Monday, February 11, 2013

News from the Front - 500 AD

Wihtred's cheeks flushed red. The lashing his father was dealing him was well deserved. There is no doubt that mistakes were made. It started off so well but ended in disaster. His gaze never wavered from the bloated purple toes on his fathers gouty feet. It just seemed like you could poke them and watch them pop. It took some of the sting from his father's words. But what little distraction that offered was mitigated by the wound he suffered in the raid. It throbbed with his every heartbeat.

What brought his attention up from his father's feet was the sound of two new voices. The twins had arrived. They stood behind his father. The twins voices slid around the room as oily as the movement of Cearl's gigantic snake that he carried with him everywhere. Pybba spoke, "Your Majesty, while we did give you warning that young Wihtred was not seasoned enough for his command."

Your cheeks flush a deeper red at their words. Those two snakes have poisoned your father towards you for years. But their next words shocked you into looking up at Pybba. "We have consulted the gods and find that you were betrayed. Someone warned the britons of the young Aethling's raid and set up an ambush for him. There can be no other explanation. Their arrival was too perfectly timed. They were waiting for him. We believe that one of your rivals may have had a hand in this."

The realization chilled Wihtred's bones. Betrayed. That explains so much. He began to thing back through the fateful encounter.

They arrived unseen on the Saxon Shore. They were north of that fortification that the Briton's call Hadrian's Wall. Leading their ships up a small river they beached their boats and proceeded to the west in search of plunder. A large farmstead was reached after searching for a few miles. His men sacked the farm with no interruptions. There were able to secure some livestock but nothing else of real value. The farmers had fled before they arrived. At the time, Wihtred had felt it was good luck. Now it seemed to be the first sign of betrayal. As they headed back to their boats, he took his men another way to avoid a trap of someone waiting across his trail. They reached a small stream and spotted another farm. This one was devoid of any life. No livestock and no people.

He directed his men to cross the stream in column. The boys crossed first to check on things. The four men scampered across the stream and ran ahead of the force looking for trouble. Eormenred led a group of Geoguth (Warriors) into the stream next. Followed by himself and the Gedridht (hearthguard/elite) then Sigeberht and the rest of the Geoguth.

The stream became a bottleneck that slowed the Saxons.

While the bulk of the Saxons were still negotiating the stream, the Britons began to arrive.

Seeing the threat, the skirmishers fired several ineffectual arrows at the arriving force. The Britons rushed to the crest of a hill and formed a large shieldwall with nearly their entire force. I quickly moved my Gedridht into position and goaded them into inaction in hopes to get the rest of my force around the flank of the Britons and back to the ships. Things were still not out of hand yet when more Britons arrived.

As Sigeberht passed in front of the abandoned farm, a large force of crazed peasants attacked him from the rear. They were led by one of their priests who was nearly frothing at the mouth. The man looked positively crazed. Sigeberht drove them off but not without casualties. Five of his men lay dead from the frantic attack of the crazed priest. Another seven of the priest's followers lay slain as well. As they continued to press forward, they were attacked by more peasants throwing rocks. This claimed another of his men. They abandoned the livestock they were leading and ran to join Eormenred.

The attack of the peasants must have bolstered the courage of the Britons. From the far flank of their shieldwall, a group of levy broke rank and charged my men. They slammed into the right flank and caused significant casualties. Their levy fell back in time for a second group to come in. These too were driven back but not before inflicting more casualties. Now their shieldwall began to move forward.

The Britons launched one more attack and that is where I took my wound. Eight of my Gedridht lay dead around me. Most of our plunder was lost and I and four of my men ran for our lives. Fortunately, the Britons declined to pursue. Indeed they seemed relieved that we were leaving. I rejoined Sigeberht and Eormenred at the ships. The trip home was one of doom. But the words of Pybba and Cearl have heartened me. Betrayed! That makes sense. We were betrayed.


This was the first game from our group of a Dux Britanarium campaign. I apologize for the poor photo quality but the lighting was poor and the hands were shaky. The game was great fun. Mistakes were made. The Briton's entered their entire force on the first turn rather than coming in as specified by the scenario. This did my troops in. It was a fun and fast played game.

I played the Saxons. Mark played the Mad Monk. And Doug played the Britons. For some reason he has declared his lord to be Prince Dwizzlewit.

Current Campaign Status

Chris' Saxons
Dave's Britons
Mad MonkMark's PictsBrian's ???
StartingFundsThief's HordeTribune's Tribute - 0 - ??????
April, 500 Loss Thief's HordeBeggar's Bowl
May, 500 No Actions
June, 500 No Actions
July, 500 No Actions


  1. If we were throwing something besides cabbages at first, we might have done more damage. Thanks for the fun game, Chris.

  2. Hey there, just joined as a follower to glean any marbles of opinion you and your crew have about making Dux Brit a multiplayer campaign. As I wrote in response to your post on TPM, I believe TFL has something in the works on that front. Until then, I'm interested in your ideas.


  3. Good report Chris, finally getting my troops painted up and going to try and convert the Saga players at the local to try Dux.

  4. TFL are indeed in the midst of a multiplayer version, plus a 'Northern Raider' supplement...

    Cool report! Glad to see you getting into Dux Brit!

  5. Great writing. The livestock miniatures are great fun. I like games with crazed priests and mad monks in them. :)