Monday 6 May 2013

The Annals of the Relic of Saint Pius AAR (Chapter 1)

Chapter 1, Sorviodunum

Read stranger, the apocryphal words of Saint Neot the Lesser, servant of God and compiler of this, the Annals of the Relic of Saint Pius. It is a tale of Britons and Saxons, of Irish pirates and valiant knights. A song of holy relics and vile heathens, of the bravest of deeds and the most villainous of treacheries.

I should know, for I was there...

Flavius Constans, a man who fancied himself descended from a line of Roman Emperors, stared contemptuously down the slopes of Sorviodunum at the rabble gathering below. Sure, the combined Hiberno-Saxon host had driven him out of Venta of the Belgae– a centre his opponents were now calling Venta-chester, as if they thought he would let them stay. Sure, the barbarous hoards had forced him to seek shelter within the crumbling defences of Sorvidunum – but he had not gone down without a fight. Now, only two enemy warbands remained in any condition to continue the fight: Æthelwulf's band of Angles and a boat-load of Irish pirates led by the fearsome Irish prince, Dubh Fiach.

Behind Flavius, one of his spearmen chuckled quietly at some jest uttered by his fellows. The last of Venta’s stout-hearted militia sat around a collection of small fires, speaking quietly while they prepared themselves for the onslaught that would come at first light. Every man there knew that this, their last stand would be a bloody affair. The only real hope of the British cause was that Flavius’ distant cousin, the Magister Equitum of all the Britons would bring his mounted host to sweep away the opposition.

This is the first 'after action report' of the Relic of Saint Pius campaign, the full details of which can be found here.
The warband of Flavius Constans ready themselves in a small village built within the decaying defences of  Sorviodunum. Aethelwulf's Angles advance from outside the eroded bank while the Irish approach the village from two different locations within the defences.

The Romano-British prepare for the coming onslaught.

Iseult the Raven leads her men through  the small wood ready for the approach.

The Anglo-Irish gain the initiative and move first. While the Angles crest the bank in good order, Dubh Fiach dashes forward only to find himself alone.

While Constans rallies his men to face the attack, Aethelwulf's warband charges forward releasing a hail of (ineffective) throwing spears and Fankish style axes. The raiders following Fiach dart forward into the cover of the great hall. Two of the wolfhounds bowl into a British archer but do not have the actions to make good their slobbering attack.

Iseult and her lads creep to the edge of the woods and wait for the right moment to strike across the open field. The open ground could become a nasty killing zone for British archers and the long awaited mounted British reinforcements.
The melee gets underway on the edge of the village. Flavius Constans makes a furious dash to save his archer, smiting one Irish beast and scattering the others with the morale effects of the brutal kill.

From the trees, the remaining Irish look on ...

... while Aetherwulf's warband bears the brunt of the fighting ...

... until a well placed sword blow removed the head of a British spearman, greatly disturbing the defenders and forcing them to pull back around Calpurnius Draco and his dragon banner.

With the defenders' resolve crumbling, the Irish whoop in through the gaps between the houses and across the field from the trees.

The combined assault drives the Romano-British out of the village centre ...

... where they are quickly replaced by the Angles and Irish.

Only now, when the critical turning point in the battle has passed, did Artorius and his British knights arrive on the field. They approached from behind the woods, only a turn too late to catch Iseult in the open.

Aethelwulf organises his own defece of the village whild Dubh Fiach and Iseult's combined Irish warband sweeps away the leadership of the British foot.

Artorius leads his knights forward in a glorious last ditch charge to drive off the invaders ...

... but in the end it proves futile. By the time the knight's arrived, Aethelwulf was already too well entrenched between the huts. Unable to press their charge, the knights in turn were overwhelmed by a swarm of Irish raiders and ceased to be a viable warband.

Victory points at the end of turn 12:
Aethelwulf's Angles - 9
Dubh Fiach's Irish Raiders - 7
Romano-British Milites of Venta Belgarum - 3
Arthur's British Equites - 0

Follow the victors here.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful figures, I do like your village!!