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.
Tupi or Tupaia (1200-1750) for New World DBA, my New World variant of DBA. Based on DBM IV/29 and DBR III/6. This list covers the coastal tribes of Brazil before until subjugated by the Portuguese. The Tupi were aggressive and warlike cannibals that invaded the Brazilian coast just before the Portuguese arrived. They called their non-Tupi speaking predecessors “Tupaia”, although this actually covered a wide range of languages and groups. The largest Tupaia group were the Gé-speaking tribes only some of whom were cannibals (Waitacá, Aimoré). The coastal Indians fought amongst themselves until the Portuguese arrived, then fought both amongst themselves and against the Portuguese. Indian tactics were simple and effective; after an initial barrage of arrows the entire club wielding mass charged “like bulls”. The Aimoré were unusual in that they had a preference for shooting from ambush then dashing away; this practice also explains the name given to them by their enemies – Aimoré being a Tupi word for “evil people” or “killers”.
Zimba (1494-1590) army list for New World DBA, my New World variant of DBA. Based on DBR III/8. The Zimba were of several east African pagan peoples, the Zimba were cannibals first encountered by Europeans as they emerged from the African interior and attacked the coastal inhabitants. Zimba warriors carried bows, poisoned arrows and fire-hardened wooden spears and small wooden shields. They captured Mombsa in alliance with the Portuguese in 1589, but were destroyed by the Segeju in 1590.