Victory Results:
 55 %
Record a victory for BOTTOM ARMY  45 %
Total plays 11 - Last reported by Riclev on 2024-07-17 17:53:57

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

In late 870, King Æthelred led the army of Wessex against the Danes in their stronghold at Reading. The attack failed, and the Anglo-Saxons were forced to retreat while the Danes pursued. The Danish armies caught up with the Anglo-Saxons on the field of Ashdown, located somewhere near the border of Oxfordshire and Berkshire (the precise location is unknown).
It was January 8, 871. The weather was cold and damp, and the Berkshire Downs were soaked and boggy. King Æthelred divided his army in two, positioning the halves on either side of a ridgeway. Æthelred commanded one side, Alfred the other. As the Danes approached, they also split their army.

Alfred watched as the Danes drew nearer, waiting for the order to charge. However, his brother Æthelred had decided that he must pray before the battle and refused to advance until his prayer service was complete. Seeing that the Danish movement would cost him the advantage of high ground, Alfred decided to attack without help from his brother. The Anglo-Saxons' charged on the Danes on their side of the ridgeway. Although nothing specific is known about the fighting, it is likely that both sides employed shieldwalls from which to push and batter against each other. Eventually the Danes broke and fled across the downs.

Only later did Æthelred launch his own troops into the attack. After more heavy fighting, his side was also victorious.


War Council

SAXONS (Use Tan blocks)
• Leader: King Æthelred of Wessex
• 5 Command Cards
• 4 Inspired Action tokens
• Move First

VIKINGS (Use Purple Blocks)
• Leader: Halfdan Ragnarsson
• 5 Command Cards
• 3 Inspired Action tokens

Victory
5 Banners

SPECIAL RULES

  • Auxilia units Battleback with 1 extra die.
  • Saxons use the Byzantine Inspired Actions
  • Vikings use all Inspired Actions
  • Replace the Mounted Charge Command card text to read
    Boar’s Snout
    Select one foot unit and up to two adjacent foot units. Each unit can move one extra hex and battle.
    When battling, add 1 die to each supported unit. Ordered units may not engage in Ranged Combat.
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Riclev replied the topic:
3 weeks 6 days ago
Despite the stats above, this is a tough battle for the Saxons. Our results last night were 5-0 to the Vikings and 5-4 to the Saxons. The Viking preponderance in medium infantry makes a Saxon collapse very likely if their two medium infantry units can be eliminated on either side of the ridge line. In both the games all the action was on the Viking left/Saxon right, so the key seems to be getting the Saxon mediums on the left to get onto the ridge to support Aethelred on the right: then, using the hilltop position, they might have a chance. This happened in the second game (the Saxon win), but in the first the Saxons tried to fight separate battles, with catastrophic results.

The Viking battles are interesting, but beware that for this particular battle you need a second copy of the game as there are only blocks for 4 Saxon auxilia whereas you need 6 for Ashdown.