We all go a'Viking! - Circa 800CE
Campaign Turns - Details of events and player scores.

Turn 6 - Autumn 847 - Campaign End!  
May 25th, 2009

The map at the end of the autumn of 847. Click here for a larger version.

As the cool wind of autumn spread through the lands, an air of tension came with it. As the farmers harvested their year's worth of grain and vegetables, armies marched, stealing that ever-important labour needed to bring in the harvest before the first frost. But not only that, but every farmer and herdman prayed to the gods that the marching armies did not march on their lands...

Along with the tensions of the people and the harvest, many warlords had unfinished business with their neighbors, and every one of them hoped to resolve their business before the first frosts of winter forced them to return to friendly grounds and overwinter. With that, Skuld took no time in mustering his hird and his ships and sailing for Dublin; he had sent a messenger to the Irish king Padraigh Olafson in the spring of 847 and was unable to come to a peaceful agreement on border disputes; Padraigh Olafson refuse to pay tribute to Skuld and join Norlaw. And so, it was time to take what would not be freely given.

Skuld Darkhair and his Norwegian Vikings take Dublin.

As Skuld's longships were pushed up onto the shore, and Irish monestaries were sacked, Padraigh Olafson sent his brother Neildraigh to make battle in defense of the city. Neildraigh was smart enough to harass Skuld's hird from the hills, and Skuld would not hold his men back, and so battle was joined.

The fighting was tough, and many a heroic deed was done during the battle, but in the end the hills were not enough to save the Irish from the bloody axes of the Norwegian vikings. Neildraigh called for a general retreat once his forces were taken low, and Dublin opened its doors to the Norwegians, and would now be the new capitol of Norlaw, the Norwegian kingdom in the Isles.

Skuld Darkhair was not the only warlord looking to finish (or start?) their business in the autumn of 847. Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon of Wales launched his ships, laden with his warriors and made land on the shores of Ireland just outside of Cork. Neildraigh Olafson's army had retreated from Dublin into Cork, and so the armies met in battle there, and again the Irish were put to defending their lands under Padraigh's brother Neildraigh in the second battle of Cork.

Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon takes Cork for Wales.

Neildraigh Olafson's warriors put up a most spirited fight. The battle raged through the hills around Cork. But so it was that the two chiefs saw each other and set to battle! As Neildraigh charged screaming down the hill, Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon of Wales kicked his horses and called the charge, taking the two warlords and their bodyguards into battle. The fight between the warlords raged for near on half an hour before Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon put Neildraigh to flight. With the Irish army on the run back to Limerick, Cork fell to the Welsh.

And so it was that Ireland as a unified kingdom was no more; the Irish under Olafson held strong throughout the war and managed to repel a British invasion. But so it was that at the end of 847, the Irish cities of Dublin and Cork would fall to invaders.

Skuld Darkhair and his Norwegian Vikings take Dublin.

But Ireland would not be the only land to see bloodshed in the autumn of 847. Just as the Danish people of York were settling in to their new holdings, the British marched on them. Homesteads were burned, villaged razed, and fields salted as the vengeful King Pendragon came to reclaim York for the British!

The Danes, seeing the wrath of the British said nay to sallying out and made ready for a siege. Walls were repaired, archers were set, and the British hit the walls of York with fury. Many a defender and attacker were thrown from the walls, many a fire was started and quenched, and many a breach was made and repaired during the fighting, but York did not fall; the Danes would hold their Danelaw through the winter of 847!

And so ends two years war that started in 846 and lead a bloody path through to the end of 847. Many a warrior was killed, many a city was conquered, and many and army war made victorious! Of the 19 cities, 6 changed hands during the campaign, which is almost a third. All of the cities that changed hands did so only once, and so none were re-taken by their original owners. I think that says a lot about the DBA campaign system itself: it takes a lot of time to rebuild an army. In this campaign, there simply wasn't enough time/turns to see much turn around in that sense. I like that aspect of the DBA campaign, as it has a real sense of realism for me there. Also, I like that the dominating player is by no means more able to hold their expanding empire more easily than anyone else; every army can only have at most 12 elements, so given time, the larger the empire the harder it would be to hold.

The other thing that this campaign did was bring the whole Viking age to the fore front in our local gaming group. Not only did it create a number of situations where Viking age armies needed to do battle, but it also created a large number of grudges that will no doubt carry on the spirit of the campaign forever! I mean, the Danes will certainly be interested in putting the Norwegians to flight in the future. As well, I am sure the British would like to see the backs of the Vikings as well. On top of that, the Welsh and the Norwegians, whose alliance kept them from coming to blows, will certainly have a show down (again and again no doubt) to see who of the two should rule the islands! Overall it was great fun and I look forward to the next one! Thanks to everyone who took part for making the effory; I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to help bring this first attempt at a DBA campaign to a successful conclusion! This is the first campaign that I actually played through to the end without having people drop out!

So, check out below for the final tally in the campaign. The prestige calculated below is for not only battles, but also for the tally of the cities held and the tributary cities that all of the kingdoms held at the end of the campaign. The prestige for each kingdom before the cities were added in is: Norway: 10.4 prestige, Wales: 9.0, Britain: 7.9, Scotland: 4.5, Ireland: 2.2, and Denmark: 0.

KingdomCities HeldNumber of CitiesPrestige for battles Prestige for CitiesArmy Size
NorwayKaupang (Capitol), Storholmen, Bergen, Lund, Jarrow, Lindisfarn and Dublin735.42111
WalesSkokholm (Capitol), Swansea, Lanbedrgoch, and Cork421.1126
BritainLondon (Capitol), and Salisbury213.968
DenmarkRoskhilde (Capitol), Hedeby, and York3995
ScotlandDumbarton (Capitol) and Iona210.567
IrelandLimerick (Capitol), Dublin, and Cork35.293

Turn 5 - Summer 847  
April 20th, 2009

The map at the end of the summer of 847. Click here for a larger version.

Summer's sun dawned over the island of Britain, Wales and Scots-Saxonia, and with it, the hope at a new era of peace. The Norwegians and the Scots-Saxons marched, not to invade, but simply to reposition. Skuld lead his Hird back to Jarrow to make ready for its defence or perhaps a future invasion. Meanwhile, Ceowulf lead his forces back to Lindisfarn with the leave of Skuld.

The Welsh, still reeling from their recent defeat at the hands of the British, and still without their great king, decided to simply fortify and make ready for invasion by the Irish, which was sure to come sooner or later. And, true to form, the Irish army lead by King Olafson marched down from Limerick and into Cork; there sturdy boats were crafted as men made ready for the short water crossing to the Welsh coast. And so it was that almost the entire summer went by without the spilling of blood... but it was a ruse.

The Danes had taken council with not only Skuld and his Norwegian Hird, but also Ceowulf of Scots-Saxonia and Marco ap Mynwyedig ap Cadwgan of Wales. Together the warlords made plans to pursue the British back to London. And so it was that one year after the last Danish invasion of Britain's York, the Danish found themselves making way in their longships back to York.

But this was no invasion for the sake of invasion. The Danes were lead by Meirik Jarnskeggison, the son of the great Konnungr Jarnskeggi, who was taken in battle with the British in the previous year. Meirik Jarnskeggison had set his heart to take York, free his father, and destroy the British army in vengeance for the defeat that the British had made on his people. As Meirik rode the prow towards the beleaguered city of York, the British king Culhwch Pendragon rallied his forces for its defence.

The Danes take York with the help of the Scots-Saxons.

Despite the attackers being outnumbered, the terrain of the battlefield worked to reduce the advantage of the British. As Meirik Jarnskeggison arrayed his karls and set his camp, the second battle of York was begun. The British suffered from terribly low initiative in the first hours of the battle, and Meirik Jarnskeggison marched steadily toward the British camp. But it was not the Danes who won the battle; the Scots-Saxons arrived on the battlefield from Jarrow and immediately attacked the undefended British camp. The camp fell almost immediately to the onslaught.

For the remainder of the battle the British fought to regain their camp, but it was not to be. The Scots-Saxon shieldwall proved too strong and repelled attack after attack from the British. The Scots even managed to destroy some of the British spear, ultimately sending the British back to London before the Danes could close ranks. As such, the Scots-Saxons won the prestige, and the Danes won the city in a battle that seemed to be the opposite of fortunes from the first battle of York.

And so, with the fall of York to the Danes, Meirik Jarnskeggison founded the Danish Kindom on the Isles and named it Jarnskegglaw for his late father... Who, it was found out shortly after the second battle of York, was killed at the hands of the British king Culhwch Pendragon. The summer of 847 ended as Meirik Jarnskeggison swore a blood oath for vengeance against the British king!

This year marks the second battle between two forces of different sizes where the smaller force won. The first such battle took place in Dublin, where the British (12 elements) were defeated by the Irish (8 elements). This year, the Danes invaded York for the second time, bringing along a promise of allied contingents from not only the Scots-Saxons (as before), but also the Norwegians and the Welsh. In this battle the British (12 elements) were defeated by the Danes with the help of the Scots-Saxons (8 elements all told). Quite the turning point for the Danes and the British I think.

The summer of 847 was also the first season where only a single 'act of aggression' took place. The only kingdom that didn't take part in the single battle that was waged was the Irish, who could not trace a path to aid the British... And the Danes didn't ask them for help... Despite all of the promised allied contingents though, only one faction managed to roll a six for pips and make it to the battlefield. The requirement to roll a six before the allied contingent can arrive definitely makes allied contingents much less useful than they could be, and I wonder how often they will be used in the future... Then again, on a lucky roll of 6 they can turn a battle as seen here. The standings at the end of summer 847 can be seen below:

KingdomCities HeldNumber of CitiesPrestige for battles Prestige for CitiesArmy Size
NorwayKaupang (Capitol), Storholmen, Bergen, Lund, Jarrow, and Lindisfarn68.11812
WalesSkokholm (Capitol), Swansea, and Lanbedrgoch3797
BritainLondon (Capitol), and Salisbury27.969
IrelandLimerick (Capitol), Dublin, and Cork32.299
ScotlandDumbarton (Capitol) and Iona24.567
DenmarkRoskhilde (Capitol), Hedeby, and York3095

Turn 4 - Spring 847  
April 20th, 2009

The map at the end of the spring of 847. Click here for a larger version.

The snow had yet to give up its grip on the Norwegian coast when Skuld mustered his army in Jarrow and began the short march north to Lindisfarn. After the invasion of Wales by the Scots-Saxons, Skuld's heart dwelt heavily as he overwintered in Jarrow; his mind was ever on the thought of the Scots-Saxon spear landing in Bergen, in his native Norway. And so it was that Skuld's host arrived at Lindisfarn and made ready for a siege.

Lindisfarn falls to the Vikings!

But just as the Norwegian camp was set, the Scots-Saxons crested the hill and made ready for battle to lift the siege of Lindisfarn and drive the vikings from their lands! Skuld mustered his men, thankful for his forsight to have them all armed and ready to make battle. The hosts lined up and clashed. Much blood was spilled that day, although it was not viking blood. The Scots-Saxons fought tenaciously, and forced the Vikings to fight for every foot they gave, but in the end it was not enough. The Scots-Saxons were chased from Lindisfarn and back to their capital. Read the battle report here.

Shortly after the Scots-Saxons retreated, Skuld sent a messenger to the defeated Scot-Saxons king Ceowulf. Skuld's hope was to bring an end to the Scots-Viking war as soon as possible, and so he requested that Ceowulf pay tribute to Norlaw and Norway as a whole. And so it was that Ceowulf accepted, and the Scots-Saxons payed tribute to the Vikings from Norway, and Ceowulf immediately returned to Lindisfarn to take counsel with Skuld on the year to come!

The Welsh are repelled from Britain!

While the Scots-Viking war was coming to a close in the north, the Welsh began their march on Salisbury in Britain. The Welsh invasion of Britain came to be from a mishandled dispatch sent to the wrong noble house from the king Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon of Wales. The calamity began when Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon became ill and was forced to bed. His feverish ravings were impossible to decipher, and so his second in command decided that the Welsh king had meant to invade the British. The invasion was short lived, as Marco ap Mynwyedig ap Cadwgan, the chief who lead the Welsh army was defeated and sent back to Swansea by the defending British.

The Danes and the Irish held their hosts at bay in the spring of 847. Perhaps it was prudence, perhaps it was hope for peace, or perhaps it was simply to leave time for their war plans to mature. And so ended the spring of 847.

The spring of 847 saw considerably less blood than the previous spring of 846. After only one year, the kings of the lands had learned much, however, the lessons were paid for with many lives! The lack of bloodshed had less to do with armies refusing to give battle, as was the case in autumn of 846, and was due to armies and kings being more reluctant to carry out invasions. With the defensive posture of the Welsh paying off in 846, I think that more than a few kings have realized it might be better to act last and with prudence than to invade and pay the consequences of a long year with a reduced army.

This season also saw very one-sided battles. Throughout the gaming, many expressions of 'he didn't lose any elements?' were made. The thing that I love about campaigns is that not only do your own battles mean something in some greater scheme, but so do the battles of others. Who defeated whom, whose army was reduced in elements (making them less of a threat) and who's cities fell to whom are all very important questions for everyone in the campaign... No doubt more than a few plans were changed as the spring of 847 came to a close. Another aspect of one-sided battles in campaigns is that the winners gain much prestige, which ultimately counts for a lot when the campaign ends and the numbers are tallied.

Finally, this season saw the first tributary relationship formed; it was between the Norwegians and the Scots-Saxons. The Norwegians and the Scots-Saxons took council together at the end of spring 847 as well, and so that relationship may indeed have an effect on the remainder of the year. For the Welsh, due to an unfortunate set of circumstances were defeated for the first time in the campaign. Unfortunately, the Welsh king did indeed fall ill, and he couldn't make it to the gaming session... Also, he failed to pass on his intentions explicitly to anyone, and so his move was made based on what he had said he would do in the previous session. As a consequence, the Welsh warband met the cavalry of the British in Britain and were soundly defeated... It may bode ill for the Welsh in the future, but then again, it may not... Below are the standings at the end of spring 847.

KingdomCities HeldNumber of CitiesPrestige for battles Prestige for CitiesArmy Size
NorwayKaupang (Capitol), Storholmen, Bergen, Lund, Jarrow, and Lindifarn68.11812
BritainLondon (Capitol), York, and Salisbury37.999
WalesSkokholm (Capitol), Swansea, and Lanbedrgoch3797
IrelandLimerick (Capitol), Dublin, and Cork32.299
ScotlandDumbarton (Capitol) and Iona2067
DenmarkRoskhilde (Capitol), and Hedeby2065

847 - Beginning of the Year  
March 24th, 2009

The map at the beginning of 847, with armies positioned as declared by their rulers!. Click here for a larger version.

As the spring of 847 melts the ice over Norway and drives away the freezing rains off of the rest of the campaign world, the kingdoms prepare for the inevitable. Armies are mustered, plans are made, and wars are declared. At the beginning of the year the initiative goes to the Norwegians, and then to the Welsh, Scots-Saxons, Ireland, the Danes, and finally Britain in that order.

At the outset of the year, the Norwegians declared war on everyone with the exception of the Welsh. Apparently the Norwegian-Welsh alliance will hold for 847! The Welsh declared war only on the British, the Scots-Saxons declared war only on Ireland, the Irish declared war only on the Welsh, the Danes declared war only on the British and finally the British declared war on nobody. Interestingly, there are two kingdoms (the Welsh and the Danes) who are at war solely with Britain, and also the Norwegians, who are at war with Britain as well as others. It could be a rough year for the British! The Irish may yet again invade Wales, and the Scots-Saxons, having no luck against the British and the Welsh, are now planning to march on Ireland! Notably, nobody declared war on the Norwegians!

In the campaign setting, declarations of war play a key role in the game. A kingdom can only invade another if it is at war with the kingdom it plans to invade. War is only declared at the beginning of the year and cannot be changed until the following year. As a consequence of this, players have to have a thought for the entire coming year when they make their declarations of war! Furthermore, declaring war makes it difficult for allied contingents to be sent as well. The rules are quite particular about exactly who can send allies to whom. Here are the details.. An allied contingent:

  • Cannot be sent to aid someone you or your tributary overlord are at war with,
  • Cannot be sent to aid an invasion of someone you are not at war with,
  • Can be sent to help defend against invasion as long as you are not at war with the player you are sending aid to
  • Can be sent to a tributary overlord upon request, ignoring all the above restrictions.
So, as you can see, it's quite a lot to consider at the beginning of the year! So, now that he information is out there, players can start strategizing! Below is the outline of the state of each of the kingdoms in the campaign at the beginning of the year 847. Note that it is exactly the same as the end of 846, with the exception that each kingdom has had their armies reinforced according to the number of cities they control!

KingdomCities HeldNumber of CitiesPrestige for battles Prestige for CitiesArmy Size
NorwayKaupang (Capitol), Storholmen, Bergen, Lund, and Jarrow54.41512
WalesSkokholm (Capitol), Swansea, and Lanbedrgoch37912
BritainLondon (Capitol), York, and Salisbury32.9912
IrelandLimerick (Capitol), Dublin, and Cork32.299
ScotlandDumbarton (Capitol), Lindisfarn, and Iona30911
DenmarkRoskhilde (Capitol), and Hedeby2065

Turn 3 - Autumn 846  
March 24th, 2009

The campaign map at the end of 846, the first year of the campaign has ended! Click here for a larger version.

With the biting winds of autumn dampening the air and turning the grass brown, many kingdoms only fortified their holdings during the last few campaigning months of 846. The Danes were the first, the British and the Irish followed suit. The British and the Irish both were still reeling from the loss of their supposed alliance with the Welsh, and so neither would make battle!

The Scots-Saxons, eager for a victory that they had been deprived of, marched to war! Their target was the Welsh Kingdom of Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon! But before they could march, they had to get the leave of both the British and the Norwegians to pass through Jarrow and attack the Welsh city of Swansea. Both the British and the Norwegians were busy with their own wars to pay any mind to the Scots-Saxons, and so after taking council with the Welsh, Skuld and Culhwch Pendragon gave the Scots-Saxons their leave.

Scots-Saxons are repelled from Wales!

As the host of Ceowulf marched to Swansea, they were ambushed by the pantless, messy-haired horde of Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon. The Scots-Saxons did not leave the battlefield without bloodying the Welsh, but they bloodied them not nearly enough. The Welsh smashed the lines of the Scots-Saxons, sending them back to their homes in Lindisfarn!

With his great victory over the invading Saxons, Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon lead his horde to their wicker boats and sailed for Cork! The Irish, wise beyond their many centuries of warfare, chose not to make battle against their Welsh cousins and let Cork stand the Welsh siege unaided. Despite their best efforts, the Welsh failed to take the city and were forced to return home licking their wounds to Skokholm to overwinter.

But it wasn't that all sieges failed in the autumn of 846. Skuld and his host pressed their attack on the weakened wall of Jarrow and smashed through the city's defences. Jarrow was claimed by Skuld for Norway, and northern Britain was claimed by the Norwegians as Norlaw! Many slaves were sold, and much loot was taken into the horded gold of Skuld Cityfeller! With the fall of Jarrow, the year of 846 ended. Much blood was spilled, many lands were put to the torch... but what would be in store for 847?

After two seasons of bloody conflict, autumn was a time of rest for half of the kingdoms involved in the warfares that raged. With such a bloody spring, and a still bloody summer, it isn't too surprising. Standing a siege was the choice of more than a few rulers this season as well; with the odds on the side of the besieged in the later part of the year, it certainly allows players to conserve their armies for the coming carnage of 847! And in the end, the Welsh, who played the roll of the defender for most of the campaign have ended up with a very strong lead indeed! Below are the current standings.

KingdomCities HeldNumber of CitiesPrestige for battles Prestige for CitiesArmy Size
NorwayKaupang (Capitol), Storholmen, Bergen, Lund, and Jarrow54.4159
WalesSkokholm (Capitol), Swansea, and Lanbedrgoch3799
BritainLondon (Capitol), York, and Salisbury32.998
IrelandLimerick (Capitol), Dublin, and Cork32.295
ScotlandDumbarton (Capitol), Lindisfarn, and Iona3097
DenmarkRoskhilde (Capitol), and Hedeby2062

Turn 2 - Summer 846  
March 24th, 2009

The campaign map at the end of the summer turn in summer 846. Jarrow is under seige! Click here for a larger version.

As the summer dawned a new day over the northlands, Jarnskeggi of Daneland readied his mighty fleet of longships. The past battles of the spring grew in him the desire for foreign shores. With a new Danish-Norwegian pact of friendship, he rallied his hosts to sail to Britain and capture the city of York from the British. And so, as the sun shone on their backs in the clear, calm summer sky, the Danes set sail.

The Danes landed outside of York and were readying for a siege when the forces of Culhwch Pendragon crested a hill in defence of the city. Jarnskeggi ordered his hird to form up for battle immediately. Unfortunately, the arrival of the British king forced him to abandon the defenses of his camp, and so his ditch and palisade was left unfinished. He was sure that the British would not stand against the might of the Danes. Also, Jarnskeggi knew that a host of Scots-Saxons were on their way from Scotland to help in the invasion of Britain. With the help of Ceowulf of Scotland Jarnskeggi was sure he could capture York.

Unfortunately for Jarnskeggi, Culhwch Pendragon forged a pact the the same Irish ruler that he had invaded earlier that year! Padraigh Olafsonhad sworn to send the British king troops to aid in the defence of Britain against the Danes. And so, as Jarnskeggi and his Scots-Saxon allies took to the field, a host from Ireland arrived to the aid of the British... And at that act, word spread around the islands that the Irish and the British would stand together in the defence of their collective realms against any invaders, be they Vikings, Scots-Saxons, or the Welsh!

Jarnskeggi sent back to Daneland

Again, with the sun to their backs, the Danish host advanced on the British. As the battle raged, the Danish line failed to hold. Perhaps they were too few in number, or met unprepared by the arrival of the British, but calamity hit the Danes. The battle shifted and Jarnskeggi himself came under brutal attack from the British. His royal guard was unable to turn the British attack, and Jarnskeggi himself was taken prisoner! At that moment, the unprepared defenses of the Danish camp were breached, and the Irish did much pillaging! The Danish hird that could escape made for their ships and returned to Hedeby in Daneland... Unfortunately for the Danes, the loss of their fearless leader Jarnskeggi saw their numbers further diminish, bringing their army down to a strength of only two units! And the Scots-Saxons, having lost a unit from their allied contingent during the battle, marched back to Scotland through Jarrow.

Given that both the Scots-Saxons and the Norse-Irish took part in the the Danish invasion of York neither could muster the funds or social support to carry out their own invasions. Meanwhile the Welsh King Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon stayed within his walls, plotting and strategizing on how his warriors would best be spent. At the moment, the Welsh King was certain that they were best kept well and fully for the defense of the kingdom, and so he lead no invasion. However, although Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon's hosts were not marching, his messengers were quite busy. Taunts, jeers, and challenges were being issued to the Norwegion Viking warlord Skuld Prowrider. Skuld would not sit idly, and returned the challenges, promising that if Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon would not come out of his lands to make battle then Skuld would find him there and bring his army to the blades of the vikings!

Skuld lays siege to Jarrow, the Brits refuse to make battle!

To make good on his promises to the Welsh, Skuld Prowrider asked for leave from the British to pass through Jarrow and invade the Welsh lands. The British refused, claiming that they would play no role in the wars between the Welsh and the Vikings. Unfortunately for the villagers on the British cost, and for the British King Pendragon, Skuld Prowrider had a promise to keep to Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon. And so, being a man of his word, Skuld mustered his host and found himself riding the waves of the great northern sea to raid the coasts of Britain, and finally lay siege to Jarrow. The British would play a role in Skuld's wars, whether they liked to or not...

As the Vikings of Skuld Prowrider landed, runners were sent through the lands of the island kings. Skuld had resolved to make a foothold on the island, and was looking for allies. With hope that the two great kings could make peace in spite of their previous unease, Skuld sent word of truce and alliance to Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon, along with a great gift of plunder that had been taken along the British coast! Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon returned a runner also bearing the gifts taken from the repelled Irish, and the two great kings made peace! Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon agreed to send allies to Skuld in his attack on Jarrow, as neither the Irish nor the British would accept his overlordship! Skuld also received word from Ceowulf of Scotland that he could expect aid from the Scots-Saxons in his invasion.

With number against him, the British King Pendragon decided he would not make battle against the Viking-Welsh-Scot alliance and so ordered his people to withstand the Viking siege of Jarrow. Skuld pressed his siege and attacked the walls relentlessly for the entire summer, but his Vikings were unable to capture the city. And so, the summer of 846 ended.

The first player's move during the summer of 846 saw the Danes invade Britain, with no success. That marks the second time the British were invaded and able to turn the invaders. This time, they had the help of the Irish, who they had recently invaded themselves and were repulsed by! The British army actually earned 4 prestige points for the battle because they destroyed the Danish General's element and sacked their camp for four points. The Irish also earned one point because they destroyed one Scots-Saxon element. Danes only had 8 elements during the battle, and the British had 11, the prestige calculation for both factions was was adjusted by a factor of 8/11, giving the Brits 2.9 prestige and the Irish about 0.7.

As for the invasion of Britain, the Norwegians certainly attempted it, and managed to make camp around the British town of Jarrow. With the surprise alliance between the Norwegian Vikings and the Welsh, the British refused to give battle and the Norwegians were forced to lay siege to the city. However, they would have to sail the stormy north seas back to Norway in defeat unless they can take the city in the autumn! Below are the current standings.

KingdomCities HeldNumber of CitiesPrestige for battles Prestige for CitiesArmy Size
NorwayKaupang (Capitol), Storholmen, Bergen, and Lund44.4129
BritainLondon (Capitol), York, Salisbury, and Jarrow42.9128
WalesSkokholm (Capitol), Swansea, and Lanbedrgoch34911
IrelandLimerick (Capitol), Dublin, and Cork32.295
ScotlandDumbarton (Capitol), Lindisfarn, and Iona30911
DenmarkRoskhilde (Capitol), and Hedeby2062

Turn 1 - Spring 846  
January 19th, 2008

The campaign map at the end of spring 846. Click here for a larger version.

As the pale spring sun rises over the land, the warriors of the west prepare to make war on each other. Each kind musters his forces, prepares his baggage trains, and readies for war. The fates decided that the Danes would have the initiative, being able to start the bloodshed! The Danes were followed by the Scotts, then the Irish, the Welsh, the Norwegians, and finally the English.

Jarnskeggi invades and is repulsed!

The spring of 846 had sprung, and as the peasants were preparing their fields, tending their flocks, and shearing their sheep - all of the real work to keep the world going around -, the armies of Jarnskeggi Bluetooth of the Danes were landing on the shores of Norway! Bent on creating a Skandanavian empire, Jarnskeggi declared war on Norway and landed just outside the fortified harbour of Storholmen.

The ruler Skuld Darkhair of Norway, having a horde of hirdmen dying to bloody their axes, marched forth to defend the city vowing never to let the Danes make purchase on Norwegian lands! The battle was fought and much blood was spilled (check out the battle report here!). The day-long pushing match ended when Jarnskeggi of the Danes finally lost his right flank, allowing Skuld's Norwegians to get in behind the Danish lines and wreak havok. Jarnskeggi and his Danes were sent limping back to Lund with four less elements in their army, while Skuld managed to lose only two.

The Scots-Saxons invade, and then think better of it and leave!

Just as the longships of Jarnskeggi were retreating back to their Danish coasts, Ceowulf of Scotland was declaring war on the British and moving to attack their city of Jarrow. Jarrow, being the most central city this side of Germany, was going to be highly coveted, and Ceowulf would be the first to make a play for it. So, on Ceowulf's Saxons marched only to be met by the the defender of the city: Culhwch Pendragon of England and host. Both armies took to the field. The Saxons of Scotland set up on a hill and watched the Romano-Brits ride around for about an hour before both armies sent a parley and agreed that the Scots-Saxons would withdraw and return to their own lands. Neither side drew any blood, and Ceowulf's Saxons weren't exactly sure of their Scottish-Saxon king! But Ceowulf himself was sure it would be better to live today, and so be able to fight again tomorrow!

The Irish invade Wales, and are sent
home licking their wounds!

Meanwhile, the half-naked Irish hordes of Padraigh Olafson, declaring war on Wales, took to their ships and landed near the Welsh city of Skokholm. Having yet to spill any blood or lose a single man this year Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon, general of the Welsh army, met the Irish on the beaches. Although Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon had had difficulty repulsing the Irish before, his steadfast determination saw him through this day as he sent the Irish running to their ships! Would this battle be an ominous forshadow of the fate of any others that would land on the shores of Wales? That has yet to be seen, but with his defeat, Padraigh Olafson looked forward to an Irish Rebellion when he landed on Ireland with an ship ampty of valuable slaves!

Sean ap Cadwalladr ap Maelcon, triumphant in defending his realm, marched his army back to his capitol city of Lanbedrgoch; refusing to make battle on any other realms this early in the year he was certain he would be able to keep his army large enough to defend against all comers until winter!

Skuld's Norwegians capture Lund!

At this point, the Norwegian armies of Skuld Darkhair were itching to take some landholds of their own. Skuld Darkhair, who wasn't one to refuse a fight declared war on every nation that existed! No saxon/welsh/irish/british/dane would be guaronteed peace this spring if Skuld had his way! But, there was the issue of those Danes who had only weeks ago attempted to capture Storholmen. So, Skuld sent a parley to Jarnskeggi asking for a truce, and maybe an alliance. Jarnskeggi, still angry at his loss put the emissary's head on a spike and sent his rotting body back to Skuld. Skuld would take no insult, and so the Norwegians marched on the Danish city of Lund. Jarnskeggi fielded his army against the Norwegian invaders, looking pained at its reduced size since the last time they crossed axes with the Norwegian hordes. The battle that insued was a quick bloody afair, seeing the Norwegians destory 3/8s of the Danish army with no loss to themselves (a quick note here that this was the first battle fought between forces with a different number of elements: the Danes had eight while the Norwegians had 10). While the Danes sailed back to Roskhilde, the Norwegians sacked Lund and took many slaves! Lund would be the first city to fall to an invader in 846. Confident that Jarnskeggi wouldn't behead another emissary, Skuld sent word to the Danes offering that Skuld would be their overlord. Jarnskeggi returned the emissary with his head as well as his word that the Danes would ally, but not become a tributary of, the Nowegians... Skuld sat in his new throne in Lund for the remainder of the spring considering the Dane's proposal...

The under-dog Irish repel the British!

Finally, the British, lead by Culhwch Pendragon finally got the initiative to move. Taking advantage of the very well positioned city of Jarrow Culhwch Pendragon went after Dublin. He had an urge to expand his realm, and knowing that the Irish were fresh from defeat and dwindled in size, he attacked. The Romano-British landed outside the city and were met by the remains of Padraigh Olafson's forces. Cautiously Culhwch Pendragon lead his forces toward the Irish, but the Irish had their own game to play. Using their skills at ambush, the Irish struck deeply into the lines of the Romano-British time and again. The British attempted to raid the irish camp and failed, but did manage to fell some of the Irish in the chase. In the end, the under-dog Irish army repulsed the British, and Culhwch Pendragon was sent back to Jarrow, stopping at the Isle of Man for a quick feast to bolster the moral of his remaining army! Just as Culhwch Pendragon's army marched to the gates of Jarrow, the spring was ended and the summer sun was dawning...

Overall the first turn of the campaign was a lot of fun! One thing that pretty much everybody agreed with was that a campaign game is a lot more tense than a standard one off game... In a standard game, without any context to the battle, losing doesn't having meaning beyond the battle being faught. In a campaign on the other hand, a lost battle means that you just lost a city... and the enemy armies may be marching on your capitol in the next season!

Another thing that the players quickly realized was that aggression has consequences. All but one invasion that was carried out failed, leaving the invading armies with only 2/3s of their original army. In DBA, fighting with fewer elements is likely to end in disaster... So, I imagine invaders will be a lot more cautious in the coming turns and years; I know I will be! So what will happen in the rest of 846? I imagine that most realms will sit tight and defend, with the likely exception of the Scots, who have yet to see a real battle and who are still at full stength. Given that most armies are quite a bit below their original strength, invasion that happen in summer and autumn will likely be settled with sieges as opposed to having fields armies meet field armies in battle... But only the gods truly know what will happen next! Below, check out the table with the current standings:

KingdomCities HeldNumber of CitiesPrestige for battles Prestige for CitiesArmy Size
NorwayKaupang (Capitol), Storholmen, Bergen, and Lund44.41210
WalesSkokholm (Capitol), Swansea, and Lanbedrgoch33911
BritainLondon (Capitol), York, Salisbury, and Jarrow40128
ScotlandDumbarton (Capitol), Lindisfarn, and Iona30912
IrelandLimerick (Capitol), Dublin, and Cork31.595
DenmarkRoskhilde (Capitol), and Hedeby2065

846 - Beginning of the Campaign  
December 31st, 2008

The campaign map at the outset of the campaign. Click here for a larger version.

The campaign is all set. Above is the map of everything in its initial position. Keep in mind that the players will secretely write down the locations of their armies at the beginning of the first campaign turn/season, and so their armies are not likely to be on their capitols; I wanted to represent the armies though so I figured that was a good place to put them. Below is the player prestige rank table. Currently everyone has zero prestige points as the campaign hasn't started.

This 'turns' section of the Circa 800CE campaign will give a more detailed account of each turn. A single map will be included with every entry and will correspond with the end of a turn, or potentially the middle of a turn, depending on how long it takes to get through three seasons. Likewise with the prestige table below. So, stay tuned to this page for all the blow-by-blow action, links to potential battle reports, as well as details on bad dice rolls (for ocean crossings as an example) and other conundrums as they occur!

KingdomCities HeldNumber of CitiesPrestige for battles Prestige for CitiesArmy Size
BritainLondon (Capitol), York, Salisbury, and Jarrow401212
IrelandLimerick (Capitol), Dublin, and Cork30912
WalesSkokholm (Capitol), Swansea, and Lanbedrgoch30912
ScotlandDumbarton (Capitol), Lindisfarn, and Iona30912
NorwayKaupang (Capitol), Storholmen, and Bergen30912
DenmarkRoskhilde (Capitol), Hedeby, and Lund30912