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Campaign Scenarios

Britain (circa 600 AD)

Britain in 600 AD was a tumultuous place. The golden age of peace brought by Arthur's victory over the Saxons at Mons Badonicus had long since passed. The Anglo-Saxons had renewed their path to conquest, seizing most of south and central Britain in the 50 years preceding 600 AD. As the century turned, they were continuing their pressure westward and northward. When not fighting each other, the fragmented British kingdoms made alliances to strike back at the Saxons, but lost key battles such at Dyrham, Caer Greu, Bamburgh, Catterick, and elsewhere. Aethfrith of Northumbria had united the Kingdoms of Bernecia and Deira to create a new Angle powerhouse in the north. In the south, the larger Anglo-Saxon kingdoms swallowed up smaller kingdoms such Lindsey and Chintern Saeten and extended their borders westward. Aedan of Dalraida was eager to establish the power of his Dalraidic kingdom in the far northwest. And in the far north, the Picts watched their frontier with apprehension, as did the Durotiges and the western Britains in Dumnonia.

Here is partial list of the presumed kings of Britain circa 600 AD: Owein of Rheged (son of Urien), Aedan of Dalraida, Nechtan of the Picts, Bledric of Dumnonia, Ceretic of Elmet, Nynniaw of Gwent, Arthwyr of Dyfed, Iago of Gwynedd, Rhyderch of Strathclyde, Aethelfrith of Northumbria, Selyf of Powys, Wybba of Mercia, Tytilla of East Anglia, Ceolwulf of Wessex, Saeberht of Essex, Aethelwold of Sussex (?), and Aethelberht of Kent.

Armies

The following are the "official" DBA armies for this campaign:

  • British Kingdoms -- Sub-Roman Brits (#82)
  • Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms -- Early Saxons (#75a)
  • Pictish Kingdoms -- Caledonian/Picts (#67)
  • Dalraidic Scots Kingdom -- Scots-Irish (#61)
  • Welsh Kingdoms -- Welsh (#92)

There are several problems with these lists. The Sub-Roman list is not equally well-suited to each of the British kingdoms. The Northern Brits were reputedly cattle herders and given to light horse. Southern Brits had heavier cavalry but less of it. The Dalraidic Scots did not use chariots circa 600 AD. Nor was the Welsh army comprised primarily of longbowmen during this period. The following are adjusted army lists, which I believe could be more historical representations of the armies fielded in Britain circa 600 AD:

  • Anglo-Saxons -- 1xBd*, 6xWb, 4xWb or Sp, 1xPs
  • British, Northern (Strathclyde, Rheged, Elmet, Goddodin) -- 4xLh*, 4xAx*, 2xAx or Wb, 2xPs
  • British, Western (Dumnonia, Duritiges) -- 1xCv*, 2xLh, 6xWb, 3xPs
  • Welsh -- 2xLh or Wb*, 5xAx*, 3xWb or Ax, 2xPs2
  • Dalraidic Scots -- 1xWb*, 1xLh or Ps, 8xWb or Ax, 2xPs
  • Picts -- 1xCv*, 2xLh, 7xWb or Ax, 2xPs

(* denotes possible General's element)

Strategic Map

The strategic map for Britain c.600 AD reflects the major kingdoms of the Angles, Saxons, Britons, Picts and Scots in the year 600 and is color-coded to facilitate play. Depending on the number of players, kingdoms can be grouped or fought individually in any number of combinations. For example:

  • In a two player campaign, one player should take the role of the Bretwalda Raedwald of East Anglia and the other should take the role of the fictional Arthurius Secundus, Dux Militum of the Britons (a later day King Arthur or Ambrosius Aurelius risen up to save the Britons).

  • In a five player campaign, each player should take one of the major groups: Anglo-Saxons (Northumbria, East Anglia, Mercia, Essex, Wessex, Sussex and Kent), Britons (Strathcyde, Goddonin, Dumfries, Rheged, Cumbria, Elmet, Durotiges, and Dumnonia), Picts (Northern Pictland and Fortriu), Scots (Dal Raida) or Welsh (Dyfed, Gwent, Gwynedd, Powys) . In a four player compaign, the Picts and Scots can be combined. To expand to six players, you can divide the Britons in northern (Strathcyde, Goddodin, Dumfries, Rheged, Cumbria, Elmet) and southern (Durotiges, and Dumnonia)

  • An interesting four play campaign could be played with Angle and Saxon players confronting Northern British and Welsh players, with the balance of kingdoms played as neutral. Anyone invading a neutral Kingdom must fight the defending army, which is controlled by one of the opposing players (e.g. if the Northern British player decided to consolidate Dal Raida, the Angle or Saxon player would control the Dalraidic army in the subsequent battle).

  • If you have the luxory of 22 players, then give each player his own kingdom.

By 600 AD, the Angle Kingdoms of Deira and Bernecia had been united to form the Kingdom of Northumbria. The maps depicts the unified Northumbria, as well as the two precedessor kingdoms. If Northumbria is invaded and its army defeated, the Kingdom will split into the two sub-kingdoms, with the survivors of the battle retreating from the portion that has been invaded to defend the surviving sub-kingdom. Either portion of Northumbria can be designated as the "capital" by the Northumbrian player.

The northern and southern Pictish kingdoms had been reunited for less than 20 years in 600 AD, and can be treated as two seperate Kingdoms under the rule of Nectan or as a combined kingdom like Northumbria.

It should be noted that with this campaign map, each player may not start out on an equal footing depending on how the kingdoms are grouped. The King of the Scots, for example, only controls one Kingdom (i.e. Dal Raida), whereas the Saxon Bretwalda may control several. What this means in campaign terms is that smaller Kingdoms (e.g. Dalraida) will be hardpressed to replenish losses unless they are successful at expanding their territory, whereas the Saxons and northern Britons can lose ground and still sustain their army for a time. This seems historically appropriate, but players should understand that they are fighting under these historical "handicaps" and adjust their expectations accordingly to avoid disappointment.

Victory Conditions

Use normal DBA Campaign victory conditions.

Special Rules (Optional)

Bretwalda -- All of the Anglo-Saxon kings have recognized King Aethelberht of Kent as Bretwalda, and must therefore provide one or more elements to an allied contingent upon request. A contingent may not exceed a total of four elements and deploys as part of the initial set-up under the control of the Bretwalda, who uses a 1D4 for pips. Other than this obligation, Anglo-Saxon Kings are not considered "tributaries" of the Bretwalda.

The Bretwalda may also elect to send an allied contingent to support any other Anglo-Saxon king, whether requested or not.

Any Anglo-Saxon player can assume the title "Bretwalda" (and the rights pertaining thereto) from the current holder by right of conquest or by agreement of all the other Anglo-Saxon players.

Closing Notes

This campaign scenario is definitely a work in progress based on piecemeal research using a variety of different second sources. This period of British history itself is somewhat dimly recorded. Any contributions in the nature of corrections or additions to this scenario would be greatly appreciated.


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Last Updated: March 10, 2000

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