It is late in the 474th year after the birth of our Lord and Blessed Saviour. I, Publicus Librarius, scribe to his Royal Majesty King Mascuidius of Linnius, do chronicle the days of the coming of the dread Saex.
“It is now some time since the days of woe when the fair city did fall. We have regrouped to the South and continue much as before, although many of our people still mourn the loss of the fair city of our Roman fathers. In truth, many of the people did stay behind and do now call the Saex leader ‘Lord’. This does not surprise the noble Praefectus, who fully understands the ways of the common folk. The Saex lord needs men to work the land and the common folk need land to work. They simply replace one lord with another. At least now their lands will not be raided by the Saex.
Once again, the Saex lord looks South. Now he claims the title of king for himself, he will need to maintain the prestige of a powerful warrior and will need to maintain a healthy purse – he has a kingdom (albeit a small one) to run and one cannot run a kingdom without gold.
The Praefectus has spies in the old province and reports did reach his ears that the Saex planned to capture a noble Briton for ransom. They tried this before with the noble Geraint and it seemed that they would try a similar tactic again, ambushing a patrol between the watchtowers on the border.
On this occasion, news reached us that the target of their raid would be a patrol of warriors led by the diminutive noble, Maximus Minimus. The young man had shown great courage in the fight for the city, holding the right flank for much of the battle. His reward has been greater responsibility and the right to command the Milites on appropriate occasions.
Thus, the Praefectus did deploy the Commanipulares and the Pedyt ready to march out to escort Maximus to safety. His intervention was timely, as, at the same moment, the Saex raiders’ vanguard did appear, launching a furious assault that drove the Pedyt under Geraint back in some confusion, despite an heroic stand. Maximus Minimus, seeing in the distance the assault on his brethren, marched his men with all speed towards the action. As his warriors passed by the woods to their left flank, they were ambushed by the main body of Saex warriors. Unable to form shieldwall, they fought valiantly, sacrificing their lives so that the brave young Maximus could escape.
At this point, with the Milites fleeing and with the Saex having suffered equally grevious loss, including the destruction of the Scots-Irish mercenary band who had plagued our forces in recent encounters, the Praefectus ordered a general withdrawal. The Saex pursuit was lacklustre.
With the remaining Milites finding their way back to the main body overnight, the Praefectus declared a victory. Although a somewhat small consolation, it has nonetheless raised the spirits of all in the kingdom and the perception of the populace that the Saex are invincible has now reduced.”
This was another great Dux Britanniarum game! I love raid scenarios!
In this one, we forgot (yet again!) that my watchtowers give me an extra turn before the Saex arrive. This may well have made a difference in this game, although in the event I can’t complain because the game was a very minor victory to me.
What this game demonstrated yet again was that the Fate cards are such a genius element of the game. By the time the Saex main body arrived, I had built a great Carpe Diem hand. I knew Mike had an equally good one, so the pivotal moment of the game rested on whether Maximus Minimus of the Saex hero activated first. Of course, The Saex card came up and the milites took a pasting. In the event, Mike had a ‘Step Forth’ card, so it was all irrelevant, but I didn’t know this and the tension it built up was brilliant!
This game also saw the arrival on-table of Mike’s new BIG (make that BIG hill) and the arrival of my new Champion to replace poor old Bedwyr who died when the city fell. The hill is really a sight to behold, as I hope the pics below demonstrate…
|...while Maximus Minimus makes all speed to reach safety.|
|Caught by Saxons with a nasty Carpe Diem hand...|
|...the Pedyt (levy) are pushed back up the hill, which actually was the best thing that could have happened. Had they been forced to fight again, it would have been a real disaster!|
|The Saxon main force arrives...lots and lots of 'em all heading for Maximus' patrol!|
|Maximus' men prepare to face the threat...|
|"Come on then...come and get us..." The Britons keep the Gedriht from joining the main Saxon force, but, equally, are unable to lend Maximus any assistance themselves.|
|Who will activate first?|
|The Saxons, obviously!!!! Where have all the Britons gone?|
|Maximus is safe, so the Britons withdraw...|
|Leaving the Saxons feeling somewhat cheated of their prey and of a victory.|
We reconvene for another raid tomorrow evening. I’ll try to post a report quicker than this time. There’s stuff going on which has reduced painting/blogging time to zero…hopefully that’ll begin to change over the next few weeks.
Next week, hopefully a Ride To Ruin playtest game and the next Dux Brit raid...