My interest in the Northumbrian-Welsh conflict came about because I work with a patriotic Northumbrian (Mike Lowery) and I like playing the Thomas=Welsh ancestry card on him. This developed into the challenge of 15 mm DBA armies at 1 foot to decide the issue. We’re now gearing up to paint those armies (actually for the Britannia 600 AD Campaign).
I’ve always loved Britannia, the Avalon Hill board game, and it seemed an obvious setting for a DBA/HOTT style campaign. Rather than attempt to recreate the entire time span of the game (45-1085 AD) I thought I’d concentrate on a period that specifically interests me, 600-700 AD. That span of years corresponds to Turn 8 and 9 in the board game – hence Britannia 600 AD.
He glutted black ravens on the walls of the fort,
but he was no Arthur.
A few excerpts from the Anglo Saxon Chronicle to give a flavour for the period of the Britannia 600 AD Campaign. I’ve used the Anglo Saxon Chronicle because of its picturesque language rather than any clarity it might bring to the time. For a more accurate and complete account see Britannia: Anglo-Saxon History.
There are a few possible suppliers of 15 mm for the Britannia 600 AD Campaign. My existing Dark Age kit is from Donnington Miniatures and Essex Miniatures. I mix them together but this won’t appeal to some as Donnington Miniatures are much bigger than Essex Miniatures, in fact they are much bigger than anybody else. At the time I put my Gothic army together I didn’t have a choice, but now there is much more on offer …
In Britannia 600 AD field armies are 12 elements (plus camp follower) in DBA or 24 AP in HOTT. The army lists below allow much larger numbers than this for two reasons. Firstly and mainly, to allow choice. Secondly, to allow a larger than normal field armies to be used for a more involved campaign.
I have tweaked the DBA army lists, partly because some of them don’t really match what we know about the protagonists, and partly to support fantastic elements suitable for a HOTT campaign. After a general discussion of the Common Elements, both Realistic Troops (DBA + HOTT) and Fantastical Troops (HOTT), I then look at the specific national army lists. For our purposes there are only five types of armies: Welsh, Picts, Saxon, Irish, and Scots.
This is a skirmish level mini-campaign set in no-mans land on a fairly static front. It is applicable to any period (see the possible settings). Each player is a junior commander whose job is the patrol and control the area between the opposing forces. Over three game days and nights each player must plan and execute 6 missions from a predetermined list. The interest lies in the fact that each player is picking from a different list to that of his opponent. The key problem being addressed is “How does a commander react when faced with events not covered by his orders?”