Saxon Raid into Lothian 516 AD   1 comment

A Scenario for Hail Caesar Rules

Octha, King of the Saxons has raided deep into Lothian from his base in Northumbria.  Octha is High King of all the Saxons and he has collected great booty of gold, wine, livestock and slaves and his army is now returning laden with spoils.   Octha has with him a well armoured force of Jutes from Kent as well as his own famed Hearthtroop and a large force of Saxon warriors.

King Lot of Lothian  has turned to the his brother in law Artorius, Dux Bellorum of the Britons.   Artorius has brought his experienced army North of the Wall and blocks Octha’s route as he travels South along the road towards one of the few river crossing points on the River Tweed.   The battle is fought in the open ground to east and west of the road with to the east high steep wooded slopes being impassable and to the west a deep fast flowing river which is also impassable with some dense woods bordering the eastern bank.

The legendary Lot was King of Lothian encompassing the lands of the Votadini and his base was to be found at Traprain Law near Haddington.  A tremendous treasure was unearthed in 1919 attesting to the great wealth of the tribe and ongoing trade with the Britons at this time.

Traprain Treasure

Lot has allies amongst the Picts to the North also.  Some Pict crossbowmen are harrassing the Saxons from the cover of the woods and the fast moving cavalry have joined with Artorius.

The Saxons must cross their baggage train off the Southern edge.  This moves as militia but gains a free move as long as it remains on the road.  The train can be captured by an enemy unit who can hold it until forced to retreat in combat.

Troops forced to retreat towards a table edge can stop at the edge if they wish.  Troops leaving the table will not return.

Victory Points

Each C in C killed or captured; 20 points.

Each standard unit routed by game end; 20 points.

Each standard unit Shaken at game end 10 points.

Saxons crossing baggage train off the Southern board edge 50 points.

Britons capturing and holding the baggage train 40 points.

Britons halting the baggage train (it does not cross by game end) 20 points.

The Forces


The Battle Report

Andy and Mike played as the Saxons with Mike as the commander of the Jutes and the cavalry reserve on the West flank and Andy as Octha and the Northern Saxons in the centre and on the right.  Phil played as the Britons.    The Saxons had the bigger army and more points but had to try to get the baggage off the map through the British plus their was a secret ambush awaiting them in the western woods.

The game started with the advanced Picts in the woods to the West firing at the skirmishers screening the Jutes.  These then charged but instead of fleeing the Picts blundered and held their ground, firing and driving off the Javelinmen.  The Saxon centre formed Swine Array and advanced down the road but the Eastern flank Saxons refused to budge.

The Jutes advanced rapidly towards the Northern British spearmen on the western hill.  In so doing they exposed their own right flank to the Picts lurking in ambush in the woods.  However they had wisely held back a unit of heavy infantry to the north of the woods who broke into open order intending to enter and clear any potential ambushers.

The Picts rushed out of the woods but had to form up before they could strike the Saxon flank more centrally.  The Picts at the northern edge rushed out into the open order heavy infantry.  The Britons seeing the Picts rushed down the hill, levelling their spears and crashed into the Saxon shieldwall.  To their right the Romano-British infantry failed to contact the advancing Swine Array and instead hurled javelins.  To the far right the cavalry began to advance moving to surround the advancing centre as the Saxon left flank had again failed to advance.

The Britons to the West failed to break the Saxon shieldwall and soon found themselves being pushed back up the hill.  The Picts to the North and their Saxon foes fought to a stalemate with both units eventually becoming shaken by the end of the battle but neither fleeing.  The Picts in the western centre did force their way behind the Saxons driving back and destroying their foes against the odds such was the fury of their charge.

In the  centre of the battlefield the game turned on the fight between Octha’s Hearthtroop and the Romano-British shieldwall.  The Saxons Swine Array rushed forward hurling Angons and Franciscae in an attempt to smash the shieldwall.  However they failed and were driven back in disorder!  In disarray they strove to fight on but to the east Artorius and his cavalry smashed through the screening infantry and in a victorious advance crushed the eastern portion of the swine array from the flank!  Artorius then withdrew as his own flank would have otherwise been exposed.  This weakened the already disordered Hearthtroop as they fought desperately against the advancing Britons.  In the melee Octha was slain!  The hearthtroop were destroyed and the centre retreated allowing the British to capture the baggage train!

As the sun began to set the Saxons to the west smashed the Northern British militia and prepared to destroy the remaining Picts.  The cavalry advanced to find an opening to the west.  The British cavalry failed twice to smash the formidable Swine array to the east and were driven back with heavy casualties towards their own southern edge.  The British infantry formed an imposing line guarding the baggage in the centre.   In the battle the Saxon central commander Octha had been slain and his replacement also slain and the eastern commander also died.    No British leaders were lost.

At game end the victory points were tallied.  The result was an emphatic British victory.

A good game well fought by all.  Victory to the Britons but the Saxons were good sports attacking in the spirit of the scenario even though they knew there was something suspicious about those woods!

Posted June 4, 2011 by wargamesdiary

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