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Alfred the Great War in the West Country 876AD
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Alfred the Great War in the West Country 876AD

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Welcome to the second game in the Alfred the Great (ATG) campaign series.

 

In the first game: ATG the Great Heathen Army 871AD, Alfred had led the West Saxons to victory of a sorts, spectacular but not comprehensive.

 

Ivar the Boneless the Great high King of the Vikings is dead, killed in Ireland in 873AD and his Lothbrok kin, Halfdan and Ubbe had traveled north to fight the Picts and the Britons of Strathclyde, And then to Ireland, to reclaim the land lost by Ivar.

 

This left Guthrum and his fellow Kings Anwend and Oscetel to mount another attack on Wessex.

 

What kind of plan had Guthrum hatched? We know that he moved 1,500 men quickly and with stealth and seized the fortress of Wareham. There to be joined by a huge fleet of 3,500 Vikings.

 

 Fortified Wareham Situated on the Southern coast of Wessex had proximity to the West Country Fyrds of Devon and Dorset that Guthrum would need to bring to battle, a safe harbor for his warriors that had traveled by ship but also he was within striking distance of Winchester, the capital of the West Saxons and a town that Guthrum would know that Alfred would defend at all costs.

 

There has been strong speculation that Guthrum had discussed with Halfdan and Ubbe Lothbrok a joint plan of attack, one possible scenario could have Halfdan landing in Exeter (that had a strong British quarter) where the groundwork had possibly been laid with the Britons of Cornwalum to stage an uprising against their Saxon lords.

 

The Britons had bad memories of the slaughter after their last uprising and defeat by King Egbert in 836AD (Alfred’s grandfather) and would have needed some strong persuasion but a three pronged attacked from Guthrum in Wareham, The Britons and Halfdans army from Exeter and Ubbe landing a force in the North of Devon or Somerset would have stretched Alfred’s army to a breaking point.

 

The last King of Cornwalum was Doniert and it is mentioned that he died sometime around 875AD by drowning, presumably while out hunting but it is claimed in Irish annals that he was drowned for his collusion with the Vikings, did Alfred seek revenge for a traitor on his border? Or did a leading West Saxon Earl hunt him down and exact vengeance?

 

Unfortunately for Doniert and Guthrum, Halfdan was killed in Ireland and Ubbe was probably involved in seeking retribution (the Lothbroks did have a history of revenge!)

 

In Wareham, Guthrum after making a deal with Alfred, killed all his hostages and fled to Exeter with his house troops while the rest of his army readied to sail to Exeter, possibly this was a last roll of the dice to get the Britons to stick to their plan but Unfortunately for Guthrum his fleet was sunk in a storm off Swanage and his plan (and fleet) was literally sunk.

 

In this game Halfdan is dead but Ubbe is ready to attack, the Britons of Cornwalum can be brought into the game, but only the wily Guthrum has the ability to convince Doniert to join the invasion, but first he has to go Exeter…

 

The Viking strength was in their professional and aggressive soldiery skills, their weakness was often in re-supply of fighting men and the fact the West Saxons were fighting for their home.

 

Kings are of great importance in the game, when they are leading the warriors in combat your moral and thereby fighting ability is increased, without them weakened.

 

The Saxons have a number of strengths, fighting on home soil made easier re-supply and greater access to troops from the Shires, the flipside was that the Fyrd as the local militia was called had their immediate loyalty to their Earl and Shire, and the defeat of their home Shire would mean a lessening of their commitment to the Kings Army.

 

The game commences with the Vikings after hearing about the death of Halfdan in Ireland have  arranged a truce with Alfred at Wareham, hostages have been swapped and Ale drunk and the Saxons are returning to their farms and villages, the smell of treachery is in the air……………

 
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File Last Updated:
October 31, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on October 02, 2016.
Publisher Info
RedKing Games