The HV:TW team proudly presents:
Native Name: Englaland Rķce
Faction Strengths: Excellent shield-wall infantry, great at responding to threat
Faction Weaknesses: Backbone of armies are AOR levies, at war with two Viking nations.
Faction Leader: Ēadgār Cyning
Faction Heir: Eadweard
History History of the Kingdom of Anglo-Saxon England
The Kingdom of England under the Anglo-Saxon kings was the dominant force on the British Isles until the Normans arrived. Their history stretched back over 400 years, until the mists of time envelop their beginnings. They began as three tribes; the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes. The tribes lived on or around the peninsula of Jutland under different chieftains and tribal divisions.
Relations with the Roman Empire
In the times before the Germanic "Migration Age," the Roman Empire dominated Europe. They ruled the lands of Britain, Gaul, Spain, and Italy. There was one place, however, they could never assert domination of - Germania. The many tribes living in the dark forests of Germania were divided, but fierce. The Romans attempted to conquer on several occasions, but after the disaster at Teutoberg Forest the mighty Empire would never attempt to conquer again.
The Saxonii, as the Romans knew them, would come into the scene long after the battle of Teutoberg. The first mention of the Saxons was in the early 2nd century, where they were described as pirates and raiders upon the Northern Sea. The threat was so great, in fact, that by the latter half of the third century the Romans created a system of fortifications along the English Channel called the Litus Saxonicum, or the Saxon Shore.
Anglo-Saxon Invasion of Britain
Centuries later, the barbarian tribes of Northern England were again tormenting the lands of Britannia. The Roman Empire had abandoned Britain years ago, leaving the Romano-British to fend for themselves. The Picts, Gaels and Britons began raiding regularly and at will, devastating fields and villages all around Britain. So, in proper Roman tradition, the Romano-British hired mercenary forces called foederati from the Germanic tribes across the Channel - mainly the Saxons, Jutes, Angles and Franks.
The Saxons proved to be great warriors and fighters, perfect for fighting off the Celtic and Gaelic raiders plaguing the country. However, the foederati enjoyed their new status in Britain, and began to exploit their employers. Vortigern, the King of the Britons, had invited the Saxon warlord-brothers Hengist and Horsa to join his army - for the price of an area of land and provisions. Soon, their numbers grew to be too much for the Britons to provide, and their Germanic mercenaries turned on them. For most of the remainder of Vortigern's life, the Saxons and Britons would be entangled in a stalemate. As the pagan tribes began to push forward, Vortigern fled into exile. However, Hengist enticed him out, telling him he wished for peace - and assassinated him.
Years passed, and the Saxons, Angles and Jutes continued to pour from their homelands to a new home - the bountiful ex-Roman province of Britannia. Whether the native Britons were annihilated, displaced, or assimilated, the Anglo-Saxons soon dominated Britain. Seven kingdoms grew from the many different tribes - the kingdoms of Essex, Sussex, Wessex, Middlesex, Mercia, East Anglia, and Northumbria. The kingdoms locked in perpetual combat between each other and the Britons living to their west in Wales. Centuries passed and the battle for supremacy would continue until a new foe would arrive on the shores of Britain.
England and the Vikings
In 793 A.D., a new storm crashed upon the holy island of Lindisfarne. Pagan warriors from the icy fjords of Scandinavia descended upon the unsuspecting monks, taking the valuables, slaughtering the holymen and burning the monastery before sailing away again. This was the beginning of a new period for the Anglo-Saxons: now, they would have to learn to defend themselves from the Norsemen. This was not the first encounter with the Norse, however. In 789, three ships entered the harbor of Portland Bay in southern England. A local official mistook them for traders and attempted to force them to pay a tax to the king, but was slaughtered.
The next major encounter occured in 865 A.D. The Danish king Ragnarr Lošbrók became stranded in England after his ship crashed onto the shore. The king of Northumbria, Ęlla, took him hostage and swiftly executed him for his many years of raiding. Upon hearing of his death, his four sons (who were also renowned raiders and warriors) decided to enact revenge. Sigurd Snake-in-the-eye, Ivar the Boneless, Ubbe and Halfdan gathered a large host of professional warriors to invade England and take their vengeance upon the unsuspecting Anglo-Saxons. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names it the "Great Heathen Army." In the summer of 870 another army arrived, this one named the "Great Summer Army." These two armies caused great devastation to much of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
Rise of The House of Wessex
When the Great Heathen Army arrived on the English shores, the people of the British Isles stood poised to fall under the rule of the pagan Vikings. Three kingdoms fell to the Viking army's wrath: in 860 the Kingdom of Northumbria, then in 870 the Kingdom of East Anglia, and finally the Kingdom of Mercia in 874. Only the kings of Wessex stood fast; King Ęželręd (pronounced Ae-thel-raed, meaning "noble council") had just ascended to the throne when the Vikings arrived. Soon, his fellow kings had all fallen, and he and his family were the only ones left standing. In 871, he was defeated at the Battle of Reading when the Danes turned their attention to Wessex. Soon after, his brother Ęlfrǣd (anglicized as Alfred) defeated the Danes at the Battle of Ashdown. He was defeated twice more before he died in late 871. His brother Ęlfrǣd succeeded him, and was immediately thrown into a deadly conflict with the Vikings. The Heathen Army's leader Halfdan Ragnarsson was set on finishing off the rest of the Saxons, and so he pushed hard into the Saxon territory. He took the town of Reading, and soon crushed Alfred's armies twice more. Alfred knew he had no hope of winning, so he bargained for peace with the Vikings. The Danes withdrew from Reading and the rest of Wessex. Soon, the new Viking leader Guthrum attacked Dorset, then took Chipperham in Mercia. Alfred had been staying in Chipperham, and fled the wrath of the Viking warlord. He stayed hidden in the marshes of Somerset, raiding and harassing the Danes. Then, after months of hiding, Alfred summoned a great army from the shires of Somerset, Wiltshire, and Hampshire and defeated the Danes, trapping them to Chipperham. Soon, the hungry Danes surrendered, withdrawing back to West Mercia and converting to Christianity.
England and the Danelaw
The Anglo-Saxons and the Danes divided their territory into two separate entities. The Danes kept their newfound territory in East Anglia and Northumbria. Mercia was divided up between the Danes and the Saxons, with the west half going to Wessex, and the east going to the Danes. The Danish territory was now named the Danelaw, as the Danes enacted their own laws and customs in their lands. Northumbria became the Kingdom of Jórvķk, centered at the Scandinavian-ruled York. In 899, Alfred died and his son Edward ascended the throne. Edward did not have it easy - his cousin Ęthelwold revolted, attempting to claim the throne to himself. He joined the Danes and was pronounced King of Northumbria. He attacked Essex, and Edward retaliated by ravaging across East Anglia. They finally met in the battle of the Holme, where Ęthelwold was killed. By 918, he had reconquered East Anglia, Mercia and most of Northumbria from the Danes.
His son Ęželstan ascended the throne when Edward died in 924. His reign was relatively short, lasting only 15 years. A Viking still ruled in York, however. Sigtrygg (Sihtric in Irish and the Saxon Chronicles) of Dublin was of the clan Ivar, and was believed to be descended from Ivar the Boneless. However, he soon died and Ęželstan seized his chance. He took the throne of Northumbria before Sigtrygg's son could. Ęželstan, and his descendants, were from then on hailed as King over all of England.
The line of kings continued from Ęželstan through his brothers Edmund, Eadred, and Edmund's son Eadgar - you. You now have the task of keeping the great Kingdom of Englaland safe - from internal strife, raids of the Welsh, and invasions of the Norsemen. You have a great many foes who are more than willing to destroy what your fathers, uncles, brothers and ancestors forged for you. Keep them proud.
Social Structure Society
The Anglo-Saxons had a very stratified social system. However, their government was democratic-monarchy (in the style of other Germanic kingships) and social status could be gained or lost in accordance to military or economic changes.
1. Cyning - The King was the tip top of society. The king was mainly chosen by his predecessor, however he had to be approved by the Witena Gemōt (Old English for "council of wise men"). Each king was the commander of the army, the lawmaker, the raiser of the national levies, and the defender of the nation.
2. Aešelingas - The ęšelings were the king's royal household. Sources would often refer to the ęšeling as the king's chosen successor, however they were also including the rest of the king's family.
3. Ealdermen - The ealdermen (literally "older men") are the nobility of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom. They served as administrators and law-enforcers, and would often govern over the shires (counties) of the land. They also were responsible for raising and commanding the levies of each shire.
4. Žegnas - The žegns (thanes) were the lower nobility of the Anglo-Saxons. They were the main backbone of the army and the largest part of the select fyrd. The thanes mainly lived for war - they were professional soldiers. Good service would be rewarded with gifts, including armor, weapons, or even more land. The king, eorls, ealdermen and even wealthier thanes all had thanes serving as bodyguards and their personal retinue. The better service you gave in war, the easier it was to elevate your status to a wealthier žegn or even an eolderman.
5. Ceorlas - Below the thanes were the ceorls, the freemen of England. In the eyes of the law they were "folcfry" (folk-free) and were moot-worthy and fyrd-worthy. This meant they were allowed to attend community meetings (much like Scandinavian Žings) and could be mustered in the army if necessary. Although the žegn was the main backbone of the army, the ceorls played a large part of the warfare by providing missile support and bolstering the fyrd numbers. The ceorls were divided into three categories; the geneatas, the wealthier middle-class, the kotsetlas, the true middle class, and the gebur, who were poor enough to be forced to live off of their lord.
6. Šeow - The šeow were the slaves and bondsmen who were taken in war, sold into slavery, or forced into debt. Many of the slaves in England were taken from battles with the native Welsh and Scottish warriors. Although called 'slaves,' the šeow had rights along side the free-folk. Slaves could not be killed without reason, were allowed to own property, and could earn wages in their free time. Each slave was provided with plenty of food and shelter all year round, ensuring they would survive when economic times were tough.
Military Anglo-Saxon Military Organization
The hearžweru, or "household" in old English, were the royal bodyguards, retainers and companions of the kings. They guarded his palace, his estate and his person. Each hearžman were paid in gifts and money directly from the king.
The King's Thanes were the royal bodyguard of the kings and his royal household. They attended him at all times and were most often paid in gifts. To be part of the king's retinue was a rich and honourable tradition - fathers passed down their weapons and honor to their sons, in hope that they would one day watch over the King of England. These men fight as excellent defensive infantry, using the typical Anglo-Saxon winged spear to protect their ruler from harm. It was dishonorable to leave the field of battle alive when your king lay dead. The law of the fyrd states, "Concerning the man who deserts his lord. And the man who, through cowardice, deserts his lord or his comrades on a military expedition, either by sea or by land, shall lose all that he possesses and his own life, and the lord shall take back the property and the land which he had given him. And if he has bokland it shall pass into the king's hand."
The other part of the king's hearž, or his personal retinue, were his finest warriors These men were similar to the Norse huskarlar, guarding the king and fighting in his shield wall during the battle. Being part of the king's hearth meant great honour, and even greater gifts. The hearžweru were awarded some of the richest equipment possible, wielding rich swords, heavy shields and thick chain-mail haubergeons.
Under the fyrd, units from different areas of England would fight together with other units from the same area. Each unit was different in terms of equipment and quality. Members of the Select fyrd were mainly composed of žegns and ceorlas. Each žegn would provide one man from every five hides they own. The fyrd was split into two halves, which rotated every few months so that there was always an army available.
Ealdermen, later known as eorls, were the nobility and administrative leaders of each shire (much like the later English count). The ealdor thegns were the older thegns picked to guard the eorls. Each thegn was rewarded for his service with gifts (most often land and items of war). They were given swords as symbols of their status, and used them quite well. They are not as powerful as the king's hearth, but still are a durable force to be in your shield wall.
The thegns were the retainers, companions, and the professional warriors of the ruling elite. During times of war, they formed the main backbone of the military. They fought as a shield wall, using an overhand spear technique that was quite similar to the hoplitae from ancient times. During times of peace, they tended to the main divisions of the shires, notably the hundreds. They also served as a type of mobile police force. Most of the thegns were rich enough to own a horse, and used them to ride to battle, where he then dismounted and took his place within the shield wall.
Meaning "sea warriors", the sokesmen were part of the select levy reforms set in place by Alfred the Great. Near the ocean, an area of 300 hides were combined to form a ship-soke also required to provide a ship with 60 warriors - the sokesmen. They were essentially an anti-Viking task force, ready for any sea-based invasion. Armed with axes and a light chain-mail haubergeon, the sokesmen were a lightly armed, quick moving unit.
Before invading the shores of Britannia, the Anglo-Saxons enjoyed - like other Germanic tribes - had a strong cavalry tradition. The horse was held so sacred that the first two leaders were named after a stallion (Hengist) and a horse (Horsa). However, after hundreds of years on the island away from their Germanic kinsmen, they lost much of their horse-borne tradition. However, they still used horses to transport the troops who could afford them. However, mounted skirmisher infantry tactics were employed when necessary. In 1016, light cavalry were used against the invading Danes to harry and harass their troops. In 1055, skirmisher cavalry were again used to raid the Welsh border - including some companies of Norman horsemen.
The West Saxons are part of the regional division of the Select Fyrd. Wessex has been the home of the ruling dynasty of the Kingdom of England for the last few centuries. They were the last of the kingdoms left surviving the Danish onslaught, and the men of Wessex know how to defend and attack equally well. Much of the region is farmland, and most of the populace tend those farms. Their equipment is more "rural"-based, so they wear padded leather clothing and wield javelins and spears.
The East Saxons traditionally lived in the highly urbanized area from Lundenwic (modern London) in Essex to Sussex to the south west. Because the area was often under attack by the Vikings, the men of these settlements were quite accustomed to being under siege. These men are equipped as rich, semi-heavy bow infantry. They wear thick leather gambeson and wield powerful "self-bows", or Germanic longbows. The Saxons are thought to be the first to introduce the longbow into England, and so they make quite skilled defensive archers. Any besieging army should be wary of their arrows.
The Angles settled in the areas of East Anglia, parts of Mercia, and Northumbria, creating kingdoms there that lasted until they were destroyed by Vikings centuries later. With the coming of the Danes and Norsemen, the area became known as the Danelaw - the area ruled by Danes. The large influx of Danes in the area led to a mixed culture of Viking and Saxon. As such, the Angelfolc's equipment reflects the Viking influence. They wield two-handed axes and are solid infantry to back up your shield wall, but you should be very careful - their resolve is not as strong as other warriors.
Myrcefolc (Urban Militias)
To the west of England lies the land of the Welsh - rather warlike neighbors descended from the ancient Celts and Romano-British. On the edge of the Anglo-Welsh border were the lands of West Mercia. The Welsh (known as the Cymry) often raided the borderlands, providing many problems for the Mercians. As they were accustomed to dealing with raids, they are lightly armored, fast moving and deadly with their javelins. Their knowledge of the borderlands was so great that often times levies of their area would be held for a longer period of time then the rest of the country.
In the face of foreign invasion or nation-wide crisis, the king could call a national levy to serve as a massive defensive army. The service usually was not over a long period, but massive armies like this could often tax the population and the land.
The Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were no strangers to archery. The long-range arm of the English defenses was often overlooked by historians and chroniclers alike. Often raised from local hunters and farmers, the sceotanas use their large self-bows with sufficient skill to cover a shield wall. However, they should not be forced into any kind of melee, as they will be slaughtered in a hand-to-hand fight.
The geneats were a part of the Ceorl class that were occasionally levied into the fyrd in the absence of a thegn or a case of emergency. They fight as medium infantry, armed with spears. Their morale is average, but they are strong warriors. Their best use will be in the shield wall, defending against cavalry and holding the line till heavier infantry can reach them.
When Alfred created the burgh defense system, he realized the need for garrison troops guarding each town. Besides the local thegn, his thegns, and the levy when needed, there were also the burgweardas - the guards of the burghs. They were there to keep the peace, and to fight in case of a siege. They are weak troops, best used for defense of the settlement until better troops can relieve the siege.
"Men of the Hundred"
These men are levies from each hundred. They are members of the lower ceorl class, and as such are only called in the most dire of situations. They are good skirmishers, armed with javelins and small knives, but should use their superior speed to get away from potential enemies. They will never hold up in any form of hand-to-hand combat besides against other peasant levies.
National Levy Script
Description: In case of being unprepared when an enemy invades, the Anglo-Saxon king can launch a national levy - raising a huge amount of troops from each shire.
How to use it: In each capital, there will be special buildings to each faction. For the Anglo-Saxons, building one of those uniques called "Calling the Great Fyrd". A message will pop up, asking you if you would like to raise a national levy.
What it does: This will raise large amounts of armies in each province of England that you have. Near your capitol, an army of 2 unit of žegns, 6 geneatas, 2 sceotanas, and 2 hundradeflocc will spawn.
Pros - In the case of a large scale foreign invasion (such as from the invasion script), and in case you are running short on armies to combat them, you will have a fighting chance to take them on. These units will be a great addition to any forces you already have. To fully complete the historical style of this script, send your king's thegns and some hearth troops to lead the army.
Cons - Raising the army costs a pretty penny initially. On top of that, geneatas, sceotanas and especially hundradeflocc have a very large upkeep. If the army is not disbanded in a few turns, this will drag your kingdom into debt.
Description: Historically, if a king was left without a son to succeed him, he would look to in-laws, long-time friends, or even his greatest generals. Sometimes this could lead to a set of disastrous events. When Edward the Confessor died without any close family, his distant relative William - the Duke of Normandy - tried to exert his claim to the English throne. However, Harold Godwinson, eorl of Wessex, took the throne. William gathered a massive army and invaded England, setting off the battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest.
How it starts: Each faction will have its royal bloodline (and extended royal bloodlines). If no member of the royal bloodline is alive, or if a general who is not of royal blood ascends to king, he will gain a trait called "Usurper".
What it does: The Usurper trait is a very dangerous trait to have. Your new king must have a VERY high authority, and/or have himself crowned immediately - or face a contender to the throne. If a contender steps forward, be wary that your entire kingdom does not sink into rebellion. If there were blood relatives of the previous king, they WILL rebel if your authority is not high enough. Also, if there is a contender to the throne of another faction, they may come knocking on your doorstep with an army. However, if your king comes out on top, his son will gain the trait "of royal blood", meaning the king has started a new dynasty.
- Absinthia for his great base models and textures, and parts of his Anglo-Saxon roster
- The Wrath of the Norsemen team for parts of their Norse rosters
- Lord Calidor for his weapon back
- Rusichi Team for parts of textures and their excellent horses
- BALTS TW Team for parts of models
- Banzai and Johnwhile for their excellent work in Animations
- Polycarpe of the WOTW team for his great recruitment stats guide