The campaign for the South West begins...
Leofric of Glastonbury, Book of Days, Spring 1068.
The Norman invader continues to strengthen his grip upon our blessed realm. Already his ugly towers spring up across our lands like some heaven sent plague of boils. They have even fooled our holy leaders in Rome in to supporting their cause. It is well known that Harold (may he rest in the company of angels) was tricked in to swearing fealty to William on the bones of the saints.
But that is not all. The accursed Welsh, instead of standing with the men of this land and opposing our common foe, are raiding across the marches taking cattle, women and anything else they can carry off.
Brother Eadberht, our most revered scholar reminds us daily that we must not despair and must continue to place our faith in or Lord and Saviour. By the power of prayer and devotion we shall yet triumph against our enemies!
To this end, our Lord Hrothgar Godwinson, youngest scion of that noble house, has taken a valuable relic to the house of St Ecgwine near Glouceastre. It was there in the year of our Lord 702 that true Saxon men, guided by the divine light of the holy Ecgwine, triumphed over a host of Welsh and Irish raiders. Not only that but after the battle, with the countryside lain bare, the holy Ecgwine did command the Salmon to leap from the river Saefern. Thus fed, our soldiers chased the raider back across the hills and inflicted a terrible slaughter. Thus, where better to renew our faith? The Good Lord will look kindly upon the donation of the Blessed Toe-bone of St Cuthbert to so worthy a place.
Lord Hrothgar summoned his best soldiers, clad in shining mail with keen spears and sword. He also considered it wise to take further supplies as a gift for the monks - for has not this winter been cruel indeed. Hearing of most holy cause, a number of ordinary folk took up arms and accompanied them. It was clear that Lord Hrothgar thought them of dubious military value, but such zeal cannot be ignored.
Now some pics of the game...
For this game we played the Escort scenario from SAGA. As you can see in the (clickable) picture below. Hrothgar, crossing the farmlands near the Abbey of St Ecgwine, and hearing tales of Welsh raiders, has formed his men in to a tight guard around the monks and wagons.
The raiders were the Welsh, led by none other than the fearsome 'Caradoc ap Theoden'.
He had brought his ships across the Saefern in search of loot and
plunder. The wagons of Hrothgar's force were simply too tempting a
Hrothgar decides that he cannot possibly get all three sets of baggage safely across the table. Especially as many of the enemy are mounted - on stolen Saxon horses no doubt! In the picture below you can see that one of the wagons (with a fine pig) has been abandoned save for a small guard of warriors. Perhaps the enemy horsemen will be tempted to capture it?
Yes they are tempted! Caradoc "bravely" sends his men forward to deal with the baggage guards whilst he ... er ... shouts encouragement? Not that they needed it, they swept in a slaughtered all eight warriors.
They they set about the wagon and pig itself. In this scenario the baggage must be destroyed in combat. Hrothgar and his trusty Huscarls look on with some dismay. However, the Saxon's clever plan was working! Good sets of SAGA dice rolls were mostly used to keep the force moving towards the safety of the opposite board edge.
In this picture we see that Hrothgar continues to keep his men heading north. One group of Huscarls accompany the remaining wagon, whilst another forms a defensive screen around the monks carrying the relic.
With only one poor Saxon warrior remaining on the southern edge of the board Caradoc shows his true mettle and decides that this is a fight he might win ... as long as he has some help. Needless to say the Saxon was slaughtered although with his dying breath he slew one of the Welsh Teulu!
With much of the Welsh force busy elsewhere, Hrothgar kept his force moving, though a timely attack by a large band of Welsh warriors 'lurking' near the northern edge of the field ransacked the last of the wagons. But this did mean that the monks were able to hitch up their robes and make it to safety.
Technically this was a draw, but since the Saxons were able to get the Blessed Toe-bone of St Cuthbert safely through to the Abbey of St Ecgwine and the Holy Salmon, I think this is clearly a moral victory for the Saxons.
Leofric of Glastonbury, Book of Days, Spring 1068 ... a few days later.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Allelujah and rejoice! Messengers bring news of a great slaughter of our foemen and the success of our Lord Hrothgar! Safely has the Blessed Toe-bone of St Cuthbert been brought to the Abbey of the Holy Salmon at Glouceastre.On the roads to the north our brave men were waylaid by Welsh raiders, but through stout Saxon heart and sharp Saxon sword has the enemy been routed. They will think twice before the cross the hills in search of our treasures again.