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Campaign Scenarios

Charlemagne's Conquests (770-804 AD)

By J. D. Ehlers
(a.k.a J. D. Yahoo)

The foundation for Charlemagne's success was built by his outstanding predecessors, Charles Martel "The Hammer", Carloman, and Pepin "The Short".

Charlemagne led his armies on yearly campaigns as a matter of course. When his Magnates and their retainers assembled around him annually on the May Field the question was not whether to go to war, but whom to fight.

Charlemagne followed his father's footsteps into Italy, and in 774 completely conquered the Lomabards and incorporated them into his state. Thenceforth, he employed the title, "king of the Franks and the Lombards."

In 778 Charlemagne launched an attack against the Spanish Muslims that met with little success, although he did later establish the border district on the Spanish side of the Pyrenes known as the Spanish March.

In 787 he conquered Bavaria, and in the 790s pushed further southeast and destroyed the rich and predatory Avar state, which had long tormented central and eastern Europe. It is reported that fifteen "four-ox" wagons were required to transport the Avar treasure back to Frankland.

Charlemagne's most prolonged military effort was directed against the pagan Saxons of northern Germany. For 32 years, the Franks repeatedly beat the Saxons in battle, only to see them rebel as soon as Frankish armies withdrew. By about 804 the Saxons were finally under control of the Franks.

On Christmas Day, 800, his immense accomplishments were recognized and he was crowned "Emperor of the Romans" by Pope Leo III, the first such crowning in the west after an intermission of 324 years.

I have included two options for this DBA campaign; a regular six player campaign, and a four player campaign. Some areas didn't have large cities, so I instead gave names of military encampments or mountain passes. Treat sieges of these the same as cities.

Six Player Campaign

The Armies:

The Map:


                      Franks                 Saxons et. al. 
                        A1                     B1
                       /  \                   /  \
                      /    \                 /    \
                     /      \               /      \
                    A2-------A3-----------B2--------B3
                    |\         \         /         / |
                    | \----\    \       /    /----/  |
                    |       \    \     /    /        |
               /---F3--\     \---\\   //---/     /--C2---\ 
 Galicians &  /     |   \---------#####---------/    |    \
   Asturians F1      |             #[Z]#              |     C1 Avars
              \     |   /---------#####---------\    |    /  
               \---F2--/     /---//   \\---\     \--C3---/ 
                    |       /    /     \    \        |
                    | /----/    /       \    \----\  |
                    |/         /         \         \ |
                   E3--------E2-----------D2--------D3 
                     \      /               \      /
                      \    /                 \    /
                       \  /                   \  / 
                        E1                     D1   

                      Cordobans             Lombards


Map Key Region (City) Controlled By
Z Burgundy (Lyon) Frank
A1 Neustria (Paris, capital) Franks
A2 Aquitaine (Bordeaux) Franks
A3 Austrasia (Aachen) Franks
B1 Saxony (Hamburg, capital) Saxons, et. al.
B2 Frisia (Nijmegen) Saxons, et. al.
B3 Bavaria (Regensburg) Saxons, et. al.
C1 Pannonia (Pannonia Palisade, capital) Avars
C2 Carinthia (Carinthia Palisade) Avars
C3 Friuli (Friuli Palisade) Avars
D1 Lombardy (Florence) Lombards
D2 Provence (Mount Cans Pass Palisade) Lombards
D3 Lower Po Valley (Verona) Lombards
E1 Cordova, (Toledo, capital) Cordoba
E2 Barcelona (Barcelona) Cordoba
E3 Aragon (Sargosa) Cordoba
F1 Leon (Leon, capital) Galician/Asturian
F2 Asturia (Pamplona) Galician/Asturian
F3 Galicia (Burgos) Galician/Asturian

Four Player Campaign

The Armies:

The Map

Areas designated "...F" are frontier areas, they have no city within. The Area "Z" on this map (the Alps) is also a frontier area and begins the game "neutral". Some areas didn't have large cities, so I instead gave names of military encampments or mountain passes. Treat sieges of these the same as cities.

                                                         SAXONS, FRISIANS
         FRANKS                                          BAVARI & THURINGIANS
            A4                                             B4    
             \                                            /
              \                                          /
               \                                        /
                A1----A2------------------------B2----B1
                | \  / |                        | \  / |
                |  \/  |                        |  \/  |
                |  /\  |                        |  /\  |
                | /  \ |                        | /  \ |
                A3-----AF----------------------BF-----B3
                |      | \                    / |      |
                |      |  \-----\  ^^   /----/  |      |
                |      |         \ ^^^ /        |      |
                |      |          ^^^^^         |      |
                |      |          ^ Z ^         |      |
                |      |         /^^^^^\        |      |
                |      |  /-----/  ^^^  \-----\ |      |
                |      | /          ^^         \|      |         
                D2-----DF-----------------------CF-----C2  
                | \  / |                        | \  / |
                |  \/  |                        |  \/  |
                |  /\  |                        |  /\  |
                | /  \ |                        | /  \ |
                D1----D3------------------------C3-----C1
               /                                        \
              /                                          \
             /                                            \  
            D4                                             C4
          CORDOBAN                                       LOMBARDS
          EMIRATE
       

Map Key Region (City) Controlled By
Z Alps (Frontier) Neutral
A1 Paris (Paris, capital) Franks
A2 Austrasia (Worms) Franks
A3 Aquitaine (Tours) Franks
A4 Neustria (Rouen) Franks
AF Burgundy (Frontier) Franks
B1 Nordgau (Efurt, capital) Saxons, et. al.
B2 Frisia (Nijmegen) Saxons, et. al.
B3 Bavaria (Regensburg) Saxons, et. al.
B4 Saxony, (Magdeburg) Saxons, et. al.
BF Thuringia (Frontier) Saxons, et. al.
C1 Upper Po Valley (Pavia, capital) Lombards
C2 Carinthia (Brenner Pass) Lombards
C3 Provence (Mount Cans Pass) Lombards
C4 Lombardy (Florence) Lombards
CF Rhaetian (Frontier) Lombards
D1 Cordova (Toledo, capital) Cordoban Emirate
D2 Roncesvalles (Roncesvalles) Cordoban Emirate
D3 Barcelona (Barcelona) Cordoban Emirate
D4 Grenada (Malaga) Cordoban Emirate
DF Pyrenees (Frontier) Cordoban Emirate


Victory Conditions

Historically, Charlemagne died in 804, 34 years into the scenario. Hopefully, players will have enough sense to limit the campaign to five years or so, with the Franks (and their allies, if any) winning if they conquer two enemies completely; and losing if the Franks are completely destroyed.

Special Rules (Optional)

None.

Conclusion

Hope some players get a chance to use these maps. The problems and inaccuracies likely to be found above are completely my own fault. I used several different sources, but I could not find much detailed information except for the Franks.

If players want a different scenario of this period, they could fairly easily add or substitute so that Viking, Saracen, Slav, or Byzantine armies are included in the period. Byzantines were fighting with the Lombards at this time. Vikings and Saracens were raiding the coasts, the Vikings making deep raids along the rivers. A Slav army would easily fit in place of the Avars with fairly good gaming results, although less historical accuracy.


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Last Updated: July 7, 1998

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