It is now late Summer in the 473rd year after the birth of our Lord and Blessed Saviour Jesus Christ. I, Publicus Librarius, scribe to his Royal Majesty King Mascuidius of Linnius do chronicle the days of kingdom and the coming of the dread Saex.
“Oh woeful day!! The wailing of women and babes in arms is fearful to our ears! The cries of wounded soldiery doth grip my soul and break my spirit! Can it be that Our Lord and Saviour has deserted us? Is the Day of Judgement at hand?
Scarce days ago our brave forces did engage the Saex in battle North of the city. The omens were poor, as the army had been severely bested in a previous encounter on the road. Morale was low among the soldiery and the Praefectus Andrucius was heard openly challenging his Majesty King Mascuidius in his view about meeting the Saex in open field. However, one does not argue long with his majesty and live and so it was that the Praefectus led the army to battle.
The day opened with a challenge of champions in the Old Stone Circle and thus it was that Bedwyr of the swift sword, son of Emrys of the Saxon Shore, Slayer of Franks, Goths and Burgundians, protector of the legacy of Rome, bodyguard to Praefectus Andrucius did step forth to fight. Long was the duel that day and by God’s mercy, Bedwyr did triumph! This did raise the morale of the army in significant measure, but not enough to guarantee victory.
The shieldwall did form atop the great hills, but it availed not! The Saex, bolstered by heathen warriors from across the Irish Sea did outflank the shieldwall, doing mighty execution and forcing our warriors from the field in ignominious rout. Never has the like been seen in the days of our kingdom!
Now we are besieged within the city. The Praefectus assures us that the walls will hold for long enough to regain the strength of our army and that we shall then break out and drive them from our lands once more – “Remember the Great Victory!” he cries. “We have bested them once and we can do so again. Yet, this is but a hollow boast. The Saex have bested us in near enough every encounter. There are those within the kingdom who speak of abandoning our lands and seeking sanctuary across the Saxon Sea in the land of the Bretons. Privately, I believe the Praefectus agrees with them!
The Praefectus has visited me this past evening, as I tended the wounded. We talked at great length. He fears that he only retains his title, his lands, his role as army commander (and indeed his head) because there are no others to take his place. He fears the Saex Lord, who fights more like a Roman than a barbarian. Not for this Saxon the mad rush into the shieldwall, but rather a measured approach to the battle, the wide outflanking move, the discipline in his warriors not to attack until the very best moment. This man is a dangerous enemy. The Praefectus also informs me that new warrior bands have joined the Saex to join in their glory and in our slaughter. This makes it even harder for us to win the day. How can we take them on with the levy, when they are both better warriors and fight with greater discipline?
The Praefectus is a man who now keeps only his own company. He will do as he says and lead the army out to fight another day. What will happen on that day, only our Lord and Blessed Saviour knows…”
Have you ever had one of those games where it goes wrong on the very first move and gets dramatically worse from there on in? Oh, and you can’t actually stop it happening because you descend into ‘muppetville’ and ‘buffoon-land’ where each new decision you take is even more stupid than the last? No? Lucky you! It happened to me on Monday as Mike and I got together to play Dux Britanniarum at wargames club. I had played Dux Bellorum 3 weeks in a row and Black Powder before that and had entirely forgotten some very key facts about how to play these rules. And I was simply stoopid!!!!!!!!
I deployed badly, played woefully and lost massively, all helped by the fact that Mike deployed well, played exceptionally well and gained a victory to match! Horrible, horrible, horrible! Oh, AND I had some really shite dice as well! And Mike didn't, not this time... A whopping 6 point defeat leaving the campaign squarely in Mike’s hands. I have no cash to recruit mercenaries or do anything. He has foederati skirmishers AND an extra 6 warriors, meaning that, in every battle from now on, he is almost bound to win, as I have to stay in shieldwall to have any chance, but as soon as I do, he’ll outflank and destroy me again. My only hope is to make some evil terrain to anchor my flanks on and to completely reconsider my entire approach to the game, not an easy thing to do!! I do have one tiny plan I intend to try, but that’s a secret as Mike will be reading this!!!
And that’s all I’ll say about it… I didn’t enjoy it at all, simply because I knew I was playing really badly but couldn’t seem to stop myself…horrible!!!!! Still, good job I was playing with Mike as he doesn’t gloat at all, which was very kind of him!!!
Anyway, we reconvene after Salute for the attempted break out!
Here’s some pics of my ignominious demise…
|Duel of Champions!!!|
|Flanking move developing...|
|Even now it ain't a disaster...|
|Result...Hearthguard routed, warriors all dead and morale on 0!!! Ooops...|