusion in the ranks the vikings surge forward in an attempt to close the lines-  Greg the"mad" launches his command forward outpacing some of his allies and even his own troops!

Meanwhile Norman Cavalry launch their attack on Peter the Ironside and so begins a hard fought battle back and forth that would last the entire game.

Norman Calvary take heavy casualties coming in but the attack prevails and the fight will be bloody but even. 

The lines in the middle and on the viking right continue to close and the insults and spears and axes fly thick and fast - now very vocal again Wal the "silent" marshals the center only to have some flounder again (possibly shocked a Earl Wal's new found voice)

The lines meet and bloody battle begins in earnest - the Danes make some success but not enough to force the steady lines of Saxons back and the heavy knife work begins.

The situation on the side with the Normans - the lines break up and individual fights begin to break out against different bands of warriors. Peter Ironside continues to hold the lines and make the Norman pay.

The battle in the Middle intensifies as Greg the Mad throws himself against Wal the Silent and the ground becomes slick with the blood of dane and saxon. Wal the Silent though begins to gain ground to the chargin of all and greg the Mad begins to see the runes on the wall.

Earl Jon the devils men are flanked after failing to keep contact with his allies and Ian the Righteous leads his men in glorious victory but there is disaster as a lone Danish Beserker slays  the Earl in his moment of victory.  This though does nothing to slow the Saxon's an enrages the heath-guard of the Earl, Jon the Devil though experiencing success where his is soon sees his command fall apart and cursing the gods begins the task of falling back.  The Raven banner had proven to be fickle in its favor this day.

Greg the "mad' and Jon the "Devil" both begin to crumble in-front of the resolute Saxon lines

Death and Slaughter as Danes and Saxons fight to the last- it was a close run thing as one factor decided if it was one of the other way on the right flank.

Normans find the ground tough going against the determined Vikings of Peter "Ironside"

The Situation at the end with both Norman,Saxon and Danes bloodied and hurting.  
So as the Danes retreated and the Saxons and Normans tended to the wounded pursuit was called for but with the death of an Earl and the Norman Cavalry blown the war would not continue and the Saxons would take the fight to the Danes where they had beached.

The Danish Threat was not over and the rising of the Danelaw means that they would simply not go away.  The Norman lords where also rallying in the west and allegiances where being redrawn and Welsh and Pictish kingdoms where also now stirring as the Island  silent for less than two decades was aflame again.

So we meet again this coming Saturday. Will the Anglo-Norman kingdom expel the invader? or will the Danelaw and a danish kingdom of England rise again?

We will  know next week !