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The Danish Invasion of 1070

A Scenario for Ravenfeast

(Image courtesy of Wargames Tonight.)

Background

It is 1070 AD, and England has fallen to the Normans. But not everyone is happy with their new masters, and there is considerable unrest in the north. A Danish force has landed the preceding summer in the Humber, and has been fighting against the Normans in support of Anglo-Saxon rebels. The rebellion is harshly put down, but while William is busy in the north, another Viking fleet arrives, and together the Danes sail south to East Anglia, where there are fewer Normans to stop them from raiding and looting.

This scenario pits a small force of Normans and the Anglo-Saxon residents against a Danish raiding party with two factions, and potentially different agendas. The ships have landed and the Vikings are coming to attack an Anglian settlement. Forewarned, the local villagers have asked their new overlords for protection, but are not sure what the response will be.

The Tabletop

The map below shows the village and its environs. The dotted lines are fenced-in areas for livestock; there is also a field. These have barriers around them which provide protection from missiles and in melee. The hill is smooth and provides no cover - the woods are rough and do. Ships may not land on the rocky headland in the middle of the coast - it is rough and will provide cover to troops on it.

The Norman warband will enter fron a table edge (A, B, C, or D) which is specified before any other set-up takes place. They may enter on or after the first turn at any point. The Anglo-Saxon warbands will set up in and around the buildings and fields of their village, within the perimeter drawn to include all buildings and fields. The Danes will dice for each ship, with high scores placing their ships anywhere along the coastline (except on the headland) before low scores. All Danish ships are placed on the first turn. All Danes start on their ships and must move off onto land: the ships do not move during play, but wait patiently to be sailed off at the end of the game or to be burnt during it(!).

Forces

The Danes are technically allied, as are the Normans and the Anglo-Saxons. The picture is more complicated, however, by the fact that these are uneasy alliances at best, characterized by competition stemming from greed. Everyone (including the Normans) wants what the Anglo-Saxons have! The forces below should be considered in light of the victory conditions, and the description of the various factions.

Anglo-Saxon

There are two groups of Anglo-Saxons, each lead by its own Lord. They are allies and will either win or lose together. They are protecting their settlement, and win if they are able to destroy the Viking ships and hang onto their own wealth.

Ealdorman Osferth

Type Number Move Missile Melee Armor Morale Traits Points
Ealdorman Osferth (Lord) 1 6" NA 5 5 5 Leader, Tough (3) 75
Bishop Swithulf (Hero) 1 6" NA 4 4 5 Hero, Tough (2) 46
Hearthguards 3 6" NA 4 4 4 Tough (2) 108 (@36)
Veteran Fyrd 4 6" NA 3 3 3 None 72 (@18)
Fyrd 6 6" NA 2 2 2 None 72 (@12)
Fyrd Archers 3 6" 2 (18") 2 2 2 None 54 (@18)
Yeoman Slingers 5 8" 2 (18") 1 1 1 None 70 (@14)

Total: 497 Points

Earl Wulfred

Type Number Move Missile Melee Armor Morale Traits Points
Earl Wulfred (Lord) 1 6" NA 5 5 5 Leader, Tough (3) 75
Thane Eadulf (Hero) 1 6" NA 4 4 5 Hero, Tough (2) 46
Hearthguards 3 6" NA 4 4 4 Tough (2) 108 (@36)
Veteran Fyrd 4 6" NA 3 3 3 None 72 (@18)
Fyrd 6 6" NA 2 2 2 None 72 (@12)
Fyrd Archers 3 6" 2 (18") 2 2 2 None 54 (@18)
Yeoman Slingers 5 8" 2 (18") 1 1 1 None 70 (@14)

Total: 497 Points

Normans

The Norman Lord is supposed to look out for his tenants, but since William is away up north fighting rebels, he is not above doing a little pillaging of the flock he is supposed to be tending. This is especially true as the local Saxon lords have sworn their emnity for him. The fate of the local villagers is a matter of indifference to him, but the fate of their gold is not. The Normans win by having more gold at the end of the game than anyone else!

Type Number Move Missile Melee Armor Morale Traits Points
Robert de Mortain (Mounted Lord) 1 14" NA 5 5 5 Mighty, Tough (3), Leader 86
Knights (Mounted) 5 14" NA 4 4 4 Mighty, Tough (2) 250 (@50)
Heavy Infantry 6 6" NA 3 3 3 None 108 (@18)
Spearmen 6 6" NA 2 2 2 None 72 (@12)
Archers 7 6" 2 (18") 2 2 2 None 126 (@18)

Total: 642 Points

Aggersborg Danes

There are two ships from the fortified Danish city of Aggersborg, each with a small warband lead by its own Jarl. These men are comrades and allies, and will win or lose together. Their goal is to sack the Saxon village and make it back to their ships with the plunder. While ostensibly allied to the other Danes from Trelleborg, in fact they are nothing more than competitors wearing similar clothes and speaking the same language (and, truth be told, they are a bit stinky and unwashed even for Vikings!)

Jarl Erik

Type Number Move Missile Melee Armor Morale Traits Points
Erik Snorisson (Jarl) 1 6" NA 5 5 5 Leader, Tough (3) 75
Bjarke the Red (Hero) 1 6" NA 4 4 5 Hero, Tough (2) 46
Berserkers 2 6" NA 4 (x2) 3 4 NA 60 (@30)
Huskarles 3 6" NA 4 4 4 Tough (2) 108 (@36)
Hirdmen 3 6" NA 3 3 3 None 54 (@18)
Shield Maidens 3 6" NA 3 3 3 None 54 (@18)
Bondi 3 6" NA 2 2 2 None 36 (@12)
Bondi Archers 3 6" 2 (18") 2 2 2 None 54 (@18)
Thralls 2 8" 1 (8") 1 1 1 None 18 (@9)

Total: 505 Points

Jarl Ranvir

Type Number Move Missile Melee Armor Morale Traits Points
Ranvir Balesson (Jarl) 1 6" NA 5 5 5 Leader, Tough (3) 75
Thorvald Flokisson (Hero) 1 6" NA 4 4 5 Hero, Tough (2) 46
Berserkers 3 6" NA 4 (x2) 3 4 NA 90 (@30)
Huskarles 3 6" NA 4 4 4 Tough (2) 108 (@36)
Hirdmen 2 6" NA 3 3 3 None 36 (@18)
Shield Maidens 3 6" NA 3 3 3 None 54 (@18)
Bondi 2 6" NA 2 2 2 None 24 (@12)
Bondi Archers 3 6" 2 (18") 2 2 2 None 54 (@18)
Thralls 2 8" 1 (8") 1 1 1 None 18 (@9)

Total: 505 Points

Trelleborg Danes

This is one larger Danish warband from the fortified city of Trelleborg, sailing in its own ship. The goal for this warband is to take as much plunder from the Saxons as possible and sail home with it. The other Danes from Aggersborg, while supposed allies, are really nothing but a convenience (there are even rumors that some of them might be Christians!) You do not care about them and will kill them if they get in your way - you are certain that they feel the same about you.

Type Number Move Missile Melee Armor Morale Traits Points
Kadir Oldrik (Jarl) 1 6" NA 5 5 5 Leader, Tough (3) 75
Lief Olafsson (Hero) 1 6" NA 4 4 5 Hero, Tough (2) 46
Hrodegir the Wretched (Berserker Hero) 1 6" NA 4 (x2) 3 5 Hero 40
Berserkers 3 6" NA 4 (x2) 3 4 NA 90 (@30)
Huskarles 4 6" NA 4 4 4 Tough (2) 144 (@36)
Hirdmen 2 6" NA 3 3 3 None 36 (@18)
Shield Maidens 2 6" NA 3 3 3 None 36 (@18)
Bondi 6 6" NA 2 2 2 None 72 (@12)
Bondi Archers 6 6" 2 (18") 2 2 2 None 108 (@18)
Thralls 2 8" 1 (8") 1 1 1 None 18 (@9)

Total: 665 Points

Special Rules and Victory Conditions

Shield Walls and Free Attacks

All figures which are neither thralls nor mounted may form shield walls per the rules. All figures in a shield wall may fight from a second rank (not restricted to spears). Figures starting their move in a shield wall may not fall out and form another one in the same turn.

Figures which are attacking from behind may choose to leave a melee without suffering a free attack from the figure whose back is to them. Note that facing in melees is selected at the start of the melee, and may not be adjusted during another player's movement.

Rune Cards and Gold! (and Geld)

Each warband will have 2 Rune Cards, drawn at the start of play. They are not replaced during the game.

The normal rules regarding Geld are not used in this scenario - you may not purchase Berserkers, Rerolls, or Rune Cards, etc. Gold is strictly a means of winning or losing the game. Gold is not held by any specific figure during play - once in possession of a faction as a result of a sack, it belongs to that faction unless willingly transferred to another, which is automatic and immediate.

There are four buildings in the game. The two largest may each be sacked 3 times; the medium-sized building twice, and the smallest building once. Sacking a building involves rolling a single die and adding 2: this is the amount of gold collected by that warband. Sacking requires that a figure not engaged in melee spend a movement action inside the building doing it. Sacking may be performed in a single location simultaneously by more than one figure in a single building.

At the end of play, the Anglo-Saxon warbands will be awarded any sackings which have not been performed (e.g., they still have the gold they buried). They are not allowed to sack their own buildings, but every other warband is.

Burning Ships

A figure may spend a turn lighting an enemy ship on fire by spending a move not engaged in melee next to it. Roll a die: on a 6 the fire does not catch - on any other score the ship lights up and is completely burned. For each burned ship (even if they did not do the burning) the Anglo-Saxons roll two dice at the end of the game and add this to their total of gold pieces to determine victory points.

Normans and Anglo-Saxons

The Anglo-Saxon warbands may not attack the Normans unless the Normans first attack them, or make a sack action on one of their buildings. This represents the uneasy relationship between these supposedly allied populations, and the longer-term consequences for the Anglo-Saxons if they start an ill-considered rebellion, which they will not do without provocation.

Everyone else can attack whoever they like, whenever they want.

Sides and Alliances

Players may form whatever alliances they wish during play. Initiative is diced for separately by each faction (Normans, Anglo-Saxons, Aggersborg Danes, Trelleborg Danes) and that sequence is observed for the duration of the turn in all phases. Players are allowed to exchange or promise payment of gold they do or may come to possess in whatever fashion seems good to them and their counter-parties. None of this is enforced in any way by the rules (I mean, look who we are dealing with here!).

Victory Conditions

The game is played until everyone agrees it is done. Whoever has the most gold, after performing the indicated additions and calculations for the Anglo-Saxons, is the winner.



By Arofan Gregory. Copyright (c) 2022. All rights reserved.