"The reason the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices it on a daily basis." - post-war German General's debriefing

The Anglo-Saxons

Starting Roster

Prologue

She read the letter again. It had been diplomatically worded, but the message was clear. Over the borders and across the sea, her enemies were restless, preparing for war. The charismatic, and in these dark times, well-educated Aethelflaed, Lady of Mercia was understandably concerned.

Not that the news had come as a surprise, though. The threat of invasion across the Anglo-Saxon borders had been building in the years since her father's death, and she had been wise to send spies into the adjacent lands to gather information. This fragile peace would not last long, she knew, and with the War Banner of her people prepared, she must now ready her army for the inevitable attacks.

Roster after Learn'd and Defend options, Campaign Season 1

Campaign Season 1

The Anglo-Saxons choose to Defend.

The word was sent around the whole of Mercia that Aethelflaed was raising an army, and during the year as trade improved, the ranks of her shieldwall swelled.

Although trade improved, the weather was bad in Britain this same year, and the crops failed in many fields. The harvest was poor, and Aethelflaed, in her wisdom, used money that she had gained to buy grain for her people.

The Anglo-Saxons roll Poor Harvest on the Fate table at the end of the Season, and suffer -1 point of Wealth.

Roster after Learn'd trait resolution, Campaign Season 2

Campaign Season 2

Aethelflaed once again proved herself a wise leader. The arrangements that she had built with merchants continued through the winter, and trade in the cold winter months was profitable, fully offsetting the effects of the year's poor harvest.

Before declaration of Campaign Actions, the Anglo-Saxons choose to gain +1 point of Wealth because of Aethelflaed's Learn'd trait.

Finally, the army was ready. Aethelflaed chose the strongest of her warriors and assigned then her war banner to carry into battle. Mercia was going to war at last.

Roster after the attempted invasion of York, Campaign Season 2

The Anglo-Saxon Invasion of York

The Anglo-Saxons choose to invade York, the capital of the Anglo-Danes.

And so, Aethelflaed led her army across the northern border of her land into the province of York, to claim it from the Anglo-Danes as her own. Aethlflaed's force attacked The Burh defended by Alfred Steptoe's warband, the Anglo-Danes having fled back to the city of Jorvik into hastily prepared defensive positions.

With the defenders handicapped by The Penny the Anglo-Saxons charged over the walls and into combat with Anglo-Danish warriors defending their Lord. The warriors were wiped out in the ensuing melee, leaving Alfred exposed to the continuing assault. But Alfred showed his experience, surpassing his deceased son in skill, and repelled his assailants twice in desperate fight. A second unit of warriors arrived to support Alfred, launching an attack on the Anglo-Saxon levy and throwing them back across the walls. Their retreat exposed a fresh unit of Anglo-Saxon hearthguard, who came under heavy fire from defending archers manning the tower. One man fell while the remaining three renewed the attack, again mauling the Anglo-Danish warriors and leaving Alfred fighting for his life alone. God was with the Anglo-Danish Lord, though, who not only survived the onslaught, but killed all of the enemy hearthguard singlehandedly.

With disappointment, Aetheflaed surveyed the battlefield and realised the day was lost. Being a ruler of compassion and mercy she ordered her warband to retreat, to lick their wounds and fight another day.

Aethelflaed paid one point of Wealth for use of The Penny. Her force lost one Hearthguard, three Levy and four Warriors. She recruited to replace all the Warriors but was forced to merge two Hearthguard units and two Levy units to make her Roster legal.

Roster after defending against Norman raiders, Campaign Season 2

Repelling the Norman Raiders

The Anglo-Saxons hear of Norman plans to raid the south of their country, and hurriedly return to East Wessex to defend their homeland.

Aethelflaed had little time to relax. The disappointment of the failure to capture Jorvik had now been compounded with the news that a Norman army, thinking her nation now vulnerable, was intent on raiding the south coast. Without delay she gave the order: the army was to assemble again, sooner than planned, and forced march back to Wessex to face this new enemy.

They arrived just in time. The Normans had made safe landing on the coast but had not yet found their quarry. Arriving at the town of Hastings ahead of the raiders, Aethelflaed ordered valuables to be gathered together to be taken inland to a safer location. She and her chosen warriors would protect the baggage train on its journey. She had heard that enemy forces were nearby, and in an effort to escape them had sent men with gold ahead to attempt to bribe the enemy to keep their distance. The Normans, some of whom had been happy to take the bribe, were hesitant when the forces first met. But Aethelflaed remained cautious and screened the baggage train with a strong shieldwall of her toughest warriors. They were met by a force of mounted Norman knights and retainers, led by the Norman Lord himself, Sybald, a knight of some renown who was known to have travelled to many lands.

Aethelflaed had expected Sir Sybald, with his wide knowledge of the world, to have come up with a cunning plan. Perhaps Norman tradition got the better of him. Regardless, his force of mounted knights and retainers, supported by some enthusiastic but ill-equipped peasants, chose to avoid any form of complexity, attempting instead to break through the screen by force. Again and again they charged, as Normans do, but the shields of the Anglo-Saxons held strong and those brave knights fell to a man. Their Lord, battered and beaten, who had fought in the front of the line, was among the fallen, though Aethelflaed learned later that he had survived. And while the Norman peasants scoured their own dead for scavenged plunder, the Anglo-Saxons carried on their way unimpeded and escorted their baggage to safety.

The Anglo-Saxons spent 1 point of Wealth on The Penny, but gained +1 point of Reputation and +1 CVP for successfully defending. They lost 2 warriors, and recruited 6 new levy to their roster.

The Anglo-Saxons roll Upgrade Warriors on the Fate table at the end of the Campaign Season, but as they already have the maximum permitted number of units of Warriors on their roster, they are obliged to decline.

Starting roster, Campaign Season 3

Campaign Season 3

Aethelflaed continued to make good use of the trade arrangements she built in previous years, raising gold at the beginning of the year that enabled her to pay the necessary maintenance costs for her warriors. This year she wuld make battle, planning to raid the Icelandic Vikings at Eyjafell.