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Thread: Romano Brits Vs. Vikings

  1. #1
    Tom Crooze's Avatar Jukutatsu shita
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    Default Romano Brits Vs. Vikings

    Lets just say in an Alternate reality, Saxons never Invade England, so the Britons keep their Roman style culture. Then when Vikings begin Raiding in the 8th century, how do you think History would change? Here is the Stats:

    The Vikings are, well, Vikings. You know what Viking armies and Navies are like.

    The Romano British Kingdoms armies are like that of the Late Roman empire. Their main forces would be light-mail wearing warriors, armed with long swords and round shields. Their cavalry would be decadents of Barbarian cavalry divisions from before the fall of Rome, and Archers from Archer Auxiliaries. They would also use a lot of Celtic Mercenaries. The navy would be like of late Rome, with use of Galleys and Triemes.

    So, what do you think would happen?

  2. #2
    Vexillifer
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    Default Re: Romano Brits Vs. Vikings

    Quote Originally Posted by PeasentsSuck View Post
    Lets just say in an Alternate reality, Saxons never Invade England, so the Britons keep their Roman style culture. Then when Vikings begin Raiding in the 8th century, how do you think History would change? Here is the Stats:

    The Vikings are, well, Vikings. You know what Viking armies and Navies are like.
    I hope you know what you're saying here...

    The Romano British Kingdoms armies are like that of the Late Roman empire. Their main forces would be light-mail wearing warriors, armed with long swords and round shields. Their cavalry would be decadents of Barbarian cavalry divisions from before the fall of Rome, and Archers from Archer Auxiliaries. They would also use a lot of Celtic Mercenaries. The navy would be like of late Rome, with use of Galleys and Triemes.
    Trireme? I don't think you'd want to use Mediterranean ships for ocean travel. Even travel on the North sea.

    So, what do you think would happen?
    Pretty much what happened before: people get raided and in time, they adapt to the situation. I doubt Anglo-Saxon England was better or worse off than the Romano-British.
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  3. #3
    wowbanger's Avatar Jimmy's winning matches
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    Default Re: Romano Brits Vs. Vikings

    The first queston to ask here is just what state Sub-Roman Britain would be in by the late 8th century. They already proved that they coudn't defend themselves sufficiently from raids by the Irish and the Picts, thats the reason they invited the first Saxons to Britain, to act as mercenaries agianst these foes. Therefore you would have to decide on 1 of 3 (as far as can see there are 3 main alternatives) options for how the Romano-British surviced until the Viking age.

    1. They didn't try using Saxons as mercenaries, instead perferring to fight the Irish and Picts themselves. This would probably have resulted in the Romano-British losing some land to the Irish (in modern day Wales) or Picts (south of Hadrian's Wall). The Romano-British Kingdom would also likely have split up into smaller Kingdoms as actually happened when the Saxons invaded. This leaves the Romano-Brits in a very similar situation as when the Saxons invaded and against a fairly similar foe the results would likely have been similar in result.
    RESULT: Viking conquest of Britain

    2. The Romano-Brits successfully use Saxons as mercenaries to fight the Irish and Picts. This alternative assumes that the Saxons are content to act as mercenaries and don't turn their thoughts to conquest. Therefore the Romano-Brits would have a strong core to build an army around. This senario may result in the best outcome for the Romano-Brits in that; they will be able to stop Irish and Pictish raids by using the Saxon mercenaries, they may be able to remain centralised if one person can maintain could of the Saxons, being more centralised would provide the best chance of beating the Vikings, but even so, in real life the Vikings were able to trouble even the centralised and larger Frankish Kingdom, so result may be in some doubt.
    RESULT: Difficult to say, but I'll back the Romano-Brits.

    3. The Saxons do attack but are defeated. This scenario I feel would probably go the same way as the 1st one as it would probably result in the fragmentation of Romano Britain into smaller Kingdoms as accually happened during the Saxon invasions. The only way this might go differently would be if 1 great King (Arthur perhaps?) could unite Britain. In that case the Romano-Brits may stand a chance against the Vikings.
    RESULT: Viking victory unless someone could unite Britain.

    The only other alternative is what actually happened in real life. A small part of Roman Britain holds out against the Saxons (Wales) and then they struggle to fight the Vikings. The Vikings founded several towns in South Wales.

    Basically the only way I can see the Vikings being soundly beaten would be if Sub Roman Britain was united at the time and considering it fragmented within a few decades of the Romans leaving I think that the odds of that aren't that great.
    Last edited by wowbanger; January 27, 2011 at 11:48 AM.



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  4. #4
    Ferrets54's Avatar Praefectus Fabrum
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    Default Re: Romano Brits Vs. Vikings

    Quote Originally Posted by PeasentsSuck View Post
    Lets just say in an Alternate reality, Saxons never Invade England, so the Britons keep their Roman style culture. Then when Vikings begin Raiding in the 8th century, how do you think History would change? Here is the Stats:

    The Vikings are, well, Vikings. You know what Viking armies and Navies are like.

    The Romano British Kingdoms armies are like that of the Late Roman empire. Their main forces would be light-mail wearing warriors, armed with long swords and round shields. Their cavalry would be decadents of Barbarian cavalry divisions from before the fall of Rome, and Archers from Archer Auxiliaries. They would also use a lot of Celtic Mercenaries. The navy would be like of late Rome, with use of Galleys and Triemes.

    So, what do you think would happen?
    Okay... what? What exactly are you basing your views on Sub-Roman Britain on? Why do you perceive their military ability as some sort of down-sized Roman region. The reality is that Britain at the end of Roman occupation is an agricultural land dotted with a very small number of very small cities and tribal oppida. It is already under huge pressure from neighboring raiders and depleted by civil war. It is likely that at this point the British Isles have already long past their population peak and will not recover for centuries. This mounting pressure, that Sub-Roman Kings apparently had to face with mercenaries, is compacted by the collapse of the economy of Western Europe. The Western Roman Empire is by now losing land, and like all pre-Industrial economies this is having a huge effect on their GDP, which is overwhelmingly agricultural. So the Sub-Roman British have little hope of raising the money that allowed the Roman Empire to field the forces you're talking about.

    Politically there's absolutely no reason to believe that the Sub-Roman British could have unified without the presence of Saxon settlers. The British Kingdoms were more than happy to wage wars against one another long after the Eastern Seaboard was colonised by Saxon Kingdoms.

    So, meh? I think all alternative history is retarded anyway.

  5. #5
    Colonel Cleg McLeg's Avatar Yoda
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    Default Re: Romano Brits Vs. Vikings

    Quote Originally Posted by PeasentsSuck View Post
    Lets just say in an Alternate reality, Saxons never Invade England, so the Britons keep their Roman style culture. Then when Vikings begin Raiding in the 8th century, how do you think History would change? Here is the Stats:

    The Vikings are, well, Vikings. You know what Viking armies and Navies are like.

    The Romano British Kingdoms armies are like that of the Late Roman empire. Their main forces would be light-mail wearing warriors, armed with long swords and round shields. Their cavalry would be decadents of Barbarian cavalry divisions from before the fall of Rome, and Archers from Archer Auxiliaries. They would also use a lot of Celtic Mercenaries. The navy would be like of late Rome, with use of Galleys and Triemes.

    So, what do you think would happen?
    First off: the armies of Sub-Roman Britain were nothing like the Roman Legions. The last of the legions left with Magnus Maximus when he staked his claim to the imperial throne. We're talking tribal warbands, shield walls, and not much cavalry (if at all). So its not a case of Romans vs. Vikings.

    Second: it would not have been a conflict with only two players. Britain reverted to a whole bunch of petty kingdoms, in part based upon old tribal boundaries, following the departure of the legions. In addition, there would have been other pressures on Britain, too, in particular the Irish, who once managed to colonise large areas of Wales and put enough pressure on the kingdoms of South-West Britain to begin the first wave of migration to Brittany.

    As to what would have happened, who can say? Any real answer on the topic is just wild speculation. We can certainly say that the Britons would have been capable of defending themselves (see Rhodri Mawr's defeat of the Danes in Anglesey), but whether they would have been able to resist a concerted effort to carve out a Danelaw in Britain is another matter entirely. It could have done what it did to England; become the catalyst for unification under a strong leader. It could have had an entirely different effect.

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