Tuesday 9 August 2022

Enemies of the Pre-Feudal Scots

The following technical and tactical tips are meant a reference tool for ME when playing historical games or designing scenarios. Against each opponent, the Scots were placed in ideal and worst-case positions, generating a number of useful ideas, most of the enemies of the Scots were tested with the exception of the Norse Irish and Anglo-Norman, Similar exercises are planned for the enemies of the Nikephorian Byzantine and Norman armies.


II/81d Strate Clyde, terrain type: arable, aggression: 1

The Strate Clyde have a strong cavalry presence, accounting for a third of its total number, enough to threaten the vulnerable flanks if spearmen are able to pin the Scots pikemen. 

To counter this, single pike elements can deal with the cavalry leaving other pike units to break through their shieldwall. Against pike cavalry will flee on a result of “twice as many” and here an advantage can be gained by directing their flight toward rough or bad going. Of the optional terrain, a river would inconvenience flight and woods or BUA (hamlet) could obscure an enemy general’s control of his troops.    


III/24b Middle Anglo-Saxon, terrain type: arable, aggression: 2

Close formation spear and blade are a tough combination to beat especially if allowed to deploy in formation overlapping your own. In these situations, the Scot should utilise its movement advantage if fighting on an open field.   

Splitting the Scots in two divisions worked well, a small group occupying the Saxons to their front leaving the main division to defeat their opponents. Comprising the latter division are two pike columns, the Galwegians and the commander leaving the thegns to serve as a link between the two divisions.


III/40a, b Vikings, terrain type: littoral, aggression: 4

Fast blades of an ‘a’ sub-list can cause a few headaches if used well. Deployed in extended line, they will easily overlap the Scottish line. Movement matching the Scots, they can easily be re-positioned to place the Scots on the back foot. In close combat, they remain in contact on even scores, fighting the thegns (4Wb) being the only exception. 

Similar tactics used against the Saxons did work. Here, the two warband elements and the general were placed between two pike columns to help develop breakthroughs during combat. 

Against the solid blade of the ‘b’ sub-list presented other opportunities. Being less mobile, these Vikings will repel most Scots on an even score in close combat. With a higher aggression factor, the Scots should be defending, making littoral landings unlikely. Preferred optional terrain pieces should be a river, boggy ground, wood and a hamlet.


III/45 Pre-Feudal Scots, terrain type: arable, aggression 1

Not much to report here, just that the games ended quickly. A flanked column of pikemen and the loss of the general will end it for one side. It is however, advantageous to have one unit in reserve to reposition elsewhere during the game. 


III/52 Norman, terrain type: arable, aggression: 3

Expect tough battles if blade appear in significant number; these will blunt the effectiveness of pike columns. Norman mounted account for half the army, therefore attention to terrain selection can mollify that advantage, if not possible, a few pikemen in single line is an alternative solution. 


III/72 Anglo-Danish, terrain type: arable, aggression 1

Not much different than fighting the Middle Anglo-Danish. However, if Great fyrd (7Hd) are deployed in number, use the skirmishers to lure them out of formation.