HOTT and DBA Army Lists for Britannia 600 AD

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. For our purposes there are only five types of armies: Welsh, Picts, Saxon, Irish, Scots.


Common Elements

In many ways these armies were similar so it is worth looking at the common elements.

Realistic Troop Types for DBA or HOTT

Mersey (1998) classifies the fighting men as “heroic” in this period whether Saxon, Welsh, or Pictish. The warriors received rewards and gifts for their service rather than pay. Army sizes were small, possibly about 300 men. The full time warriors were the retinue of their chief, although they could be supplemented by the levy.

Armies had a core of close formation spear or javelin armed infantry. Nobility providing the elite infantry and/or cavalry. Option of skirmishers. In emergencies a general levy of poorly armed infantry could be called out to bulk out the numbers. Most close formation infantry fought in a shield wall, although the Irish infantry favoured a wild rush to close rather than the Saxon slow steady grind. Cavalry skirmished with javelins, although some were more heavily armoured than others.

Given the predominance of shield walls during this period it is worth having a brief look at how they behaved. I find the DBM/DBA categorisation of early Saxon warriors as Warband problematic (DBA II/73). To quote DBA:

“WARBAND, including all wild irregular foot that relied on more on a ferocious impetuous charge than on mutual cohesion, individual skills or missiles … Enemy that failed to withstand the first impact of their charge were swept away, but they lacked staying power and were sensitive to harassment by psiloi and to mounted attack” (DBA, 2004, p. 4).

That sounds like the Irish charge, but not the slow and steady approach of the Saxons. Saxon shield walls, didn’t do a wild charge, and could stand off cavalry for a considerable period (Heath, 1980). The Middle Anglo-Saxon list (DBA III/24a) uses Spear for the Select Fyrd which seems much more appropriate than Warband. The DBA definition of Spear says:

“SPEARS, representing all close formation infantry fighting with spears in a rigid shield wall, such as … Saxon fyrd. The mutual protection provided by their big shields, tight formation and row of spear points gave them great resisting power, so that two opposed bodies of spears might fence and shove for some time before one broke … Steady spears could usually hold off horsemen. (p. 4).

Perfect.

If the bulk of the warriors are Spear, then what about the elite infantry? Middle Anglo-Saxon list (DBA III/24a) retains Warband for the Hird but I favour Blade for the Hird as, like Blades, they were “were superior in hand-to-hand combat to any foot” (p. 4). OK, I know they didn’t fight with Blades per se, but I’m more concerned about their relative ability compared to the masses. Making them Blades does make them vulnerable to cavalry in DBA, but less so than as Warband.

All armies in DBA must have a camp (unless you have a BUA), whereas in HOTT the defender gets a Stronghold. Apply your imagination. Check out Fanaticus: DBA Camps for inspiration. Appropriate Camps/Strongholds would be:

In the revised army lists I have given a minimum of 6 elements (12 AP) and a maximum of 24 elements (48 AP) excluding Hordes. Aside from the fact this allows the option of a BIG DBA campaign, my main motive was to allow some choice, although in a straight DBA campaign the choice will be limited due to the bland nature of some of the armies. The number of elements in the revised lists are derived on the number elements in the DBM lists, not the DBA lists.

Realistic Troops for DBA or HOTT DBA HOTT AP Base Size Num. Fig.
Heavy Cavalry, e.g. Welsh Nobles, Saxon Mounted Hird Cv Riders 2 40x30mm 3
Light Cavalry, e.g. Pictish or Welsh Light Horse LH Riders 2 40x30mm 2
Elite Heavy Infantry, e.g. Saxon Hird Bd Blade 2 40x15mm * 4 *
Heavy (Shield Wall) Infantry, e.g. Saxon Select Fyrd, Welsh Pedyt Sp Spear 2 40x15mm * 4 *
Heavy (Wild Charge) Infantry, e.g. Irish Wb Warband 2 40x20mm * 3 *
Light Infantry (Archers, Crossbowmen, Javelinmen) Ps Shooters 2 40x20mm 2 **
Poorly trained and equipped general levy of all eligible men, e.g. Saxon Great Fyrd Hd Hordes 1 40x30mm 5-8
Camp or Stronghold Camp Stronghold Length + Width =
50-150mm ***
Varies
Camp Follower (in DBA only) Camp Follower

40x20mm 2-4

* DBx confusingly gives heavy infantry of different nationalities different sized bases and different numbers of figures. The choices are 40x15mm with 4 figures (equating to 4Sp, 4Bd, 4Wb) or 40x20mm with 3 figures (3Sp, 3Bd, 3Wb). I’ve put the mostly combinations above, but others are possible.

** Shooters in HOTT are based like heavy infantry, i.e. 40x15mm with 4 figures (4Bw) or 40x20mm with 3 figures (3Bw). But so these armies can be used with DBA I’ve given the base size and number of figures for a DBA Psiloi stand.

*** Actually a HOTT Stronghold is 50-150mm and a DBA Camp is up to 160mm, but 50-150mm will work for both. Just as an example a square 75x75mm is the maximum size for a HOTT Stronghold, as is 100x50mm and 90x60mm.

A DBA army, but not a HOTT army, gets a free Camp Follower stand. You can use this to defend your camp, and nothing else. Aside from the fact you’ll need the extra figures of the Camp Follower stand itself, you’ll also need to leave a 40x20mm space on your Camp for the garrison. Check out Fanaticus: DBA Camp Followers for inspiration.

Fantastical Troops primarily for HOTT

In a HOTT campaign players will have the choice of fantastical troop types. Some suggestions are given below and repeated with the individual nations. These are just examples and you can invent others as you see fit. You can use anything with the right “feel” for the fantastical elements. Remember that a HOTT army can only have half its AP of 6 AP, 4 AP and/or 3 AP elements.

Kingdoms were either Pagan or Christian – this impacts the nature of the fantastical elements that can appear in their field armies. For example, a Christian army could have praying monks (Cleric) whereas a pagan army might have the equivalent of druids or possibly call upon their God to intervene directly.

Monks in this period had the same military obligations as other men (Nicolle, 1984).

Fantastical Troops primarily for HOTT DBA HOTT AP Base Size Num. Fig.
Pagan Saxon Gods (Woden, Ingui, Thunor, The Twin Brothers Hengest and Horsa, Tiw, Welund, Seaxneat, Helith, Freo, Eostre, Nerthus, Erce, Frige, Hretha, the Mothers) God 4 40x30mm 1
Bard; Pagan Priest; Court Magician (i.e. a Merlin type) Magician 4 40x40mm 1-3
The Red Welsh Dragon or the White Saxon Dragon. Dragon 4 40x60mm 1
Champion; Heroic Leader (Arthur; Oswiu of Bernicia) Hero 4 40x30mm 1-3
Giant from Snowdonia; Giant Boar (Hogzilla) El Behemoth 4 40x40mm 1-4
Raiders or Assassin Sneaker 3 40x20mm 1-3
Praying Christian Saints, Priests or Monks; Pagan Priest or Druid Hd Cleric 3 40x30mm 1-3
Woden’s Wolves, War dogs, Lion Beasts 2 40x40mm 2-4
Saxon equivalent of the Valkyrie, Ravens Flyer 2 40x30mm 1-3
Ambush Parties (the Picts were famous for it); Forest Sprites, Nixies, etc Lurker 1 40x30mm 1-3
Irish or Pictish raiders in Curraghs/Coracles; Saxons in Keels; Water Sprites Water Lurker 1 40x30mm 1-3


Welsh (Cymry)

The term “Welsh” is actually based on the Anglo-Saxon word for “foreigner (Nicolle, 1984). These people actually themselves Cymry or Cumbri (from Combrogi meaning “fellow-country-men”) and spoke a common tongue related to modern Welsh. It was these people who populated the British successor kingdoms created by local dukes after the Romans left (Heath, 1980). These people are often called Romano-British or Sub-Roman British. In the sixth century the Saxon invaders crushed the Welsh kingdoms in lowland England, but others fought on in the highland area of modern Wales, in northern England and southern Scotland (Gododdin, Rheged and Strathclyde), and the south-west (Dumnonia).

Mersey (1998) has the romanised, paid soldiers fading out about 550 AD. After that the Welsh fighting men were “heroic” in nature like their Saxon opponents.

Nicolle (1984) claims the north Welsh warriors of Gododdin, Strathclyde and Rheged-Cumbria were mostly horsemen armed with javelin or spear. This equipment suiting them to cattle-raising. He goes on to say the men of what is now the country of Wales, and the western Welsh in what is Cornwall and Devon, fought mostly on foot. In fact, given the Strathclyde Welsh fought in a shield wall against their Northumbrian opponents (Heath, 1980) probably all Welsh kingdoms had a mix of cavalry and infantry.

Spear armed infantry (pedyt) comprised the bulk of an army (Heath, 1980). They fought in a close formation. In 937 AD the Strathclyde Welsh shield wall was indistinguishable from that of the the Saxons and Scots and this may have been true in the 7th century. Bows were used however archery was not popular. Cavalry numbers were low, but significant given the Saxon’s lack. The cavalry were from the nobility, and included the chief’s bodyguard or Teulu (“Family”). On at least one occasion the army was divided into left, centre and right, where each of these had a first line of spears, second of archers and third of cavalry. The cavalry attacked in a fluid manner around the infantry blocks, using javelins, so presumably skirmishing. The Welsh were keen on defending river fords and feigned attacks.

“If they are calling on their God against us, though they bear no arms, they still fight us by pursuing us with hostile prayers”.(The Heathen King Aethelfrith referring to the Christianity of Welsh monks) (cited in Anglo-Saxon Heathenism)

The Welsh were Christian in the 7th century, although they followed the old Roman faith rather than the new Catholic faith of Rome or the Celtic faith of Ireland (??).

On occasion monks would accompany the army in a non-military capacity, although this was not necessarily the opinion of their pagan opponents (Heath, 1980). In 614 AD 1,000 praying monks were slaughtered by an enemy on the grounds they were trying to get their god to intervene thus making them combatants and fair game (Barker & Scott, 1998).

DBM, and hence DBA, distinguishes between:

  • Lowland Welsh. DBA II/81. Sub-Roman British. 407 AD – 945 AD.
  • Highland Welsh. DBA III/19. Welsh. 580 AD – 1420 AD.

Barker and Scot (1998) don’t give a convincing argument for why 580 AD was significant, so I don’t find separate lists compelling for the 7th century. The authors don’t explain why they believe the highland Welsh army suddenly changed in composition in 580 AD from massed spear blocks to light warband. Barker and Scot (p. 71) state that the Sub-Roman British list extends “until the battles of Dyrham in 577 AD and York in 580 AD destroyed the lowland kingdoms. It then continues to cover the south-western kingdom of Dumnonia until 936 AD and the north British states of Gododdin, Rheged and Strathclyde until the fall of the latter in 945 AD”. List III/19 Welsh starts in the magic year of 580 AD, yet the evidence they present for troop types is from 1118 AD. The authors assume the javelin armed warband was the norm before that date, however, around 1118 the men of north Wales adopted a long spear in response to Norman incursions. At the same time in the south many men adopted the bow although others retained light javelins, sword and shield. Also at that time the Welsh were, apparently, keen on fighting in rough or marshy terrain although this may have been a response to their Norman cavalry opponents. It could all be true but none of this suggests how the highland Welsh fought in the 7th Century when they and their lowland countrymen were fighting it out with the Saxon.

In terms of more fantastical elements, Welsh Chieftains were sometimes known as “Dragons” because of the draco standards that accompanied them (Heath, 1980). The Red Dragon is of course still associated with Wales. Owein, King of North Rheged was, apparently, accompanied by a Lion. And for some reason the horsemen of this same Owein were known as Ravens. This may be related to the legend The Dream of Rhonabwy where “Owain tells the last youth, Gwes son of Rheged, whose ravens had been killed, that he should return to the ravens and lift his banner. The young man does so, and the ravens arise once again. The birds attack the men who had tormented them, carrying them into the air and tearing them apart”. Interestingly one explanation of the name Arthur, as in King Arthur, is that it is old Welsh for “Bear-Man” (BBC: Origins of the Arthurian Legend) so if you don’t want a heroic character then try a were-bear.

Speaking of Arthur, Mersey (1998) believes he existed but operated in the north, not the south-west as commonly believed.

Official Army List:

DBA. II/81d. Sub-Roman British. 407 AD – 945 AD)
1x3CV (Gen), 2x3Cv, 1x4Sp or 2LH, 7x4Sp, 1x2Ps

Revised Army List. You can invent others fantastical elements as you see fit. Remember that a HOTT army can only have half its AP of 6 AP, 4 AP and/or 3 AP elements.

Realistic Troops for DBA or HOTT DBA HOTT AP Min Max
Cavalry Cv Riders 2 1 3
Light Cavalry or Hill Ponies LH Riders 2 0 1
Pedyt Sp Spear 2 5 19
Archers Ps Shooters 2 0 1
Poorly trained and equipped general levy of all eligible men Hd Hordes 1 0 12
Camp or Stronghold Camp Stronghold 1 1
Fantastical Troops primarily for HOTT DBA HOTT AP Min Max
Bard; Court Magician (i.e. a Merlin type) Magician 4 0 1
The Red Welsh Dragon Dragon 4 0 1
Champion; An Arthur type Kn or Bd Hero 4 0 1
Raiders or Assassin Sneaker 3 0 1
Praying Christian Saints, Priests or Monks Hd Cleric 3 0 1
Ambush Parties Lurker 1 0 1
Giant from Snowdonia …. Behemoth 4 0 1
Lion to accompany King, Were-Bear / Bear-Man Beasts 2 0 1
Ravens Flyer 2 0 1
Can’t think of any off hand but if you can … Water Lurker 1 0 1

Example Armies:


Picts (Cruthni)

The inhabitants of Northern Scotland called themselves Cruthni (Nicolle, 1984). Pict means “painted”, reflecting the Roman observation that the early Picts tattooed themselves using woad (Barker, 1981; Barker & Scott, 1998). Later Welsh also called this area Prydein (“Land of the Painted Men”) although the use of woad had largely died out by 600 AD. Nicolle postulates that the painted effect may have been the natural dyes of their cloths running and colouring their skin, as it did more recently for tartan clad Highlanders.

The bulk of the army comprised spearmen, although they also had archers, crossbowmen, and skirmishing cavalry (Barker, 1981; Barker & Scott, 1998). The spear with a broad headed thrusting weapon and was sufficiently long to be used two handed when clumps of infantry fended off enemy cavalry. Some spearmen, but not all, had a small round or square shield.

St. Columba brought began missionary work in the pagan court of the Northern Picts in 564 AD, although there was Christian activity at least 100 years before and pagan influences were felt long after (The Kingdom of the Picts: Christianity, Paganism and the Making of Gaelic Scotland).

Chris Harrod makes an argument for a giant Boar as a Behemoth in any Celtic army. His argument is based on the importance of boars in the Celtic religions (The Role of the Boar in Celtic Iconography and Myth)) and the existence of giant boar, e.g. Hogzilla

The Picts had specially trained War Dogs (Nicolle, 1984). /p>

PPicts could fight at sea, in curachs like those of the Irish (Nicolle, 1984).

Official Army List: /p>

DBA. II/68b. Pictish. 500AD-846AD.
11x3CV or 3Sp (Gen), 2x2LH, 6x3Sp, 3x2Ps; Littoral

Revised Army List. You can invent others fantastical elements as you see fit. Remember that a HOTT army can only have half its AP of 6 AP, 4 AP and/or 3 AP elements.

Realistic Troops for DBA or HOTT DBA HOTT AP Min Max
Bodyguard Cavalry LH or Cv Riders 2 0 1
Cavalry LH Riders 2 2 3
Spearmen Sp Spears 2 2 12
Javelinmen, Archers, Crossbowmen Ps Shooters 2 2 8
Poorly trained and equipped general levy of all eligible men Hd Hordes 1 0 12
Camp or Stronghold Camp Stronghold 1 1
Fantastical Troops primarily for HOTT DBA HOTT AP Min Max
Champion; An Arthur type Kn or LCh or Bd Hero 4 0 1
Raiders or Assassin Sneaker 3 0 1
Ambush Parties (the Picts were famous for it) Lurker 1 0 1
Pictish raiders in Curraghs Water Lurker 1 0 1
Ravens Flyer 2 0 1
Can’t think of any off hand but if you can … Dragon 4 0 1
Can’t think of any off hand but if you can …. Behemoth 4 0 1
War dogs Beasts 2 0 1
Only for Pagan nations DBA HOTT AP Min Max
Pagan God God 4 0 1
Bard; Pagan Priest or Druid Magician 4 0 1
Pagan Priest or Druid Hd Cleric 3 0 1
Woad Tattooed Warriors Wb Warband 2 0 1
Only for Christian nations DBA HOTT AP Min Max
Bard; Court Magician (i.e. a Merlin type) Magician 4 0 1
Praying Christian Saints, Priests or Monks Hd Cleric 3 0 1

Example Armies:


Saxon

Mercian Flag - Golden Dragon

Saxon was the all embracing term used within Britain for the Germanic new comers (Heath, 1980). These Germans included Saxons, Angles, Jutes, Frisians, Franks, Danes, and others. Although all of these might have appeared as mercenaries, only the first three settled in significant numbers and fielded armies of their own. By 600 AD these tribes were sufficiently merged to be indistinguishable.

The major Saxon kingdoms were East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Mercia, Northumbria, Sussex, and Wessex – this group being known as the Saxon Heptarchy (Wikipedia: Kingdom of Essex). The Britannia 600 campaign concentrates on the three main Kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia, and Wessex.

All Saxon freemen aged 15-60 years were eligible in the Fyrd (levy), however, the “Great Fyrd”, i.e. all men, was rarely summoned except in times of emergency to defend the homeland (Heath, 1980). The men of the Great Fyrd were probably poorly armed, and in later periods had stakes, iron forks, maces, pointed sticks, stones tied to sticks, clubs, or javelins, The “Select Fyrd” was better equipped and considered themselves significantly superior to the general levy, and would serve beyond the borders. The thegns, i.e. nobles, would have had mail shirt, a helm, round shield, sword/axe and spear. In the later period they rode to battle on horses and dismounted to fight. Their retainers (ceorls mostly) would have at least possessed a shield, spear and the characteristic scramaseax, or long knife. The Hird (hearth-troop) were the lesser noblemen of the King’s bodyguard. Some mercenaries were employed, notably Welsh during our period. Cavalry was rare, although Saxon cavalry were fighting Picts in 685 and DBM gives the option of subject Welsh cavalry to some nations (Barker & Scot, 1999).

The famous Huscarls were a relatively late innovation, appearing in England about 1018 AD, so are not a part of Saxon armies of the period we’re interested in (Heath, 1980). in fact Vikings in general turned up much later than our period.

Saxon armies fought on foot in one big solid mass, the shield wall (bord-weal or scyld-burh) (Heath, 1980). These were several ranks deep – the Viking equivalent was at least five ranks. The better armed men would be at the front. Shields were probably interlocked to receive the first impact, but then loosened up. Bows were considered as much a hand to hand weapon as a distance weapon so archers were either in a second rank within the shield wall shooting past their comrades, or at the back shooting overhead. Occasionally archers were brigaded separately. The standard tactic was a frontal attack. The advance was slow and steady so as not to lose formation. Once at close range a cloud of missiles (spears, javelins, arrows) preceded the collision of the opposing shield walls. From that point attitude and/or numbers won the day As was proved in later periods a shield wall would draw enemy cavalry into a long slow slugging match. On occasion the Saxons would split the shield wall into two or more divisions.

Nicolle (1984) says the Saxons, like all Germans, used an offensive wedge and an defensive shield wall. He believes both formations were learnt from the Romans but gives no evidence for this.

A.D. 627 . This year, at Easter, Paulinus baptized Edwin king of the North-humbrians, with his people

Anglo Saxon Chronicle

The Saxon Kingdoms were either Pagan or Christian. Missionaries and chroniclers tended to assume that when a king converted all of his people followed suit at the same time, but in reality the switch was rarely total. A king could convert but his followers might remain pagan, Essex being an example (Anglo-Saxon Heathenism). Similarly a King might convert and upon his death be succeeded by a pagan.. Kent was the first Saxon kingdom to accept Christianity, possibly 597 AD when St Augustine arrived (Wikipedia: Kingdom of Kent), the king of Essex converted in 604 AD (Wikipedia: Kingdom of Essex) but Essex was still considered pagan in 664 AD, the king of Northumbria converted in 627 AD (Wikipedia: Northumbria), Wessex in 640 AD (Wikipedia: Wessex), and Mercia in 655 AD (Wikipedia: Mercia). Pagan Saxon gods were similar to the Viking deities and included Woden, Ingui, Thunor, The Twin Brothers Hengest and Horsa, Tiw, Welund, Seaxneat, Helith, Freo, Eostre, Nerthus, Erce, Frige, Hretha, and the Mothers – Anglo-Saxon Heathenism has more on these. Anglo-Saxon heathenism included aspects that looked druidic to me, including sacred groves and sacrifices.

Official Army List:

DBA. II/73. Early Anglo-Saxon. 428AD-617AD.
1x4Wb (Gen), 10x4Wb, 1x2Ps; Arable
DBA. III/24a. Middle Anglo-Saxon. 617AD-700AD
1x4Wb (Gen), 1x4Wb, 6x4Sp, 2x4Sp or 7Hd, 1x2Ps, 1x3Cv or 4Wb; Arable

Revised Army List. You can invent others fantastical elements as you see fit. Remember that a HOTT army can only have half its AP of 6 AP, 4 AP and/or 3 AP elements.

Realistic Troops for DBA or HOTT DBA HOTT AP Min Max
Hird Bd Blades 2 1 2
Select Fyrd Sp Spear 2 5 19
Archers & Scouts Ps Shooters 2 0 2
Great Fyrd, i.e. Poorly trained and equipped general levy of all eligible men Hd Hordes 1 0 12
Camp or Stronghold Camp Stronghold 1 1
Only for Mercians (Welsh) or Northumbrian (mounted Hird) DBA HOTT AP Min Max
Welsh Cavalry or Mounted Hird Cv Riders 2 0 1
Fantastical Troops primarily for HOTT DBA HOTT AP Min Max
Champion; Oswiu of Bernicia Bd Hero 4 0 1
Raiders or Assassin Sneaker 3 0 1
Ambush Parties Lurker 1 0 1
Saxons raiders in Keels Water Lurker 1 0 1
Can’t think of any off hand but if you can …. Behemoth 4 0 1
Only for Pagan nations DBA HOTT AP Min Max
White (or Golden) Saxon Dragon * Dragon 4 0 1
Pagan God (Woden, Ingui, Thunor, The Twin Brothers Hengest and Horsa, Tiw, Welund, Seaxneat, Helith, Freo, Eostre, Nerthus, Erce, Frige, Hretha, Mothers) God 4 0 1
Bard; Pagan Priest or Druid Magician 4 0 1
Pagan Priest or Druid Hd Cleric 3 0 1
Saxon equivalent of the Valkyrie, Ravens Flyer 2 0 1
Woden’s Wolves Beasts 2 0 1
Only for Christian nations DBA HOTT AP Min Max
Bard; Court Magician (i.e. a Merlin type) Magician 4 0 1
Praying Christian Saints, Priests or Monks Hd Cleric 3 0 1

* Excluded from the Christian options solely because Mercia removed the Golden Dragon from their flag when they became Christian.

Example Armies:


Irish

Up to our period the Irish were usually called Scots (Barker & Scott, 1998), but I’ve retained the name Irish to distinguish them from their relatives across the water in Dal Riada. Irish armies comprised elements from the nobility (soer-chele, literally “free client”) and unfree clients (doer-chele) (Heath, 1980). Mercenaries formed the bodyguard of the Kings. According to Barker (1981) the aristocracy wore tunics and had light or reddish hair; in contrast the lower classes, descended from previous inhabitants of Ireland, wore trousers and waistcoat, and had dark hair. The aristocracy would comprised the bulk of the warband. Women were occasionally expected to fight. .Monks were also known to take up arms, particularly in the defence of their monasteries. Irish warriors carried light weapons (javelin, shield, sword), which were ideal for raiding and ambushes from difficult terrain. In large open battles in later times (10th Century) they fought in a large close formation block, threw their javelins before immediately charging with the sword. Unlike those who fought in a solid shield wall, close formation Irish may have fought in multiple lines with a centre and wings. They had no cavalry. Praying monks could appear in opposing armies.

The Irish were Christian in the 7th century, although they followed a unique Celtic faith rather than the new Roman Catholic faith or the old Roman faith(??).

Official Army List:

DBA II/54b. Scots-Irish. 433AD-846AD.
1xLCh or 3Ax or 3Wb (Gen), 9x3Ax, 2x2Ps; Littoral

The Irish did seem to have characteristics of the DBA/HOTT warband. To quote DBA “WARBAND, including all wild irregular foot that relied on more on a ferocious impetuous charge than on mutual cohesion, individual skills or missiles … Enemy that failed to withstand the first impact of their charge were swept away, but they lacked staying power and were sensitive to harassment by psiloi and to mounted attack” (DBA, 2004, p. 4). I assume the Warband General’s element in the DBA and DBM represents the kings bodyguards, but if all the other troops are warband I need a different categorisation, and Blade seems the best fit.

Revised Army List. You can invent others fantastical elements as you see fit. Remember that a HOTT army can only have half its AP of 6 AP, 4 AP and/or 3 AP elements.

Realistic Troops for DBA or HOTT DBA HOTT AP Min Max
Kings Bodyguard Bd or Wb Blades or Warband 2 1 1
Warriors Wb Warband 2 4 20
Skirmishers Ps Shooters 2 1 3
Poorly trained and equipped general levy of all eligible men and women Hd Hordes 1 0 12
Camp or Stronghold Camp Stronghold 1 1
Fantastical Troops primarily for HOTT DBA HOTT AP Min Max
Champion; An Cuchulain, Connall of the Victories, Fergus Mac Roy type (although all are from the wrong period) LCh or Bd Hero 4 0 1
Bard; Court Magician (i.e. a Merlin type) Magician 4 0 1
Praying Christian Saints, Priests or Monks Hd Cleric 3 0 1
Raiders or Assassin Sneaker 3 0 1
Ambush Parties Lurker 1 0 1
Raiders in Curraghs Water Lurker 1 0 1
Can’t think of any off hand but if you can … God 4 0 1
Can’t think of any off hand but if you can … Dragon 4 0 1
Can’t think of any off hand but if you can …. Behemoth 4 0 1
Can’t think of any off hand but if you can … Flyer 2 0 1
Can’t think of any off hand but if you can … Beasts 2 0 1

Example Armies:


Scots

The Scots were Irish who settled in Dal Riada in what is now called Scotland (Heath, 1980). Their army comprised a select levy of Scots, probably supported by subject Picts. Most were unarmoured spearmen who formed up in close order clumps. Unlike their Irish kinsmen the Scots had skirmishers (bows and javelins) who operated in front or on the flanks of the spearmen. In later times (at least by 937 AD) the Scots fought in a shield wall like their neighbours the Saxons and the Strathclyde Welsh but probably in the 7th Century they were still fighting in the Irish fashion. I assume, like their Irish cousins, they had no cavalry.

I assume the Scots, like their cousins the Irish were Celtic Christians in the 7th century.

Official Army List:

DBA II/54b. Scots-Irish. 433AD-846AD.
1xLCh or 3Ax or 3Wb (Gen), 9x3Ax, 2x2Ps; Littoral

Revised Army List. You can invent others fantastical elements as you see fit. Remember that a HOTT army can only have half its AP of 6 AP, 4 AP and/or 3 AP elements.

Realistic Troops for DBA or HOTT /b> DBA HOTT AP Min Max
Kings Bodyguard Bd Blades 2 1 1
Warriors (either all Spear or all Warband) Sp
Wb
Spears
Warband
2 4 17
Skirmishers Ps Shooters 2 1 6
Poorly trained and equipped general levy of all eligible men and women Hd Hordes 1 0 12
Camp or Stronghold Camp Stronghold 1 1
Fantastical Troops primarily for HOTT DBA HOTT AP Min Max
Champion; An Cuchulain, Connall of the Victories, Fergus Mac Roy type (although all are from the wrong period) Kn or LCh or Bd Hero 4 0 1
Bard; Court Magician (i.e. a Merlin type) Magician 4 0 1
Praying Christian Saints, Priests or Monks Hd Cleric 3 0 1
Raiders or Assassin Sneaker 3 0 1
Ambush Parties Lurker 1 0 1
Raiders in Curraghs Water Lurker 1 0 1
Can’t think of any off hand but if you can … God 4 0 1
Can’t think of any off hand but if you can … Dragon 4 0 1
Can’t think of any off hand but if you can …. Behemoth 4 0 1
Can’t think of any off hand but if you can … Flyer 2 0 1
Can’t think of any off hand but if you can … Beasts 2 0 1

Example Armies:


References

Anglo-Saxon Heathenism

Barker, P. (1981). The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome [4th Ed.]. Wargames Research Group.

Covers the Picts.

Barker, P., and Scot, R. B. (1998). D.B.M. Army Lists. Book 2: 500 BC to 476 AD [2nd Ed.]. Wargames Research Group.

Barker, P., and Scot, R. B. (1999). D.B.M. Army Lists. Book 3: 476 AD to 1071 AD [2nd Ed.]. Wargames Research Group.

Britannia History

Lots of good stuff including a complete version of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle and a probably more accurate version of history in their Anglo-Saxon History.

DBA. (2004). De Bellis Antiquitatis. Wargames Research Group.

Early British Kingdoms

Good stuff here including biographies of key personalities and maps. It is where Rich Wilcox found the reference to the Giant from Snowdonia (see Owain Finddu, ‘King’ of Mid-South Wales). Also tells us that Owein, King of North Rheged was accompanied by a Lion and that his horsemen were called Ravens.

Elks: Anglo Saxon Coinage.

Fanaticus: DBA Campaign Scenarios and Resources

A bunch of interesting DBA campaigns. Of specific interest is Britain (circa 600 AD). Actually I found this after I started the project. Great minds think alike and all that.

Heath, I. (1980). Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066 [2nd Ed.]. Wargames Research Group.

Mersey, D. S. (1998). Glutter of Ravens: Warfare in the Age of Arthur. Outpost Wargame Services.

Nicolle, D. (1984). Arthur and the Anglo-Saxon Wars. Men-at-Arms 154. Osprey.

The History Files: The British Isles

A brilliant piece of work with some great maps.

The Kingdom of the Picts: Christianity, Paganism and the Making of Gaelic Scotland

Wikipedia: Kingdom of Essex

Wikipedia: Kingdom of Kent

Wikipedia: Mercia

Wikipedia: Northumbria

Wikipedia: Wessex

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