invasion of Alba in 934 fell short of the desired objective to bring Constantine
II to heel. Events would redirect Aethelstan northward as the throne of Jorvik
(York) became vacant. With no direct heir, Olaf Guthfrithson,
King of the Dublin Norse laid claim to the throne and to ensure his claim, Olaf
gained support from Constantine II of Alba and Owain I of Strathclyde. Sailing
from Dublin, Olaf would meet Constantine II and Owain I on the march south.
by chroniclers and poets as the ‘great battle’, Brunanburh lasted the better
part of a day leaving thousands of dead on the field. To simulate this, the
single command is doubled in size bringing the total of elements to twenty-four.
How this variant works can be found by following the link.
off from Winchester with core units filling the ranks on his march through
Mercia. Most likely, this would include the greater fyrd and two 7Hd must be
included in the Saxon army.
different problem, no strengths are known of the Norse, Scots and Strathclyde forming
the coalition. Therefore, two lists are proposed with either Olaf supplying the
greater force (12 elements) or Constantine II. To bolster their ranks, any
mounted selected will deploy as their equivalent dismounted type, this would have
spearmen for Strathclyde and Constantine II fighting on foot with his thegns.
III/25b (must include Mercian levy of 2 x 7Hd)
Norse, Scots and Strathclyde
of Dublin, II/40b (12 elements)
of Strathclyde, II/81d (6 elements)
II, III/45 (6 elements)
II, III/45 (12 elements)
of Dublin, II/40b (6 elements)
of Strathclyde, II/81d (6 elements)
battle took place remains unsolved as there are four locations named as likely
candidates. The Wirral Peninsula offers an ideal landing for the Dublin Norse
longships and for this test, terrain pieces were limited to gentle hills,
scrub, and wood.
The Brunanburh Campaign; A Reappraisal, Kevin Halloran, Edinburgh University.
The Battleof Brunanburh, University of Nottingham (the podcasts are particularly interesting).
Great Battle of History for DBA3, ed. Joe Collins
deployed in extended line covering the breadth of their deployment area,
leaving extra elements to be positioned in a second line. The battle commenced
with the Norse Vikings striking the Mercian division, suffering casualties for
Capitalising on an early success, Wessex struck the Scots and Strathclyde. Strathclyde proved tenacious not yielding ground, the Scots however, managed to pierce the Saxon line creating chaos among the Saxons.
The carnage among the Saxons escalated forcing them to leave the field; presenting the coalition a victory, 8-3.
the Saxon thegns (4Bd) were positioned together to hopefully improve their
chances for a breakthrough.
Battle swayed to-and-fro, with casualties relatively even on both sides.
Nearly an hour passed (4 turns) before the unexpected happened, Olaf was slain in combat. Constantine II, assumed command of the coalition, unfortunately, lacking sufficient runners to bring new orders, many Norse troops remained leaderless.
Despite their small numbers, the Scots again pierced the Saxon line and avenging their fallen warlord, the Norse put to flight their opposition to deliver a second victory; 8-4 + general.
List coalition one was used for both tests resulting in two defeats for the Saxon army. Of the two, the second came closest to matching actual events. Olaf’s demise would prompt the Norse to leave Britain ceasing any claim to the throne of Jorvik, therefore a strategic victory for Aethelstan.
will continue next month and use the second list for the coalition.