Friday 15 June 2018

Dark Age Scenarios

Upon completion of the DBA Middle Anglo-Saxons and Vikings I had reached a crossroad offering a number of directions I could take with the collection. Two possibilities came immediately to mind; do more historical matches or a campaign. After some thought I ruled out the former as this would require many new enemies that would need to be bought and painted and the second idea had less appeal as a Merovingian period campaign had recently been  played out. That left a possible third option.  

Researching information for conflicts of the 9th and 10th century, I did come across many battles that would make interesting historical scenarios for a standard size DBA game. These held my interest for their unique location of the battlefield and others because they are seldom found on the game board; the Rus, Early Polish, Slavs, Welsh and Abbasid to name a few. 

There is a downside to taking this direction, as with all the Dark Age conflicts, they lack the essential information to construct a well crafted scenario, such as the number of combatants involved or the location of the battlefield. We should deem ourselves fortunate if a chronicler gives a date or mentions a nearby town or waterway.

During the past week I have bookmarked about forty battles which for the most part took place in Western Europe and that include Britain, some in Eastern Europe and some in the Middle East. All took place during the years 880 to 950 AD. At the moment I am gleaning through them all and will select six or eight battles that can be reasonably constructed to give a game for both sides.

Each of the scenarios will be tested with the best example appearing at the blog. However, readers should be aware that those presented should be viewed as ‘Works in Progress and not a finished product. They are meant to stimulate debate or prompt further research to offer an alternative direction. The preliminary selection of forty battles came from two books; ‘Dark Ages’ by Sir Charles Oman, which offers a great overview from the Fall of Rome to the rise of the East Frankish Empire under Otto I and ‘Germany in the Middle Ages 800 – 1056’ by Timothy Reuter.  Also invaluable are a number of translations of medieval chroniclers which are available as e-books from online libraries or Project Gutenberg. 


Map: Central Europe at the time of the Carolingians, Putzger Historischer Weltatlas, Leipzig 1877 (from: Internet Archive). 

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