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.
West African Forest Peoples (1494-1700) army list for New World DBA, my New World variant of DBA. Based on DBR III/7. Covers the Kingdoms of Ashanti, Yoruba, Benin, Ngola, Kongo (Christian from 1490), Dahomey from1600, and the Jaga (Cannibal). The west Africans favoured ambushes from their native woods, leading Europeans to a unfavourable assessment of their warlike spirit. The most common equipment were javelins, short sword, and a large light shield. After 1658 cheap flintlocks called “Dane guns” were used for skirmishing. Kongo armies, being Christian, carried flags emblazoned with crosses. Dahomey fielded amazons. The Jaga attacked Kongo in 1568-73 and were then defeated by the Portuguese. Kongo fell to the Portuguese in 1665.
Monomotapa (1494-1700) army list for New World DBA, my New World variant of DBA. Based on DBR III/8. One of several east African pagan peoples, the Momomotapa Kingdom was in the area of modern Zimbabwe. Of the Shona they were warlike, great traders, and built large stone city complexes. The warriors had spears or bows with iron arrowheads. Nobles wore skins with long tails and gold decorated wooden scabbards. The Momomotapa had a variety of vassal states. Some of the vassal states fell to Portuguese adventurers.