Friday, February 25, 2011

rules correction

I beleive I may have given one or more players bad information. Several army lists contain options; those players selected options at the beginning of the campaign, and these choices will hold throughout the campaign. They cannot be changed between battles.

If players would like the option, we could agree that players can alter those choices over winter turns, starting out a new campaign year with the alternate choices (to the extent allowed by the size of one's army for the coming year). But they cannot be changed from turn to turn or from battle to battle.

the end of the beginning

The Irish invasion of Scotland met a rather bloody conclusion, as the Scots detached a small portion of their army to surround and attack the Irish, as the bulk of their spearmen stood on a nearby hill, snacked on cheese and pickle sandwiches, and watched the battle.

Four Irish bands were slain [will fill in which elements from my notes later], while only one band of Scottish skirmishers were slain. The Irish retreated precipitately, falling back to the Isle of Man. The Scots, given the opportunity to pursue their defeated enemy, leapt into their birlinns and coracles and followed. (Neither the initial Irish invasion nor the Scots counter-invasion lost any elements to the windy waves of the Irish Sea or to Corryvreckan--Cailleach Bheur was apparently sleeping.) But the Irish, loathe to fight further until they had repainted their shields and polished the brass hilts of their swords, moved back to Armagh. The Manx were, it appears, annoyed but not dismayed by the departure of their overlords and gave the arriving Scots a broad two fingers. (The Scots lose an element for a failed "siege".)

Thus arrived summer 1002. The Vikings made a few exploratory raids from their stronghold at York. They seem to have sent scouts, mounted on local horses, in several directions, checking the roads to the north and west. But in the end, they stayed in place, calculating many options but making no movements.

All wait now to see what move the Norman army makes, if any, from its base in Fecamp.

Friday, February 18, 2011

more warfare in the north!

While the Welsh watch their sheep (or their neighbours') peacefully grazing, the Irish sail off around (their) sea, stopping at various congenial watering holes for a bit of a sunbathe. Arriving on the coast of 'Cumbria' (taken rather broadly--I imagine to have a quickie marriage at Gretna Green or to do some shopping at The Lanes in Carlisle), they decide they like it and begin debating whether to call it a "holiday home" or "the first step in the great Irish Empire".

Interestingly enough, the King of Scotland happens to be in the area, on a holiday of his own with a few thousand close friends and retainers. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to the Irish dilemma.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

more death in the north

The attempt of the English to dislodge the Danes from York met with a significant reverse. Though the English fought more doughtily than in the first encounter, the result was much the same. Three more elements of fyrd were wiped out and this time the English camp was sacked!

Danes gain 4PP; English lose an additional two elements due to the loss of their camp.

It is now the turn of the Welsh.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

quick map update

Showing the change of control (temporary?) of York, Normans sitting in Fecamp counting their danegeld, and the English cruising up the Great North Road for a rematch.

Friday, February 11, 2011

ravens wheel over the moors

The armies of England and Denmark met in bloody battle! Your correspondent was not able to get copious detail on the battle (he was busy losing, badly, an off-script Breton invasion of Normandy), but he observed two dense battle lines rushing straight toward each other with a huge gap subsequently forming in the center of the English army as the Vikings under Sweyn carved their way deep into the Saxon ranks. Victory for the Danes, 0-4 (all Sp). The English withdrew to London. The Vikings gain 4PP for the battle and now hold York.

Not to be outdone, the Normans (cousins by blood to the Danes) announced their intention of invading England while English were down and bleeding on the canvas. England mollified them with huge chests of silver coin, so the Norman army stays in place and cannot attack English territory for the remainder of 1002. (Frank: I know I said last night that you would complete the move and remain in Winchester, but looking at the danegeld rule, it's supposed to take place before actual movement, so I think the Normans will remain in their starting location, Fecamp). England transfers 1 PP of monies to Normandy.

After Denmark and Normandy, England gets the next move. Aethelred, what will you?

(BTW, the turn order is clockwise; this year it began in the north, so it's Danes, Normans, English, Welsh, Irish, Scots. Next year it will begin with a random player but progress in the same order from that start.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

the first attack!

And the Danish fleet, which wintered among the Trondelager in Norway, sails for England, landing near York!

"From the fury of the Norsemen, o Lord..."

...will Aethelred's treasury deliver York?

Or the stout hearts and study shields of the fyrd?

(The English army has started at London, but can march north and defend York if the king orders them to.)

sequence of invasions

Just as a refresher for everyone, the allies/fighting sequence is as follows:

0. If England is being attacked, he may pay danegeld to halt the attack.

1. Player A, whose turn it is, asks for allies to attack Player B, with whom he is at war

2. Other players may promise contingents to help Player A
2.a. Players that have already attacked or started a new siege with their field army this turn cannot send contingents.
2.b. If a player who has not yet had his turn promises a contingent, even if no battle results, his field army cannot attack or begin a new siege in this turn.
2.c. Tributaries of Player A must comply if they can.

3. Player A decides if he wants to make the attack, given responses to #2.

4. If Player A makes the attack, Player B may ask for allies.
4.a. Players that have already attacked or started a new siege with their field army this turn cannot send contingents.
4.b. If a player who has not yet had his turn promises a contingent, even if no battle results, his field army cannot attack or begin a new siege in this turn.
4.c. Tributaries of Player B must comply if they can.

5. Player B decides what to do next
5.a. fight a field battle (to include moving up his army if it is not present)
5.b. stand siege (to include moving up his field army if it is not present or moving it away if it is)

The battle or siege is then resolved.

Ready, steady, go!

The Danes (aka the Vikings) led by Svein Forkbeard, King of Denmark, are the first player in 1002.

Monday, February 7, 2011

DBA Campaign Rules Clarifications/Changes for England on Her Knees

Declarations of War

No declarations of war are needed to attack another player or to send a contigent to attack or support him.


Contingents do not lose elements to storms at sea.


Battles and sieges are resolved in the player turn they are initiated, before the next player's orders are posted and resolved.

Armies and contingents retreating by sea do not lose elements to storms at sea.

Battle victory conditions are not adjusted for the size of armies; no matter how many elements an army starts a field battle with, it loses once it has lost its general or four elements and has lost more elements than the enemy.

Prestige is not adjusted for the size of armies. No matter how many elements an army starts a field battle with, it earns one point of prestige for each element it eliminates (as defined in the rules) in excess of its losses (plus points for generals and camps as specified in the rules).


A player cannot send a contingent to assist another player if his army has already moved that season and either a field battle or a siege resulted.

However, a player may send a contingent if his army remained stationary and conducted a continuing siege or if it moved but no combat resulted.

Likewise, if a player sends a contingent before his turn comes up, he may only move later in the turn, not invade.

If a player commits to send a contingent to assist another player, he is restricted as for sending it, whether or not a battle results and whether or not the contingent arrives during the course of the battle.


Supply must be drawn at the end of each movement a player executes, before any battle or siege, and at the end of all players' turns in autumn.

A tributary is not required to provide supply to his overlord's army.

Errors in Resolution

If players see an error in post-battle resolution (prestige points, remaining army rosters) they should alert the umpire immediately. If a battle is later resolved using an army list that contains an error from previous resolutions that has not been corrected, the result will stand.

Unfulfilled Losses

If a battle needs to be resolved and an army hasn't pruned additional elements since its last battle (for the loss of a general or camp in a previous battle or from a siege, the umpire will randomly choose the elements to be lost.

army selection

A reminder that players may choose which element will include their general before each battle, rather than it always being the element indicated in the army list (which may not always be available, depending on losses in prior combats).

One player asked about optional element choices. While one might interpret the campaign rules to mandate that players use the same set of option choices throughout the campaign, I'm inclined to let players choose each campaign year what options they are going with.

So, in addition to your starting location, please email me your choice for your optional elements. By my count (correct me if I'm wrong), the Danes and the Welsh have the fewest, at 1 choice each; the English and Irish have 2 each; the Scots have 3 choices; and the Normans have the greatest flexibility, with 4 choices.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

just to be clear...

Here's a link to the original campaign scenario on Fanaticus.

I think the only other change we've made that I haven't posted here is that we're doing away with declarations of war. The brutal treachery and deceit of the 11th century is being portrayed by allowing players to attack each other and send contingents at will. Only tributaries are bound not to attack their overlords and to supply them with contingents when requested.

map and a start-up post

So here is our starting map.

You will notice I have made a few small (but some of them significant) changes.

First of all, I've changed a few of the names, to make them more regional and less connected to a small town or city.

Second, I've added a marker for the North Sea (the circle between Cumbria and Denmark). This is not a region, and it does not count as a separate stage for movement--for example, a move from Norway to York (or Jarvik, as the Norwegians would know it), is just one step. It's only for simplicity of drawing lines.

Third, I've added a few sea links to represent my impressions based on reading about the era. Almost any place on the coast would be accessible to Vikings (or anyone else brave enough to travel by sea when the Vikings ruled them), but I've added just three links to represent major transit routes. One leads from Mann to Gywnedd (Vikings from Dublin, Galloway, the Sudreyar--the Hebrides and Mann--often raided and invaded Wales). Another leads from Norway to Moray, representing the Norse connections to the Nordreyar--Shetland and Orkney--and thence to the north of Scotland. The third runs from the North Sea to London, representing the Danes' ability to reach all of the English coast, if they chose.

Fourth, I've used symbols to show the terrain type of an area, since that is what the defender uses, no matter who owns it. Circles are Arable, squares are littoral, and triangles are Hilly. One could make a case for fudging those around (Moray and Armagh could be Hilly; Dublin could be Arable), but that's probably gilding the lily.