"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 Irish

Starting Roster

Prologue

It was a cold night. The wind was picking up, and the dogs had started barking again. Inside, seated in a circle, heated by the blazing hearth in the centre of the Great Hall of Conn Cétchathach, the chieftains of the Fianna fell silent as the King of all Ireland stood. He was a wise man and, all agreed, a strong ruler, and a shrewd negotiator. Crafty as a fox, he had learned hard lessons along the road to become the King he was; though not without making enemies along the way. Enemies who looked to his lands with jealous eyes and greed in their hearts.

His speech was well received. Crossing himself, and nodding towards Father Patrick, he first gave thanks to God, then praised his Curaidh and their heroic deeds, and the men who followed them. All present were honoured, and their value recognised; and as had been expected, inevitably, the speech ended with a call to arms. They were great warriors who deserved great rewards, and the greatest such reward would be new lands for them to rule. So, led by the High King himself, it would be, in the name of God and Conn Cétchathach.

Roster after defending against the Danes, Campaign Season 1

Campaign Season 1

The Irish choose to Defend. But they are raided by the Danish Vikings whose Jarl has sworn a blood feud against Conn.

Cattle-Raiding Danes Attack

It was not the news he had wanted that morning. Conn had only recently returned from a tour around his lands, where he had indulged in perhaps too many places a little too much of the local poitín. He was still recovering from the after-effects of the excesses of the adventure when he was informed of the Danish fleet that was raiding the coast of Connacht. He'd thought the heavy seas around Ireland would have kept raiders away until much later in the year. The blood feud the Jarl of the Danes held against him must be strong to bring them here so soon.

The Irish met the Vikings in the process of their raiding cattle from the fertile fields of Connacht. Unfortunately, the result was not a good one for them, and although the raiders were seen off, they left with all the cattle.

The Irish lose Cattle Raid defending against raiding Danish Vikings.

Conn prayed again. The elders of his men, whose faith was less strong, had forecast ill tidings ahead. There had been rain for weeks, and the rivers were at bursting point, risking flooding the fields. Grain stocks were low, many stockpiles having rotted because of the wet weather. The conditions that had led to poor harvests in Britain and Northern Europe threatened famine and flood in Ireland. The omens were bad, those old men were saying. But Conn's faith was strong, and he knew that his devotion could sway the tide. And so he prayed.

It was just before harvest time that God answered his prayer. The weather eased, the sun came out, and the harvest was satisfactory. Conn dismissed the elders, replacing them with devout, pious men. Those that trusted the old ways more than God had no place in his court. And now, his men looked at him differently, for Conn had shown them he was that much more than other men. Their King was close to God, for God had answered his prayer in their hour of need. Now they would follow him with the same devotion.

At the end of the Campaign Season, the Irish roll Famine & Flood on the Fate table. Because Conn is Devout, however, this does not count and he gets to re-roll. This time he gets Warlord Experience, and choosing to roll for a Special Rule, gains Inspiring Presence.

Starting roster, Campaign Season 2

Campaign Season 2

Beneath his saintly facade, though, Conn was angry. Despite his Christian duty, deep in his heart he could not forgive his enemy, nor forget the loss of the herds of livestock they had made off with. The winter had been harsh in Ireland, and that loss had not helped. Yet the fact that the people had survived under his leadership proved that God was on his side. This year, he would make sure the unprovoked attack of the Viking raiders did not go unpunished.

In preparation, he had sought support from his neighbours. The Welsh were strong, and he could make use of such men in any enterprise. But his emissaries had been sent away after only a short meeting with the Lord of the Welsh, who had dismissed them briefly and politely. His men had not dallied - they were of the opinion that the mere suggestion of an alliance might have been taken as an insult, and they had no wish to be proved right. This year, the Irish would raid alone.

Roster after the raid on Denmark, Campaign Season 2

Vengeance Against Cnut

In return for the attacks of the previous season, the Irish choose to raid the Danish Vikings in Jutland.

The Irish had been pursuing the Vikings for some months. Conn was not a man to take the theft of his cattle lightly and was determined to get them back - to the point of launching a fleet of ships to pursue the Norsemen back to their homeland and return with the livestock. It was a very long journey, through treacherous seas and all weathers. Many times Conn had wondered whether or not it was worth all of this effort, but the slight on his honour had to be addressed and, if at all possible, avenged.

They landed on the coast of Jutland, a flat country ideally suited to cattle grazing, and it was not long before they had spotted their prize munching away at the lush green Danish grass. They attacked immediately, and pressed the enemy hard, but despite their best efforts and evident confusion amongst their Viking foe, they were held off at the end and left empty-handed after both brave Curaidh fell to the enemy swords. This outcome puzzled Conn. God's plan for him clearly did not concern the cattle. It was a clear sign that the Lord required his effort elsewhere, and he gave the order for his men to fall back in order rather than fight on. They would return to Ireland to contemplate their fate.

The battle ended in a draw. The Irish lost 2 Hearthguard and 2 Warriors. They replaced the lost Hearthguard during post-battle recruitment.

Roster at the end of Campaign Season 2

The Irish roll Poor Harvest on the Fate table at the end of the Campaign Season and so lose 1 point of Wealth.