19 May 2011

Ambush at Bruthweald - Part 1

The scenario for this month's Dark Ages game was a battle scenario, in which the Vikings try to trap a Saxon force, who in turn were trying to trap a Viking force, at an isolated village.  The Players were given separate briefings, and slightly different victory conditions.

I used the Burning Farm scenario at the "Command Tent" blog as the basis for this game, scaling it up for Age of Blood: thanks for the inspiration Dan!  Ken and the Lad were the initial Viking forces facing off against Peter's Saxon warband.  My Dane warband entered later in the game as Viking reinforcements, so I could remain (mostly) impartial in the opening turns.
Some of the Lads skipped the battle and went directly to the Victory feast!

Saxon Briefing


Following the harvest moon and taking advantage of the weather, pagan raiders have been landing and ravaging the local area with impunity.  Your local lord, Ealdorman Aelthelm, knows that if such misdeeds are not brought to a swift end there will not be enough food to last the oncoming winter.  And if he is not seen to be reacting adequately, there is a very real threat of a peasant uprising.  Keeping up his tax revenue is always of benefit too…

Accordingly, Ealdorman Aelthelm has dispatched you, Lord Uhtred, with your own huscarls and a force of retainers to track down and destroy the raiders.  As the harvest has only recently been gathered, the fyrd are dispersed on their farms and not available to assist.

Yesterday, our scouts reported that Viking longships have landed near the village of Bruthweald.  From the number of ships sighted, you can expected three or more warbands to be raiding the surrounding area.

Depart immediately and intercept them before they can re-embark in their ships.  If we can deplete the numbers we may ward them off for the remainder of the season.

If you prevent them from taking all the valuables, you will be permitted to keep a portion.  Noting the King’s devout Christian beliefs, Ealdorman Aelthelm would also be pleased if you could protect the church from destruction (then he won’t have build a new one to keep the King’s favour).

As you approach the Avon River bridge, you see black smoke rising from what can only be farmhouses being burned by heathen raiders….

Saxon Mission:
Destroy or drive off the Northmen. 
Prevent the Church from being destroyed, if you can

The village of Bruthweald lays to seaward of the Avon River.  To the north and east are extensive marshlands.  To the south lies a range of low, forested hills.

The raiders will need to re-cross the bridge before making their way back to their longships.  Use this to your advantage.

Lord Uhtred and warband

Contingent from Ealdorman Aelthelm ’s house guard.

Viking Briefing


Your warbands have been ravaging the coastal areas taking advantage of the full granaries after the harvest.  Apart from the looted wealth, the additional food stocks will be very well received at home for the coming winter months.

Your spies in the Saxon capital report that the local Elderman has dispatched a force to trap and destroy your warbands.  As the fyrd are away on their farms, the Saxon force is expected to be mostly comprised of retainers: which means they will be well equipped, but relatively few in number.    Should the Saxon force be destroyed, they will be forced onto the defensive, allowing our forces to raid at will.

With multiple Dragonship crews in the area, the situation is well suited to ambush the Saxons.  We landed in daylight yesterday to ensure that enemy scouts saw us and made a show of marching toward the village of Bruthweald, which has now been sacked.  We expect the Saxons to deploy a force to intercept us.  Allow them to do so, and then trap them between two forces.  If this proves unachievable, escape to the boats with your booty.

Valhalla or Victory!

Destroy or Evade the Saxon force
Protect the booty from the sack of Bruthweald, if you can.

The village of Bruthweald lays to seaward past the Avon River.  To the north is marshland and to the south a low range of forested hills.  The way back to the boats is back over the Avon River.


Half the force is to be deployed in and around the village of Bruthweald, and may commence the battle in concealed positions if you wish.

The remainder of the force is hidden in the forest to the south, and will arrive as reinforcements when directed.

Terrain Layout
The battlefield as seen from Church hill
A raven's eye view of the area.
In the forest an unknown horror lurks...
 Tune in shortly to read Part 2 and see what unfolded on the Day of Battle!


  1. Good work, looking forward to more, did my lone wench make it to you eventually?

  2. Yes indeed - caught her skulking around the edge of our camp and quickly put her to work - thanks!

  3. Good to hear, I thought she might have been kidnapped on the way and ended up in some sheikh's harem.

  4. Hey Paul thanks for the shoutout glad I could provide a bit of inspiration. You terrain lay out looks great and the scenario sounds like it should be great fun. I look forward to seeing how it turns out!

  5. Looking good. How long till part 2?

  6. Great stuff! Looking forward to some more...

  7. Sorry lads, I've been away camping for the weekend - Part 2 up shortly