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View Full Version : Balancing a 1066AD Campaign


Pavane
08-08-2010, 10:27 PM
We are planning to start a 1066AD campaign, but we all know that the Anglo-Danish Sp army has to be lucky to ever defeat the Viking Bd army. Does anyone have any suggestins for a house rule to balance this situation?

Since a large portion of the Viking army was left behind guarding the beached ships, I was thinking that a mandatory detatched Bd guarding the Viking player's camp (that cannot leave the camp) when fighting the English might be enough to balance things.

Rich Gause
08-08-2010, 10:43 PM
You can always tweek the army lists, give the saxons an optional cav in place of a spear, maybe an extra optional horde element when defending etc... Maybe allow Saxons to more easily replace losses between battles?

Chris Brantley
08-08-2010, 11:05 PM
This historical record basically gives you two battles to draw on for Anglo-Saxons vs. Vikings in 1066. At Fulford Gate, Hardrada had an estimated 9,000 warriors in full gear advancing on a static Saxon position approx. 5,000 strong. Morcar didn't sit still, however, and advanced against Hardrada while his troops were still arriving on the field. Despite some early success, the Saxons eventually lost as arriving Vikings worked onto their flanks.

At Stamford Bridge, Hardrada had an estimated 9000 troops against Harolds 6000...but they were divided on both sides of the Derwent river and a third contingent (under Orri) guarding the boats...and they had left their armor at the boats. Harold's attack took them in detail...first destroying the contingent on the west side of the Derwent, then fighting across the bridge and taking on the east side troops...gradually overwhelming them despite a brief counterpunch by Orri's reserves (Orri's Storm).

From those two scenarios, you could draw a couple of possible general balance rules. First is that if Vikings are the defender,...they are caught without their armor and fight at -1. Second is that Vikings seemed to have a hard time getting their entire army into action at the same time and location...so you could have a deployment rule that either forces the Viking to split his deployment or to bring on a significant reserve contingent (e.g. boat guards) from the rear.

John Meunier
08-09-2010, 12:24 AM
You could call the majority of Viking foot Sp rather than Bd. Outside the Huscarls, it is probably reasonable to say they are not significantly different from the good quality Saxon foot.

Looking at the rulebook definition of Bd, I'm not sure the battle accounts give any reason for rank-and-file Vikings to be more likely to function as Bd than their Saxon counterparts.

mellis1644
08-09-2010, 09:28 AM
Looking at the rulebook definition of Bd, I'm not sure the battle accounts give any reason for rank-and-file Vikings to be more likely to function as Bd than their Saxon counterparts.

I'm no expert but from my reading in the area I agree with the above. My suggestion for a campaign would be to tweek the army lists which make the Vikings too powerful (or the Saxon's) too weak.

DBA armies are purposely not created equal, but to create an equal set of games this would be required.

Pavane
08-09-2010, 12:46 PM
Thanks for the ideas. I think Barker's justification for Vikings being Blade was that they all had side weapons, which is pretty lame. On the other hand, did they fight as a shield wall? The Normans are also in the Campaign, so I have to be careful not to upset the balance there while I am at it.

In DBM the Vikings are mainly Bd(I) and the Anglo-Danish are mainly Sp(O), which gives the English a fighting chance.

Macbeth
08-09-2010, 07:36 PM
My current 1066 campaign (Stormin Normans also on this board) seemed quite balanced because the Normans formed a tight alliance with the Anglo Danes and thus kept the Bd heavy Vikings and Scots Isles out of England until we added a second West Frankish army to the mix.

So even if you balance out the one on one matchups there can still be some balance tippers.

I also recall that the Saxons saw off an attack on York by the Scots Isles by judicious flanking - don't forget that they set the terrain ;)

Cheers

Ed Dillon
08-09-2010, 08:59 PM
This historical record basically gives you two battles to draw on for Anglo-Saxons vs. Vikings in 1066. At Fulford Gate, Hardrada had an estimated 9,000 warriors in full gear advancing on a static Saxon position approx. 5,000 strong. Morcar didn't sit still, however, and advanced against Hardrada while his troops were still arriving on the field. Despite some early success, the Saxons eventually lost as arriving Vikings worked onto their flanks.

At Stamford Bridge, Hardrada had an estimated 9000 troops against Harolds 6000...but they were divided on both sides of the Derwent river and a third contingent (under Orri) guarding the boats...and they had left their armor at the boats. Harold's attack took them in detail...first destroying the contingent on the west side of the Derwent, then fighting across the bridge and taking on the east side troops...gradually overwhelming them despite a brief counterpunch by Orri's reserves (Orri's Storm).

From those two scenarios, you could draw a couple of possible general balance rules. First is that if Vikings are the defender,...they are caught without their armor and fight at -1. Second is that Vikings seemed to have a hard time getting their entire army into action at the same time and location...so you could have a deployment rule that either forces the Viking to split his deployment or to bring on a significant reserve contingent (e.g. boat guards) from the rear.

I don't think that being at -2 for fighting without their armor would be too harsh. You might even rule that they or Aux when out of their armor. This might also cause them to be wary of any archers they might encounter.

To follow up on your idea of attacking piecemeal, each stand rolls before the Viking movement phase. It must roll a 4, 5, or 6 to enter on its own base edge that turn. Vikings stands must advance towards contact, if they are able. To help balance things out, the Vikings would have no camp at Stamford Bridge.

Ed

David Kuijt
08-09-2010, 09:10 PM
You could call the majority of Viking foot Sp rather than Bd. Outside the Huscarls, it is probably reasonable to say they are not significantly different from the good quality Saxon foot.

Looking at the rulebook definition of Bd, I'm not sure the battle accounts give any reason for rank-and-file Vikings to be more likely to function as Bd than their Saxon counterparts.

For a campaign, as compared to a one-time battle reenactment like Stamford Bridge, the above is what I'd do. Give the Vikings one or two more Bd than their Saxon foes, but not a wall of Bd as they are listed now.

mellis1644
08-10-2010, 08:46 AM
For a campaign, as compared to a one-time battle reenactment like Stamford Bridge, the above is what I'd do. Give the Vikings one or two more Bd than their Saxon foes, but not a wall of Bd as they are listed now.

I suspect that this would not effect the balance against Normans and others etc either.

David Kuijt
08-10-2010, 10:17 AM
I suspect that this would not effect the balance against Normans and others etc either.

Right.

Anglo-Danes have 3xBd, 8xSp. As listed the Vikings have 11xBd. Giving the Vikings already established in England (i.e., Jorvik and Northumbria, for example) 4xBd, 7xSp; and Viking armies from overseas (i.e., Harald Hardrada's army) 5xBd, 6xSp would not only resolve the oddities with respect to their performance against Anglo-Danes, but would also be more reasonable to show their likely effectiveness against Normans in the same campaign.

Pavane
08-13-2010, 10:38 PM
Thanks again guys. Our Anglo-Danish player says he "doesn't need no stinkin' special rules". We'll see how it goes.