DBA Resource Page

Battle Scenarios

The Battle of Lechfeld (955 AD)

King Otto I put an end to the Magyar threat to his Eastern Frankish kingdom in a battle fought between the Rivers Lech and Schmutter.

The Armies

Later (Eastern) Frankish (#102a):

Magyar (#107)

Blocking Force: 2x 3Cv, 2x 2LH, 2x4Sp, 1x3Aux, 1x2Ps
Flanking Force: 4x 2LH

The Historical Battle

In the 890s, the Turkic Magyars (predecessors of the Hungarians) moved into Carpathia and over the next 50+ years (898-955 AD) launched over 30 raids westward that make them the terror of Saxony and Bavaria. By the early 950s, the tide had begun to turn, largely due to the success of Henry I and his son Otto I in unifying the ethnic germanic duchies that formed the Eastern Frank kingdom.

In 954, Duke Conrad of Lotharingia rose in rebellion against Otto, and invited the Magyars to cross the Frankish borders as allies. Conrad repented of his rebellion, which served merely as pretext for another Magyar raid westward across Bavaria. With much of his Saxon army tied down on the Slavic frontier, Otto quickly pieced together a small army of Bavarians, Franks, Swabians, and Bohemians plus his own Saxon household troop and marched to intercept. In the fashion of the time, Otto's army was comprised of eight legions, each numbering 300-500 armoured horsemen for a total of 3,000-4,000 horse.

The Magyar army was more than twice their number and highly mobile, although more lightly armed and equipped. As Otto's army approached from the north, the Magyars received warning from the disloyal Berthold of Reisenburg and turned away from a futile seige of Augsburg to lay an ambush. For his part, Otto was afraid to have his army caught in the open country in march order and so approached Augsburg over the rough ground lying between the Lech and Schmutter rivers, which helped to protect his flanks. His army marched in column of legions, with three legions of Bavarians in front, followed by Duke Conrad's Franks, Otto's own Saxons, two legions of Swabians, and finally a Bohemian legion bringing up the rear as the baggage guard.

The Magyars laid their trap. A large blocking force was positioned between the rivers across the path of Otto's approach while a striking force of light bow armed horse was left on the eastern bank of the Lech river with orders to cross up-river and fall on Otto's rear. This they did on August 10, 955, driving off the Bohemians in a panic, followed shorty thereafter by the Swabians. However, the Magyars stopped to plunder the baggage, allowing Otto time to send Duke Conrad and his heavy Frankish horse to drive them off and eliminate this threat.

His rear now secure, Otto turned his attention to the blocking force of Magyars in his front. He deployed his Bavarian legions three abreast, and they charged impetuously with support from the returning Franks. Much of the Magyar army fled; however, the Magyar princes and their better equipped retainers stood their ground and were either cut down or captured. Rather than ransom the captive princes, as was custom, Otto had them hanged at Regensburg, an act which decimated the Magyar leadership and effectively ended the threat posed by the Magyar's to Europe.

Deployment

King Otto's force deploys first and must form a column facing south with the front element at point * and with it's baggage (in lieu of a camp) in the next to the last place in the column.

The Magyar blocking force deploys second anywhere within 600P of the south board edge. The Magyar flanking force then deploys anywhere within 400P of the north board edge.

Once all troops are deployed, each player may place their bad going terrain piece on any ground not presently occupied.

After deployment, the Magyars take the first bound.

Game Map (ASCII)


      River                      River 
     Schmutter                    Lech

=================North Baseline==================
. . . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . . . .
. . . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . . . .
. . . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . = . . . . . .
. . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . . . .
. . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . . .
. . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . . .
. . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . . .
. . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . . .
. . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . .
. . . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . .
. . . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . .
. . . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . . .
. . . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . . .
. . . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . . .
. . . . r . . . . . . . * . . . . . r . . . . . .
. . . . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . . . .
. . . . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . . . .
. . . . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . . . .
. . . . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . . .
. . . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . . .
. . . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . .
. . . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . .
. . . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . = . . . .
. . . r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r . . . . .
================South Baseline===================

SCALE: The distance between each dot/letter is one inch.

TERRAIN KEY:

. = Good Going (Good Going)
r = River
= = Ford
b = Bad going
* = Head of Otto's column (deployment marker)

Terrain Notes

All rivers must be checked to cross, except at the indicated fords.

In addition to the terrain indicated on the map, each player is allowed to place one piece of bad going (no larger than 2 inch radius) anywhere on the map.

Special Rules

Magyars do not have a camp. Franks use a baggage train in lieu of a camp.

Victory Conditions

Use the normal DBA victory conditions.


|Top of Page | Battle Scenarios | Home |


Last Updated: June 19, 1998

Questions, comments, and feedback are welcome. Sent them to my attention at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.