Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Death of Lucius Alvum. A Dux Britannarium game

As dawns light brightened the darkness, Octha of the Saxons looked hungrily towards the farm in the distance.  Gathered around him were his 30 brave warriors, ready to bring woe to the weakling Britons.  He ordered Abrecan to take 12 men off to the right, while he took the remainder straight at the farm.  Banan, his young cousin, followed him forward as the Saxon warband loped into the land of the Britons.

Suddenly shouts of alarm came from Abrecan's men, as several British warriors appeared on the hill ahead of them.  At least as many men faced him, then arrows started to fall amongst the men as well.  As the Britons formed their damned shieldwall, Octha called his men back together and lead them all straight at the farm.  He had to get the raid done and leave before more of the enemy appeared.

As the light increased, more Britons came into view ahead.  These looked more formidable than the ones on the hill, at least in the front rank anyway.  Still, British shields were no match for Saxon blades, so on they went.  Closing rapidly on the shieldwall ahead, his confidence of a quick victory was increased by the scared looks in the faces of the Britons.  Then more enemies appeared on the left.  A quick glance showed these to be an entirely different proposition, with chainmail showing from behind their shields.  Ah well, they were a bit too far back to make any difference, so Octha pushed on with his advance.

A shouted order sent Abrecan off to the right to block the advance of the shieldwall on the hill.  Then, with a shout to Wodan, Octha lead his hearthguard forward to smash the British shields ahead of him.  A few moments of combat, the clash of shields, the cries of men as they were struck down, then the Britons pulled back.  Yes, several were dead, but so were two of the hearthguard and those damn shields facing him were stilled locked in a shieldwall.  As he rallied the men to charge again Banan cried out, causing Octha to spin around.  The rest of the Britons were charging into the rear of his men!  Damn them all.  As they came in his warriors turned and did their best to stand.  A valiant effort, but no match for the charge of the Britons companions.  Many men fell on both sides, but the Saxons were defeated and broke.  The remaining hearthguard readied themselves as they faced the British counterparts.

Meanwhile, Abrecan was advancing towards the last of the British.  Suddenly a rain of arrows came in, with one findng a weak point in Abrecans mailcoat and he staggered, sorely wounded.  With a furious shout he led his men into the shieldwall.  Shields splintered and Britons died.  These were no warriors, merely peasants from the fields!  Their leader was slain and the rest were driven back and eventually broke and ran, taking their archers with them.  As they turned, Abrecan saw Octhas units defeated, as Octha rallied the last of them and fell back towards Abrecans men.

With all three leaders now joined together, the Britons realised they were outmatched and fell back.  The farmers had long disappeared into the woods, but a search of the farm turned up enough valuables to make the raid profitable.  It was time to head back to his hall and rally new men.  Soon he would be back to take more wealth, though one day he would be back to stay.

The first battle in an ongoing campaign, this was a truly bloody battle.  the Saxons lost 18 men and the Britons lost 20 plus one of their bigmen.  A valiant effort by the British Dux nearly turned the tide, but the death of one of his bigmen and the injury to another left him unable to hold the field, so he withdrew.  It was a fun game, with plenty of to-and-fro moments.  Pride of place goes to the British archers, who kept shooting arrows and whittling down the Saxons.  6 to hit, 6 to wound, but he kept getting them!

Next time I will try to remember my camera!